The Last Innocents

The Last Innocents
  • Author : Michael Leahy
  • Publisher : HarperCollins
  • Pages : 512
  • Relase : 2016-05-10
  • ISBN : 9780062360588

The Last Innocents Book Review:

Winner of the CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year Finalist for the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing From an award-winning journalist comes the riveting odyssey of seven Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1960s—a chronicle of a team, a game, and a nation in transition during one of the most exciting and unsettled decades in history. Legendary Dodgers Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Wes Parker, Jeff Torborg, Dick Tracewski, and Tommy Davis encapsulated 1960s America: white and black, Jewish and Christian, wealthy and working class, pro-Vietnam and anti-war, golden boy and seasoned veteran. The Last Innocents is a thoughtful, technicolor portrait of these seven players—friends, mentors, confidants, rivals, and allies—and their storied team that offers an intriguing look at a sport and a nation in transition. Bringing into focus the high drama of their World Series appearances from 1962 to 1972 and their pivotal games, Michael Leahy explores these men’s interpersonal relationships and illuminates the triumphs, agonies, and challenges each faced individually. Leahy places these men’s lives within the political and social maelstrom that was the era when the conformity of the 1950s gave way to demands for equality and rights. Increasingly frustrated over a lack of real bargaining power and an oppressive management who meddled in their personal affairs, the players shared an uneasy relationship with the team’s front office. This contention mirrored the discord and uncertainty generated by myriad changes rocking the nation: the civil rights movement, political assassinations, and growing hostility to the escalation of the Vietnam War. While the nation around them changed, these players each experienced a personal and professional metamorphosis that would alter public perceptions and their own. Comprehensive and artfully crafted, The Last Innocents is an evocative and riveting portrait of a pivotal era in baseball and modern America.

Major League Turbulence

Major League Turbulence
  • Author : Douglas M. Branson
  • Publisher : McFarland
  • Pages : 257
  • Relase : 2021-09-27
  • ISBN : 9781476680583

Major League Turbulence Book Review:

The decades between the late 1960s counterculture and the advent of steroid use in the late 1980s bought tumult to Major League Baseball. Dock Ellis (Pirates, Yankees) and Dick Allen (Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers, White Sox) epitomized the era with recreational drug use (Ellis), labor strife (Allen), and the questioning of authority. Both men were Black Power advocates at a time when the movement was growing in baseball. In the 1970s and 1980s, Marvin Miller and the Major League Baseball Players Association fought numerous, mostly victorious battles with MLB and team owners. This book chronicles a turbulent period in baseball, and in American life, that led directly to the performance-enhancing drug era and the dramatically changed nature of the game.

When Nothing Else Matters

When Nothing Else Matters
  • Author : Michael Leahy
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Pages : 448
  • Relase : 2012-12-11
  • ISBN : 9781471108594

When Nothing Else Matters Book Review:

As one of the greatest, most celebrated athletes in history, Michael Jordan conquered professional basketball as no one before. Powered by a potent mix of charisma, near superhuman abilities and a ferocious drive to dominate the game, he achieved every award and accolade conceivable before retiring from the Chicago Bulls and taking an executive post with the Washington Wizards. But retirement didn't suit the man who was once king, and at the advanced age of thirty-eight Michael Jordan decided it was time to reclaim the court that was once his. WHEN NOTHING ELSE MATTERS is the definitive account of Jordan's equally spectacular and disastrous return to basketball. Having closely followed Jordan's final two seasons, Michael Leahy draws a fascinating portrait of an intensely complex man hampered by injuries and assaulted by younger players eager to usurp his throne. In this enthralling book Jordan emerges as an ambitious, at times deeply unattractive character with, unsurprisingly, a monstrous ego. WHEN NOTHING ELSE MATTERS is an absorbing portrait not only of one athlete's overriding ambition, but also of a society so in thrall to its sports stars that it is blind to all their faults.

Let's Play Two

Let's Play Two
  • Author : Ron Rapoport
  • Publisher : Hachette Books
  • Pages : 464
  • Relase : 2019-03-26
  • ISBN : 9780316318648

Let's Play Two Book Review:

