- Perfect Paperback: 282 pages
- Publisher: Caballo Press of Ann Arbor; 1st edition (March 28, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615187579
- ISBN-13: 978-0615187570
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,227,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Untold Story of Joe Hernandez: The Voice of Santa Anita 1st Edition
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When I read Dr. Alvarado's inspiring story of Joe Hernandez, a torrent of memories came flooding back to me. He brings the original Voice of Santa Anita back to life, with all his charisma joined with a personal, deep love for horses and racing born of unique experiences. --Alan Balch - Executive Secretary and Registrar, American Saddlebred Horse Association and Registry
This biography stands as a remarkable work of research . . . . The romance of horseracing, the source of so much of its appeal, is given full marks . . . . But it's the subject, Joe Hernandez, who emerges as a catalyst . . . . The book is a great read. For anyone who wants to know what horseracing was and is it s a keeper! Joe Hernandez was larger than life. This rendition paints the portrait. --Pete Pedersen, winner Eclipse of Merit and Joe H. Palmer Award of Merit from the New York Turf Writer s Association
By unearthing so many previously unknown facts surrounding the true horseracing legend, primarily through his close and trusting relationships with those members of Joe's family especially his son, Father Frank . . . the author has put in our hands a volume of work that is well worth the read. --Rudi Groothedde, Managing Editor of the California Thoroughbred magazine.
From the Inside Flap
At a time when thoroughbred horse racing was as popular as the National Football League is today, the voice of Santa Anita Park, Joe Hernandez, was known by millions. His voice was as recognizable as that of the late-great Howard Cosell, or the recently retired John Madden.The story of Joe's rise to fame was simple. He was born in San Francisco and raised in San Diego where he married a blue-eyed blonde beauty. After a "big break" he was hired at the Los Angeles Examiner and eventually became the voice of Santa Anita. The rest, as they say, was history.The source of this life story was Joe Hernandez. The only problem was that none of it was true. Why was Hernandez apprehensive about revealing the truth about his past? It was a question that he never faced while he was alive because everyone, even his family, never challenged the Horatio Alger story that he had created for himself.The truth, however, would have been more compelling.When author Rudolph Valier Alvarado began his research on Joe Hernandez he thought that it would be a simple matter of meeting the Hernandez family to gain details about the race caller's life. What he encountered, however, was a family that did not know much about Hernandez's private life. Even the question of Joe's birthplace was a mystery.Six years later, and with the assistance of Joe's son, Father Frank Hernandez, S.J., Alvarado not only answered the question of where Hernandez was born, he also separated fact from fiction when it came to the history that Joe Hernandez created for himself in the media of his day. Drawn to Hernandez's story after reading Hernandez's name in Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit: An American Legend, Alvarado's research resulted in a compelling and captivating biography that won the 2009 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, an award that recognizes thoroughbred horse racing's book of the year. The book was also named a finalist for numerous national book awards.Rudolph Valier Alvarado holds a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Texas Tech University and an M.A. in History from Eastern Michigan University where he was a University Fellow and a Parks/King/Chavez Fellow. His work has been published by University of Michigan Press, Michigan State University Press, Arte Público Press, and Alpha Books of New York. His work has also been featured in The America's Review, The Texas Observer, El Editor, and the California Thoroughbred. He lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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I heard somewhere along the line that The Untold Story of Joe Hernandez had been picked up by a major press. As of this writing (April 2010), I see no evidence of this at Amazon, but having now read the book, it wouldn't surprise me in the least. The Untold Story of Joe Hernandez is a very, very good book, could be great with a bit of retouching, and deserves a much wider audience than it's gotten so far.
Joe Hernandez is a racing legend, and one of the few in the business that isn't either a horse or a jockey. Hernandez called the races at Santa Anita from opening day through 1972 without missing a single one, a streak that spanned almost thirty-five years and over fifteen thousand races. In addition, he also called the races at a number of other west coast tracks (Bay Meadows, Tanforan, Del Mar, etc.) and did a turn or two at each of the Triple Crown tracks (Churchill Downs, Pimlico, and Belmont Park). For a while, racing on the radio was synonymous with the voice of Joe Hernandez as well; simply put, for a lot of years it was virtually impossible to be a racing fan and not come into some sort of contact with the man. If it involved Thoroughbreds, he did it, everything from bloodstock importation to appearing in Thoroughbred-related movies and TV shows. Joe's professional life was on display for America to see, but his private life was a closely-guarded secret. Alvarado, intrigued by the man, contacted his son Frank, and the two of them set off to discover who Joe Hernandez was in private. They uncover some pretty amazing stuff, and Alvarado weaves that into what everyone already knows, creating the first complete picture of one of racing's immortals.
As a biography, it is beyond compare. Alvarado's research is exhaustive, and the book is loaded with footnotes and a range of primary source that's impressive. The only real problem with the book is that it could have used another editorial run to correct a few spelling errors (the use of "loose" when "lose" is meant, for example), some awkward punctuation (the most obvious example being that colon in the title, which should be a comma), and a few colloquial structures (the use of hyphens in "nine-years-old" sticks out in my head for some reason). All of these are minor corrections that would do nothing to the substance of the book. I don't work for a big publishing house, but I am of the opinion that were these changes made, this is a title that wouldn't be out of place at Doubleday, Viking, etc. A fine piece of scholarship about an exceptionally interesting guy. If you're even a casual fan of Thoroughbred racing, this one's a must for your bookshelf. ****
With this book, Alvarado has reopened the memory vaults of many a racing fan, but needs not to be from that set to enjoy this gem. Mr. Alvarado...thank you!
David J. Beltran
Thoroughbred breeder and author of 'The Agua Caliente Story'
Joe was mysterious and fascinating. His passion for the racing industry was incredible. He was calling races throughout the country, appeared in movies, taped races for delayed broadcast on radio and television, owned horses, bought horses for others, and was a jockey agent. He was involved in all aspects of Thoroughbred racing. The book taught me about an industry that I really didn't know too much about.
Then--I met Rudy Alvarado and Father Frank at Santa Anita Park After reminiscing with them, it made the words jump off the page! Please read this book and, if you have chance to go to a book signing, tell them Cindy says HI!
Fr. Frank Hernandez, S.J.