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The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark (Honoring a Detroit Legend) Paperback – May 8, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Honoring a Detroit Legend
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (May 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312291566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312291563
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,237,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Where there are ballparks," writes Tom Stanton in The Final Season, his wistful meditation on baseball and family, "there are memories ... I could never go to Tiger Stadium without feeling the ghosts of history about me...." In 1999, the season of that noble ballpark's last stand, Stanton set out to make peace with those ghosts by attending all 81 Tiger home games. He wasn't sure what he was looking for when he started, but what he finds in the end is much more personal than anything he sees between the foul lines.

Conceived as a game-by-game journal, The Final Season is filled with baseball. Stanton steps up with graceful musings on the game, the park, the Tigers and their history, and, most spiritedly, a pair of living legends--former right fielder Al Kaline and announcer Ernie Harwell. But it's Stanton's thoughts about family--his own family and how the game and the ballpark have connected generations--that truly resonate. In his prose, this lovely old rust bucket of a ballpark, this repository of so many memories, becomes metaphor.

Fittingly, Stanton takes his father to the final game. "I've noticed something today," he writes of the experience. "It's not the seventy- and eighty-year-old men who are wiping their eyes. It's the generation that came after them. And we're hurting not only for the loss of this beautiful place, but for the loss of our fathers and grandfathers--belatedly or prematurely. The closing of this park forces us to confront their mortality, and when we confront their mortality we must confront our own.... A little bit of us dies when something like this, something so tied to our lives, disappears." --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

After the Detroit Tigers' owners announced that 1999 would be the last season played in 87-year-old Tiger Stadium, Michigan journalist Tom Stanton (Rocket Man: Elton John from A-Z) fulfilled his childhood dream of attending all 81 home games. Describing the stadium as one of "the points on our personal maps where we find our treasured memories and replenish our hungering souls," in The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark Stanton takes us through the season game by game, revisiting his indelible connections to the stadium along the way. There, his father and uncles survived depression, illness and bereavement through love of baseball, and there Stanton grieved after his "fevered delusions of a baseball career snapped like a hard curveball." Ultimately, Stanton mourns "the loss of our fathers and grandfathers" and decries the process that has "splintered the sport into haves and have-nots," though he doesn't dig deeply into the team's desire to move to the wealthy suburbs from a poor African-American neighborhood. Photos. Agent, Philip Spitzer.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. When I was a boy, my Uncle Clem -- a Bohemian spirit with unfulfilled literary dreams -- began giving me books that he loved and hoped would inspire me to write: books by Hemingway, Steinbeck, Thomas Wolfe, and others from the American canon of the '20s, '30s, and '40s. He wanted me to be a novelist.

Instead, I became a journalist and co-founded The Voice newspapers in Michigan, before going on to teach at the University of Detroit Mercy and to write nonfiction books.

My uncle died before my first book was published. Although he hoped I would write fiction, he would have appreciated these books, particularly the ones that mentioned him. I'm now at work on several projects, including a memoir about our relationship.

If you'd like to know more, check out my website at www.tomstanton.com or friend me through Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home). I'd enjoy hearing from you.

