Last night I went to a book release party for Dan Fost, who has just published The Giants Past and Present. It’s a big, colorful coffee table book about the history of the Bay Area’s most heart-wrenching team, which has not won a national championship since it moved here from New York in 1958.
Dan held the party at the Public House, the new Traci des Jardins restaurant in the ballpark. With a dozen beers on tap, dozens of flat screen televisions mounted on the walls showing different sports games, and great food, it was a wonderful place for a book party.
Dan is a former writer for the Chronicle (he now freelances for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Magazine, among others) so a number of his newspaper colleagues were there. Joan Ryan, whose new book is The Water Giver, was there, as was Jason Turbow, whose book The Baseball Codes, released in March, is now in its fourth printing. Benny Evangelista, who covers technology for the Chronicle, was also there.
I have known Dan since 1986 when we were both new reporters in Ithaca, N.Y. He worked for the town’s main newspaper, the Ithaca Journal, and I worked for the out-of-town competitor, the Syracuse Post-Standard.
It was so much fun to be a reporter in a small town. We tried to scoop one another whenever possible, but it was a friendly rivalry. When there was a murder, everyone cared. Much of the town would be glued to the newspaper or radio coverage and would follow the trial like it was the most important event around. We were big fish in a very small pond.
From the time Dan arrived in Ithaca, he stood out. (And not for his unruly curls, although they did garner him notice). He is a graceful and funny writer and his words always improved the Ithaca Journal. He has brought his deft touch to Giants Past and Present. The book has been getting lots of attention. Dan was on Michael Krasny’s show on KQED (with Giants President Larry Baer) and on John Rothmann’s show on KGO 810 AM.
Dan will be reading from his book tonight, April 21, at Book Passage in Corte Madera at 7 pm. He will be at the Los Angeles Festival of Books this weekend.
Dan grew up a Yankees fan but started to love the Giants when he moved here in the early 1990s. His son Harry may be the Giants’ biggest booster.