By Rob Ficiur
There is nothing a sports fan likes more for Christmas than a good book. (Interesting to note that the online prices are considerably cheaper than the list prices. Could it be that shopping on the internet is the wave of the future?)
1. Bobby Orr; My Story (32.00 list price; available for 19.00 on line).
The cover of this hard cover book is Bobby Orr flying through the air as he scored the overtime winning goal giving the Boston Bruins the 1970 Stanley Cup. Orr’s hockey career ended too soon because of knee injuries. He has largely remained out of the NHL spotlight, why write a biography now? A write up on chapters website has the answer.
“After decades of refusing to speak of his past in articles or “authorized” biographies, he finally tells his story, because he has something to share: “I am a parent and a grandparent and I believe that I have lessons worth passing along.”
2. Gordie Howe’s Son (by Mark Howe) (list price 32.99; available on line for 21.77). When Mark Howe was selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame he beat the odds. There are only four Father-Son combinations in the Hockey Hall of Fame: Gordie and Mark Howe; Bobby and Brett Hull; Lester and Lynn Patrick and Oliver and Earl Siebert. The last two combinations played in a six team NHL with limited media coverage. In spite of the public pressure, Mark Howe became a Hall of Fame defenseman.
The Chapters website gives the reader a sneak peak to the book: “Did you ever wonder what it would be like to have Gordie Howe as your dad? If you’re like thousands of Canadian children who grew up in the 1960s and ’70s, you need look no further than Mark Howe’s funny, intimate account of being a Howe.”
3. Tales from the Toronto Blue Jays Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Blue Jays Stories Ever Told (by Jim Prime) (23.95 list price; 17.95 on line).
The cover of this book has a picture of Blue Jays outfielder Joe Carter as he hit the home run that won the Jays the 1993 World Series. That in itself might be enough to get loyal and disappointed Blue Jays fans to buy the book. If the Jays can’t win in the 21st century, we can read the background stories from when they did win it all.
4. Great Expectations: The Lost Toronto Blue Jays Season (list 19.90; online price 14.40) (by John Lott and Shi Davidi)
The 2013 Blue Jays started the season with so much hope and flopped. Why? These two reporters followed the Jays all season long. After reading this, loyal fans might want to buy item #3 to remind them that there were days when the Blue Jays did win.
5. League Of Denial: The Nfl, Concussions And The Battle For Truth by by Mark Fainaru-wada,Steve Fainaru (list price 32.00; online 20.06)
Of all five major team sports in North America, I follow the NFL the least. However, this book interests me because it is not just a football story. How many lives were ruined because concussions were not properly dealt with? We know that down the road there will be an NHL version of this book.
6. The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: The Vancouver Edition – Winter 2010 (list price 23.95; used copy available for 6.30)
Buyer beware! This looked like the ideal book to have as the 2014 Winter Olympics are only two months away. However, as I read the fine print, I had second thoughts. This book was published in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. While this book may have a great pre-2010 history of the Winter Olympics, know that what you are getting does not include the Vancouver games.
7. Red Ribbon & Red Ink (9.21 E-book download).
Ten years ago none of us knew what an e-book was. This book may fill in the gap left by item #6. It delves into the finances and results of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Publishing date in June 2013, why did they wait three years go put out an Olympic book? Guess you have to read to find out.)
8. Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson won 11 NBA titles. Yes he had the best players of his era when he coached, but he got the best out of those players. The winner of 11 championships must have done something right.
No matter how fanatical or how casual the sports fan there is a book out there that can captivate your sports fan, and keep him occupied for hours on Christmas Day gaining new insights into what he thought he knew.