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Publishers WeeklyOne of Boston's foremost sports historians, Johnson (A Century of Boston Sports) steps to the plate with this collection of photographs, fan memorabilia, vintage newspaper articles, and original essays by Boston-based writers to present the century-long history of America's oldest still-in-use ballpark. Published to coincide with Fenway's 100thanniversary, it reads like a weighty scrapbook (including removable facsimiles of ticket stubs and program covers) compiled by a loyal fan. Johnson shows how Fenway deserves its designation as the "People's Park" by chronicling its history of playing host to events as diverse as high school football games, boxing matches, Harlem Globetrotters appearances, military masses, rock concerts, and political rallies. In his short introduction, Johnson writes that he "felt compelled, driven actually," to share as many stories as he could, which is why he even leaves room for criticism: in a brief essay, series editor of The Best American Sports Writing Glenn Stout decries the cost of a bleacher ticket at Fenway in 2010. The book does not distinguish between newspaper clippings (which often are not sourced) and original essays penned specifically for this title, making navigation more difficult than it should be. On the other hand, photographs of Babe Ruth in a Red Sox uniform in the early 1900s, player altercations on the field, and renovation efforts at Fenway add to the stadium's rich history and help celebrate a sports landmark's centennial in grand style. Photos.
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