- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (June 18, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 031227288X
- ISBN-13: 978-0312272883
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,839,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark Hardcover – June 18, 2001
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"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.
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As a baseball fan I found this fascinating. As a history fan I found it interesting the different stages of the Stadium. But as a son and soon to be father I found it touching. I hopefully will be able to share my love of baseball with my son and create many great memories with him at the ballpark.
Tom Stanton decided to attend every home game of Tiger Stadium's final season. He did it for love of baseball, the Tigers, the stadium and his dad. This book is a diary of sorts of not only the season, but of Stanton's journey of understanding why the stadium's passing has come so hard for him. We get an interesting history lesson of his family, the neighborhood around the stadium, the team, the Tigers and the stadium itself. I found that I cared whether or not Uncle Herb would be found just as much as I cared whether Stanton would give our old girl the send-off she deserved. He did.
Even though I knew how the story ends (psst, the Stadium is replaced) I still cried when it happened. Stanton's words drew me back to that painful time and painted the picture anew. He balances the personal, the public and the behind the scenes perfectly. I am glad I got to know the people who ran the elevator, provided parking, sold peanuts and more as they were a part of that which is no longer. This book is a living history and tribute to both the stadium and those who loved it the most...the stadium workers, the players who spent their entire career there, and most importantly, the fans.
Stanton interviewed scores of people, and thus was able to provide us with a crosscut of them all. We meet those who worked to save the stadium, those who could care less we lost it, and those who practically lived there. All of them provide a view worth having.
If you are a Tigers fan, or just smart enough to love one, this book is for you (or them.)
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.
Thanks for a good read!
Most recent customer reviews
zing run through baseball and tiger stadium history. Brought back fond memories of games,players, and family at the park. Thanks!!