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The Inside Track

Hot Corner

November 28, 2001|Mike Terry

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

What: "The Ultimate Fan's Guide, Pro Sports Travel."

Author: AAA Publishing.

Price: $19.95

Here's a Triple-A book that is more than maps. For the avid baseball, basketball, football and hockey fan--or a combination of all four--this 288-page tome is stuffed with choice nuggets of history, trivia and data about the major league franchises of each sport.

Start with the locals. Who remembered the Lakers and Angels have each had one rookie of the year winner (Elgin Baylor and Tim Salmon)? Or that the Padres nearly left San Diego in 1974 for Washington until McDonald's founder Ray Kroc bought the franchise? Or that the Clippers once had a NBA most valuable player (Bob McAdoo)?

But there is more to the guide than only athletic cliff notes.

Each franchise has a small map detailing how to reach its field or stadium. There are hotel and restaurant listings (rated by Triple-A, of course); detailed seating charts, ticket prices, phone numbers and websites; a rundown on available concession items; and even the spring training or in-season training locations.

Some of the best information, however, is about the proper way to tailgate before a football game--or auto race, softball outing or the Westminster Best of Show for dogs.

It would have been nice for Triple-A to give one women's pro league (WNBA, WUSA) similar treatment. And besides hotels and restaurants, the location of a nearby hospital or medical center would have value.

Otherwise this is a handy book to map out that summer cross-country visit to all 30 major league parks.

Be prepared though; you can't fold it to fit into your glove compartment.

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