Today, I’ll be writing about a new book that should be in bookstores and on Amazon.com as we speak. It’s called “Baseball Fantography: A Celebration in Snapshots and Stories from the Fans (Abrams Image).” It is written and compiled by Andy Strasberg, a long-time baseball executive with the San Diego Padres and one of the most creative marketers in the game. A man who has also worked with Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Tony Gwynn and umpire Doug Harvey.
The genesis of the tome came when Strasberg unearthed a snapshot of himself as a teenager with his idol, Roger Maris. Andy felt many others would have similiar photos and he set out on a long journey to find them.
Before I tell you about the book, which I absolutely love, here’s a disclaimer. Andy happens to be one of my best friends. A friend of more than 40 years in a relationship that has surivived the 3,000 miles in between his home in San Diego and mine in New York. But my affection for the book has little to do with my enduring affection for Andy. It’s just a wonderful project that I would appreciate if I didn’t know Andy Strasberg from Stephen Strasburg. It will take us back into time and bring up our best baseball memories.
Baseball Fantography is Andy’s latest passioniate idea turned into reality. What he has done is put together hundreds of iconic baseball photos, all taken by fans, and assimilated into a very personal collection of images with accompanying stories.
You’ll find a young Roberto Clemente, a graying Carl Yastrzemski and classic images both on and off the field of the likes of Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax, Tony Gwynn, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Cal Ripken, Jr., Mickey Mantle, Ernie Banks, Derek Jeter and Jackie Robinson, among many others.
Have no fear, White Sox fans, we’re included too, as evidenced by the photos below, that all appear in the book. In order, that’s Hall of Fame knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm, pinch-hitter extraordinaire Smokey Burgess; hard-nosed outfielder Jim Rivera; and Bob Shaw, a stalwart hurler on the 1959 American League Champion Sox.
I’ve given you a little taste here of this amazing new book and there’s much, much more. Treat yourself and buy it–or have some you love buy it for you. Enjoy!