Just like the Giants themselves – who are tearing things up on the field so far this year, sweeping Houston, pitching great, hitting great, and going 3-0 into the opening homestand – “Giants Past and Present” is getting a great reception in the season’s opening week.
* I was on KQED’s “Forum” with Michael Krasny today, along with Giants President Larry Baer and San Francisco State University Prof. Eric Solomon, and we spent a delightful hour talking baseball. One of my favorite moments: When Baer told how the Giants would sell Tim Lincecum wigs this year, Solomon blurted, “Have you no shame?” I also enjoyed lobbing one of my pet issues in Baer’s lap: I want to see a Barry Bonds statue at AT&T Park. And Baer offered up an amusing story as well, after Solomon defended the Giants’ 1951 sign stealing as part of a long tradition of cheating in baseball; he said Giants’ Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry — a
notorious spitball thrower — was not only welcomed at Spring Training this year, but he was embraced by Commissioner Bud Selig, sending a subliminal message to the minor leaguers that it’s OK to doctor the ball. You can listen to the hour at KQED’s site, or if you prefer, right here:
* I was on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s Chronicle Live last night, with host Greg Papa effusively praising the book as “comprehensive.” You can see it below, or on the Comcast site. I was glad I brought my camera: I was able to get photos with Papa and with my green room compadres, the 49ers’ offensive lineman Alex Boone, and a couple of Raiderettes, Cole and Anna. I’ll skip the cheerleader jokes, but will say that the Giants could use someone Boone’s size to bat fifth.
On the one hand you have long-time fans of the team, both in the East and West Coast incarnations. You also have younger fans, who grew up on the San Francisco version. In addition, there are the history buffs, the photography buffs, the pop culture buffs, you name it. In that regard, Giants has the proverbial something for everyone in one slim package. Fost, a freelance journalist in the Bay Area, shares his love for the team with anyone who wants to listen, or, more appropriately, read.
* The California Media Workers Guild — the union of which I was a proud member when I worked at the San Francisco Chronicle, and which I now belong to the freelancers’ unit — posted a nice write-up about me and the book in its section “We Love Our Work.” Rebecca Rosen Lum’s piece, “Capturing the history of baseball Giants,” gives a good description of some of the work that went into my book:
Fost had long nurtured an idea to write a book chronicling the 125-year history of the Giants – heartbreaks, gaffes and glories. When San Francisco magazine published his story commemorating the ball club’s 50th anniversary in the City, it caught the attention of MVP Books, a publishing company with a series of ball club profiles to its credit. They needed it turned around in two months.
No problem: “I had half the work done already,” Fost said. “I had notebooks full of stuff. My whole dining room became a baseball library.”
The project presented an opportunity “to play in the toy department” for Fost, the former sports editor of his college newspaper. In his life as a metro, features and business reporter, he has covered just about everything but sports. He developed a niche as a technology and business writer at the Marin Independent Journal and later the San Francisco Chronicle.
* I’m also getting some nice reviews on Amazon.com, and the book is consistently in or near the top 10 in the categories of baseball history, baseball writing and New York history.
There’s more to come – but I’m grateful to everyone for all the ink and airtime.