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    Giants Baseball Experience

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    The Latest Book From Giants Author Dan Fost

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    Celebrate the Giants in San Rafael

    Dan Fost on the field after the San Francisco Giants evened the 2014 World Series at two games apiece. Note the World Series necktie! (Thanks, mom!)

    Dan Fost on the field after the San Francisco Giants evened the 2014 World Series at two games apiece. Note the World Series necktie! (Thanks, mom!)

    This World Series has been the Giants’ 2014 season in microcosm: They looked dominant in Game One, just as they had in April and May. They looked doomed in Games Two and Three, just as they had in June and July. And then, like August, when things appeared ready to go completely off the rails, in Game Four the Royals took a 4-1 lead, and the Giants bounced back, led by the usual assortment of castoffs (Yusmeiro Petit, Travis Ishikawa), misfits (I think it’s safe to say that about Hunters Pence and Strickland), rookies and stars.

    Now they’re poised to win another Series. If they hadn’t won in 2010 and 2012, Giants Nation would be trembling in dread, remembering this very same situation presented itself in 2002. But Bruce Bochy is not Dusty Baker (and as much as I loved Dusty, I am thankful every October day that Bochy is steering this team). I am sure he will pull out all the stops to win Game Six in Kansas City, much as he did in Game Six in Philadelphia in the 2010 NLCS. Madison Bumgarner‘s epic, historic complete game shutout in Game Five enables Bochy to have a rested bullpen and keep Jake Peavy on a short leash.

    Whatever happens this week — champagne and parade, or shock and disappointment — I’m going to be talking about it, and trying to put it in some historic context, this Saturday, Nov. 1, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the fabulous Il Davide restaurant, 901 A Street, San Rafael. The event is sponsored by the Stanford University Alumni Club of Marin, but it’s open to anyone. The cost is $40, which gets you chef-owner David Haydon‘s tasty appetizers, beer and wine, and a signed copy of my book, The Giants Baseball Experience. The book itself typically sells for $35, so this is a deal!

    The Stanford Alumni Club of Marin, led by Mike Williams, has put all the information online. I hope to see you Saturday, and to celebrate the Giants’ third world championship in three years!

    Here comes 2014!

    Giants Baseball Experience coverI love the arrival of spring, and all the hope it brings that a new year — even-numbered! — will cleanse the pain of the last one. (I also hope a good rainfall will come along for the cleansing, to end California’s drought.) While 2013 was decidedly painful for the Giants, I see plenty of signs for a turnaround in 2014.

    Pablo Sandoval is lean and motivated.

    Tim Lincecum is ready to complete his reinvention as a crafty pitcher, instead of a fastball chucker.

    Tim Hudson is here to help Lincecum — and he can still deal.

    And those are the three and four starters, behind the horses Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.

    Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford keep improving; Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro are healthy; Buster Posey and Hunter Pence anchor the meat of the order; and Michael Morse has arrived to make sure there are no weak spots. The bullpen is deep (love Sergio Romo!); the bench is capable (lurve Hector Sanchez!); Bruce Bochy is the best in the business.

    And best of all: I have a new Giants book coming out!

    The Giants Baseball Experience: A Year-By-Year Chronicle From New York To San Francisco will be published by MVP Books and will be available April 3. I’ll set up a new Web site, and start planning events. The last time I had a new Giants book out — with Willie Mays on the cover, naturally — was 2010, and we all know what happened then!

    New edition is almost here!

    Giants Past and Present cover third editionThe new edition of “Giants Past and Present” is at the publisher’s warehouse, and will be available in bookstores very soon. Dan Fost will also have copies for sale if anyone wants to buy directly from the author. It is already available for pre-ordering on Amazon.com.

    The new edition looks fantastic. MVP Books gave the cover a complete makeover. A banner proclaims it the “2012 Championship Edition,” while the word GIANTS is bigger and bolder than ever, in black block letters outlined in orange. Best of all, the cover features 2012 National League MVP Buster Posey, following through on his timeless swing, against a backdrop of the Polo Grounds, where so many other great Giants once performed their heroic feats. Buster would have fit right in.

    Naturally, I am optimistic about the Giants’ chances this year. I know the Dodgers have spent big to acquire a lot of big time talent, but the Giants have youth, pitching and Bruce Bochy. I talked about all of this with Jeff Thurn, host of a show on ESPN Radio in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (the other SF, as I think of it), and you can listen to that 9 minute conversation here:

    Dan Fost on Jeff Thurn ESPN Radio show February 20, 2013

    Damon Bruce loves the book!

    I had a great conversation with Damon Bruce last Friday on his show. We talked about Giants Past and Present. It was a great interview and a great treat for fathers day. Damon said, “It is a 1st class product all the way through – a well written, well crafted book.”

     

    Dan Fost on the Damon Bruce Show

    New Edition Almost Here!

    With the 2011 season rapidly approaching, so approaches the release of a revised “Giants Past and Present.” Among other things, the updated edition will have a new cover, featuring the Giants World Series celebration. I just got a glimpse of it for the first time, so here it is:

    The new edition will also feature praises from Giants Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and KNBR’s Brian Murphy. There will also be some updates in the World Series chapter, obviously.

    Although the 2010 season will be hard to top, the Giants are looking strong and hungry to defend their title. Hopefully 2011 will bring a new chapter to Giants history, and a call for much more Giants literature!

