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High Fives, Pennant Drives, and Fernandomania: A Fan's History of the Los Angeles Dodgers' Glory Years (1977-1981) Paperback – March 15, 2012

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High Fives, Pennant Drives, and Fernandomania: A Fan's History of the Los Angeles Dodgers' Glory Years (1977-1981) + Miracle Men: Hershiser, Gibson, and the Improbable 1988 Dodgers + The Dodgers: From Coast to Coast
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press (March 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595800670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595800671
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"With Vin Scully's broadcasts as a touchstone, Paul Haddad revives the glory years of the Dodgers. His recollections are as rich and wonderful as Scully himself." —Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times

"Warm and fuzzy time! Paul Haddad's account is the shirt from the back of the closet that still fits and never goes out of style. I enjoyed it thoroughly." —Jerry Reuss, Los Angeles Dodgers, 1979–1986

"An evocative, playful, exuberant tribute to the sunniest days of the Los Angeles Dodgers and to the unmatched purity, intensity, and hilarity of fandom as a child, High Fives, Pennant Drives, and Fernandomania is a crystal-clear signal breaking through the static of fading memories and the distance of time. Reading it is like somehow finding your hometown team's game on the radio while hundreds and hundreds of miles away."—Josh Wilker, author, Cardboard Gods

"We never forget our first loves—whether it was a fresh-grilled Dodger Dog, a double bag of salted-in-the-shell peanuts, or Tommy John's bionic arm. All my adult life I've wondered if someone could bring back to life those wonderful days of a childhood lost to Vin Scully on the transistor radio and the team that dared you to believe even when they crushed your heart. Now somebody has." —Les Carpenter, Yahoo! Sports

"As a fan of sharp writing, warm childhood memories, and all the visceral elements of baseball, this book left me exhilarated. As a die-hard Montreal Expos fan who'd love to never hear the name Rick Monday again, this book left me saddened and furious. I want to buy Paul Haddad a beer, shake his hand . . . then punch him in the face." —Jonah Keri, author, The Extra 2%

"If you bleed Dodger Blue and want to relive a championship time, this is an ideal read -- breezy, funny and unsparing in its praise of the Blue Crew and its criticism of all other teams." --Jim McConnell, Pasadena Star-News

"Haddad's sense of humor shines throughout the book, particularly when detailing some of the low points of the hometown team." --James Bailey, Baseball America

"Extremely unique...  The author does a good job of splitting [the book] up and giving the reader different topics about the Dodgers to focus on throughout each chapter.  Even if your team is not the Dodgers, all fans will be able to relate to Haddad's thoughts, actions and words throughout the book." --Bill Jordan, Baseball Reflections.com

"Haddad explores one of America's most important teams the way only a true fan can." --Larry Mantle, AirTalk, KPCC 89.3 FM

"It will invoke warm nostalgia among those who were present, and it is a purposeful guide to others who may not realize how dominant radio broadcasts were now that we live in a time when you can purchase and watch the entire baseball season on your television, computer, phone, even a watch...  Haddad has hit one out of the park." --Mike Terry, San Fernando Sun

About the Author

Paul Haddad is an Emmy-winning television writer and executive producer who has worked on shows for Discovery Networks, Fox Sports, Travel Channel, National Geographic and VH1, among others. His articles have appeared in magazines such as Filmmaker, LA Sports & Fitness, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. He was featured in ESPN Films' 30 for 30 documentary series in an episode recapping the phenomenon of Fernandomania. He lives in Los Angeles.

Jon Weisman, who wrote the Foreword, is the proprietor of Dodger Thoughts, a popular weblog about the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is also a writer and editor for Variety, and has contributed to Sports Illustrated's SI.com. Weisman has published two books -- The Best of Dodger Thoughts and 100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.

More About the Author

Paul Haddad was born in Hollywood, California. After graduating from USC's School of Cinema-TV, where he won an Emmy for his documentary thesis film, Haddad embarked on a career in television as a writer and executive producer. His first book was published in 2012: "High Fives, Pennant Drives, and Fernandomania: A Fan's History of the Los Angeles Dodgers' Glory Years, 1977-1981," a look back at the Dodgers' last glory era through the radio calls of Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully. It was chosen as one of the top baseball books of 2012 by the Daily News and earned praise from the LA Times, ESPN Radio, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, CBS Radio and Yahoo! His first book of fiction is "Skinny White Freak," a "coming of rage" novel set in 1970s Malibu about a teenager working up the courage to confront a camp bully. Haddad also created the book's illustrations.

@PaulHaddadBooks (Twitter)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
Baseball fans can't go wrong in reading this light hearted gem of a fan diary.
Andrew S L
I became a fan of the Dodgers back in 1981 when they beat the Yankees in the World Series, which was also Fernando Valenzuela's rookie year.
Robert Weingartner
Haddad has a light touch and great sense of humor and the period he writes about is rich and fascinating.
Jeffrey D Ford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve McEwen on June 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
As author Paul Haddad states on the cover of his book, 1977 though 1981 were indeed glory years for Los Angeles Dodger fans. Like Paul, I came to know and love the Dodgers during this wildly exciting era of World Series appearances and nail-biting pennant drives. Garvey, Cey, Baker, Fernando and company provided me with some of the most perfect moments of my childhood. For this reason, I thoroughly enjoyed High Fives, Pennant Drives, and Fernandomania. However, you do not have to be 40-something or older to enjoy this book. Paul's book allows Dodger fans of all ages to relive this wonderful five-season stretch in vivid detail.

