Synopses & Reviews
From the sandlots of San Francisco to the power centers of baseball, this book tells the story of Joe Cronin, one of twentieth-century baseballand#8217;s major players, both on the field and off.
and#160;For most of his playing career, Cronin (1906and#8211;84) was the best shortstop in baseball. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1956, he was a manager by the age of twenty-six and a general manager at forty-one. He was the youngest player-manager ever to play in the World Series, and he managed the Red Sox longer than any other man in history. As president of the American League, he oversaw two expansions, four franchise shifts, and the revolutionary and controversial introduction of the designated-hitter rule, which he wrote himself.
and#160;This book follows Cronin from his humble beginnings to his position as one of the most powerful figures in baseball. Mark Armour explores Croninand#8217;s time as a player as well as his role in some of the gameand#8217;s fiercest controversies, from the creation of the All-Star Game to the issue of integration. Bringing to life one of baseballand#8217;s definitive characters, this book supplies a crucial and fascinating chapter in the history of Americaand#8217;s pastime.
Of all the New York Yankees championship teams, the 1947 club seemed the least likely. Bridging the gap between the dynasties of Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel, the team, managed by Bucky Harris, was coming off three non-pennant-winning seasons and given little chance to unseat the defending American League champion Boston Red Sox. And yet, led by Joe DiMaggio, this un-Yankees-like squad of rookies, retreads, and a few solid veterans easily won the pennant over the Detroit Tigers and the heavily favored Red Sox, along the way compiling an American Leagueand#8211;record nineteen-game winning streak. They then went on to defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers in a dramatic seven-game World Series that was the first to be televised and the first to feature an African American player.
Bridging Two Dynasties commemorates this historic cluband#8212;the players, on the field and off, and the events surrounding their remarkable season. Along with player biographies, including those of future Hall of Famers DiMaggio, Bucky Harris, Yogi Berra, and Phil Rizzuto, the book features a seasonal timeline and covers pertinent topics such as the winning streak, the Yankeesand#8217; involvement in Leo Durocherand#8217;s suspension, and the thrilling World Series.
Many fans donand#8217;t know how far the Jewish presence in baseball extends beyond a few famous players such as Greenberg, Rosen, Koufax, Holtzman, Green, Ausmus, Youkilis, Braun, and Kinsler. In fact,and#160;that presence extends to the baseball commissioner Bud Selig; labor leaders Marvin Miller and Don Fehr; owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Stuart Sternberg; officials Theo Epstein and Mark Shapiro; sportswriters Murray Chass, Ross Newhan, Ira Berkow, and Roger Kahn; and even famous Jewish baseball fans like Alan Dershowitz and Barney Frank.
The life stories of these and many others, on and off the field, have been compiled from nearly fifty in-depth interviews and arranged by decade in this edifying and entertaining work of oral and cultural history. In American Jews and Americaand#8217;s Game each person talks about growing up Jewish and dealing with Jewish identity, assimilation, intermarriage, future viability, religious observance, anti-Semitism, and Israel. Their stories tell the history, as never before, of the larger-than-life role of Jews in Americaand#8217;s pastime.
The 1954 Cleveland Indians were one of the most remarkable baseball teams of all time. Their record for most wins (111) fell only when the baseball schedule expanded, and their winning percentage, an astounding .721, is still unsurpassed in the American League. Though the season ended with a heartbreaking loss to the New York Giants in the World Series, the 1954 team remains a favorite among Cleveland fans and beyond.
Pitching to the Pennant commemorates the and#8217;54 Indians with a biographical sketch of the entire team, from the and#8220;Big Threeand#8221; pitching staff (Mike Garcia and future Hall of Famers Bob Lemon and Early Wynn), through notable players such as Bobby Avila, Bob Feller, Larry Doby, and Al Rosen, to manager Al Lopez, his coaches, and the Indiansand#8217; broadcast team. There are also stories about Cleveland Stadium and the 1954 All-Star Game (which the team hosted), as well as a season timeline and a firsthand account of Game One of the World Series at the Polo Grounds. Pitching to the Pennant features the superb writing and research of members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), making this book a must for all Indians fans and baseball aficionados.
About the Author
Lyle Spatzand#8217;s many books include 1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York (with coauthor Steve Steinberg), winner of the 2011 Seymour Medal, and The Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, both published by the University of Nebraska Press.