Revisiting the “Horace Clarke Era,” by Fritz Peterson. CreateSpace, 254 pages, $19.99.
Timing is everything and relatively speaking, Fritz Peterson didn’t have it. He came along when the New York Yankees were in decline after so many successful campaigns. And while the left-handed starter had a decent career, one wonders what might have been had he had Mantle, Maris, Berra, and company around in their prime.
In addition, Peterson will be remembered more for the family-swap with Mike Kekich than holding the franchise record for home ERA by a lefty.
Despite some health issues in recent years, Peterson has managed to put a mostly positive spin on things. He wrote about his religious beliefs in Mickey Mantle Is Going to Heaven (2009) and followed that up with The Art of De-Conditioning: Eating Your Way to Heaven in 2012.
When the Yankees Were on the Fritz is a good reminder for Yankees fans of the era about the dozens of no-name players who populated the roster from the late 1960s through mid 70s. Peterson provides a recap of the season and then offers his recollections about his teammates, bot as players and men, all done with a combination of good-natured jibing and brutal honesty.
A major fault of the book are the numerous typos, punctuation errors, and other mistakes that can be distracting. Peterson is a good story teller, but that doesn’t always translate to the written word.This can be a significant problem for self-published authors who wish to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, as in Peterson’s case, this is often a question of being able to afford paying an editor or for other quality control. (Peterson said these would be corrected in a subsequent edition).