Our House: A Tribute to Fenway Park

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9780809226641: Our House: A Tribute to Fenway Park
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Relates the history of the Red Sox and their home, Fenway Park

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Just how sacred a shrine is the home of the Red Sox since 1912, Fenway Park? Listen to the late Renaissance scholar, Yale president, and baseball commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti recall his relationship to this now fragile field of dreams, scheduled for replacement soon after the millennium: "As I grew up, I knew that as a building it was on the level of Mount Olympus, the Pyramid of Giza, the nation's capital, the czar's winter palace, and the Louvre--except, of course, that it was better than all of those inconsequential places." There are Red Sox fans who would accuse him of understatement.

A repository of baseball gold, Fenway was christened the same week the Titanic sank. Babe Ruth got his start there--as a pitcher. Ted Williams became legend there. So did Yastrzemski, Jimmy Foxx, Joe Cronin, and Roger Clemens. Only Wrigley Field can stake a similar claim on baseball hearts. Our House relates the sometimes stirring, often jinxed tale of the Sox from pre-Fenway beginnings to the curse of the Bambino to the Garciaparra present with careful detail (including plenty of statistics) and obvious affection. But its most valuable asset is the impeccable taste the editor displays in choosing pieces from other writers, most notably Giamatti's hauntingly lyrical and always self-renewing "Green Fields of the Mind," and, in a surprise twist, "Rapt by Radio," a lovely reminiscence by John Updike about listening to Sox broadcasts growing up in Pennsylvania, instead of his usually anthologized paean to Williams, "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu." While all this might be enough to light up the scoreboard in another ballpark, one of Fenway's enduring beauties, of course, is that even in a cyberworld the Green Monster is still operated by hand. How much longer remains to be seen. --Jeff Silverman

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