Synopses & Reviews
“Funny, revealing, and surprising . . . anything that brings new Yogi Berra stories is a good book." MLB.com
Driving Mr. Yogi is the story of how a unique friendship between a pitcher and catcher is renewed every year. It began in 1999, when Yogi Berra was reunited with the Yankees after a long self-exile, the result of being unceremoniously fired by George Steinbrenner fourteen years before. A reconciliation between Berra and the Boss meant that Berra would attend spring training again. Guidry befriended “Mr. Yogi” instantly. After all, Berra had been a mentor in the clubhouse back when Guidry was pitching for the Yankees. Guidry knew the young players would benefit greatly from Mr. Yogi's encyclopedic knowledge of the game, just as Guidry had during his playing days, so he encouraged Berra to share his insights.
Soon, an offhand batting tip from Mr. Yogi turned Nick Swisher’s season around. Stories about handling a hitter like Ted Williams or catching Don Larsen’s perfect game captured their imaginations. And in Yogi, Guidry found not just an elder companion or source of amusement — he found a best friend.
At turns tender and laugh-out-loud funny, and teeming with unforgettable baseball yarns that span more than fifty years, Driving Mr. Yogi is a universal story about the importance of wisdom being passed from one generation to the next, as well as a reminder that time is what we make of it and compassion never gets old.
"[Pennington] provides what is likely to be the definitive profile, which, as such, belongs in most library sports collections, especially those where Yankee fans cluster." Mark Levine, Booklist
"A motley cast of baseball Hall of Famers, including Casey Stengel, Mickey Mantle, Rod Carew, Ricky Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Tommy Lasorda, and Earl Weaver, make appearances in this must-read for fans of the great American pastime." Publishers Weekly
"All the notable moments are here . . . Baseball (and Yankees) fans will devour this like ballpark popcorn, and all will muse about the many what-ifs of Martin's motley life." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
A New York Times bestseller
Enormously entertaining . . . Explores the question of whether a baseball lifer can actually be a tragic figure in the classic sense a man destroyed by the very qualities that made him great." Wall Street Journal
Bill Pennington gives long-overdue flesh to the caricature . . . Pennington savors the dirt-kicking spectacles without losing sight of the man. New York Times Book Review
Even now, years after his death, Billy Martin remains one of the most intriguing and charismatic figures in baseball history. And the most misunderstood. A manager who is widely considered to have been a baseball genius, Martin is remembered more for his rabble-rousing and public brawls on the field and off. He was combative and intimidating, yet endearing and beloved.
In Billy Martin, Bill Pennington resolves these contradictions and pens the definitive story of Martin s life. From his hardscrabble youth to his days on the Yankees in the 1950s and through sixteen years of managing, Martin made sure no one ever ignored him. Drawing on exhaustive interviews and his own time covering Martin as a young sportswriter, Pennington provides an intimate, revelatory, and endlessly colorful story of a truly larger-than-life sportsman.
The hair on my forearms was standing up by the end of the fifth paragraph of this book s introduction. I knew Billy Martin. I covered Billy Martin. But I never knew him like this. Dan Shaughnessy, best-selling author of Francona
An exhaustive, detailed and fascinating look at a baseball genius whose biggest fight might very well have been against himself. Tampa Tribune"
About the Author
Bill Pennington is an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times. A former syndicated columnist, Pennington was a beat writer who covered much of Billy Martin's tenure with the New York Yankees. A fifteen-time finalist,and six-time winner of the Associated Press Sports Editors' annual writing award, Pennington lives with his family in Warwick, New York. This is his fourth book.