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Step into the Time Tunnel and return to a simpler place and time.

  • Dec 7, 2008
  • by
If you are a guy or gal who was born before 1950 and enjoy the game of baseball then Phillip Hoose's "Perfect, Once Removed:  When Baseball Was All the World to Me " should be right up your alley.  Author Phil Hoose had just moved to Speedway, Indiana with his mom and dad in late 1955.  He was eight years old and having an awfully hard time adjusting to his new school and making friends.  To make matters worse, no one had ever taught young Phil how to play baseball.  He had never swung a bat or even had an opportunity to play catch!  Kids being kids, they jumped all over Phil in gym class and at the playground after school.  Phil was completely miserable until one day his mom casually mentioned that his dad's cousin pitched for the New York Yankees.  And so Phil Hoose took it upon himself to write to his dad's cousin Don Larsen and ask for some advice. A short time later Phil received a postcard from Don Larsen that would literally change his life forever.

It is always wonderful to read a story like the one portrayed in "Perfect, Once Removed". Sometimes we never realize how such a simple act of kindness can impact someone so much.  But Don Larsen not only sent that postcard but he also arranged for Phil and his parents to attend a Yankees--White Sox game at Commiskey Park.  While in Chicago Phil had an opportunity to meet several of the Yankee players at the hotel where they were staying.  It was an experience that would make him a baseball addict for life.  It turns out that as usual the New York Yankees under legendary manager Casey Stengel would win the 1956 American League pennant.  This time their opponents in the World Series would be their crosstown rivals the Brooklyn Dodgers.  And in Game Five on a Monday afternoon in October Don Larsen would make World Series history!  Due to the heroics of his cousin, once removed, Phil Hoose was suddenly the BMOC (big man on campus) at school.  Quite a turnaround in just 6 or 7 months!

If I had to pick one adjective to describe "Perfect, Once Removed: When Baseball Was All the World to Me " it would have to be "charming".  That may sound odd for a book about sports but I think the term fits here perfectly.  For this book is so much more than a book about a perfect game.  It is also a real period piece.  For those old enough to recall those days it will bring back a flood of fond memories.  I found "Perfect, Once Removed" to be a great change of pace from the much more serious fare that I ordinarily read.  A great book to read while lounging at the beach or relaxing by the pool.  This is an extremely well written and thoroughly enjoyable book    Highly recommended!
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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this book


Named on of the Top 10 Sports Books of 2007—Bill Ott, Booklist

"disguised as a nostalgic, coming-of-age baseball memoir, this is a sly, spare meditation on the perils of childhood, the power of celebrity, the vagaries of human kindness, and how even tenuous family bonds can have a surprisingly steely impact."—joe Pilla, Paperbacks Plus

In pitch-perfect prose, and with a gift for conveying the fears and dreams of a young boy's life, Phil Hoose recalls the magical year of 1956, when his cousin, Don Larsen, pitched a perfect game in the World Series, and the game of baseball helped him take root in a tough new town. Perfect, Once Removed is a wondrous ode to the glory of baseball and to growing up.

Phillip Hoose's multi-award winning books include The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, (winner 2005 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for outstanding non-fiction), We Were There, Too! Young People in US History  (2001 National Book Award finalist) and the Christopher Award-winning manual for youth activism It's Our World Too!

Hey, Little Ant co-authored with his daughter Hannah, has been translated into eight languages and featured on PBS's Reading Rainbow.  It has been hailed by Teaching Tolerance Magazine as "A masterpiece for teaching values and character education."

His Hoosiers: the Fabulous Basketball Life of Indiana was called by Sports Illustrated "the one book about high school basketball in Indiana that has lasted and will last." 

Hoose has been a ...

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ISBN-10: 0802715370
ISBN-13: 978-0802715371
Author: Phillip Hoose
Genre: Sports & Entertainment
Publisher: Walker & Company
Date Published: October 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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