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The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby…

The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the…

by Joshua Prager

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134689,677 (3.79)15



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Exceeded my expectations ( )
  jimifenway | Feb 2, 2016 |
I love the sport of baseball, but when it comes to the history and knowledge of past players prior to the mid-80's, I'm sorely ignorant. And so in that respect, this book was very enlightening to me. I couldn't have told you what the "Shot Heard Round the World" was or who it referred to. Now I know.

It's obvious that Joshua Prager did his research. He was very thorough & extensive in his facts, even in the abridged audio edition that I listened to. However, that's also what bogged the book down. Statistics are interesting to a point, but when there are too many, it's hard to maintain interest. I did like the way Prager alternated back & forth in his commentary between Branca and Thomson as a story-telling device; however, it was somewhat hard to follow in an audio format, where it's easy to miss the transitions that are more obvious in a paper copy of the book. I thought Joshua Prager did an "okay" job of reading his own audiobook, but I think a more experienced reader would have been better.

I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but when I do, I always seem to have to consult YouTube afterwards for some audio/video supplementation to my reading, and this case was no exception. I more or less enjoyed this book, but I think you'd definitely have to be a baseball fan in order for it to maintain your interest. ( )
  indygo88 | Jun 3, 2014 |
Only fault is that it is a tad heavy on the minutiae.

( )
  bontley | Aug 24, 2013 |
I admire Prager for his excellent research here, but in the end, he does not parcel the out the information to the reader in a friendly way. He seems to be going for a non-fiction novel style, but it just not up to the task. The narrative he wants to write is that of two individuals before and after the event that galvanizes them. It's a great idea, but that story is lost in the hemorrhage of information that attempts to tell it.

Nonetheless, I fully appreciate the research, and many parts of the story have already stayed with me. ( )
  flexatone | Sep 4, 2010 |
I'm not sure what one could spoil. I can't really understand the positive reviews. This book is badly written. Some of it is style, and style is of course personal, but I think there is really bad grammar & sentence construction. This interferes with the reading because you read along & suddenly you go what???? But, to balance that out, it is also very repetitious & full of dull incidental information so it often doesn't matter if the sentence actually makes sense. I'm not sure why I plugged along & read the whole thing, I guess partly because I can't count it as a book read unless I read it.
1 vote franoscar | Nov 6, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375421548, Hardcover)

The 1951 regular season was as good as over. The Brooklyn Dodgers led the New York Giants by three runs with just three outs to go in their third and final playoff game. And not once in major league baseball’s 278 preceding playoff and World Series games had a team overcome a three-run deficit in the ninth inning. But New York rallied, and at 3:58 p.m. on October 3, 1951, Bobby Thomson hit a home run off Ralph Branca. The Giants won the pennant.

The Echoing Green follows the reverberations of that one moment–the Shot Heard Round the World–from the West Wing of the White House to the Sing Sing death house to the Polo Grounds clubhouse, where a home run forever turned hitter and pitcher into hero and goat.

It was also in that centerfield block of concrete that, after the home run, a Giant coach tucked away a Wollensak telescope. The spyglass would remain undiscovered until 2001, when, in the jubilee of that home run, Joshua Prager laid bare on the front page of the Wall Street Journal a Giant secret: from July 20, 1951, through the very day of that legendary game, the orange and black stole the finger signals of opposing catchers.

The Echoing Green places that revelation at the heart of a larger story, re-creating in extravagant detail the 1951 pennant race and illuminating as never before the impact of both a moment and a long-guarded secret on the lives of Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca.

A wonderfully evocative portrait of the great American pastime, The Echoing Green is baseball history, social history and biography–irresistible reading from any angle.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Presents a dramatic rendering of one of the most famous moments in baseball, Bobby Thomson's 1951 ninth-inning home run that clinched the pennant for the New York Giants over their archrivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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