An entertaining, provocative account of the record-breaking 1998 baseball season chronicles such milestones as the home-run battle between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, the Toms River, New Jersey, Little League champions, David Wells's perfect game, and more.
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The renowned sportswriter strikes out in this treacly paean to fathers, sons, and America's (presumed) national pasttime. In many respects, it was indeed a great summer: Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa made the hottest home run race ever into a lovefest; 20-year-old pitching phenom Kerry Woods baffled batters with astounding regularity, while another, older pitcher, ``Rocket'' Roger Clemens, remained unhittable; the Yankees turned warm and fuzzy while notching the most formidable campaign since the dead-ball era; hell, even the Cubs and Red Sox contended! As his father had done for him years ago, sports columnist and novelist Lupica (Jump, 1996; Dead Air,1986; etc.) nurtured his sons' relationship with the game during this splendid season. He took them to ``work,'' left recaps on the kitchen table of games that ended past bedtime, and generally mooned over their precocious love of baseball. On the surface, it's the feel-good story of the year. Scratch this facade, however, and one soon realizes that the game looks much rosier when seen from a journalists-eye view, from press boxes, luxury suites, and dugouts; players seem more human when one hobnobs with them in talk show ``green rooms.'' Viewed from the average fans overpriced nosebleed seats, the game arguably looks as petty, cold, and mean as ever. Although the author is generally amiable, his cluelessness seems to say, ``Let them eat $7 hot dogs!''The claim Lupica makes in the subtitle summarizes the books weakness. Yes, records fell, yes, turnstiles whirred at a record pace (although the numbers were padded by league expansion). Nevertheless, in the real world, players and owners aren't ready to ``reclaim'' the fansor claim anything, for that matter, except poverty when contract negotiations or public stadium referendums come around each year. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
After several years in the doldrums, baseball recaptured the imagination of fans across the country in 1998. Lupica, a nationally syndicated sports columnist for the New York Daily News, revisits the magic of that season in this feel-great book: "I never thought I would have a better baseball season than the one I had in '61, not just because of the home runs, but because of what I thought was the best Yankee team I would ever see in my life. Now I saw more home runs, and a better Yankee team, the best of all time. I saw the best baseball team. We all did." Lupica intersperses stories about the season's highlights?Mark McGwire's and Sammy Sosa's dramatic pursuit of Roger Maris's home run record, rookie Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game, the New York Yankees phenomenal campaign?with musings about how baseball provides continuity between his relationship with his father and his own experience with his three young sons. He tells how, in the mornings, he left notes for his sons so that they could learn the results of games that ended after their bedtimes, just as his father did for him when he was young. In his columns, Lupica often deals with strikes, the atrocious behavior of some overpaid athletes and all the tawdriness of sports business and hype. But, in this book, he gives himself completely over to the beauty of baseball as both a game and as an agent of bonding between fathers and children. Fans who want to remember the glory of '98 and get primed for '99 will find this perfect reading for spring training.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Putnam Adult, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0399145141
Book Description Putnam Adult, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0399145141
Book Description Putnam Adult, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110399145141