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A Day In The Bleachers by Arnold Hano

A Day In The Bleachers

by Arnold Hano

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Justifiably hailed as one the best baseball books, “A Day in the Bleachers” details author Arnold Hano’s first-hand account of Game 1 of the 1954 World Series (Cleveland Indians vs. New York Giants) from his perch in the Polo Grounds bleacher seats. With a keen eye, a sharp ear, and the pounding heart of a true fan, Hano brilliantly captures the sights, sounds, and emotions of the day: his quickened step as he approaches the stadium from the subway (“The sight of the stadium makes me catch my breath.”); the banter between rival fans; insights into strategies; nuances of particular plays; the individual and collective rise and fall of hopes; player analyses; and memories and anecdotes from witnessed games past. There are little gems on every page: a perceptive thought, a clever turn of phrase, or an observation that still holds true (“A Yankee fan is a complacent ignorant fat cat.”). Of course, the enduring highlight of this particular game is "The Catch," Willie Mays' sensational over-the-shoulder grab of Vic Wertz's tremendous clout to centerfield, and Hano's description of this famous play adds great depth and understanding to that moment. This is a book that all baseball fans will cherish. ( )
  ghr4 | May 27, 2016 |
NFL Football is a sport that is much better on television than in person. The concentrated bursts of action between long periods of inactivity are enhanced by instant replay, color commentators, and beer commercials featuring scantily clad women. Anyone who has ever watched an NFL football game in person knows that inevitably fans at the game end up watching the game on the stadium jumbotron as if they were home in their livingrooms anyway.

Not so with baseball which is best experienced in person. (The next best option, of course, being radio.) Television ratings for the two sports bear this truth out.

In 1954, writer and editor Arnold Hano took in a baseball game and wrote a book about it. The fact that the game he went to was Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, that Willie Mays made “The Catch,” and that Hano is a wonderful and observant writer, has created one of the 10 best books about baseball ever written– a true “classic” in every sense of that over-used word.

From his perch in the bleachers, Hano gives an inning by inning narration of the first post-season game between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Giants. In Hano’s capable hands the game takes on mythic proportions with all-time great Willie Mays and his catch of Vic Wertz’s long, long drive taking center stage.

Like a novelist, Hano lets us get to know the characters of the drama that enfolds before him: Mays, Wertz, Larry Doby, Bob Lemon, Sal Maglie…. His understanding of baseball is thorough, his prose is wonderful and evocative, his insights about the game enlightening, his passion for both the nuances and the grand gestures of a game quite evident.

In A Day in the Bleachers, one great game game in 1954 with the greatest of all great catches has clearly found its great witness. Read it and enjoy!

(This review has also been published at www.montanawriter.com)
  Broadwater43 | Sep 6, 2010 |
This one of baseball's all-time classics- no baseball library is complete without it., ( )
  JNSelko | Jun 26, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 030681322X, Paperback)

From the subway ride to the ballpark, through batting practice and warm-ups, to the game-winning home run, A Day in the Bleachers describes inning by inning the strategies, heroics, and ineluctable rhythms of the opening game of the 1954 World Series. Here are the spectacular exploits of the Indians and Giants, and of a young player named Willie Mays, who made the most-talked-about catch in baseball history.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:31 -0400)

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