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Summer of '98 Paperback – May 1, 2000

3.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After several years in the doldrums, baseball recaptured the imagination of fans across the country in 1998. Lupica, a nationally syndicated sports columnist for the New York Daily News, revisits the magic of that season in this feel-great book: "I never thought I would have a better baseball season than the one I had in '61, not just because of the home runs, but because of what I thought was the best Yankee team I would ever see in my life. Now I saw more home runs, and a better Yankee team, the best of all time. I saw the best baseball team. We all did." Lupica intersperses stories about the season's highlights?Mark McGwire's and Sammy Sosa's dramatic pursuit of Roger Maris's home run record, rookie Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game, the New York Yankees phenomenal campaign?with musings about how baseball provides continuity between his relationship with his father and his own experience with his three young sons. He tells how, in the mornings, he left notes for his sons so that they could learn the results of games that ended after their bedtimes, just as his father did for him when he was young. In his columns, Lupica often deals with strikes, the atrocious behavior of some overpaid athletes and all the tawdriness of sports business and hype. But, in this book, he gives himself completely over to the beauty of baseball as both a game and as an agent of bonding between fathers and children. Fans who want to remember the glory of '98 and get primed for '99 will find this perfect reading for spring training.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The 1998 season was an exciting one for baseball fans. Lupica, the columnist, TV analyst, and author (Mad as Hell: How Sports Got Away from the FansAAnd How We Get It Back, LJ 10/1/96), tells an enthusiastic story of how he and his three sons followed it. Lupica centers on the Yankees' record drive to their 24th World Series crown, but weaves in the equally fascinating McGwire-Sosa homer duel, David Wells's perfect game, the end of Cal Ripken's streak, and other notable events. While Bernie Miklasz's Celebrating 70 (LJ 12/98) salutes McGwire's feat, Lupica gives both McGuire and Sosa their proper due. This salute to a memorable season is recommended for all popular adult and YA shelves.AMorey Berger, St. Joseph's Hosp. Medical Lib., Tucson, AZ
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809224445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809224449
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,861,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike Lupica is one of the most prominent sports writers in America. His longevity at the top of his field is based on his experience and insider's knowledge, coupled with a provocative presentation that takes an uncompromising look at the tumultuous world of professional sports. Today he is a syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News, which includes his popular "Shooting from the Lip" column, which appears every Sunday. He began his newspaper career covering the New York Knicks for the New York Post at age 23. He became the youngest columnist ever at a New York paper with the New York Daily News, which he joined in 1977. For more than 30 years, Lupica has added magazines, novels, sports biographies, other non-fiction books on sports, as well as television to his professional resume. For the past fifteen years, he has been a TV anchor for ESPN's The Sports Reporters. He also hosted his own program, The Mike Lupica Show on ESPN2. In 1987, Lupica launched "The Sporting Life" column in Esquire magazine. He has published articles in other magazines, including Sport, World Tennis, Tennis, Golf Digest, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, ESPN: The Magazine, Men's Journal and Parade. He has received numerous honors, including the 2003 Jim Murray Award from the National Football Foundation. Mike Lupica co-wrote autobiographies with Reggie Jackson and Bill Parcells, collaborated with noted author and screenwriter, William Goldman on Wait Till Next Year, and wrote The Summer of '98, Mad as Hell: How Sports Got Away from the Fans and How We Get It Back and Shooting From the Lip, a collection of columns. In addition, he has written a number of novels, including Dead Air, Extra Credits, Limited Partner, Jump, Full Court Press, Red Zone, Too Far and national bestsellers Wild Pitch and Bump and Run. Dead Air was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Mystery and became a CBS television move, "Money, Power, Murder" to which Lupica contributed the teleplay. Over the years he has been a regular on the CBS Morning News, Good Morning America and The MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour. On the radio, he has made frequent appearances on Imus in the Morning since the early 1980s. His previous young adult novels, Travel Team, Heat, Miracle on 49th Street, and the summer hit for 2007, Summer Ball, have shot up the New York Times bestseller list. Lupica is also what he describes as a "serial Little League coach," a youth basketball coach, and a soccer coach for his four children, three sons and a daughter. He and his family live in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You should read this book if you fall into one of the following categories:
1. You can't remember what happened last baseball season (perhaps the most memorable season of our generation);
2. You remember what happened but you don't mind reading about it for the zillionth time;
3. You want to know which of Mike Lupica's kids is the "nester";
4. You crave more turgid sports writing, with its transparent efforts to create dramatic effect by using endless clipped sentences and paragraphs.