    Scarce commodity

    Well, even though I had every bit of confidence in the Giants on their march to the 2010 world championship (I just love saying that!), I have to say the supply of “Giants Past and Present” was not adequate to keep up with the demand. The book is becoming hard to find.

    My publisher, MVP Books, just sent me the last of their copies, and I’ve sold all of those. I bought what seem to be the last copies available on Amazon.com, and now it looks like Barnesandnoble.com is sold out as well. There are probably still some books at some Bay Area bookstores, but I don’t know if they’ll last through Christmas.

    You could try looking at your local independent store, using the Indiebound site. On the site for my local shop, Book Passage in Corte Madera, it says the book is a “special order, subject to availability,” which doesn’t sound promising.

    That means we’ve sold 5,000 books. I hope to have a new edition – a World Series edition! – out in early 2011, and will offer details here as I get them.

    Thank you, everyone, for your support – thanks to everyone who bought the book, and thanks to all the bookstores and others who sold it. And thanks to the Giants, who brought all of us so much joy, and helped make the book such a hit!

    A great holiday gift!

    Don’t take my word for it – the San Francisco Chronicle recommends “Giants Past and Present” as one of its top holiday gift books. In the roundup, books editor John McMurtrie writes:

    Giants Past & Present, by Dan Fost (MVP Books; 144 pages; $25). It turns out to have been not a bad year to publish a coffee-table book honoring the hometown team and its bicoastal history.
    I’m in good company: other recommendations include the excellent biographies of Henry Aaron (“The Last Hero,” by Howard Bryant) and Willie Mays (eponymously titled, by James S. Hirsch), as well as “Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden’s Oakland Raiders,” by Peter Richmond and – my favorite – “Everything You Know Is Pong: How Mighty Table Tennis Shapes Our World,” by Roger Bennett and Eli Horowitz. (Bennett is coming to San Francisco for an event Dec. 14 that should be a blast; he’s a friend of mine and I heard his presentation on ping pong earlier this year, and it is both brilliant and hilarious.)
    In noticing my great timing — and hey, wouldn’t I love to say I knew the Giants would win the World Series when I wrote my book back in spring 2009 — McMurtrie is onto something: Since the Giants won the 2010 World Series, demand for my book has been through the roof. I’m humbled and gratified and, naturally, very grateful to the Giants! My publisher, MVP Books, tells me that they have fewer than 100 copies left in their warehouse, after an initial print run of 5,000.
    Other booksellers are running low. I heard the book was sold out at Borders in San Rafael earlier this month. Last month, I had to help out my friends at Laurel Bookstore in Oakland when they needed some in a pinch, and the Marin Country Day School book fair couldn’t get any more than 19 copies from the distributor, Ingram. We sold out of those in less than an hour on the first night of the weeklong fair; luckily I was able to provide them with 30 more copies, and they sold all of them!
    So whether you’re a bookstore or an individual fan, please let me know if you are having trouble finding the book, and I’ll do what I can to get you all the copies you need. And I’m happy to sell my copies at the author discount of $20 apiece. And with that, you can have a personal inscription as well!
    Please feel free to contact me at danfost@gmail.com. Happy holidays!

    New York, New York – two Giant events in the Apple

    NYBGNS founder Bill Kent with Giants Past and Present author Dan Fost

    NYBGNS founder and pooh-bah Bill Kent, with Dan Fost

    It’s great to see old fans of the New York Giants — the baseball Giants, who played in Gotham from 1883-1957 — get a little moment of sunshine now that the team they’ve stuck with for all these years has finally won its first World Series since 1954.

    I had the pleasure of meeting about 50 of them tonight at the New York Baseball Giants Nostalgia Society’s meeting. Steve Steinberg, co-author of “1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York,” and I gave talks to this group, which meets occasionally in a conference room in the Church of the Mediator on 231st Street in the Bronx. Group organizer Bill Kent orders pizza, collects money, and tosses cans of soda like a vendor pitching peanuts.

    I learned a lot from these guys, most notably that one legend has it that Blanche McGraw — widow of the great Giants manager John McGraw, and reportedly the very last fan to leave the Polo Grounds in 1957 — placed a curse on the team that it would never win a World Series in San Francisco. The gentleman telling the story said it may remain intact, noting the Giants clinched each playoff series on the road, in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Arlington, Texas.

    I’m ready for more: Steve and I have a second New York event planned for Wednesday night, Nov. 10, at 7 pm at a really special place, the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse, at 67 East 11th Street, New York, near Union Square and around the corner from the marvelous Strand bookstore.

    Bergino is run by Jay Goldberg, who has built a sweet business selling artfully designed handcrafted baseballs. Steve and I will be telling stories, and selling and signing books. (I offer mine for $20, which is $5 off the cover price.) I hope to see you there!

    The book goes local!

    A new venue is now selling “Giants Past and Present”: Diamond Sports, a baseball card and memorabilia shop in my hometown of San Rafael. I spend many happy hours there with my son, and we always come away with some treasure.

    Now they are carrying the book, with every copy signed, and the book will also be at their sister store in Concord.

    Diamond Sports is at 1144 4th St., San Rafael, and at 1280 Diamond Way, Concord.

    In addition, I was excited to see that the book is now in three Marin County libraries — San Rafael, Corte Madera and Mill Valley — and that it’s not only checked out in all three, but holds have been placed on its return in two of them! I hope everyone is enjoying the book!