Harvey Frommer

A Yankee Century

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Reviewed by Andrew Bailey '03, Dartmouth News 01/20/03

A Yankee Century:

A Celebration of the First Hundred Years of Baseball's Greatest Team

By Harvey Frommer, Professor in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program

Berkeley Books 2002

Winning more regular season games than any other franchise in the history of baseball, including 38 American League championships and 26 World Series, no team both defined and dominated the sport of baseball in the 20th century as did the New York Yankees. A Yankee Century captures the wonder and mystique that surrounds the team in a detailed album of stories, statistics, biographies, quotes and pictures. Harvey Frommer, a longtime Yankees fan, recreates the frequent highs and few lows of the franchise in an entertaining and accessible manner, relying on countless interviews with the players and coaches that made the Yankees great. The book is divided into a number of diverse sections detailing different aspects of the Yankees, including timelines, memorable moments, rosters, stadiums, and a 100-question quiz. An account by fan Barry Deutsch gives an example of both the power that the Yankees held and the passion that they inspired in their fans throughout the century:

When I was a kid growing up in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, there was no television. You saw occasional glimpses of baseball games in newsreels. You traded baseball cards. But mainly, you listened to the radio and envisioned what was going on. My becoming a Yankee fan had a lot to do with hearing Mel Allen on the radio. I liked his mellifluous voice, the way he described the game and talked about the players. Listening to Mel Allen was my first exposure to baseball, so to me, the Yankees were baseball? Since those days, I have traveled quite a lot and lived in a number of places outside the United States, and it strikes me as significant that wherever I am, if I mention the Yankees, almost everyone seems to know who they are.

 "THE OLYMPIAN" -Olympia, Washington

"A Yankee Century" ($16, Berkley). Baseball's spring training does not truly reside in the deserts of Arizona or near the sands and swamps of Florida. It resides in the hearts and minds of children-turned-adults, who carry with them years of baseball lore and feelings (rational or not) of intense rivalry.

So the paperback version of "A Yankee Century" is just the ticket for warming up to the first crack of the bat. As one raised on the Baltimore Orioles, I can do nothing else but hate (rationally or not) the Yankees.

That said, 100 years of Yankee baseball is a walk through much of baseball history. Harvey Frommer's book covers so many of the details that fans love to savor that it's irresistible.

Frommer stays out of the statistic pit (although there are plenty of numbers), instead making a winning delivery out of stories and quotes that will help baseball fans stay sane on a rainy late-January afternoon.

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KNoxNews.com, Scripps Howard NEWS

Fall baseball books look like winners, by BRUCE DANCIS, October 2, 2002

"Baseball books, like the first pitch of the season, usually come out in the spring. But this year, a remarkable group of books about different aspects of the national pasttime have been published just in time for the playoffs and World Series. Here are some short reviews of the most notable.

"A Yankee Century: A Celebration of the First Hundred Years of Baseball's Greatest Team" by Harvey Frommer (Berkley, $26.95, 428 pages. Frommer, the author of more than 30 sports books, presents lots of facts, including a Yankees timeline, a who's who of players, managers, coaches and front office types, a look at the best and worst Yankees teams, quotes by and about the Yankees and a bunch of team stats and a quiz..."

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PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"Frommer slices and dices information about the team in thousands of ways. If there is a statistic about the team a reader wants to know, more than likely it can be found in the pages of this compilation of facts and figures. Trivia buffs could spend months digesting all the information that Frommer has collected in this easily accessible work... Yankee fans who can't learn enough about their favorite team will think they died and went to heaven with all that Frommer offers on each page."

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washingtonpost.com

"A definitive chronology of one of America's legendary sports teams."

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 baseballology.com

"A Must have for Yankee fans and baseball fans."

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brothersjudd.com

"A Yankee Century may at first glance seem like a special interest book, and it will indeed appeal particularly to Yankee fans. However, because of their sheer dominance--it really was their century--the history of the Yankees is to a unique extent a history of baseball in general. Where 100 years of a team like the Reds would inevitably have vast dry patches, we all know and rooted vigorously for or against the Yankees of many different eras. Thus while there are delights in store for the fanatic--like the fact that Babe Ruth by himself had more homeruns (60) in 1927 than the 2nd place team (the A's with 56) or that when Grover Cleveland Alexander had his legendary confrontation with Tony Lazzeri, the Yankee was just 22 years old, just a kid really--no one who follows the game will have trouble finding material here that interests them. Mr. Frommer has included copious illustrations and the book is broken up into a wide variety of sections, from quizzes to profiles to statistics. This makes the book very accessible and, in the best sense, putdownable. It's a book that you want to delve into a bit at a time and to skip around in, rather than to read in one sitting. It's like a king-size Whitman Sampler."

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purebaseball.com/bookshelf

"Harvey Frommer, one of the game's most prolific authors, has come out with another gem in A Yankee Century: A Celebration of the First Hundred Years of Baseball's Greatest Team (Berkley, $26.95). Rather than a straight-forward prosaic history, Frommer is just plain fun with his chapters on memorable moments; a Yankee "who's who"; the best and worst in the long history of the team; quotes and nifty nicknames; a "by-the-numbers" look at the club; and a chapter on the "House that Ruth Built" itself, an appreciation for the most cherished venue in all of sports."

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Sacramento Bee, October 2002

"A slew of unusually good baseball books arrive in time for playoffs"

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Arnold Dean, WTIC, Sports Talk

"It reads like a novel, a terrific book by one of the most prolific sports authors in America. So many unique things. The “March of Yankee Time?chapter has so many insights and things odd and interesting about the Yankees ? I learned a lot. The book is very up-to-date through 2002.! Just marvelous."

