Our friend Todd Drew passed away almost a year-and-a-half ago. In the days after his death, I coped with the sadness by staying busy. I didn’t want to sit with the pain. We talked about Todd on the site as the Banter sat shiva. What can we do? The rest of the Banter writers and I talked about it. What about a compilation of Todd’s work, from his blog Yankees for Justice, and his Shadow Games columns here at the Banter?
Then Diane Firstman suggested that we compile the Yankee Stadium Memories series into a book. It would have a broader appeal. Made sense to me. So when Skyhorse approached me about doing just that, I knew we had the perfect farewell to Todd.
I’m proud to announce that Skyhorse will release Bronx Banter Presents: Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories this October. The collection features 60 essays including 25 entirely new pieces (the Amazon link above has some errors that will be corrected shortly). And none other than Yogi Berra penned the foreword. The book features original work from the likes of Richard Ben Cramer, Tony Kornheiser, Tom Boswell, Leigh Montville, Pete Hamill, Charles Pierce, John Schulian, William Nack, Steve Rushin and Alan Schwarz.
Marilyn Johnson, Tyler Kepner, Neil DeMause, Ted Berg and I have essays on the new Stadium. Todd’s wife, Marsha, collaborated with me on the final piece in the book, a bittersweet memory of her view from the season-ticket seats in the new place that Todd didn’t live to see. It is the perfect ending. The book is introduced by Todd’s wonderful Stadium memory.
I lost a battle with the publisher in an effort to get all of the Stadium Memories that appeared on-line into the book. I was left to make some painful choices (and the writers whose work didn’t make the final cut were gracious and professional when they didn’t need to be and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that). Of the essays that first appeared here on the Banter, close to two-thirds have been revised–condensed, mostly to make room for as many as possible–and I think vastly improved.
I’m exceedingly proud of the book. The entire Banter staff had a hand in putting it together and making it as strong as possible. I think this collection stands out for its depth and diversity. There are pieces from Yankee fans and Yankee-haters, New York beat writers and columnists, novelists and actors, New Yorkers and out-of-towners, transplants and visitors. The essays are, at turns, touching and sentimental, vulgar and hilarious, thoughtful and and irreverent, almost always intelligent—a true reflection of Bronx Banter.
I think Todd would dig it and I hope that you do too.
[Photo Credit: Baseball-Fever.com, N.Y. Daily News]