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The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark (Honoring a Detroit Legend) by [Stanton, Tom]
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The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark (Honoring a Detroit Legend) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Length: 258 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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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

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.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1552 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312291566
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; Reprint edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003J5UJ3Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #596,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One thing I remember clearly from the 70's was the Tigers were there, and every game we loved to hear Ernie talking to us over the hiss & crack of the AM radio... Late at night during the west cost trips, the glow of the radio. Tom tells the story like I remember it, the Parking lot guys, the hot dog/peanut guys, the elevator operators... The regulars... Thanks Tom. I enjoyed the trip back in time. My Grandfather, would have loved this book. He drove bus for DSR, so undoubtedly, can tell you stories that would fit right in. My Dad will love it too.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up as a Tiger's fan and some of my favorite memories of my father, uncles, cousins and grandfather take place in Tiger stadium. This book by Tom Stanton brought up those memories as well as tears in my eyes and sometimes streaming down my face. Staton's description of his attendance of every home game during the final season at Tiger Stadium surprised me. I expected box scores and game descriptions but instead he related each game to how his relationships to his father, uncles, children, and friends all were linked, somehow, to Tiger Stadium. I will always hold on to two memories of Tiger Stadium - Being eight years old, wearing my Little League uniform and standing next to the Tiger dugout only to have my hero, Dick McAuliffe come over and ask me about my season. My second involves driving 15 hours with 4 hours yet to go with my pregnant wife when we heard Ernie Harwell's voice on WJR. We made a quick detour and I ended up spending a great evening reveling my wife with all my Tiger Stadium stories. Thanks Tom for giving me one more chance to stand on "The Corner".
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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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