Readers who want to see Mickey Mantle’s uniform from the 1968 season, Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball from 1998, or a Satchel Paige autographed glove will find them among scores of treasures in this oversized book, vividly illustrated with color photographs of the most exceptional private baseball memorabilia collections, many of which contain items that have not been seen in public for decades. More than simple eye candy for the baseball fetishist, the book includes thoughtful essays that delve into collectors’ backgrounds, introducing the reader to an array of people, their quirks and their motivations for collecting. Some of the collectors are well known: one chapter is devoted to the collection of Todd McFarlane, creator of the comic book character Spawn; another displays the baseball folk art collection of Penny Marshall-Laverne of Laverne and Shirley and the director of the baseball movie, A League of Their Own. Others are more ordinary people who have been blessed with the dedication and means to take their passion for baseball to an extraordinary level. Wong, a lawyer and baseball historian, places the artifacts in social and historic context as he conveys the arcane but captivating knowledge gathered by these collectors, who are authorities on obscure details like the model numbers of bats. This book is fine companion for baseball enthusiasts looking for something to tide them over during those long winter days between the World Series and spring training.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* This sumptuous volume offers an irresistible entree into what must be one of the richest private collections of baseball memorabilia in the world. Although the chapters are arranged by collector, they fall neatly into categories reflecting those collectors’ specific areas of interest, such as baseball cards, equipment, uniforms, advertisements, “pin-backs,” autographs, and stadium mementos. Many of the story lines are explicit, such as baseball’s evolution since the mid-1800s, or the game’s strong association with pop culture. Other story lines are less obvious but just as telling, such as baseball’s (and society’s) more careless tolerance of pain: nineteenth-century baseball played without helmets, rules that allowed teams to record outs by hitting the runner with the baseball (known as soaking), and mitts so unpadded as to pass for driving gloves. And there are nice little touches, like the close-up photos of nine World Series rings, or the sepia image of a touring, 1888-89 American baseball team standing at various points atop the Sphinx. The collections are beautifully photographed and laid out on the page, and the text and captions–once past Wong’s obligatory paean to his own youthful attachment to baseball–complement the illustrations well. A godsend for baseball geeks everywhere. Bill Ott
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Among the national treasures you’ll find:
The only known photographic image of baseball’s first organized team, the New York Knickerbockers, circa 1846.
Original copy of the first written rules of modern baseball.
One of the earliest known color advertising posters promoting the very first set of baseball cards, released in 1887.
Scorecard from the inaugural World Series in 1903.
Shoeless Joe Jackson’s rookie-era game-used bat.
Game-worn jerseys of Ty Cobb, Dizzy Dean, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Grove, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams.
Bert Sugar’s Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America’s Greatest Game
The Eddie Kranepool Society (blog), Pro Baseball Central (blog)
This book is a must for the baseball fan that loves the games history and loves the photographs of players and teams from the beginning of the game to the present. Give it a spot of honor on your coffee table.
Rocky Mountain Telegram, May 17, 2009
This is, in every regard, one beautiful book. A visit to Cooperstown lasts a day. Theyll have Sugars book for a lifetime.
What Bert Sugar doesnt know about baseball, nobody knows.
To get a better sense of the Hall of Fame, you would have to be in Cooperstown.
New York Daily News, June 7th, 2009
Sugar comes up with a beautifully envisioned, designed and esecuted stroll through Cooperstown. Pops will love this one.
The legendary author takes you through the National Baseball Hall of Fame literally in a 272-page odyssey that will leave you feeling like youre in Cooperstown even if youve never been there. Welcome to baseball heaven. Welcome to Cooperstown, New York.
Pro Baseball Central, 5/11/09
Bert Randolph Sugar is THE sports historian of our time and he has a new book out that is a comprehensive look at the Baseball Hall of Fame called Bert Sugars Baseball Hall of Fame, A Living History of Americas Greatest Game. I have been to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, four times and each time Ive been there Ive seen an exhibit or artifact Ive missed in my previous trip and now with this outstanding book that is full of great pictures and of course the writing of Bert Sugar, it puts all the awe and beauty of the HOF in your hands.
Juiced Sports Blog, 5/20/09
Bert Sugars Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of Americas Greatest Game is more than just a book. Its an addiction, a twenty first century marvel, a book so perfect, its hard to say whats more impressive, the top notch writing or the first class photography. Its attention to detail is so impressive, that the only thing missing is some Yankee Stadium dirt, or a little wooden splinter from one of Reggie Jacksons bats. Never have I seen a baseball book that achieves perfection but Sugar and photographer Bruce Curtis compilation is almost as magnificent as the place they strive to document.
Sports, Crackle, Pop!, 5/14/09
Bert Sugar is out with a new book marking the 70th Anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. This book is the most thorough history of the Baseball Hall of Fame that Ive ever seen.
For those who like to make the pilgrimage to the picturesque upper New York state village, this book contains everything you’ve seen at the Hall of Fame and perhaps some you’ve missed. For those who have never made the trip, Bob Costas’ description of the book sums it up best: To get a better sense of the Hall of Fame you would have to be in Cooperstown.
Baseball Guru.com, Travel.watch.com
Bert Sugars Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of Americas Greatest Game is the Mother of all books on the shrine in Cooperstown, NY. Page after page of items from the Halls collection intermingle with the text of Sugar, an old hand at the sports book game he has written more than 50 books. Recommended.
This striking volume takes readers deep into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as never before. Since opening its doors in 1939, the Museum has welcomed more than 14 million wide-eyed baseball fans through its hallowed halls to experience the rich history of Americas Pastime. Now, with more than 500 color and black-and-white original and archival photographsalong with engaging and informative commentary by a celebrated sports raconteurBert Sugar’s Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America’s Greatest Game offers a quintessential take-home of the timeless experience of baseballs spiritual home.
With sequential exhibit photographs complemented by dramatic close-up images of the most fascinating artifacts on display in the Hallincluding artifacts used by legends like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and many morethe Hall of Fame experience is captured in this 320-page commemorative work.