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Remembering Fenway Park: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Boston Red Sox Hardcover – March 1, 2011
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About the Author
Harvey Frommer is the author of Remembering Yankee Stadium and more than 40 sports books. The oral historian and sports journalist is a professor in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College and professor emeritus at City University of New York. He lives in Lyme, New Hampshire.
Johnny Pesky was known as “Mr. Red Sox” for his seven and a half seasons playing and many years as a coach and commentator for the team. The Red Sox honored Pesky by officially naming the right-field foul pole “Pesky's Pole” and retiring his No. 6 in 2008.
Top customer reviews
Author Harvey Frommer got into the party spirit a little early.
He wrote a book called "Remembering Fenway Park." It's a typical coffee table book about the team and its major occupant, the Boston Red Sox, and it's perhaps most noteworthy for its approach to the subject.
Frommer called this an oral and narrative history of Fenway. As for the oral part, he sought out everyone he could find to give stories about the place. That includes players, coaches, front office staffers, media and fans. There are some stars represented here, but not a ton of them -- especially from the last 15 years or so. In other words, no Martinez, Ramirez, Ortiz, Schilling, Boggs, Rice, Yastrzemski, Clemens, etc. in direct quotations.
Still, there are some good stories here. That includes some memories from fans, which usually don't work particularly well in books because everyone, it seems, has a story about going to a game but it's rarely unusual in nature. Here, though, it adds a little flavor to the tale. Plus, it's fun to hear from those who come to work in a cathedral regularly.
Plus, the pictures are nice as you'd expect. There are good shots of the stars, but ticket stubs and baseball cards and unusual photos of the park's history are also used, sometimes nice and big. It's a pretty book.
The odd part comes in that Frommer essentially writes something of a history of the Red Sox here, but almost exclusively sticks to events that happened in home games. Yes, baseball teams play half their games on the road, and some of Boston's big events certainly happened away from Fenway (the last two clinching games of the World Series, Game Seven against the Yankees in 2004, Game Six against the Mets in 1986, and so on). Plus, some of the home moments get ignored. How about Game Seven against the Indians in 2007, which was a thrilling game and capped a memorable comeback?
As a result, the text does seem to be a little choppy along the way. Games are dropped in for historical significance, but it's really difficult for the author to get in some flow.
I'm not sure how to avoid this problem, and maybe there was no way around it if the Red Sox story in Fenway was to be told. It's possible that a full-fledged history of the ballpark might have been even more useful, including its days of hosting the Boston Patriots in the American Football League or other special events -- but perhaps that's best left for a centennial project.
"Remembering Fenway Park" will bring back some good memories and has some fine stories that date back to 1912. It's just more interesting than compelling as it goes along.
To start, it carries first-hand accounts of key moments in Red Sox history by people like Johnny Pesky--a man who has witnessed many of the team's storied eras. Frommer also interviewed 135 other players and employees. And, perhaps most importantly, it gives you remembrances from ordinary fans, who filled the old ballpark even when horrific teams gave us no reason to do so.
You can also watch Fenway Park grow from its modest beginnings, through several renovations, to the shrine it is today. But this book does not ignore the blemishes. From obstructed views, to fires, to cramped seating, you get the full picture of the Grande Dame of baseball. You will relive great games, pivotal franchise moments and voluminous trivia in this extremely entertaining work. We recommend it highly.