Summer of '98
When Homers Flew, Records Fell, and Baseball Reclaimed America
By Mike Lupica
(Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399145148, 209pp.)
Publication Date: April 5, 1999
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In 1998, the conversation of the country was about baseball again, as the taste of the 1994 strike was finally washed away in a sweet flood of glory. With humor and feeling, Lupica recaptures that season, but not in any ordinary way. In Fargo, North Dakota, Roger Maris's boyhood best friend watches McGwire hit 62. In Washington Heights, New York City, the scout who saw Sammy Sosa get off the bus from Santo Domingo celebrates, along with half a million Dominicans. The Little League champions from Toms River stand in awe on the field at Yankee Stadium; Joe DiMaggio talks as he watches the Yankees have the kind of year he always had; Cal Ripken speaks from the past about how he always intended his streak to end; a divorced father watches with a lump in his throat as McGwire lifts his son at home plate. David Wells, Kerry Wood, Shane Spencer, Ken Griffey, Jr. -- all the boys of summer come alive in unique and special ways, as we're reminded, for one season at least, that, yes, they do play baseball like they used to.