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From Booklist

More fun than any other Yankee title this year is Frommer's gem. This is the sort of book you want by your side during the season and all through the long winter, to dip into to astound and amaze your companions. The first chapter lists key dates in Yankee history; the second covers the history of the stadium. There's a list of memorable moments, of course, and a Yankee who's who. But best of all is part 3: pages of one-liners and quips (Mark Grace on Arizona's win in the seventh game of the 2001 World Series, "It's like winning in the bottom of the ninth off of God!"), a whole list of Yankee nicknames and catchwords, and a 100-question Yankee quiz (with answers). And there are sidebars and lists and charts galore.

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From Society For American Baseball Research

"This detailed volume celebrates a legendary century of Yankee history. Included in the book are rare photographs, statistics, a Yankee quiz, introduction by Yankee great Paul O'Neill and profiles of such legends as Mickey Mantle, Don Mattingly, Babe Ruth, Derek Jeter, Joe DiMaggio and more."

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By Steve Powers, THE SPORTSPAGE

"The book commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Yankees. Anecdotes recounting great moments in Yankees history, such as Dave Righetti’s no-hitter in 1983 and Mickey Mantle’s tape-measure home run in 1953. I truly enjoyed reading through this book and even those who aren’t Yankees fans may enjoy it."

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CABLE RADIO NETWORK/SPORTS CORNER


"The book to give to Yankee fans, to Yankee haters - - pure Yankee baseball told by a sports author pro. Highly enjoyable. If you like baseball - you will love this book."

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SPORTSBIZ


"A 400 page plus New York Yankees extravaganza!!
If you're a Yankee fan, you've got to pick it up. It has everything - - lists, quotes, profiles, sketches, great game, teams, personalities. A true celebration of the Yankees. Very interesting."

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Publishers Weekly, October 7, 2002


Berkley also has a book with a very similar title--A Yankee Century (Oct.). "Author Harvey Frommer was perfectly suited to do this book," says Martha Bushko, associate editor at Berkley, "as he is the author of over 30 sports books and wrote for Yankees magazine for 16 years. [Retired Yankee outfielder] Paul O'Neill also wrote the foreword, which makes this book a must-have for any Yankee fan."

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From the Publisher

This handsome and definitive volume celebrates a legendary century of Yankee history, with:

-Rare photographs
-Statistics
-A Yankee quiz
-Introduction by Yankee great Paul O'Neill
-Profiles of such legends as Mickey Mantle, Don Mattingly, Babe Ruth, Derek Jeter, Joe DiMaggio, and many more
-Tales of rivalries, triumphs, and unforgettable moments on and off the field
-The victories, sweeps, and stumbles
-Quotes, lists, tributes, and trivia

Imprint/Month/Year: OCTOBER 02 BERKLEY HARDCOVER

Title: A YANKEE CENTURY

Author: HARVEY FROMMER

[FRONT COVER:]

A Yankee Century

A Celebration of the First Hundred Years of Baseball’s Greatest Team

Introduction by [tk]

Harvey Frommer

Author of The New York Yankee Encyclopedia

[SPINE:]

Harvey Frommer

A Yankee Century

A Celebration of the First Hundred Years of Baseball’s Greatest Team

[BACK COVER:]

[quote or excerpt tk]

 

[FRONT FLAP:]

Nothing defines America like baseball. And nothing defines baseball like the Yankees. From their historic beginnings as the New York Highlanders playing in Manhattan’s Hilltop Park in 1903, to their reign as the modern-day dynasty that brought Major League Baseball into a new millennium with World Series championships in ?6, ?8, ?9, and 2000, this team has given us a century of triumphs and heartbreaks, legends and lore.

Now, this definitive album captures that century in words, stats, and pictures. Included are exclusive interviews with luminaries such as Mel Allen, Yogi Berra, Scott Brosius, Andy Carey, Chris Chambliss, Jerry Coleman, Bob Feller, Monte Irvin, Ralph Kiner, Don Larsen, Bob Sheppard, Duke Snider, and Don Zimmer, as well as portraits of the greats from Mickey Mantle to Don Mattingly, from Vic Raschi to Allie Reynolds, from Joltin?Joe DiMaggio to Derek Jeter.

There are picks and profiles of the greatest (and worst) Yankee teams—sure to get a few arguments going. There are quotes, a quiz, lists, trivia, and tributes—as well as tales of fierce rivalries and unforgettable moments. You’ll experience the sweeps and stumbles, the hallowed history of the House that Ruth Built, and the wackiness of the infamous Pine Tar Incident. You’ll endure the suspense of Larsen’s perfect game during the ?6 Series; watch Mr. October hit one (and two and three) out of the park in ?7; listen to Lou Gehrig’s stirring 1939 speech; and experience the rollercoaster ride of the 2001 series, with two impossible come-from-behind victories followed by the Diamondbacks?snatching of the crown from the Yankees?grasp.

For Yankee fans, or anyone who loves baseball, owning A Yankee Century is like having a clubhouse pass to the most fabled franchise in all of sports.

 

[BACK FLAP:]

 

[ART: AUTHOR PHOTO]

Harvey Frommer is the celebrated author of more than 30 sports books, including the classics Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball, New York City Baseball, and The New York Yankee Encyclopedia. He wrote for Yankees magazine for 16 years. Together with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer, he authored the critically acclaimed oral histories It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Brooklyn, It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened on Broadway, and Growing Up Jewish in America. Frommer is a professor in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College, and a longtime Yankee fan.

 

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