The Dad Report: Fathers, Sons, and Baseball Families

Norton. Jun. 2015. 288p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780393246001. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393246018. SPORTS
Drawing on years of extensive conversations with Major League ballplayers as a sportswriter, Cook (Flip; Kitty Genovese) shares some of the stories he has collected about the relationships between fathers and their children in baseball families. They include the first three-generation big-league family (the Boones), the adopted daughter of Babe Ruth (Julia Ruth Stevens), Michael Jordan's attempt at baseball, and accounts of the Bonds, Davis, and Griffey families, among others. Cook does a commendable job chronicling in an honest fashion, with struggles and difficulties included. What makes the book truly enjoyable is the way in which the author weaves his own family story into the narrative, beginning with a home run his dad slugged off him at age 12 in a father-son match, and ending with a game of catch between Cook and his son. Although the author's dad never made it beyond the minor leagues, it is his experience that frames all of the others and helps bridge the potential disconnect between big league families and ordinary folks playing in their backyards.
VERDICT This absorbing book will be of interest to all baseball fans, especially those who can draw upon their own personal family memories.
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