Synopses & Reviews
and#8220;How would you like to hang out with Yogi Berra and Ron Guidry during spring training? Funny and sweet, Driving Mr. Yogi
transports you there.and#8221; and#8212; Jim Bouton
, author of Ball Four
It happens every spring. Yankees pitching great Ron Guidry arrives at the Tampa airport to pick up Hall of Fame catcher and national treasure Yogi Berra. Guidry drives him to the ballpark. They watch the young players. They talk shop. They eat dinner together and tease each other mercilessly. They trade stories about the greats they have met along the way. And the next day they do the same thing all over again.
As every former ballplayer can appreciate, in that routine, every spring, there emerges a certain magic.
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 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 him 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 and#8211; he found a best friend.
At turns tender, at turns 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.
From the moment these two players took the court on opposing sides, they engaged in a fierce physical and psychological battle. Their uncommonly competitive relationship came to symbolize the most compelling rivalry in the NBA. These were the basketball epics of the 1980s and#8212; Celtics vs Lakers, East vs West, physical vs finesse, Old School vs Showtime, even white vs black. Each pushed the other to greatness and#8212; together Bird and Johnson collectedand#160;eight NBA Championships, six MVP awards and helped save the floundering NBA at its most critical time.and#160;When it started they were bitter rivals, but along the way they became lifelong friends.and#160;and#160;
With intimate, fly-on-the-wall detail, When the Game Was Ours transports readers to this electric era of basketball and reveals for the first time the inner workings of two players dead set on besting one another.and#160;From the heady days of trading championships to the darker days of injury and illness, we come to understand Larryand#8217;s obsessive devotion to winning and how his demons drove him on the court. We hear him talk with candor about playing through chronic pain and its truly exacting toll.and#160;In Magic we see a young, invincible star struggle with the sting of defeat, not just as a player but as a team leader.and#160; We are there the moment he learns heand#8217;s contracted HIV and hear in his own words how that devastating news impacted his relationships in basketball and beyond.and#160;But always, in both cases, we see them prevail.
A compelling, up-close-and-personal portrait of basketballand#8217;s most inimitable duo, When the Game Was Ours is a reevaluation of three decades in counterpoint.and#160;It is also a rollicking ride through professional basketballand#8217;s best times.
With intimate, fly-on-the-wall detail, "When the Game Was Ours" transports readers to an electric era of basketball and reveals for the first time the inner workings of two players dead set on besting one another.
A compelling, up-close-and-personal portrait of basketballand#8217;s most inimitable duo. It is also a rollicking ride through professional basketballand#8217;s best times, the golden age of hoops for the boomer generation.and#160;
A riveting portrait of two legendary players whose fierce rivalry came to define one of the most exciting periods of professional basketball
In Celtic green was Larry Bird, the hick from French Lick with laser-beam focus, relentless determination, and a deadly jump shotand#8212;a player who demanded excellence from everyone around him and whose caustic wit left opponents quaking in their high-tops. Magic Johnson was Mr. Showtime: young, indomitable, a magnetic personality with all the right moves, he was a pied piper in purple and gold and he burned with an inextinguishable desire to win. Their uncommonly competitive relationship came to symbolize the most thrilling rivalry in the NBAand#8212;East vs. West, physical vs. finesse, old school vs. Showtime, even white vs. black. Each pushed the other to greatness, and together Bird and Johnson collected eight NBA Championships and six MVP awards, helping to save a floundering NBA. When the Game Was Ours chronicles an electric era in sports history, revealing for the first time the inner workings of two players dead set on besting each other.
Narrative of the friendship that's developed between Ron Guidry and Yogi Berra as a result of Berra's annual trips toand#160;Florida forand#160;Yankees spring training.
About the Author
Larry Bird, in his 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics, claimed 3 NBA titles, 3 MVP awards, and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. In 1992, as part of the andldquo;Dream Teamandrdquo; he brought home an Olympic gold medal. He served as head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000. In 2003, he assumed the role of president of basketball operations for the Pacers, which he currently still holds.
Earvin andldquo;Magicandrdquo; Johnson, Jr., in his 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, claimed 5 NBA titles, 3 MVP awards and was elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2002. He also won an Olympic gold medal as part of the 1992 andldquo;Dream Team.andrdquo; Currently, he is the Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises and Vice President and part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jackie MacMullan is a nationally recognized sports columnist, who spent three decades at the Boston Globe and covered the NBA for Sports Illustrated in the late 1990s. She is a frequent correspondent for ESPN, CNNSI and local Boston television networks. She is also a regular contestant (and the only female one) on ESPN's Around the Horn.
Table of Contents
The Late Showand#160;30
It Takes a Clubhouseand#160;113
Frog Legs and Friendsand#160;142
A Yankeeand#8217;s Callingand#160;171