Take us out to the ballgame, then take us on a thrill ride


Will you look at this beautiful thing?

Harvey Frommer's Remembering Fenway Park (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $45) is more than a picture book about one of America's last two remaining great old ballparks.


It is that, of course, and this will look swell on all of the best coffee tables in America.

But Professor Frommer (Dartmouth, dude) is a historian and the history he has compiled is just as stunning as the pictures he has assembled.

Though Frommer has written serial narrative histories, what he has done in this book — and in its companion volume, Remembering Yankee Stadium, which turned out of be a eulogy for the House that Ruth Built — is to assemble the story of the ballpark in its own words.

And by 'its own words,' of course, we mean in the words of those who love the place.

Frommer has put together and affectionate yet-not-sentimental account of this ballpark, which opened to the public the week the Titanic sank. (Just last week, the Fenway tenants, the Boston Red Sox, announced plans for its 100th anniversary celebration next season.

In an era of instant disposability, a place like Fenway Park (and there aren't too many places like Fenway Park), should be treasured. After years of building ballparks that looked like spaceships from bad science fiction films, Major League Baseball began embracing its past a couple of decades ago, and began building stadiums that emulated the classic era. Baltimore and Cleveland both did good jobs copying that style.