Stanton, Tom H. 1960-

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STANTON, Tom H. 1960-

PERSONAL:

Born December 17, 1960, in Warren, MI; son of Joseph (a photographer) and Betty (an artist) Stanton; married Beth Bagley (a librarian and storyteller), June 26, 1983; children: Zachary James, William York, Taylor Reed. Education: University, B.S., 1982; Michigan State University, M.A., 1993.

ADDRESSES:

Home—50945 Ashley St., New Baltimore, MI 48047. Home and office—P.O. Box 636, New Baltimore, MI 48947. Agent—Philip Spitzer, Philip Spitzer Literary Agency, 50 Talmage Farm Lane, East Hampton, NY 11937. E-mail—[email protected]mstanton.com.

CAREER:

Voice newspapers, New Baltimore, MI, cofounder, coowner, and editor, 1983-99; University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI, assistant professor of journalism, 1996-98; East End Lights (Elton John fanzine), New Baltimore, MI, founder and editor, 1990-2000.

MEMBER:

Society of Professional Journalists, Society for American Baseball Research, Friends of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Mayo Smith Society, Anchor Bay High School Band Boosters (president, 2001—).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Michigan journalism fellow, University of Michigan, 1995; Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year, Spitball magazine, Dave Moore Award for Most Important Baseball Book, Elysian Fields Quarterly, and Great Lakes Booksellers Association Book of the Year finalist, all 2002, all for The Final Season.

WRITINGS:

(With Claude Bernardin) Rocket Man: The Encyclopedia of Elton John, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1995.

The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Classic American Ballpark, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2001.

The Road to Cooperstown: A Father, Two Sons, and the Journey of a Lifetime, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2003.

WORK IN PROGRESS:

Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America for HarperCollins.

SIDELIGHTS:

Journalist Tom H. Stanton is an avid fan of baseball, specifically, Michigan-brand baseball as played by the Detroit Tigers. In addition to his journalism career as cofounder and editor of the local Voice newspapers, he is the author of two books about his favorite sport: The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Classic American Ballpark and The Road to Cooperstown: A Father, Two Sons, and the Journey of a Lifetime.

The Final Season was published in 2001, two years after the official closing of Tiger Stadium in downtown Detroit. In his book Stanton provides readers with an in-depth look into the events, players, and memories that made this stadium such a special place for local fans. In addition to describing the stadium from top to bottom, bleachers to dugouts, Stanton also reflects on his childhood and the games he witnessed while accompanying his father and grandfather to Tiger games.

While Marta Salij in the Detroit Free Press criticized Stanton's book for being "an overly sentimental diary of the last season of Tiger Stadium," Scott Langford wrote in the Grand Rapids Press that the author's "his story is a soaring victory, capturing the essence of why some people are so passionate about baseball and helping even the most jaded fan understand how the game, a team and a stadium can connect generations." Bill Ott, reviewing The Final Season for Booklist, dubbed the book "a warm, life-affirming memoir," while Paul Kaplan noted in a Library Journal review that Stanton's "elegiac, thoughtful book is recommended for … all libraries serving Detroit Tiger fans."

Stanton once again reflects on his love of baseball and how it has touched his life in The Road to Cooperstown. Ever since he was a little boy, Stanton dreamed of going to the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, but this dream was put on hold due to his mother's prolonged illness. Finally, at age forty, he was asked to speak at the legendary hall, and with his father and older brother in tow he made the trek to Cooperstown. While criticized by a Publishers Weekly reviewer for being "littered with so many reverential, saccharine moments that it becomes nearly impassable at times," The Road to Cooperstown ultimately curried favor, the critic going on to say that, "given the millions of fathers and sons who've bonded over baseball and visit the Baseball Hall of Fame every year, this book should find an eager audience."

Stanton told CA: "The Final Season and The Road to Cooperstown are memoirs set against a backdrop of baseball. Family relationships between fathers, sons, and brothers play central roles in both books, and I think they resonate because of that. In a very personal way, they explore the notions that our lives aren't about the high stories that shape history but about the smaller ones that play themselves out in the places we treasure—homes, schools, and ballparks—and with the people we hold dear.

"Many non-fans struggle to understand the attachment and passion that baseball fans have for their sport. But it's all about the relationships that revolve around the sport. They are at the heart of our love for the game.

"My favorite writer is the late Willie Morris, who in many of his works eloquently evoked a Mississippi of days gone by."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 2001, Wes Lukowsky, review of The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark, p. 1525; September 1, 2001, Bill Ott, review of The Final Season, p. 35.

Detroit Free Press, June 1, 2001, Neal Rubin, "Tigers Book Hits a Homer," p. 2; June 13, 2001, Marta Salij, review of The Final Season.

Grand Rapids Press, July 22, 2001, Scott Langford, review of The Final Season, p. J17.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2003, review of The Road to Cooperstown, p. 597.

Library Journal, November 1, 1996, Regina L. Beach, review of Rocket Man, p. 58; April 15, 2001, Paul Kaplan, review of The Final Season, p. 105.

Publishers Weekly, April 30, 2001, p. 67; May 12, 2003, review of The Road to Cooperstown, p. 59.

School Library Journal, January, 2002, Robert Saunderson, review of The Final Season, p. 173.

ONLINE

Tom Stanton Web site,http://www.tomstanton.com (May 15, 2004).*

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