Friday, September 16, 2011


And they are terrific.

“In the capable hands of Stout, it promises to make all other books about Fenway’s construction and first season obsolete.” - Sports

“Along with Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Boston’s Fenway Park represents the last physical connection to baseball’s early-twentieth-century history. . . Stout, editor of The Best American Sports Writing series reprises Fenway’s first year, culminating with the dramatic Sox’s victory over the New York Giants in an eight-game World Series, four games to three (the second game was declared a tie). Stout also examines the press coverage of the era. So many reporters would converge on the Series that the Sox greatly expanded the press box rather than give journalists valuable box seats. He also examines the prevalence of gambling, which would reach scandal proportions with the 1919 Black Sox, but in 1912, all the principals looked the other way. In addition, there are miniprofiles of players such as Smoky Joe Wood and Tris Speaker of the Sox as well as the larger-than-life owners and managers of the era. While some sports histories are bone-dry and distant, Stout imbues his account with a unique vibrancy and a razor-sharp intelligence. A wonderful sports book.” - Starred review, Booklist

“BEST BASEBALL BOOK EVER: If you are a lifelong Red Sox fan, a lifelong Red Sox hater, a rabid baseballholic or merely a casual baseball fan, Glenn Stout’s new book, Fenway 1912, is an amazing read into the birth of a ballpark, the 1912 Red Sox and the transition to the modern baseball era. His ability to weave together the tiniest detail and apparent minutiae into a rip-roaring page-turner that is hard to put down is simply amazing. If someone had told me that I’d be fascinated by the 1912 Red Sox I’d have laughed outright, but Mr. Stout is able to make the reader care about a baseball season that happened almost 100 years ago. Even if you are a confirmed Red Sox hater – if you love baseball you’ll find plenty to like in this book. If you know a Red Sox fan there probably isn’t a better book to give to them as gift. And if you haven’t had the privilege of visiting Fenway Park you’ll find yourself thinking about how to go to a few games in the Friendly Confines of Fenway to watch a baseball game in the oldest ballpark in the major leagues. I can whole-heartedly recommend this book. I’ll be buying several copies to give as gifts this holiday season." – Amazon reader review

“From tearing up the sod from a previous ballfield and moving it to the under-construction Fenway to details about the construction of the building to the intricacies of the daily life of the players, every detail of Fenway Park is covered in this book. Mr. Stout clearly has a passion for his material, and I am amazed at the research that must have gone into this. Anyone involved in this project is discussed: groundskeeper, architect, coaches, owners, players. Even at 416 pages, this wasn’t boring and kept me reading even though I don’t follow baseball. . . This has got to be THE definitive work on this subject. I can’t imagine even a dissertation that could be more complete.” - ADVANCE REVIEW via netgalley

“Fenway 1912 is not [just] light reading & pretty pictures. There’s going to be stuff in there that even Dick Bresciani doesn’t know. . . a book that everyone who covers this team has to buy, and read, and keep handy, so that when people ask us where the bones are buried, we can look wise and have the answer at our fingertips.“ -Boston Baseball

“To many fans, Fenway is the Mecca of baseball, a symbol of everything the game represents and aspires to be. But in 1912, it was just one of four new baseball stadiums utilizing newly developed concrete-and-steel construction methods—evidence, writes Best American Sports Writing series editor Stout (Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the World, 2009, etc.) “of just how deeply the game of baseball had become ingrained into the fabric of American life.” The Sox’ 1912 season was a remarkable one, and the author takes the reader inside the locker room, management offices and the field. The team featured such luminaries as Hall-of-Famer Tris Speaker, pitching ace “Smoky” Joe Wood, player/manager Jake Stahl and a supporting cast of characters including Duffy Lewis, “Hick” Cady, “Heinie” Wagner, Buck O’Brien and the Sox’ famous booster club the Royal Rooters. But the book’s most important character is Fenway itself, and Stout spares no detail of its design, construction and effect on the game. The author’s meticulous approach makes the book a valuable addition to baseball history . . . The author does an excellent job of portraying the differences in the game between that era—when “the owners were the kings and the players lowly serfs”—and today. Throughout, Fenway Park, “a ballpark for the heart and soul,” shines as a beacon for America’s game. Baseball diehards and historians, and of course Red Sox fans, will find much of interest in this paean to one of sport’s most famous venues.” – KIRKUS Reviews

“In his new work, Stout (Red Sox Century) turns back the clock to 1912 to capture the first season the Boston Red Sox played on their now storied home field. The author gives a detailed account of how Fenway was constructed using “reinforced concrete,” an improvement from the wooden ballpark it replaced. Of course, a ballpark is nothing without a team, and Stout weaves the story of the new ballpark into the saga of the Red Sox ownership, players, fans, and the city of Boston. . . Stout’s knowledge of the sport and passion for the game certainly come across in his writing, especially when he is uncovering little known details of this bygone era of baseball. The book is full of fun and informative anecdotes about Fenway’s past and present including the connection between the ballpark and the sinking of Titanic, the origins of the term “Green Monster,” and how the new field with its cliff in left field, its short porch in right, and the bleachers in center affected Sox outfielders Duffy Lewis and Tris Speaker. Finished off with an epilogue that captures the major moments in Fenway history, this work is a well-constructed tribute to Fenway on its upcoming 100th anniversary. – Publisher’s Weekly

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