I have read many wonderful books about the Dodgers (there is a lot to write about), but this book is the only one that I know of that specifically focuses on and chronicles this special period of Dodger history. Paul accomplishes this task brilliantly and enthusiastically. Not only does he cover the highlights of those years, but he weaves in the many ups and downs of each season. Like few books, High Fives puts you right back on that emotional roller coaster of winning streaks, losing streaks, crushing defeats, and soaring triumphs. When I read this book, I felt like I was nine years old again, sitting with my Mom and Dad at Dodger Stadium or listening to Vin, Jerry, and Ross on my bedroom radio. Paul adds to this exciting narrative with timely-placed sidebars that provide relevant and interesting facts about the Dodgers and the game of baseball.

What makes High Five even more special and exciting to read is Paul's use of his collection of recorded Dodger broadcasts to describe the key moments. What a treasure!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matt Jones on June 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I never write reviews, but this book sucked me right in. Haddad's approach is unique - a retelling of an underreported chapter of Dodger history ("Big Blue Wrecking Crew!") that is told through radio and TV announcers like Vin Scully, shaded through the author's recollections as a young fan. The writing is breezy, evocative and funny - at its best when he's reliving agonizing losses - with an acute attention to detail that can only come from someone who kept a meticulous tape collection. I had almost forgotten about the announcers punctuating each home run with "Union 76 Auto Script" sponsor copy until Haddad reminded me in one of many sidebars that add rich layers of information that bring this era to life.

I also like his approach of distilling each season down to 5 Games that are representative of that year. Some of them are pretty iconic - The Mother's Day Massacre of 1978, when Dave Kingman's 3 home runs led to Lasorda's epic post-game meltdown, or Jerry Reuss' 1980 no-hitter. But many of them are games that have been forgotten to time that marked a turning point in the season. Other highlights include the recurring "Fernando Watch" segments, in which Haddad gives "real-time" updates of each of El Toro's starts during his historic 1981 season. I lived through that awesome period, and this is the closest thing I've ever experienced since then that recaptures that magic.

At the end of his introduction, Haddad remarks his book was written "in the same spirit of idly chatting with a friend at Chavez Ravine itself." This about sums it up... You can almost smell the Dodger dogs off these pages (grilled, of course).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David T. on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For every young kid of the 70's that couldn't get enough of their team (especially Dodger fans), this book is a warm, funny and accurate journey into our past. The Dodger team and community of the late 1970s to '81 had a near-symbiotic relationship that was rewarded with both heartbreak and joy, and Mr. Haddad recaptures those five years with an intimacy few fans can recall.

As a member of the Joe Ferguson "marching and chowder society", it brought back my personal glory and agony of cheering for #13. Fergie finally gets his due in this book, and I am grateful for this book's focus on him, and other supporting "cast" members that made the Dodger team both classy, and human.

This book brings out a longing for Helen Dell, John Ramsey, Usherettes in straw hats/short skirts, grilled Dodger dogs at every station (are you listening Magic?), and the comfort of listening to Vin Scully in the cozy confines of your parent's car's back-seat riding in the sunshine of those heady, happy 1970's days. Thankfully we still have Vin around (sorry McCourt...).

This partner in crime is most grateful for the author opening up many excellent memories, and a plausible argument that OUR Reggie was the superior player.

This book is a "way-back" experience for the reader, and a must for any Dodger and/or baseball fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reid on March 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
If ever a sport was meant for radio play-by-play, baseball is it. And you'll find no bigger devotee of this notion than Paul Haddad.

Thankfully for Dodger fans everywhere, as a kid, Haddad obsessively recorded any and all Dodger broadcasts during the late 70s and early 80s. As a result, his ability to re-create all the best and worst moments of this era -- the triumphs, tragedies, and drama -- is second to none. I suspect Paul recalls moments that even Tommy Lasorda has forgotten.

And, since Haddad's recollections mostly come from these old play-by-play recordings, this book is also a unique tribute to perhaps the greatest individual to ever call a game: Vin Scully. Haddad breaks down some of Vin's greatest calls, dissecting every nuance, inflection, and syllable. And he does so with such eloquence and infectious enthusiasm; you'll want to find the closest radio and scan the dial for a game, any game.

Sadly the art of calling a baseball game on radio is slowly fading from most fans' memories. So with this book we have a cogent reminder of how vital radio play-by-play is, not just to our memories of great baseball moments, but to how baseball creates a collective experience, perhaps like no other cultural event can.

Cheers, Haddad. May your Marching and Chowder Society flourish for decades to come.
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