The definitive and revealing biography of Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks, one of America's most iconic, beloved, and misunderstood baseball players, by acclaimed journalist Ron Rapoport. Ernie Banks, the first-ballot Hall of Famer and All-Century Team shortstop, played in fourteen All-Star Games, won two MVPs, and twice led the Major Leagues in home runs and runs batted in. He outslugged Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Mickey Mantle when they were in their prime, but while they made repeated World Series appearances in the 1950s and 60s, Banks spent his entire career with the woebegone Chicago Cubs, who didn't win a pennant in his adult lifetime. Today, Banks is remembered best for his signature phrase, "Let's play two," which has entered the American lexicon and exemplifies the enthusiasm that endeared him to fans everywhere. But Banks's public display of good cheer was a mask that hid a deeply conflicted, melancholy, and often quite lonely man. Despite the poverty and racism he endured as a young man, he was among the star players of baseball's early days of integration who were reluctant to speak out about Civil Rights. Being known as one of the greatest players never to reach the World Series also took its toll. At one point, Banks even saw a psychiatrist to see if that would help. It didn't. Yet Banks smiled through it all, enduring the scorn of Cubs manager Leo Durocher as an aging superstar and never uttering a single complaint. Let's Play Two is based on numerous conversations with Banks and on interviews with more than a hundred of his family members, teammates, friends, and associates as well as oral histories, court records, and thousands of other documents and sources. Together, they explain how Banks was so different from the caricature he created for the public. The book tells of Banks's early life in segregated Dallas, his years in the Negro Leagues, and his difficult life after retirement; and features compelling portraits of Buck O'Neil, Philip K. Wrigley, the Bleacher Bums, the doomed pennant race of 1969, and much more from a long-lost baseball era.

Koufax

Koufax
  • Author : Edward Gruver
  • Publisher : Taylor Trade Publishing
  • Pages : 288
  • Relase : 2000-04-01
  • ISBN : 9781589796300

Koufax Book Review:

This book chronicles his turbulent life and focuses on the reverential mystique that envelopes the Los Angeles Dodger even this day.

Ballparks

Ballparks
  • Author : Eric Enders
  • Publisher : Chartwell Books
  • Pages : 304
  • Relase : 2018-10-16
  • ISBN : 9780760365304

Ballparks Book Review:

If you love baseball and the venerable stadiums its played in, you need this definitive history and guide to Major League ballparks of the past, present, and future. With a tear-out checklist to mark ballparks you’ve visited and those on your bucket list, Ballparks takes you inside the histories of every park in the Major Leagues, with hundreds of photos, stories, and stats about: Storied parks like Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, and Dodger Stadium Fan favorites AT&T Park, Camden Yards, PNC Park, Safeco Field, and so much more Forgotten treasures like Shibe Park in Philadelphia, Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, and all five parks of the Detroit Tigers New stadiums like the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park, the Minneapolis Twins’ Target Field, and New York’s Yankee Stadium and Citifield More than 40 other major league parks that tell the story of the national pastime through the lens of the fields the players call home No baseball fan's collection is complete without this up-to-date tome.

City of Dreams

City of Dreams
  • Author : Jerald Podair
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Pages : 384
  • Relase : 2019-07-09
  • ISBN : 9780691192796

City of Dreams Book Review:

A vivid history of the controversial building of Dodger Stadium and how it helped transform Los Angeles When Walter O’Malley moved his Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1957 with plans to construct a new ballpark, he ignited a bitter half-decade dispute over the future of a rapidly changing city. For the first time, City of Dreams tells the full story of the controversial building of Dodger Stadium and how it helped create modern Los Angeles. In a vivid narrative, Jerald Podair tells how the city was convulsed over whether, where, and how to build the stadium. Eventually, it was built on publicly owned land from which the city had uprooted a Mexican American community, raising questions about the relationship between private profit and “public purpose.” Indeed, the battle over Dodger Stadium crystallized issues with profound implications for all American cities. Filled with colorful stories, City of Dreams will fascinate anyone who is interested in the history of the Dodgers, baseball, Los Angeles, and the modern American city.

A Fine Team Man

A Fine Team Man
  • Author : Joe Cox
  • Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield
  • Pages : 288
  • Relase : 2019-02-01
  • ISBN : 9781493039050

A Fine Team Man Book Review:

Jackie Robinson famously said that a life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives. As we celebrate Robinson’s 100th birthday in January 2019, Stealing Home profiles nine figures whose lives were altered by the “great experiment,” as the integration of baseball was called then. Profiled here are Rachel Robinson, the stoic but thoughtful wife; Branch Rickey, the mercurial but far-sighted manager/owner of the Dodgers; Baseball Commissioner ”Happy” Chandler, who quietly paved the way for integration; Clyde Sukeforth, the scout whose assessment of Robinson was crucial to the player’s success; Red Barber, whose own views on integration were altered by Robinson’s example of grace under pressure; Wendell Smith, the prominent black journalist who helped Robinson navigate through the trappings of a racist society; Burt Shotton, who managed Robinson during Robinson’s majestic MVP season in 1949; Pee Wee Reese, the Dodgers captain who united the team behind Robinson; and finally, Dixie Walker, the veteran Dodgers star who vowed never to play alongside Robinson, but who was eventually so moved by Robinson’s courage that he spent his last years working to improve the skills of such African-American players as Maury Wills, Jim Wynn, and Dusty Baker. As Joe Cox concludes, “Perhaps the ultimate measure of the glory of Robinson’s quest is that it converted those inclined against it to see all men as equal, at least on the great field of baseball.”

