Synopses & Reviews
Tom Clavin and Danny Peary chronicle the life and career of baseballand#8217;s and#8220;natural home run kingand#8221; in the first definitive biography of Roger Marisand#8212;including a brand-new chapter to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of his record breaking season.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Roger Maris may be the greatest ballplayer no one really knows. In 1961, the soft-spoken man from the frozen plains of North Dakota enjoyed one of the most amazing seasons in baseball history, when he outslugged his teammate Mickey Mantle to become the gameand#8217;s natural home-run king. It was Mantle himself who said, and#8220;Roger was as good a man and as good a ballplayer as there ever was.and#8221; Yet Maris was vilified by fans and the press and has never received his due from biographersand#8212;until now.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Tom Clavin and Danny Peary trace the dramatic arc of Marisand#8217;s life, from his boyhood in Fargo through his early pro career in the Cleveland Indians farm program, to his World Series championship years in New York and beyond. At the center is the exciting story of the 1961 season and the ordeal Maris endured as an outsider in Yankee pinstripes, unloved by fans who compared him unfavorably to their heroes Ruth and Mantle, relentlessly attacked by an aggressive press corps who found him cold and inaccessible, and treated miserably by the organization. After the tremendous challenge of breaking Ruthand#8217;s record was behind him, Maris ultimately regained his love of baseball as a member of the world champion St. Louis Cardinals. And over time, he gained redemption in the eyes of the Yankee faithful.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;With research drawn from more than 130 interviews with Marisand#8217;s teammates, opponents, family, and friends, as well as sixteen pages of photos, some of which have never before been seen, this timely and poignant biography sheds light on an iconic figure from baseballand#8217;s golden eraand#8212;and establishes the importance of his role in the gameand#8217;s history.
“The amazing thing about the man who broke Babe Ruth’s record was how little he resembled Babe Ruth. Introverted, troubled, shy, Roger Maris was more like a next-door neighbor than any home-run king, any Sultan of Swat. His struggles to wear the heavy overcoat of fame and notoriety are fascinating. Tom Clavin and Danny Peary show us why it didn’t fit. Terrific work.”—LEIGH MONTVILLE, author of the national bestseller The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth
“The authors paint a splendid portrait of the Roger Maris I knew very well and the Roger Maris I wish I knew better.”—TIM McCARVER, 21-year major leaguer and Emmy-winning FOX baseball analyst
“Forty-nine years later, Roger Maris remains the authentic single-season home-run king. Perhaps too little, certainly too late in recent years, he has been venerated and vindicated. Better yet, in these pages, he is appreciated."—BOB COSTAS
“Here, finally, is the book that Roger Maris deserved. With deep and dogged reporting, Tom Clavin and Danny Peary have done more than rescue his reputation. In this definitive portrait, Maris acquires a meaning beyond the home-run record. He’s forced to straddle a fault line in American culture, one that separates the stoic from the glib, and authentic heroes from those merely famous. This is fine and fascinating stuff.”—MARK KRIEGEL, columnist for FOXSports.com, author of Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich and Namath: A Biography
“Rosengren pens a textured tale—of Henry Greenberg, the Moses of Baseball; Hankus Spankus, the home run king and Hall of Famer; and Hank himself, steadfast son, teammate, and father.”—Larry Tye, New York Times
bestselling author of Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend
“The best and most important biography ever written about Hank Greenberg....Well written, deeply sensitive, and thoroughly researched.”—Glenn Stout, author of Fenway 1912
“Rosengrens copious research offers new insights into the hurdles that Hank Greenberg faced, as well as his tenacity as a player and bravery during World War II that made him the hero of heroes.”—Aviva Kempner, director of The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg
Baseball during the Great Depression of the 1930s galvanized communities and provided a struggling country with heroes. Jewish player Hank Greenberg gave the people of Detroitand Americaa reason to be proud.
But America was facing more than economic hardship. Hitlers agenda heightened the persecution of Jews abroad while anti-Semitism intensified political and social tensions in the U.S. The six-foot-four-inch Greenberg, the nations most prominent Jew, became not only an iconic ball player, but also an important and sometimes controversial symbol of Jewish identity and the American immigrant experience.
Throughout his twelve-year baseball career and four years of military service, he heard cheers wherever he went along with anti-Semitic taunts. The abuse drove him to legendary feats that put him in the company of the greatest sluggers of the day, including Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Lou Gehrig. Hanks iconic status made his personal dilemmas with religion versus team and ambition versus duty national debates.
Hank Greenberg is an intimate account of his lifea story of integrity and triumph over adversity and a portrait of one of the greatest baseball players and most important Jews of the twentieth century.
About the Author
Tom Clavin is the author or coauthor of sixteen books. For fifteen years he wrote for andlt;iandgt;The New York Timesandlt;/iandgt;, and magazines he has contributed articles to include andlt;iandgt;Golfandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Men's Journalandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Paradeandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Reader's Digestandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;Smithsonianandlt;/iandgt;. He is currently the investigative features correspondent for andlt;iandgt;Manhattan Magazineandlt;/iandgt;. He lives in Sag Harbor, New York.andlt;Bandgt;Danny Pearyandlt;/Bandgt; is a sports and pop culture historian who has published twenty books. His movie, television, music, and sports articles and interviews have appeared in such publications as andlt;iandgt;FilmInkandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Movielineandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Satelliteandlt;/iandgt; andlt;iandgt;Directandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;OnDirect TVandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;TV Guideandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;TV Guide-Canadaandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Cosmopolitanandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;The New York Timesandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;The Daily Newsandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;The Boston Globeandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Sports Collectors Digestandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;The Soho Newsandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;The Philadelphia Bulletinandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Films in Focusandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Films and Filmingandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Slantandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;L.A. Panoramaandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Memories and Dreamsandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;The East Hampton Independentandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;Country Weeklyandlt;/iandgt;. He is the New York correspondent for the Australian magazine andlt;iandgt;FilmInkandlt;/iandgt; and a contributing editor for brink.comandnbsp; He lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.