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10-10-2010 09:28 AM #1
Big Hair and Plastic Grass by Dan Epstein
Next to Bullpen Gospels, this has to be one of the best baseball books I read this 2010. As Mr Epstein puts it, if you are looking for stats on why he considered this his "golden era" of baseball, look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for great ancidotes on the styles of the 70s and how baseball faired in the age of the newly introduced Astro Turf, this is your book!
Having spent my teen years in the 70s I remember alot of what Dan writes about. I'd say it's not just about fashion and Astro Turf but how baseball finally started to change with the American culture of the time period. This was the era of Mark "the Bird" Fidrych, Bill "the Spaceman" Lee, Charlie Finley's garish and mustachoed A's, and the great fiasco of Disco Demo Night that put a nail on the coffin of Bill Veeck.
If it's not still on your local book stores shelf, here is the link to Amazon to get a copy:
10-10-2010 09:55 AM #2
As chance would have it, I just finished this book yesterday. Immensely enjoyable as a gloss of what I consider the greatest decade of baseball in my lifetime. But it is just that — a gloss; there are whole books devoted to topics the author encapsulates here: the unholy trinity of Steinbrenner-Martin-Jackson, the advent of free agency, the Oakland A's dynasty. As an O's fan, I was disappointed that Epstein didn't devote more ink to the team, or to Earl, but so it goes. Favorite anecdote: Charlie O. Finley's mentoring of a certain early-90s hip-hop star, which I am somewhat astonished to admit I was unaware of until I read this book.
A good follow-up read: The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven: How a Ragtag Group of Fans Took the Fall for Major League Baseball by Aaron Skirboll, which picks up exactly where Big Hair and Plastic Grass ends, and depicts how the good times came to a screeching halt in the early 80s.
Last edited by sakata_catching; 10-10-2010 at 10:05 AM.
10-18-2010 10:59 AM #3
Just picked this book up at the library. Great read so far!
10-20-2010 08:53 AM #4
I went to a book release party for this in Brooklyn a few months back, decked out in an orange Ken Singleton throwback jersey. Met Dan Epstein, bought a book, drank a few Presidentes and listened to some great 1970's soul in between the excerpts he read. Within moments of arriving, some guy walked up to me with a Singleton rookie card, saying "You should have this". Then I won two tickets to a Mets-Padres game for being having the best 1970's outfit. Saw a triple play and a one-hit shutout at the ballpark.
To top it all off, the book was wonderful. Like Gulfbird, I lived through this stuff, but it was a great walk down memory lane with lots of laughs and highlights along the way. Get a copy!
02-20-2011 03:41 PM #5
I read the free sample on the Kindle and as good as it was I just can't bring myself to pay over $9.99 for a Kindle book. I'll keep an eye on it and hope it goes down. Glad to see it's a good read.