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Harvey Frommer & Frederic Frommer

Growing Up Baseball : An Oral History

(Taylor Publishing Company, 2001 Hardcover;  ISBN: 0878331867)

From the Inside Flap

"Growing Up Baseball An Oral History What little boy hasn't dreamed of making it to the major leagues! How many fathers hope to see their sons play for teams such as the Yankees or the Red Sox? There are hundreds of books about the game, but Growing Up Baseball is the first oral history that reveals the dreams of a select few who actually made it to the major leagues. In their own words, players like Nolan Ryan, Bob Feller, "Sparky" Anderson, Jim Palmer, and Bob Tewksbury share their early..."

Noted oral historian Harvey Frommer joins his son Frederic in collecting interviews and published commentary together with photos to create the first thorough oral history of the "growing up" years of baseball's greatest heroes.

Growing Up Baseball is another type of oral history, one which encompasses a common theme. In this case, as the title indicates, current and former major leaguers relate their introduction to the game. Most, as tradition might dictate, learned at the feet of dad, the pastoral image of fathers and sons playing catch. Some praise the help of a little league, high school or college coach as pointing them in the right direction. Those who share their experiences run the gamut from all-time legends such as Bob Feller and Ralph Kiner to today's role players like Darryl Hamilton and Adam Kennedy. It also spans the decades, from Elden Auker, who first pitched for the Tigers in 1933 to players currently plying their trade. It's eye-opening to see the differences between the childhood experiences of a Feller and the modern player: the advantages of the latter (and not just financially) makes one wonder why the quality isn't better. Frommer, with the help of his son, does his usual excellent job, whether the topic is New York City baseball, Joe Jackson or photographic compilations.

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