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Bert Sugar's Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America's Greatest Game Hardcover – May 5, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


The Eddie Kranepool Society (blog), Pro Baseball Central (blog)
“This book is a must for the baseball fan that loves the games history and loves the photographs of players and teams from the beginning of the game to the present. Give it a spot of honor on your coffee table.”

Rocky Mountain Telegram, May 17, 2009
“This is, in every regard, one beautiful book. A visit to Cooperstown lasts a day. They’ll have Sugar’s book for a lifetime.“

Yogi Berra
“What Bert Sugar doesn’t know about baseball, nobody knows.”

Bob Costas
“To get a better sense of the Hall of Fame, you would have to be in Cooperstown.”

New York Daily News, June 7th, 2009
“Sugar comes up with a beautifully envisioned, designed and esecuted stroll through Cooperstown. Pops will love this one.”

USA Today.com
“The legendary author takes you through the National Baseball Hall of Fame – literally – in a 272-page odyssey that will leave you feeling like you’re in Cooperstown even if you’ve never been there. Welcome to baseball heaven. Welcome to Cooperstown, New York.”

Pro Baseball Central, 5/11/09
“Bert Randolph Sugar is THE sports historian of our time and he has a new book out that is a comprehensive look at the Baseball Hall of Fame called Bert Sugar’s Baseball Hall of Fame, A Living History of America’s Greatest Game. I have been to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, four times and each time I’ve been there I’ve seen an exhibit or artifact I’ve missed in my previous trip and now with this outstanding book that is full of great pictures and of course the writing of Bert Sugar, it puts all the awe and beauty of the HOF in your hands.

Juiced Sports Blog, 5/20/09
Bert Sugar’s Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America’s Greatest Game is more than just a book. It’s an addiction, a twenty first century marvel, a book so perfect, it’s hard to say what’s more impressive, the top notch writing or the first class photography. Its attention to detail is so impressive, that the only thing missing is some Yankee Stadium dirt, or a little wooden splinter from one of Reggie Jackson’s bats. Never have I seen a baseball book that achieves perfection– but Sugar and photographer Bruce Curtis’ compilation is almost as magnificent as the place they strive to document.”

Sports, Crackle, Pop!, 5/14/09
“Bert Sugar is out with a new book marking the 70th Anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. This book is the most thorough history of the Baseball Hall of Fame that I’ve ever seen.”

PressBox Online
“For those who like to make the pilgrimage to the picturesque upper New York state village, this book contains everything you've seen at the Hall of Fame – and perhaps some you've missed. For those who have never made the trip, Bob Costas' description of the book sums it up best: ‘To get a better sense of the Hall of Fame you would have to be in Cooperstown.’ “

Baseball Guru.com, Travel.watch.com
Bert Sugar’s Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America’s Greatest Game is the Mother of all books on the shrine in Cooperstown, NY. Page after page of items from the Hall’s collection intermingle with the text of Sugar, an old hand at the sports book game – he has written more than 50 books. Recommended.”

About the Author

Bert Randolph Sugar is an award-winning sportswriter and popular television sports commentator. He has written more than 50 books, mostly on baseball and boxing. He has appeared countless times on ESPN, Showtime, and HBO, and has appeared as himself in many films and TV shows, including Night and the City, The Great White Hype, Arli$$, and more. He lives in Chappaqua, NY.

Bruce Curtis is an acclaimed photographer whose work has been featured in numerous books and magazines, including Sports Illustrated, Time, and Life magazines, and in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute. He lives in Roslyn, NY.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762430249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762430246
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,200,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're a diehard baseball fan, but have never had the opportunity to personally visit the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY; you're in luck. Bert Sugar has compiled a treasure chest of the sweetest Hall of Fame memories available, and you won't even have to leave your easy chair to experience it.

Even if you've been to the Hall of Fame a number of times, you'll more than likely be amazed at all the stuff you missed; and the good news is, you can linger as long as you want. There are no crowds to fight; it's a leisurely & wonderful trip through the glorious paradise of baseball heaven. It doesn't get any better.

