One of the blog’s readers emailed me a week or so ago asking me what baseball books I would recommend to help pass the time during the off-season.Â Just after that email exchange, I received an offer for free copies of the new book about Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.Â Timing is everything.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I, like many Red Sox bloggers I’ll assume, was contacted by a representative from Hyperion Books about reviewing Mark Frostâ€™s book GAME SIX: Cincinnati, Boston, and the 1975 World Series: The Triumph of Americaâ€™s Pastime.Â They send me a free book, I read it and write about it.Â It was a book I had planned on buying anyway so why not, right?Â I’ve had this offer a few other times and I often worry about reading a book that was comped to me and then not liking it.Â There’s no clause saying I have to write something positive about the book – just that they supply me with the book for free and I give them publicity by writing about it.Â But you never want to take something for nothing and then just spit on the person who gave it to you.Â I’m not big on writing straight reviews, though, but I’m happy to give this book a much-deserved shout out.
Mark Frost wrote what is on my short list of favorite sports books not related to baseball (high praise since I don’t claim to have much fondness for golf): The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimen, and the Birth of Modern Golf (Mr. Frost needs to work on shortening those titles!), so that, coupled with the subject matter of the book, brought me to it with high hopes.Â On the surface, a book dedicated to one specific game in a series wouldn’t seem to have a broad appeal.Â Who, outside of Reds and Red Sox fans, wants to relive one game of a seven game series?Â Well, any baseball fan interested in the history of the game, I would hope.
There aren’t many spoilersÂ in a book written about possibly the most famous World Series game ever played.Â The game has such an impact on baseball that even Joe Morgan, second baseman for the 1975 World Champions, admits that there are people out there who treat it like it was the final game in the series.Â I’ve actually heard Morgan say that some people forget that the Reds, not the Red Sox, won that series (highly unlikely given how prevalent the whole “Red Sox haven’t won since 1918” mantra was in baseball prior to 2004 – but more proof that Game 6 really stuck in the heads of baseball fans and even the men on the teams that night).Â If you’re worried that it’s just 400 pages that rehashes one, four-hour baseball game, your worries are unfounded.Â There’s a lot in this book not directly related to the game that gives people not fully educated on either of these teams a lot to work with.Â For those of us well-aware of both teams, there’s a lot in this book to devour that while reads as what should be common knowledge, really isn’t.Â Finding out how Lesley Visser and Dick Stockton met, for example, while not being important to the story of the game at all, gives a personal, insider’s view as to what went on that day.Â There are a lot of those side stories in this book.
So, at the risk of sounding like I’m only saying this because I got a free copy – I really enjoyed this book.Â :)Â SO much so that I asked for a couple of copies to give away.Â Hyperion Books was nice enough to send two extras along (so you won’t be winning the one that I read!) and all I had to do is figure out a giveaway.
The giveaway will be a quiz….one I haven’t yet created (I might cheat and use some questions from another quiz I created a while ago – I haven’t decided yet) and the first two to submit the correct answers will win the books!Â Hey, the Holidays are coming – the book will make a great gift for your favorite Red Sox lover!
In a day or two I’ll post the quiz so we can start the gift giving early!