Monday, October 3, 2011
I am pleased to announce the near simultaneous publication of my next three books:
The Best American Sports Writing 2011, guest edited by Jane Leavy, series editor Glenn Stout, FENWAY 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Seasons and Fenway’s Remarkable First Year by Glenn Stout, and book three in my juvenile series "Good Sports" entitled Soldier Athletes, a Junior Library Guild selection (for more see www.goodsportsbyglennstout.com). I am proud to say that beginning in 1991 I have now written, edited or ghostwritten more than eighty books with sales in excess of two million copies.
Personally, I am most excited by FENWAY 1912, the definitive story of the building of Fenway Park the 1912 season and the 1912 World Series.[PS to Sox fans: In this book, they win.]
Three years ago I set out to write the definitive account of the creation, design, and building of Fenway Park and to allow the reader to experience Fenway Park in its first year and the Red Sox championship season of 1912. I make use of sources utilized by no other purported history of either Fenway Park or the 1912 season or World Series. I promise that this book will prove to be a revelation for even the most hard core fan of either the Red Sox or Fenway Park and makes all previous histories of the park completely obsolete. Fenway 1912 includes:
-Period architectural drawings dating from 1912 that have NEVER been used elsewhere or been reproduced. To my knowledge these are the only period drawings known to exist.
-A detailed construction history of the ballpark that includes not only the schedule of the construction, but a full explication of the construction methods used and how that impacted the 1912 season and the park you see today.
- A biography of Fenway architect James E. McLaughlin and builder Charles Logue.
- A discussion of the architectural influences that are the reason Fenway Park looks the way it does today.
- Detailed discussions on how the new ballpark affected the Red Sox and the 1912 World Series, and a dramatic and lively reconstruction of both the season and the Series, including the infamous contest between Joe Wood and Walter Johnson on September 4, 1912, perhaps the greatest pitching matchup in baseball history.
- Why the Green Monster exists, why it was built the way that it was, and why and when the name "Green Monster" came into use.
- How changes made to the ballpark over the course of the 1912 season determined the future evolution of Fenway.
- Detailed analysis of the 1912 season, including Joe Wood's remarkable 34-5 pitching campaign, and how two changes - one to his windup, and one an injury to another player - resulted in one of the greatest pitching performances in baseball history.
What the critics are saying:
“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.
In the capable hands of Stout, Fenway 1912 promises to make all other books about Fenway’s construction and first season obsolete. While some sports histories are bone-dry and distant, Stout imbues his account with a unique vibrancy and a razor-sharp intelligence. 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.
Fenway 1912 is 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. The author’s meticulous approach makes the book a valuable addition to baseball history. Stout 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. Stout’s knowledge of the sport and passion for the game certainly comes 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.
Stout has done the impossible: he has put an end to the seemingly bottomless genre that is Fenway Park books. We now need no more. We get not pomp and circumstance, but the bones and blueprint of a legendary ballpark, topped with a star-filled World Series that still endures. He doesn’t pretend history is straw hats and cigars, but gives you real people, real baseball and (the best part) real Boston, the way any real writer should. This is a book for all of us, a wonderful sports book.”
[Review mash-up courtesy Amazon, Kirkus, Booklist [starred review], Publisher's Weekly, Larry Tye, Mike Rutstein, Howard Bryant, Netgalley]
For more about Fenway 1912 or The Best American Sports Writing 2011, see www.glennstout.net All three books are now available for order through any online source in or in e-book editions and are shipping to bookstores now.