Sunday, November 19, 2023

Book Review: Baseball From 3,000 Miles Away by Gary Mintz

In May 2016, I wrote a journal article about Lou Mintz, the Chief of Stack Maintenance and Delivery at the New York Public Library where I worked from 1983-90. Lou had the extraordinary responsibility ofensuring that millions of books and periodicals were shelved properly and could be retrieved and delivered to library patrons promptly. In the seven years that I had known Lou, I don’t remember discussing baseball or his family.  Lou came to my farewell party.  His son Gary discovered this article and contacted me.  I decided to go to a meeting of the New York Giants Preservation Society (NYGPS) to meet him.  In January 2017 I went to a meeting at Bergino’s and met Gary.  Over the years I went to a few of the in-person meetings at Bergino’s and Finnerty’s.  I attended a few Zoom meetings during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.  If I couldn’t attend the live meeting, I would often view the recordings on YouTube.

When Gary announced his self-published book “Baseball from 3,000 Miles Away”, I knew I had to read it.  Thanks to I was able to get it shortly after publication.  Gary was born a few years after the New York Giants moved to San Francisco.  His father was a big New York Giants fan and kept his devotion after the team moved to the West Coast.  Gary became a fan of the Giants out of his love and admiration for his dad.  I didn’t realize Gary’s devotion to the Giants until I read his book.

He talked about his first Giants game at Shea Stadium in 1969 and his trips to Philadelphia and San Francisco to see the Giants play among many other topics.  He discussed his difficulties in following the Giants caused by the time zone differences and limitations of radio and television during the first few decades of his faithfulness to the Giants.  Following his team became easier in this era of the Internet and Cable TV.  Readers will also find out about Gary’s career as a teacher.

Gary was absolutely thrilled in 2010, 2012, and 2014 when the Giants won the World Series. He certainly experienced many losses and disappointments over the years all followed the team.  He thinks about his late dad every day. He has always been devoted to his family.

I don’t want to give away too much in this review since I hope all the members of the NYGPS purchase the book.  Other fans of the Giants and baseball historians will also enjoy the book.


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