I like the strange, probably because I am a member of that elite group of people that seek creative ways to achieve the impossible. I have to admit that there is always an element of Bullshit, bluster and balls required in any attempt at the impossible. However of greater importance is the willingness to give it your very best effort.

I first encountered Tokyo some 7 or 8 years ago, it was an interview about his then latest CD. Toke impressed me greatly, he is a natural born storyteller. I don’t even like the Americana music genre, but Toke just pulls you in.

We have spoken several times over the years, I guess we are friends, but the type of friends that really know little about each other. Other than the fact the stage name Tokyo comes from his youth and a period as a semi-pro boxer I really know very little about him.

Thanksgiving morning I spotted Toke online, so I sent a quick message wishing him and his family a happy Thanksgiving and asking him what mischief had been getting into recently. A couple of minutes later all was revealed, Toke was now a published author!

A Fauxtographer’s Yankee Stadium Memoir is a fabulous adventure. At under 100 pages, most of which are pictures, it is a quick read, but a fascinating look inside the world of the young Arnie Rosenthal.

In 1958 and aged 6 his father took him to his very first game at the fabled Yankee Stadium. It was a far cry from watching the team on the small B/W tv at home.

Some 10 years later the now high schooler had what he thought was a once in a lifetime offer. His friends father managed to get the boys into the press box to watch the game. This was heady stuff indeed. It was one thing reading newspaper accounts about the games, but a whole different world watching the famed reporters at work, talking about the god like figures on the field below.

Arnie hit college and it was the time of the perfect storm, a revolution in communications was arriving: cable TV. His love of sports combined with a keen knowledge of local sports found him interning for a small cable TV sports program. Not only did he find himself with access to the press box, but also the chance to walk on the hallowed turf of the stadium.

To share more of this story would be a disservice to the author. I will leave it up to the reader to make their own discovery of A Fauxtographer’s Yankee Stadium Memoir. If you love Baseball you will love this book. Even better, it is crammed with never before seen photos taken by Arnie ‘Tokyo’ Rosenthal.

Most sports oriented books I find boring beyond description, full of facts and figures that are about as interesting as reading an electric bill. This book is very different, it is a highly personal reflection about growing up loving a sport, and having the sheer guts and determination to follow a dream.

Simon Barrett

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