Synopses & Reviews
The author of the modern classic
The Boys of Summer brings his unparalleled narrative gifts to another unforgettable team
On the morning of October 2nd, 1978, the World Champion New York Yankees found themselves tied for first place with the Boston Red Sox. That day these rousing ball clubs would meet at Fenway Park. Both had won 99 games. Only one would win 100.
By any rational standard the Yankees should have been reaching for their golf clubs. They had feuded, barked, and roared all season, until by mid-July they were fourteen games out of first place. Then came the spectacular self-destruction of Billy Martin: The Yankees' fortunes turned and a fractious band of ballplayers finally became a team. They capped one of the most thrilling comebacks in baseball history by defeating the Red Sox that October afternoon in a game that many still remember as the greatest ever played.
Richly lyrical and raffishly funny, October Men weaves the first in-depth account of the legendary season of '78. Transporting us into the midst of the Bronx menagerie, Kahn reviews New York's colorful baseball history; takes us to the clubhouses and hotel bars where the season's dramatics played out; and introduces us to the outsized October Men: imperious George Steinbrenner; force of nature Reggie Jackson; Bucky Dent, whose three-run homer in the playoff left Boston a wash of tears; and others from Bob Lemon to Thurman Munson.
1978 was a troubled year for America, not just for the Yankees, and the team reflected its ills: alcoholism, broken homes, social unrest and racism. But in rising above turmoil, the October Men became an inspiration for the country. Roger Kahn has rendered their story into a classic of American literature.
"Good news for fans of the game, and of words." (Washington Post)
PRAISE FOR THE BOYS OF SUMMER
"The Boys of Summer is the one we all shoot for. It was the work that showed us that a sports book could be about a lot more than just sports."--David Halberstam
"To say that I 'enjoyed' the book is to say that winning a World Championship is 'interesting,' owning a derby winner 'nice,' and starring in the Super Bowl 'fun.'"--Bill Veeck
"Kahn has the almost unfair gift of easy, graceful writing combined with an unmatched institutional memory."
"Insightful and compelling. With crisp, smart writing, he makes the case that the team was a less-than-harmonic convergence."
"History, humor, and drama, but the historical research and psychological analysis give it a place in every baseball fan's collection."
"Kahn supplies a behind-the-scenes look at what made that team tick but not explode."
"High, hard and tight." --Hartford Courant
"October Men seems effortlessly written, like all of Mr. Kahns books. . . . A compelling story." --Toronto Star
PRAISE FOR OCTOBER MEN
“Not content merely to rehash the details of Bucky Dents home run,
October Men instead sprawls like a great ballpark conversation,
encompassing the big and the small, the old and the new, the sacred
and the profane.”—THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
“Roger Kahn, the author who immortalized The Boys of Summer,
does equal justice to the 78 crew.”—USA TODAY
“Kahns glittering group portrait paints theYanks as both goats and
heroes, and they are vividly, engagingly, enragingly human in both
roles. . . . He can epitomize a player with a single swing of the pen.”
Early in October 1978, the New York Yankees found themselves tied for first place. They had come from 14 games behind in a season marred by strife and internal conflict. "October Men" confirms that talent is only half of what makes a champion, and that Kahn is the champion of stories about people who work on a baseball field. Photos.
On the morning of October 2, 1978, the World Champion NewYork Yankees found themselves tied for first place with the Boston Red Sox. That day these rousing ball clubs would meet at Fenway Park. Both had won ninety-nine games. Only one would win one hundred. The Yankees should have been reaching for their golf clubs-they had feuded until they were fourteen games out of first place. Then their fortunes turned, and they capped one of the most thrilling comebacks in baseball history by defeating the Red Sox that October afternoon in a game that many still remember as the greatest ever played. Transporting us into the midst of this unforgettable team, Roger Kahn weaves the first in-depth account of the legendary season of '78 and reaffirms his standing as our nation's master storyteller of baseball.
About the Author
Widely acclaimed as the greatest baseball writer of his generation, Roger Kahn
is most famous for his modern classic, The Boys of Summer
, which James Michener called the finest American book on sports. Kahn is the author of 16 books, most recently The Head Game
, Baseball Seen from the Pitchersand#8217; Mound
. His magazine articles won five Dutton Best Magazine Story Awards and his book The Era: When the Yankees Dodgers and Giants Ruled the World
was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Born in Brooklyn, he now lives in Stone Ridge, N.Y. with his wife, the psychotherapist Katharine Colt Johnson.
Table of Contents
Nothing to Atone For
The New York Red Sox (and Other Curiosities)
The Dark Prince
R. Martinez J.
The Doughnut as a Whole
The Gathering Storm
A Bickering Spring
Thirty Billion Calories on the Field
The New York Choirboys
Ten Days that Shook the Bronx 5
Epilogue: Finis Coronet Opus
An Informal Bibliography