Confessions of a Dodger Fan
Confessions of a Dodger Fan is the story of an eight-year old boy in Manhattan who turns on the radio, hears Red Barber broadcasting a Dodger game, and becomes a lifelong fan. Mickey Owen's passed ball against the Yankees in 1941 is his first experience of bitter loss. During the war, while his father is stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, he sees his first game, between two navy teams, and comes home with an autographed ball signed by, among others, the Dodger shortstop Pee Wee Reese, one of the many players then in service. He grows up on John Tunis's baseball stories for young readers. He lives through the traumas of Bobby Thomson's home run-"the shot heard round the world"-and World Series losses to the Yankees before the Dodgers finally take the Series in 1955. When the Dodgers move West in 1958, he thinks he has shed the burden of fandom, only to move to northern California where, once again, he is in enemy territory, a Dodger fan in the wrong town. A memoir of fandom and its mysteries, Confessions of a Dodger Fan examines the different ways (and psychologies) of experiencing a game-radio, television, in person. The author defends the value, aesthetic and otherwise, of baseball's traditional statistics against the excesses of "sabermetrics," a playground for number crunchers, not for serious fans, who are in the grip of near-religious obsession. They suffer endlessly but wouldn't have it any other way. The literature of fandom is large, by writers as varied as Donald Hall, Nick Hornby, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and David Foster Wallace. Confessions of a Dodger Fan is for those fans who can't get enough; and for others who don't understand, but would like to, the fan's strange compulsions.