Are you tired of baseball books with the same boring stock photos? You will not get that with Baseball Fantography by Andy Strasberg. This is a collection of photographs from fans that capture the intimate and personal lives of your favorite baseball players from the past and present. Strasberg began this project when he found an old picture of him with Roger Maris at Yankee Stadium in 1966. He hadn’t seen the photo in decades and a nostalgic feeling came over him. He knew that there were other people who had old baseball photos that would have a similar feeling. This is a timeless record of the fans’ baseball experience…by the fans, for the fans.
It has been a long off-season for me. I’m a Chicago Cubs fan and having to endure the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series, was quite taxing. I put up a wall between MLB news and myself. Saying all of that, as soon as I opened Baseball Fantography, I fell back in love with the game.
My knowledge of baseball would rival men decades older than me. I would always read as much about the game as possible, buy baseball cards from the 50’s & 60’s as often as I could find them, and I have watched the Ken Burns Baseball series more than I should be allowed. We have all seen the same footage and read the same stories about baseball players, but this group of candid photos reaches you in a different way. This book helps show a personal side of players like: Sandy Koufax, Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter, and Roberto Clemente.
The one thing that sets Baseball Fantography apart from other baseball photo collections is the back-story behind every picture. Every picture has a description or a small caveat about what was taking place during the picture. The lone picture that stands out is the candid photo of Eddie Mathews drying off with a towel while he’s still in the shower. The oddest chapter is called “Graves,” that was dedicated to fans’ pictures of the headstones of the sports’ greatest players.
You get iconic, absurd, and thought-provoking photos in this collection. It is worth the $19.99 price and I suggest that you head to your local bookstore (if those still exist) or go to Amazon and buy this book.
Strasberg was a San Diego Padres executive from 1975-1996 and now offers marketing expertise to baseball personalities, teams, leagues, and the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is the coauthor of Baseball’s Greatest Hit and was a technical consultant for the HBO film 61*.
For more information about Baseball Fantography, go to Fantography.com. You can even submit your photo to be a part of the collection.
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