Marty Gitlin to present “The Ultimate Red Sox Nation” April 15 at Chamberlin Free Public Library in Greenville

Martin Gitlin

Martin Gitlin —COURTESY PHOTO

“The Ultimate Boston Red Sox Time Machine Book,” by Martin Gitlin

“The Ultimate Boston Red Sox Time Machine Book,” by Martin Gitlin —COURTESY PHOTO

David Ortiz’s World Series rings were part of a display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

David Ortiz’s World Series rings were part of a display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. —STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

Fans wait outside Fenway Park for a 2004 game against the New York Yankees. It was in 2004 that the Red Sox broke the “Curse of the Bambino” by winning the World Series after coming back from a 3-0 deficit against the Yankees in the playoffs.

Fans wait outside Fenway Park for a 2004 game against the New York Yankees. It was in 2004 that the Red Sox broke the “Curse of the Bambino” by winning the World Series after coming back from a 3-0 deficit against the Yankees in the playoffs. STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

The statue of Ted Williams outside Fenway Park.

The statue of Ted Williams outside Fenway Park. —STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FONDA

By BILL FONDA

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 04-01-2024 7:31 AM

Modified: 04-01-2024 7:46 AM


Martin Gitlin grew up near Cleveland, but a trip to Fenway Park in Boston as a 10-year-old in 1967 – the Boston Red Sox “Impossible Dream” season – proved life-changing.

“It was such a treat. After that, I vowed I was going to move to New England,” he said. “It took until I was age 66 to do it, but I finally got it done.”

Gitlin has lived in West Hartford, Conn., since June, and among his more than 200 books – mostly contracted educational and trade books before shifting to pop culture and sports titles in 2012 – is “The Ultimate Red Sox Time Machine Book.” The book covers the Red Sox entire history, and is the basis for “The Ultimate Red Sox Nation,” which he will present Monday, April 15, at 7 p.m. at Chamberlin Free Public Library at 46 Main St. in Greenville.

The presentation includes videos of the greatest and most-interesting teams, players and moments in Red Sox history, interspersed with Red Sox trivia questions between videos; he said his hardest one is about Ted Williams’ non-Boston baseball career.

“It’s not an author talk at all,” Gitlin said. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s a total Red Sox history program.”

As for this year’s Red Sox team, which is predicted by most pundits to finish at or near the bottom of the American League East, Gitlin said he doesn’t understand why they didn’t spend more money on pitching, especially since their main free-agent signing, pitcher Lucas Giolito is out for the season after elbow surgery.

“They need it desperately, because their hitting is so strong,” he said.

“Sudden Sam” to sitcoms

Gitlin’s journalism career included a first-place award for general excellence from the Associated Press in 1995 for his coverage of the World Series between the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians (now Guardians) when he wrote for the The News-Herald in the Cleveland area. The Indians are among the subjects of his “time machine” books, along with the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and New York Mets.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Peterborough Planning Board approves 14-unit development near High Street
Franklin Pierce University names valedictorian and salutatorian
Peterborough firefighters continue fishing derby tradition
Scott Bakula starring in Peterborough Players’ ‘Man of La Mancha’
Antrim Fire Department selling used truck
Jaffrey kicks off Earth Week with no-waste potluck and environmental speakers

He is also the co-author of “The Saga of Sudden Sam: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Sam McDowell,” the autobiography of the hard-throwing, six-time All-Star pitcher known as “Sudden Sam” who, as Gitlin said, “was a superstar of his day, but as he called it, ‘the worst drunk in baseball.’”

The “redemption” part of McDowell’s story is how he has been clean since 1980 and found a post-playing career as a substance-abuse counselor.

“He was living with his parents, sleeping on their couch, and he had 39 cents of his pocket” before going to rehabilitation, Gitlin said of McDowell, calling the book the “most-interesting project I ever worked on.”

“It was wonderful working with Sam,” he said.

Gitlin’s next book is “The Best of Boston,” a ranking of the 150 greatest athletes to ever wear a Boston uniform. He expects to be done in June, and the book will be out in March of 2025. Outside of sports, Gitlin’s books include "The Great American Cereal Book" and “The Greatest Sitcoms of All Time,” a ranking of the top 70 sitcoms of all time that he said is his most-popular book. 

Gitlin said he does 30 to 35 presentations per month, and he was at Chamberlin Free Public Library last July with his program “The British Invasion and American Answer: A Musical Journey.” For his April 15 program, he will answer questions after the session and will autograph copies of his books for free.

“If you're a Red Sox fan or a baseball fan in general, you’ll have a really good time,” he said.