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Game Six - Q & A with Mark Frost

Q: What inspired you to write about this game?

A: First and foremost, my lifelong love of baseball in general, and Game Six, in particular, because within it reside so many of the rare and ordinary qualities, conflicts, characters, and human dramas that exemplify the sport at its best. It’s generally considered by many to be the greatest single baseball game ever played. It was also the most dramatic game in what is arguably the greatest World Series ever played. So, it’s a given that the action on the field is riveting. But once I came to know all the people involved and the stories behind their off-the-field lives, this felt to me like one of the most inspiring intersections of sport and real life I’ve ever experienced.

Q: How much research did you have to do to write this book?

A: Two years’ worth of reading, digging, exploring, talking to players, managers, broadcasters, and spectators. Visits to Fenway Park, the Hall of Fame, encounters with so many of the amazing people involved, weaving all their stories together into a fabric that ends up encompassing a hundred years of baseball history within the confines of a single game. It was all great fun.

Q: Did you have a favorite discovery that you unearthed during the course of your research?

A: Many discoveries: the story of Luis Tiant’s moving reunion with his parents, who’d been caught and left behind in Cuba after Castro came to power; the rise and fall and rise of Bernie Carbo; the remarkable relationship between Sparky Anderson and his quartet of superstar players. This is my favorite era in baseball, because I followed the game much more closely then, and to revisit it through the personal experiences of the people involved brought it all back in vivid and memorable ways. Every player in this game has a story, and they are all, in one way or another, remarkable.

Q: In your book, you write about what baseball was like before free agency. How has the game changed since then?

A: Games Six and Seven of the ‘75 World Series are the last baseball games played before the advent of free agency. The rules of the game off the field, for better or worse (certainly worse for the players), had remained unchanged for nearly a 100 years; within a year that structure had been dynamited, and all of sports—and its increasing obsession with the dollar—hasn't been the same since. You couldn’t invent a more revealing time capsule to show us where we were in 1975 and where we’ve traveled since.

Q: A few decades ago the World Series had phenomenal ratings. How does the World Series get back to the position it had in the mid ‘70s?

A: Baseball revenues are at an all–time high, so the men who administer the game would say they’re fine with where it is. To take the sport back to where it was then—to the nearly sacred place it occupied in so many fans’ lives—would be as difficult as restoring innocence to American culture. Sport is an entertainment, a pastime, a big business, and for many a passion; it’s also, with the perspective of time, a revealing mirror held up to life the way we live it in this country. Writing these books is a form of time travel, and the ride always gives me insights and experiences that make the reward more than worth the effort.

TO REQUEST AN INTERVIEW with Mark Frost, please contact:
Christine Ragasa, Hyperion Books Publicity Director
christine.ragasa (at) / 917-661-2052

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