- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Ships in 1 to 3 days
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
More copies of this ISBN
This title in other editions
Other titles in the Jewish Lives series:
Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn't Want to Be One (Jewish Lives)by Mark Kurlansky
Synopses & Reviews
In descriptions of athletes, the word and#8220;heroand#8221; is bandied about and liberally attached to players with outstanding statistics and championship rings. Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life is the story of a man who epitomized heroism in its truest meaning, holding values and personal interactions to be of utmost importance throughout his lifeand#8212;on the diamond, as a marine in World War II, and in his personal and civic life. A New York City icon and, with the Brooklyn Dodgers, one of the finest first basemen of all time, Gil Hodges (1924and#8211;72) managed the Washington Senators and later the New York Mets, leading the 1969 and#8220;Miracle Metsand#8221; to a World Series championship. A beloved baseball star, Hodges was also an ethical figure whose sturdy values both on and off the field once prompted a Brooklyn priest to tell his congregation to and#8220;go home, and say a prayer for Gil Hodgesand#8221; in order to snap him out of the worst batting slump of his career.
Mort Zachter examines Hodgesand#8217;s playing and managing days, but perhaps more important, he unearths his true heroism by emphasizing the impact that Hodgesand#8217;s humanity had on those around him on a daily basis. Hodges was a witty man with a dry sense of humor, and his dignity and humble sacrifice sometimes masked a temper that made Joe Torre refer to him as the and#8220;Quiet Inferno.and#8221; The honesty and integrity that made him so popular to so many remained his defining elements. Firsthand interviews of the many soldiers, friends, family, former teammates, players, and managers who knew and respected Hodges bring the totality of his life into full view, providing a rounded appreciation for this great man and ballplayer.
"Baseball legend Hank Greenberg is remembered not only for hard hitting and an imposing physical presence, but for bravery in facing down bigots who resented the Jewish athlete's ethnicity. The Bronx-born kid achieved stardom with the Detroit Tigers in the Ã¢Â€Â˜30s, served in WWII, and eventually took a management position. Early notoriety came when he famously refused to play ball on Yom Kippur. Jewish parents of that era were less than anxious for their sons to pursue sports, preferring education and the more cerebral professions that followed. While some Jewish athletes changed their names, Greenberg stood proud, even though Detroit had been characterized as the most anti-Semitic city in America, helped in large part by Henry Ford's notoriously anti-Jewish newspaper, the Dearborn Independent. Though Greenberg 'was sensitive to his responsibility to his people, the grandness of that role conflicted with his natural humility.' He was an ardent supporter of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American major-leaguer, as well as others who suffered prejudice. Kurlansky's (The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de MacorÃs) slim volume puts a fascinating period of sports history into a vivid cultural context. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The remarkable life story of the first Jewish superstar athlete, by New York Times best-selling author Mark Kurlansky
New York Times best-selling author Mark Kurlansky delivers the compelling life story of Hank Greenberg, the first Jewish player elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
From the teamand#8217;s inception in 1903, the New York Yankees were a floundering group that played as second-class citizens to the New York Giants. With four winning seasons to date, the team was purchased in 1915 by Jacob Ruppert and his partner, Cap and#8220;Tiland#8221; Huston. Three years later, when Ruppert hired Miller Huggins as manager, the unlikely partnership of the two figures began, one that set into motion the Yankeesand#8217; run as the dominant baseball franchise of the 1920s and the rest of the twentieth century, capturing six American League pennants with Huggins at the helm and four more during Ruppertand#8217;s lifetime.
The Yankeesand#8217; success was driven by Ruppertand#8217;s executive style and enduring financial commitment, combined with Hugginsand#8217;s philosophy of continual improvement and personnel development. While Ruppert and Huggins had more than a little help from one of baseballand#8217;s greats, Babe Ruth, their close relationship has been overlooked in the Yankeesand#8217; rise to dominance. Though both were small of stature, the two men nonetheless became giants of the game with unassailable mutual trust and loyalty. The Colonel and Hug tells the story of how these two men transformed the Yankees. It also tells the larger story about baseball primarily in the tumultuous period from 1918 to 1929and#8212;with the end of the Deadball Era and the rise of the Lively Ball Era, a gambling scandal, and the collapse of baseballand#8217;s governing structureand#8212;and the significant role the Yankees played in it all. While the hitting of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig won many games for New York, Ruppert and Huggins institutionalized winning for the Yankees.
In the spring of 1964, the Nankai Hawks of Japanand#8217;s Pacific League sent nineteen-year-old Masanori Murakami to the Class A Fresno Giants to improve his skills. To nearly everyoneand#8217;s surprise, Murakami, known as Mashi, dominated the American hitters. With the San Francisco Giants caught in a close pennant race and desperate for a left-handed reliever, Masanori was called up to join the big league club, becoming the first Japanese player in the Major Leagues.
Featuring pinpoint control, a devastating curveball, and a friendly smile, Mashi became the Giantsand#8217; top lefty reliever and one of the teamand#8217;s most popular playersand#8212;as well as a national hero in Japan. Not surprisingly, the Giants offered him a contract for the 1965 season. Murakami signed, announcing that he would be thrilled to stay in San Francisco. There was just one problem: the Nankai Hawks still owned his contract.
The dispute over Murakamiand#8217;s contract would ignite an international incident that ultimately prevented other Japanese players from joining the Majors for thirty years. Mashi is the story of an unlikely hero who gets caught up in an American and Japanese baseball dispute and is forced to choose between his dreams in the United States or his duty in Japan.
About the Author
Mark Kurlansky has written, edited, or contributed to twenty books, which have been translated into twenty-five languages and won numerous prizes. His previous books Cod, Salt, 1968, and The Food of a Younger Land were all New York Times best-sellers.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Photographers