Dodgers vs. Yankees

Dodgers vs. Yankees
  • Author : Michael Schiavone
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Pages : 256
  • Relase : 2020-06-30
  • ISBN : 9781683583158

Dodgers vs. Yankees Book Review:

A History of the Epic Rivalry between Two of Baseball's Powerhouses that Has Spanned Over Eighty Years—from Ebbets Field to Dodger Stadium, from Babe Ruth to Reggie Jackson The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are two of the most storied and popular teams in not only baseball, but all of sports. Their rivalry began in New York and continued with the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn and moving to sunny California. The two teams have even met in the World Series a record eleven times! For a long time, the Dodgers-Yankees rivalry was the marquee match-up in baseball. For as good as the Dodgers were, the Yankees were almost always better. But why were the Yankees so much better than the Dodgers? Were the Dodgers “chokers” when it mattered most? Or was it simply the case that the baseball gods favored the team that would be later known to its detractors as the “Evil Empire” over the boys in blue? From Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, Jackie Robinson’s famous steal of home in the 1955 Series, or Reggie Jackson’s three-home-run game in the 1977 Series, Dodgers vs. Yankees provides a history of this rivalry—from their first World Series match-up in 1941 until the present day. Every game between the two teams, including inter-league play, is covered as author Michael Schiavone attempts to answer why the Yankees have reigned supreme over the Dodgers. Whether you’re a fan of the Yankees or Dodgers—both on the East and West Coast—Dodgers vs. Yankees offers the most complete overview and analysis of these team’s timeless rivalry.

Koufax

Koufax
  • Author : Sandy Koufax,Edward Linn
  • Publisher : Viking
  • Pages : 294
  • Relase : 1966
  • ISBN : UOM:39015013303535

Koufax Book Review:

Sandy Koufax tells how he became a famous pitcher, from his early days as a wild youngster to his highly successful years with the Dodgers.

Hairs Vs. Squares

Hairs Vs. Squares
  • Author : Ed Gruver
  • Publisher : U of Nebraska Press
  • Pages : 408
  • Relase : 2016-05
  • ISBN : 9780803285583

Hairs Vs. Squares Book Review:

Hairs vs. Squares is an ode to an unforgettable season that began with the first major players’ strike in the history of North American sports and ended with a record-setting World Series played by two of the game’s greatest and most colorful dynasties. In a sign of the times it was Hippies vs. Hardhats, a clash of cultures with the hirsute, mod Mustache Gang colliding with the clean-cut, conservative Big Red Machine on the game’s grandest stage. When the Oakland A’s met the Cincinnati Reds in the 1972 Fall Classic, more than a championship was at stake. The more than two dozen interviews bring to life a time when controversy was commonplace, both inside and outside the national pastime. In baseball, Willie Mays was traded, Hank Aaron was chasing down Babe Ruth’s home run record, and Dick Allen was helping to save the Chicago White Sox franchise while winning the American League’s Most Valuable Player award. Outside the American pastime the war in Vietnam was raging, campus protests spread throughout the country, and Watergate and the Munich Olympics headlined the tumultuous year. The 1972 Major League Baseball season was marked by the rapid rise of rookies and young stars, the fall of established teams and veterans, courageous comebacks, and personal redemptions. Along with the many unforgettable and outrageous characters inside baseball, Hairs vs. Squares emphasizes the dramatic changes that took place on and off the field in the 1970s. Owners’ lockouts, on-field fights, maverick managers, controversial trades, artificial fields, the first full five-game League Championship Series, and the closest, most competitive World Series ever, combined to make the 1972 season as complex as the social and political unrest that marked the era.

The 1957 San Francisco Seals

The 1957 San Francisco Seals
  • Author : P.J. Dragseth
  • Publisher : McFarland
  • Pages : 236
  • Relase : 2013-05-11
  • ISBN : 9780786493203

The 1957 San Francisco Seals Book Review:

The 1957 PCL season faced uncertainty about the impending “invasion of major league baseball” in 1958. While the meetings, wheeling and dealing and politics took place off the diamond, the historic San Francisco Seals, a charter member of the Golden Era of the league, 1903–1957, played baseball and clinched the pennant two days before the season ended. We follow this team one game at a time as players faced historic rivals from spring training through the final game of the era. Readers experience minor league baseball as it was more than fifty years ago when there were no agents, next year’s contract was based on this year’s performance, and PCL teams consisted of a blend of major league veterans and minor leaguers on the cusp. The Pacific Coast League was no ordinary league, the Seals were no ordinary team, and 1957 was no ordinary season.

