2003-12-05 / Community

Breezy Author Pens Baseball Book

By Brendan Brosh
Breezy Author Pens Baseball Book By Brendan Brosh

Joe DiMaggio surveys the rebuilding of Yankee Stadium in the 1970’s from the IRT 4 platform.Joe DiMaggio surveys the rebuilding of Yankee Stadium in the 1970’s from the IRT 4 platform.

Breezy Point writer Kenneth Hogan has just released a book about baseball stadiums. "America’s Ballparks" details 76 Major League stadiums from the past, present and near future.

Hogan, a firefighter on Beach 169 Street and lifelong Rockaway resident, began his baseball journey as an eight-year old in Yankee Stadium. Now as a grown man, he’s visited nearly every stadium in the country and driven over 20,000 miles in the process.

Initially Hogan began to visit ballparks as a hobby with his friend and fellow Breezy Point man, Captain Steven Ryan (now serving with the US Army in Northern Iraq.) "After visiting fifteen stadiums, I realized I had enough pictures in my photo album to start a book," says Hogan.

With other books written about the stadium experience, Hogan sought to make his work unique.

"This book was a one-man project," says the firefighter. "The other books on stadiums tend to be stuffy and boring; more academic than interesting."

"America’s Ballparks," published by Pediment, is packed with over 270 high-quality photos of every Major League baseball stadium in the US and Canada since 1900. Hogan visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Coopers­town and tracked down historical photos from newspapers all over the country.

The book devotes 25 pages to baseball stadiums in New York with particular emphasis on the Polo Grounds, Ebbets Field and Yankee Stadium.

Hogan’s research and writing for America’s Ballparks halted after Sep­tember 11, 2001. "Between overtime and the funerals of so many friends, I couldn’t touch the book for over a year."

Ultimately, the book took four and half years to complete and is dedicated to Hogan’s friend, Breezy Point firefighter, Vincent Kane of Engine 22, who died on that day.

A substantial portion of the proceeds from the book are being donated to the New York Police and Fire Widows and Children’s Benefit Fund, founded by former Major League Player, Rusty Staub in the 1980’s.

Hogan’s first book, The Old Firehouse, was published in 1993. He is currently a staff writer for Fire­fighters Quarterly and served as a police officer in the 101 Precinct for five years.

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