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Seeing baseball played at Fenway is an experience like no other for Red Sox fans and rivals alike because the park reminds us of what baseball used to be. Fenway may not offer fans the best seats or even adequate parking, but when game-goers walk through the park's gate, the smell of hotdogs and roasted peanuts, the sight of Fenway's brilliant green grass and the roar of the Fenway faithful overwhelms the most jaded of baseball enthusiasts, even Yankee fans. At Fenway celebrates the rich history of Fenway Park home to the Boston Red Sox. Told through the wit and perceptions of Dan Shaughnessy, sports columnist for the Boston Globe and one of New England's most admired sportswriters, At Fenway is the writer's hometown tribute to the park how growing up with Fenway and the Red Sox affected his life and the lives of the many die-hard fans living in "Red Sox Nation. " Author of The Curse of the Bambino, Shaughnessy takes readers on a walking tour of the fabled park itself, exploring every nook and cranny that makes Fenway unique. He traces the early history of Fenway from the day owner John I. Taylor broke ground for its construction in 1911 to the building material that went into the making of Fenway's "Green Monster" wall. In addition, Shaughnessy introduces readers to some of the unrecognized figures who keep Fenway's cherished traditions alive, including Helen Robinson, who has operated the park's switchboard for more than half a century, and head groundskeeper Joe Mooney, who "protects and defends the green, green grass of Fenway Park. " A book that uniquely captures the spirit of Fenway Park and what it means to be a Boston Red Sox fan, At Fenway also explores the "good, bad, and ugly" moments that have nurtured Fenway's love-hate relationship with fans. From the dark day of January 5, 1920, when Babe Ruth left the Red Sox to play for the Yankees, to the Red Sox's 1967 Cinderella-story pennant victory; from Carlton Fisk's 1975 World Series home run to the crowd-silencing homer Bucky Dent hit that clinched the Yankees' 1978 playoff birth, At Fenway recalls the park's greatest and worst moments and talks with the players who created them. Rumors that the Red Sox will close Fenway in a few years have already provoked outrage among the faithful. Closing Fenway will mark the end of an era, and Dan Shaughnessy captures this era in all its tragic glory. At Fenway will be read and cherished by Red Sox fans and all fans of baseball as it ought to be.
It's all here. If you are into masochism, you can relive again the ground ball through Buchner's legs or the innumerable almost but not quite experiences of the Boston Redsox since that fateful day in 1919 when the owner traded away the greatest baseball player of all time, Babe Ruth. The writing is excellent and the history is fascinating. This is very highly recommended.
From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, perhaps the most scrutinized team in all of sports. During that time, every home game was a sellout. Every play, call, word, gesture--on the field and off--was analyzed by thousands. And every decision was either genius, or disastrous. In those eight years, the Red Sox were transformed from a cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history--only to fall back to last place as soon as Francona was gone. Now, in Francona: The Red Sox Years, the decorated manager opens up for the first time about his tenure in Boston, unspooling the narrative of how this world-class organization reached such incredible highs and dipped to equally incredible lows. But through it all, there was always baseball, that beautiful game of which Francona never lost sight. As no book has ever quite done before, Francona escorts readers into the rarefied world of a twenty-first-century clubhouse, revealing the mercurial dynamic of the national pastime from the inside out. From his unique vantage point, Francona chronicles an epic era, from 2004, his first year as the Sox skipper, when they won their first championship in 86 years, through another win in 2007, to the controversial September collapse just four years later. He recounts the tightrope walk of managing unpredictable personalities such as Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez and working with Theo Epstein, the general managing phenom, and his statistics-driven executives. It was a job that meant balancing their voluminous data with the emotions of a 25-man roster. It was a job that also meant trying to meet the expectations of three owners with often wildly differing opinions. Along the way, readers are treated to never-before-told stories about their favorite players, moments, losses, and wins. Ultimately, when for the Red Sox it became less about winning and more about making money, Francona contends they lost their way. But it was an unforgettable, endlessly entertaining, and instructive time in baseball history, one that is documented and celebrated in Francona, a book that examines like no other the art of managing in today's game.
Reversing the Curse preserves one of the greatest sports stories of our lifetime for all posterity with an absorbing account of the Red Sox's championship season. A more epic sports saga could not have been invented: here we have the curse that began with Babe Ruth; a team of comeback kids determined to prove their mettle; the Yankees-Sox rivalry, one of the greatest in sports history; and, finally, the first World Series victory for the Sox since 1918. Dan Shaughnessy captures the Sox triumph in all its drama and euphoria with penetrating insight, a keen sense of history, and unparalleled insider access. With photographs by the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Stan Grossfeld, Reversing the Curse is the definitive record of a landmark moment in baseball history.
In Senior Year, Dan Shaughnessy focuses his acclaimed sportswriting talent on his son Sam's senior year of high school, a turning point in any young life and certainly in the relationship between father and son. Sam is a natural hitter who quickly ascended the ranks of youth baseball. Now nicknamed the 3-2 Kid for his astonishing ability to hover between success and failure in everything he does, Sam is finally a senior and it is all on the line: what college to attend; how to keep his grades up and his head down until graduation; and whether his final high school baseball season will end in disappointment or triumph. All along the way, Dad is there, chronicling that universal experience of putting your child out on the field--and into the world--and hoping for the best. With gleaming insight, wicked humor, and, at times, the searching soul of an unsure father, Shaughnessy illuminates how sports connect generations and how they help us grow up--and let go.
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