Baseball As a Road to God

Baseball As a Road to God
  • Author : John Sexton,Thomas Oliphant,Peter J. Schwartz
  • Publisher : Avery
  • Pages : 242
  • Relase : 2014-03-04
  • ISBN : 9781592408641

Baseball As a Road to God Book Review:

Describes how baseball appreciation can lead to a transcendental experience that borders on the spiritual and discusses the shared connection between the sport and religion and the path to enlightenment.

Smokin' Joe

Smokin' Joe
  • Author : Mark Kram, Jr.
  • Publisher : HarperCollins
  • Pages : 384
  • Relase : 2019-06-04
  • ISBN : 9780062654489

Smokin' Joe Book Review:

A gripping, all-access biography of Joe Frazier, whose rivalry with Muhammad Ali riveted boxing fans and whose legacy as a figure in American sports and society endures History will remember the rivalry of Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali as one for the ages, a trilogy of extraordinary fights that transcended the world of sports and crossed into a sociocultural drama that divided the country. Joe Frazier was a much more complex figure than just his rivalry with Ali would suggest. In this riveting and nuanced portrayal, acclaimed sports writer Mark Kram, Jr. unlinks Frazier from Ali and for the first time gives a full-bodied accounting of Frazier’s life, a journey that began as the youngest of thirteen children packed in small farm house, encountering the bigotry and oppression of the Jim Crow South, and continued with his voyage north at age fifteen to develop as a fighter in Philadelphia. Tracing Frazier’s life through his momentous bouts with the likes of Ali and George Foreman and the developing perception of him as the anti-Ali in the eyes of blue-collar America, Kram follows the boxer through his retirement in 1981, exploring his relationship with his son, the would-be heavyweight Marvis, and his fragmented home life as well as the uneasy place that Ali continued to occupy in his thoughts. A propulsive and richly textured narrative that is also a powerful story about race and class in America, Smokin' Joe is unparalleled in its scope, depth, and access and promises to be the definitive biography of a towering American figure whose life was galvanized by conflict and whose mark has proven lasting.

Machine Gun Wizards

Machine Gun Wizards
  • Author : Christian Ward
  • Publisher : Dark Horse Comics
  • Pages : 144
  • Relase : 2020-03-24
  • ISBN : 9781506714578

Machine Gun Wizards Book Review:

Eliot Ness and his team of Untouchables work overtime taking on dangerous criminals that hide in the seedy underbelly of 1930s Chicago. Except in this world, Al Capone isn't dealing in alcohol, but in magic. With Lick, a drug that grants magical powers to anyone who ingests it, mobsters become wizards, ordinary men become monsters, and darker secrets than Ness can imagine lie at the heart of it all. A new genre-bending comic series from Christian Ward, co-creator of the acclaimed sci-fi epic ODY-C. Drawn by Sami Kivelä (Abbott), with backup stories written and drawn by Christian Ward. Featuring a sketchbook section and pinups by Declan Shalvey, Ian Bertram, Tula Lotay, and more. Collects Machine Gun Wizards #1-#4.

Starting and Closing

Starting and Closing
  • Author : John Smoltz,Don Yaeger
  • Publisher : Harper Collins
  • Pages : 304
  • Relase : 2012-05-08
  • ISBN : 9780062120557

Starting and Closing Book Review:

John Smoltz was one of the greatest Major League pitchers of the late twentieth / early twenty-first century—one of only two in baseball history ever to achieve twenty wins and fifty saves in single seasons—and now he shares the candid, no-holds-barred story of his life, his career, and the game he loves in Starting and Closing. A Cy Young Award-winner, future Baseball Hall of Famer, and currently a broadcaster for his former team, the Atlanta Braves, Smoltz delivers a powerful memoir with the kind of fascinating insight into game that made Moneyball a runaway bestseller, plus a heartfelt and truly inspiring faith and religious conviction, similar to what illuminates each page of Tim Tebow’s smash hit memoir, Through My Eyes.

