Book Review:  The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark, by Tom Stanton

 

Reviewed by Bruce Rhodes

 

February 27, 2003

 

Reinforces my love for Tiger Stadium

 

I attended dozens of ballgames at Tiger Stadium, mostly in the late 70s and early 80s. I saw my first ever major league game at Tiger Stadium in 1972, with my father and grandfather (the first and likely the only time I will have attended a ballgame with three generations of family represented) and was instantly in awe of the place. It struck me as being an enchanting world unto itself.


Tom Stanton's book captures brilliantly the atmosphere of this grand old ballpark -- the people who worked and played there, the eccentric, asymmetrical features of the field and the stadium, the crumbling neighborhood around Michigan and Trumble, and the eternal voice of the Tigers, Ernie Harwell. Mr. Stanton cares a lot about the game of baseball, the Tigers, and the Stadium; he is also quite conscious of the value that baseball, and attending games, can have on members of a family. The book holds recollections that are sometimes joyous, sometimes melancholy and bittersweet; I am certain that Mr. Stanton has portrayed his own family story as it relates to Tiger Stadium with honesty and compassion.


Anyone who ever had a chance to see a game at the ballpark will want to read this book. Those of us who spent many happy hours at Tiger Stadium really miss the place. Mr. Stanton's book helps to keep its memories alive.