"From 33rd Street to Camden Yards: An Oral History of...

Editor's Choice

April 01, 2001|By Michael Pakenham

"From 33rd Street to Camden Yards: An Oral History of the Baltimore Orioles," by John Eisenberg (Contemporary Books, 528 pages, $24.95).

John Eisenberg is a colleague -- everyone reading these words knows his sports columns and other writings. Were he not, I am confident, I would still be sure that no serious fellow fan of the Orioles could fail to find his new book a compelling read, a cornucopia of insights into the history, evolution, personalities and dynamics of the ball team that greatly contributes to Baltimore's excitement and livability as a city.

Eisenberg -- who in 1999 published "Cotton Bowl Days: Growing up With Dallas and the Cowboys in the 1960s" -- is, of course, an accomplished and diligent observer of his subject. For this book, he spent apparently thousands of hours interviewing more than 90 players, managers and other participating personages. He introduces 46 chapters with clear, straightforward context and then presents generously lush statements from the interview subjects. Thus come the voices of everybody from Peter Angelos to Cal Ripken, Brooks Robinson, Earl Weaver and others ranging from 1954 to yesterday.

For any Orioles fan, obligatory reading; for any baseball fan generally, a fascinating tale; for any Baltimorean, a major slice of the hometown legend.

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