Clemente

Clemente
  • Author : David Maraniss
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Pages : 416
  • Relase : 2013-03-26
  • ISBN : 9781476748016

Clemente Book Review:

Discover the remarkable life of Roberto Clemente—one of the most accomplished—and beloved—baseball heroes of his generation from Pulitzer Prize winner David Maraniss. On New Year’s Eve 1972, following eighteen magnificent seasons in the major leagues, Roberto Clemente died a hero’s death, killed in a plane crash as he attempted to deliver food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a devastating earthquake. David Maraniss now brings the great baseball player brilliantly back to life in Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero, a book destined to become a modern classic. Much like his acclaimed biography of Vince Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered, Maraniss uses his narrative sweep and meticulous detail to capture the myth and a real man. Anyone who saw Clemente, as he played with a beautiful fury, will never forget him. He was a work of art in a game too often defined by statistics. During his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he won four batting titles and led his team to championships in 1960 and 1971, getting a hit in all fourteen World Series games in which he played. His career ended with three-thousand hits, the magical three-thousandth coming in his final at-bat, and he and the immortal Lou Gehrig are the only players to have the five-year waiting period waived so they could be enshrined in the Hall of Fame immediately after their deaths. There is delightful baseball here, including thrilling accounts of the two World Series victories of Clemente’s underdog Pittsburgh Pirates, but this is far more than just another baseball book. Roberto Clemente was that rare athlete who rose above sports to become a symbol of larger themes. Born near the canebrakes of rural Carolina, Puerto Rico, on August 18, 1934, at a time when there were no blacks or Puerto Ricans playing organized ball in the United States, Clemente went on to become the greatest Latino player in the major leagues. He was, in a sense, the Jackie Robinson of the Spanish-speaking world, a ballplayer of determination, grace, and dignity who paved the way and set the highest standard for waves of Latino players who followed in later generations and who now dominate the game. The Clemente that Maraniss evokes was an idiosyncratic character who, unlike so many modern athletes, insisted that his responsibilities extended beyond the playing field. In his final years, his motto was that if you have a chance to help others and fail to do so, you are wasting your time on this earth. Here, in the final chapters, after capturing Clemente’s life and times, Maraniss retraces his final days, from the earthquake to the accident, using newly uncovered documents to reveal the corruption and negligence that led the unwitting hero on a mission of mercy toward his untimely death as an uninspected, overloaded plane plunged into the sea.

Mickey and Willie

Mickey and Willie
  • Author : Allen Barra
  • Publisher : Three Rivers Press
  • Pages : 479
  • Relase : 2014-04
  • ISBN : 9780307716491

Mickey and Willie Book Review:

Original publication and copyright date: 2013.

A Book of Scoundrels

A Book of Scoundrels
  • Author : Charles Whibley
  • Publisher :
  • Pages : 306
  • Relase : 1897
  • ISBN : HARVARD:32044081238263

A Book of Scoundrels Book Review:

Stars and Strikes

Stars and Strikes
  • Author : Dan Epstein
  • Publisher : Macmillan
  • Pages : 400
  • Relase : 2014-04-29
  • ISBN : 9781250034373

Stars and Strikes Book Review:

Dan Epstein scored a cult hit with Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s. Now he returns with a riotous look at the most pivotal season of the decade. America, 1976: colorful, complex, and combustible. It was a year of Bicentennial celebrations and presidential primaries, of Olympic glory and busing riots, of "killer bees" hysteria and Pong fever. For both the nation and the national pastime, the year was revolutionary, indeed. On the diamond, Thurman Munson led the New York Yankees to their first World Series in a dozen years, but it was Joe Morgan and Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine" who cemented a dynasty with their second consecutive World Championship. Sluggers Mike Schmidt and Dave Kingman dominated the headlines, while rookie sensation Mark "The Bird" Fidrych started the All-Star Game opposite Randy "Junkman" Jones. The season was defined by the outrageous antics of team owners Bill Veeck, Ted Turner, George Steinbrenner, and Charlie Finley, as well as by several memorable bench-clearing brawls, and a batting title race that became just as contentious as the presidential race. From Dorothy Hamill's "wedge" haircut to Kojak's chrome dome, American pop culture was never more giddily effervescent than in this year of Jimmy Carter, CB radios, AMC Pacers, The Bad News Bears, Rocky, Taxi Driver, the Ramones, KISS, Happy Days, Hotel California, and Frampton Comes Alive!---it all came alive in '76! Meanwhile, as the nation erupted in a red-white-and-blue explosion saluting its two- hundredth year of independence, Major League Baseball players waged a war for their own liberties by demanding free agency. From the road to the White House to the shorts-wearing White Sox, Stars and Strikes tracks the tumultuous year after which the sport---and the nation---would never be the same.