The Final Season
Named Baseball Book of the Year as
winner of the Casey and Dave Moore awards
Maybe your dad took you to ball games at Fenway, Wrigley, or Ebbets. Maybe the two of you watched broadcasts from Yankee Stadium or Candlestick Park, or listened as Red Barber or Vin Scully called the plays on radio. Or maybe he coached your team or just played catch with you in the yard. Chances are that if you're a baseball fan, your dad had something to do with it – and your thoughts of the sport evoke thoughts of him.
If so, you will treasure The Final Season, a poignant true story about baseball and heroes, family and forgiveness, doubts and dreams, and a place that brings them all together.
When the ballpark of his boyhood began its 88th and last year, author Tom Stanton embarked on an unforgettable journey: attending all 81 home games at Tiger Stadium. He set out to celebrate the park and to explore his attachment to the place where his family had shared the sport over nine decades. But the author stumbled into more than he anticipated, struggling with his 13-year-old son's growing independence and plotting to erase the one regret that haunted his father.
At times rollicking, at times introspective, The Final Season captures a memorable, six-month adventure. On its pages, you will join Tom Stanton as he encounters idols, conjures decades past, and discovers the mysteries of a park where Cobb and Ruth played. Come along and sit beside Al Kaline on the dugout bench, eat popcorn with Elmore Leonard, hear Alice Cooper's confessions, soak up the warmth of Ernie Harwell, see McGwire and Ripken up close, and meet Chicken Legs Rau, Bleacher Pete, Al the Usher, and a parade of fans who are anything but ordinary.
By the autumn of his odyssey, Stanton comes to realize that his anguish isn't just about the loss of a beloved ballpark but about something greater. At the heart of the story lives the often-unspoken love between fathers and sons. And that resonates with baseball fans of all ages, and transcends the sport itself.
"Our lives aren't about the big stories that shape history," Stanton writes. "They're about the little ones that play themselves out in the places we treasure – homes, schools, and ballparks – and with the people we hold dear."