Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Phil Trexler's Tribe book great for Indians fans and Father's Day!

Book review

OK .. our Tribe is running in sand right now .. and even with "Dollar Dog" night, there's only so many beatings at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers and others before closing our eyes and wishing Manny Ramirez was back in Right Field, Buddy Bell was at Third, and Rocky Colavito was just in an Indians uniform!

Certainly the Good Old Days of the Tribe aren't all that good ... although some are quite old .. but when the memories and history are looked at in quantity, we certainly have a lovable and unique team.

That's why Phil Trexler's new book Yesterday and Today: Cleveland Indians is such a good read. Phil is a tremendous encyclopedia of Tribe facts and figures already, but the book is put together in snip-its and short stories so that a fan can begin reading on any page and find something entertaining.

There are hundreds of pictures -- literally something on just about every page -- that tell a great history and show us the fun of attending a Tribe game before bobbleheads became all the rage. There's not only photos not-recently (or ever) published, but lots of shots of collectibles (including some from Phil's own collection) that tell a great deal about the dugout fun of being a Tribe player and fan.

I consider myself a knowledgeable Indians fan but far from an expert. I learned a lot from the book, including more about Herb Score's head injury and what Trexler dubbed "The Lost Tribe 1969-1993." Those are the years of my youth, so I can totally empathize. If you're a Bob Feller fan, you'll find a lot of interesting reads. (Feller writes the book's Forward by the way).

I really enjoyed all the side stories that I'd never heard, such as Bill Veeck flying in orchids from Hawaii for the women in the stands, while other fans got live rabbits or ladders. Rabbits? Ladders? Oh this must have been a wild franchise all those years ago.

As a large, colorful hard-cover gem, Yesterday and Today screams coffee table, but it's so much more than that. It's an historical reference when a player or special moment jumps in to your head, and you just need a quick glimpse of it.

My favorite Indian of all-time is still Omar Vizquel. If you've followed the Tribe, then you know how special he was to the team and how entertaining and talented he was at the games. His smile, his diving stops, and his double plays were the things of rock videos. Trexler has a good sequence on Omar titled "Magic Man."

So if you're out and about looking for something for dad .. or just something for a Tribe fan .. this is a no-brainer. Buy the book at Barnes and Noble in Montrose and keep it out in the open where you can grab it for entertainment on the nights when the Indians struggle, which has been a lot lately.

It's a good investment, and one you'll be proud to show off, regardless of where the team falls in the standings.



Chris H. said...

Wanna know more about Bill Veeck?

Read "Veeck As In Wreck" ... a great, great book.

Ed Esposito said...

If Trexler were the manager would Chris H. still have a red slash through the Chief?

Good read and great job on the book, Phil!