Thanks for checking out my Amazon page.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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If you are a baseball fan you will love this book.
Joe Lee
A gift from my son for Father's Day, this is one of the best books I've ever read.
Russell Vickery
Tom Stanton decided to attend every home game of Tiger Stadium's final season.
L. A. Guethlein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John P Enright on August 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book about family and the emotional pull that a sports stadium can have on a lifelong fan. I can identify with Mr. Stanton's emotions because I went through the closing of my baseball cathedral last year - Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. Certainly Three Rivers didn't have the rich history and longevity of Tiger Stadium. Nor did it have the charm. But the best memories I have of my dad are going to Pirates games with him and cheering for the Battlin' Bucs.
I've read 10 to 15 baseball books this year and I have to rank this number one. The strength of this book is that it's never sappy or maudlin. Mr. Stanton perfectly captures the essence of why millions of adults care so much about this great game.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Rhodes on February 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I attended dozens of ballgames at Tiger Stadium, mostly in the late 70s and early 80s. I saw my first ever major league game at Tiger Stadium in 1972, with my father and grandfather (the first and likely the only time I will have attended a ballgame with three generations of family represented) and was instantly in awe of the place. It struck me as being an enchanting world unto itself.
Tom Stanton's book captures brilliantly the atmosphere of this grand old ballpark -- the people who worked and played there, the eccentric, asymmetrical features of the field and the stadium, the crumbling neighborhood around Michigan and Trumble, and the eternal voice of the Tigers, Ernie Harwell. Mr. Stanton cares a lot about the game of baseball, the Tigers, and the Stadium; he is also quite conscious of the value that baseball, and attending games, can have on members of a family. The book holds recollections that are sometimes joyous, sometimes melancholy and bittersweet; I am certain that Mr. Stanton has portrayed his own family story as it relates to Tiger Stadium with honesty and compassion.
Anyone who ever had a chance to see a game at the ballpark will want to read this book. Those of us who spent many happy hours at Tiger Stadium really miss the place. Mr. Stanton's book helps to keep its memories alive.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By W. C HALL VINE VOICE on June 21, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a child growing up in the Detroit area, Tom Stanton dreamed about attending every home game of his beloved Tigers. When the dreaded news game that 1999 would be the team's final season in historic Tiger stadium, he decided to make that dream come true. What emerged was much more than just a game-by-game chronicle of what was, on the field anyway, a rather dreary season.
This book celebrates the stadium as a place that spanned the generations for countless players and fans. It's about the traditions that tie family and friends together; it's about life, love, loss...all the things in life that truly matter. You'll share this season with Tom, his aging father, and a cast of wonderful people he encounters during that summer, including Al Kaline, Ernie Harwell, Alice Cooper, Al the Usher and dozens more.
"The Final Season" won an award as best baseball book of the year. I hope you'll open these pages and learn why.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. La Porte on September 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In this book, under the premise of watching an old ball park wind down it's last season, Stanton explores father and son relationships through three generations, aging, family problems, and the universal love of baseball as a thread that keeps families close. It's a touching memoir of the Detroit Tigers last season at Tiger Stadium that covers each and every game. It's also the story of Mr. Stanton's family through four generations, their relationship to baseball, the Tigers and each other. You'll be moved, you'll reminisce about your youth, and you'll (hopefully) be reminded of what is important in life. This book will have you smiling at old memories of your first trip to the ballpark with your dad, crying at the passing of the years, and reaching back to relationships long ago ended. It was an easy and enjoyable book to read, and I'm glad that I did.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Greenview on June 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book from a small-town journalist who can still be star-struck around his heroes. It's just what the title says. The author went to all 81 games of the last season (1999) at Tiger Stadium. (My wife -- one of his college journalism instructors -- and I were also at the last opener -- top row, upper deck near third base). But the book is about memories, not the games themselves -- of the author and his father and brothers and uncles and sons at the ballpark and playing ball in general. And he talks to everyone from Ernie Harwell to peanut vendors, from ballplayers to fans. Perfect for sons to recall memories of going to ball games with their dads. And a perfect gift for Father's Day. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Todd Stanley on April 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Tom Stanton decided to attend every home game of the Detroit Tigers in their final season at Detroit Stadium as we are the richer because of it. What follows is a fan's dedication to memories that came from a place that at season's end will be abandoned. Stanton holds firm to his promise, missing important family events and dedicating himself to his boyhood team. With the advent of new stadiums popping up all over the place, Stanton celebrates why Tiger Stadium doesn't really need replaced and how the clean, corporate stadiums wipe away the many years of history with it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gary Galvin on January 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After many years of going to Tiger Stadium with my brothers, father, and friends I truly miss it. Tom Stanton does a wonderful job writing about Tiger Stadium, the stories behind it, and the people who love it. If you have many memories of Tiger Stadium and fell in love with the ballpark, the sun in the bleachers, the chiped paint, the right field seating, the beams that support the stadium, or Ernie Harwell I suggest you buy this book.
A must of a Tiger Fan!!
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