Even if you've never seen a baseball game in your life, you'd probably get a kick out of perusing this beautifully crafted piece of work. Its historical significance can't be overstated; it's the quintessential baseball book. Period.

If you're looking to surprise the ultimate baseball fan on their next birtday or other special occasion, you can't go wrong here. But don't hold out 'til Christmas. Six months is way too long to wait for this gem.

Bert Sugar has proven that baseball is truly the greatest game on earth; and he's got 272 pages of proof. What else can be said? How sweet it is!
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Format: Hardcover
I've never been to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. I'm a big fan of the game (White Sox!) and I'd love to go someday. I grew up on the south side of Chicago and watched players like Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox and Early Wynn play so well. I've got all of the players' autographs from that '59 team which made it to the World Series. Great memories.

Times are tough, so a trip to see my guys in Cooperstown, along with the other greats of the game will have to wait. That's why I'm so grateful for this wonderful book. I couldn't put it down. Bert Sugar did a fantastic job of compiling all the memorabilia that you'd find in Cooperstown, so I like to think of this as almost as good as going. It's really Cooperstown on a budget!
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Format: Hardcover
I have been a passionate baseball fan since childhood, among the few in my elementary school on the South Side of Chicago who cheered for both the Cubs and the White Sox. Over the years, I saw more than 100 games at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park, then watched the Braves in Milwaukee while in college, the Yankees while in graduate school and then teaching in Connecticut. Later still, Red Sox games at Fenway Park before relocating from Boston to Dallas. Thereafter, I attended more Ranger games at the old park than I have at the new one but still watch as many games on television as my circumstances permit. Only once, many years ago, I was able to visit Cooperstown and spent the better part of the day at the Half of Fame. Regrettably, I was unable to return the next day and haven't been back since.

All that said, if you can't get to Cooperstown, the next best way to "visit" the baseball museum there is to read Bert Randolph Sugar's lively narrative and examine the 500+ color and b/w photos provided by Bruce Curtin. The production values of this volume are outstanding. It is difficult for me to imagine that there are any items that weren't photographed, any significant items that Sugar neglects to mention. I had no idea that Sugar was an avid baseball fan. I was aware of him only as someone who is an authority on professional boxing. His writing style has Snap! Crackle! & Pop! and he has a keen eye for significant details. Clearly he has conducted extensive research on the history of baseball. Opinions are divided about many issues such as the origin and development of what may still be "the national pastime" but Sugar wisely avoids bogging down in any contriversies and concentrates on bringing the Hall of Life to life to the extent he can, substantially assisted by Curtin.
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Format: Hardcover
Let's get the mistakes out of the way right of the bat, because it's not a baseball book review without that feature.

First, there's a reference to a picture of the Huntington Ave. grounds that the Boston Red Sox used for the 1912 World Series. But, the text reads that the Red Sox had already moved out of that facility by 1912. The picture probably is of the 1903 World Series on Huntington Ave; it's relatively common.

Second, there's a picture of Roger Maris hitting his 61st homer. I'm not 100 percent sure on this, but the picture looks as if it were taken at night, and the photo seems familiar. My guess is that it's actually Maris' 60th homer, hit off Jack Fisher of Baltimore. Maris hit number 61 in the daytime against Boston (oddly enough, I was there).

Now that the cranky part of the review of the book is out of the way, we can get down to business. "Bert Sugar's Baseball Hall of Fame" is a fairly good representation of what it's like to visit the museum in Cooperstown. In that sense, it accomplishes its goal.

The book actually can be split into two parts. Sugar, the author of many books on a variety of subjects over the years, describes each room of the Hall easily enough. Along the way he gives a short history of the game, along with some sidebars about other subjects connected to the sport. The words are relatively standard stuff, particularly for fans who know plenty about the national pastime before they turned to page two.

The pictures take this a step up. There are photographs taken specifically for this book of the exhibits and rooms in Cooperstown that come across very well. It's fun to see Babe Ruth's locker, or old baseballs, or trophies from previous decades on display. Bruce Curtis did a fine job in that sense.
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