Lupica is a master of this style. Why write a whole sentence when you can break it into two fragments? Or three fragments? Better yet, you can really enhance the drama of a sentence fragment.
By making it a paragraph.
The following are examples of "sentences" written by Lupica: "With the game." "And memories of Kerry Wood." "Then Jeff Bagwell." "And the Cubs right fielder, Sammy Sosa." "Yet." "Even in Grand Prarie, Texas."
All of these are found on just two pages. Page 39.
And page 40.
And the last four examples were entire paragraphs!
To be fair, Lupica does throw in some behind-the-scenes material, including conversations with: the scout who discovered Sammy Sosa, the best friend of Roger Maris, the high school coach of Kerry Wood, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Bobby Thomson, Daryl Strawberry, Cal Ripken, Derek Jeter. Even these are mostly predictable, though. The scout remembers Sammy as a ragamuffin in old spikes. Roger didn't like to talk much about his 61 homers. Kerry struck out a lot of guys in high school. And so on.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book only because I love baseball and only because it was [inexpensive]. My uncle is also mentioned in the book, so I thought Id give it a try. I assume Mr. Lupica is a sportswriter, but I wish he would stick to his day job. This book is an abomination. Lupica thinks by writing constant incomplete sentences that it adds emphasis to his sentences. Sure, this works for a while, but when there is one in every paragraph, it gets old. Fast. Real Fast.
Example. Here for you. The Reader. Of my review:
(PG. 20-- "McGwire had attended one of those Fan Fests that big-league teams hold during the winter, and had signed more than 300 autographs. For free. It only made him more of a giant. More like Babe Ruth."
I mean, how does this drivel slip past the editor? I found myself skimming this book instead of reading it. Lupica repeats OVER AND OVER the phrase, "magical season," to the point where it's just not so magical anymore.
When authors include their real life experiences, I like to hear how everyone really sounded. Lupica's 8-year old child just does not speak like this. I'm sorry.
Ugh, I regret spending [money] on this and am sad that someone I know was mentioned. In it. Blegh
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Format: Hardcover
This is about the worse book on baseball I have ever read. There are several reasons for this, almost all of them have been well-articulated by the reviews already here. The book has a highly annoying, ungrammatical style; it is unnecessarily mawkish and cloying whenever the author starts rambling on about his sons and family (children are like dogs: everyone has them and they are all cute, but all conversations -- and books -- take a nosedive whenever anyone begins to tell me how cute they are). The "sports prose" mentioned elsewhere will drive any half-educated reader up the wall. Sentence fragments abound; incomplete thoughts pretending to be high drama are everywhere. The style alone is enough to make a hockey fan out of me. The book is not just bad, it is stupendously bad, like a parody. It is not mundanely bad like the Washington Senators, but it is grandly bad, like the '62 Mets or Ray Oyler's batting average.

And yet (or, as Lupica would say: "And yet."), there is something that compels one to read on. I think that reading this, one gets the same feeling one would have gotten reading the Southhampton newspaper accounts of the departure of the Titanic, or a biography of Bernie Madoff before the curtain came down. That is: one senses a feeling of impending doom. Summer of '98(I am also angry that the author stole the title from David Halberstam's masterful work, Summer of '49) holds up as saviors of baseball the very swine that almost brought it down: McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens. And Lupica is blithely unaware of all this, even when it happens right in front of him...and he notices it! Take, for example, when he talks about McGwire's rookie card and the 1998 version of that same player: "He's bigger than on his rookie card, Dad." His son says so cutely and innocently.
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Format: Paperback
Dont' read this book if you want a recap of the 98 baseball season. Do read it if you want to know more about Mike Lupica's kids, their favorite player, the name of their little league team, and the rules at the Lupica house for the boys bedtime.
If you are related to Mike Lupica or are a friend of the family, by all means buy the book, you'll love it, since most of it is about people you know. For the rest of us, who bought it thinking we were getting the story of the 98 season, it is a waste of money.
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