Birth of a Fan

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Birth of a Fan is a book about baseball. But more importantly, it is a book about relationships. A book about how baseball has become a lifelong friend and a neverending passion for millions everywhere, a shared experience of joy and sadness, patience and exultation. As Jim Bouton noted in closing Ball Four, "You spend a good bit of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." Noted sportswriter and critic Ron Fimrite asked fifteen literary all-stars to...
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Overview

Birth of a Fan is a book about baseball. But more importantly, it is a book about relationships. A book about how baseball has become a lifelong friend and a neverending passion for millions everywhere, a shared experience of joy and sadness, patience and exultation. As Jim Bouton noted in closing Ball Four, "You spend a good bit of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." Noted sportswriter and critic Ron Fimrite asked fifteen literary all-stars to join him in reflecting on how a baseball came to put its grip on their lives. For some the relationship with the national pastime was a product of childhood; others embraced baseball later in life. But, each essayist concludes, for better or worse they are all bonded to the game for life: daily purveyors (and proofreaders) of box scores. Hopelessly addicted to green grass and blue skies. Seduced each spring by the Sirens' song "This is the year that we're gonna win the pennant!" Each of these sixteen never-before-published first-person accounts uniquely explores the author's fascination with baseball. Humorous and poignant, Birth of a Fan is a book about rediscovery. Written with style and depth, this book will find a place in the heart of every devoted fan of baseball and literature.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This captivating collection of 15 essays assembled by Sports Illustrated senior editor Fimrite will spark warm responses from dedicated diamond fans who remember when they first became addicted. Pride of place belongs to Roger Angell, who comes out strongly against romanticizing the game, noting, ``Baseball memories are seductive, tempting us always toward sweetness and undercomplexity.'' Fortunately few of the entries play with such sentimental notions as father-son bonding through baseball, although Fimrite's contribution is a sad tale of his mother's sentiment that she had ``lost him'' when he and his father developed a shared interest in the sport. Particularly noteworthy is Anne Lamott's ``The Psychic Hat,'' on being a teenage female fan, while the selections by J. Anthony Lucas, Frank Deford and William Kennedy are also excellent. A short afterword by Nora Ephron strikes a wry and amusing note. (Mar.)
Library Journal
This book collects first-person accounts by 15 noted authors exploring the origins of their fascination with baseball. Of particular quality and note are the contributions of Robert Creamer, Roger Angell, and the editor, Sports Illustrated staffer Ron Fimrite. Other accounts are less satisfying--one author goes so far as to state that she really doesn't like baseball. In general, though, the essays effectively plumb the reasons these authors became interested in this quintessentially American sport. Not a book for the casual baseball fan, this will appeal to the aficionado who not only cares about the game itself, but is interested in learning more about the people who enjoy it. Given the number of baseball books available, libraries should purchase only if there is demand.-- William O. Scheeren, Hempfield Area H.S. Lib., Greensburg, Pa.
Wes Lukowsky
Fifteen original essays relating each author's initial experiences with baseball. Some of the essayists are directly associated with baseball (Roger Angell, Robert Creamer, novelist Mark Harris, etc.); others are part of the general sports literature landscape (Frank Deford, George Plimpton); still others (Jonathan Yardley, William Kennedy, Nora Ephron) have made their reputations outside of sportswriting. Highlights include the always-entertaining Roy Blount's account of growing up with baseball in post-WWII Georgia and Nora Ephron's wryly humorous essay about developing an interest in the game through her young son--who then moved on to pro wrestling, leaving Mom with the mitt and bat.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780025377608
  • Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Pages: 320

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