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Black and Blue: The Golden Arm, the Robinson…

Black and Blue: The Golden Arm, the Robinson Boys, and the 1966 World…

by Tom Adelman

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The end of the Dodgers' long run and the beginning of the Orioles'. The stunning part was how dominant the Orioles were and how finished the Dodgers looked, much in the way the 1963 series made the Yankees look like a spent force when the Dodgers swept them. The book is a bit ham-handed here and there, but all in all worth a read for baseball fans. ( )
  ehines | Jan 8, 2015 |
A good baseball history about the 1966 baseball season and the surprising World Series between the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Adelman does a good job of setting the cultural context of the 1966 baseball season, without going overboard or being too heavy handed. Those factors include the beginning of the counter-culture, the heating up of the anti-Vietnam War movement and, most importantly for the book, the fact that Baltimore was still a fully segregated city (but with a truly progressive mayor doing his best to change conditions).

There is a fair bit toward the beginning that will be old news for devoted baseball fans, such as the history of the Dodgers' move to LA, but I can of course understand Adelman's need to review such events before proceeding. Adelman does a nice job of moving the focus around and giving profiles of several of the most important/interesting players on both teams. He also avoids the worst pitfall of baseball books that chronicle a single season, which is to rely too heavily (and lazily) on simply giving a blow by blow account of game results instead of providing insights about events.

I learned a good bit about Frank Robinson, about Sandy Koufax (because while I have Jane Leavy's bio of Koufax on my baseball shelf, I haven't read it, yet) and in particular about how the stress of the close NL pennant race really ground the Dodgers down that year (the Orioles had things locked up early and were fresher in October). There's quite a bit more, as well, but I don't want to ruin the fun of reading this book. The account of the World Series itself is excellent. ( )
1 vote rocketjk | Jun 5, 2014 |
Ron Kaplan's review on Black and Blue appears in the next issue of Nine. ( )
  RonKaplanNJ | Nov 11, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316069019, Hardcover)

An unforgettable account of the epic Baseball World Series between the celebrated Los Angeles Dodgers and the perennial underdog Baltimore Orioles. Nobody expected the Orioles to have a chance; after all by 1966, the Dodgers had replaced the Yankees as the dominant team in baseball, winning two of the previous three World Series. Few outside of Baltimore gave the Orioles more than a fighting chance to win. What transpired over four games astonished and mesmerised a nation in turmoil. Baltimore's young pitchers shredded the veteran Dodgers lineup, setting Major League records along the way. Nobody had ever seen dominant pitching like this before: in the entire Series the Dodgers scored only two runs and collected a mere 17 hits. Their team batting average was a lowly 0.142 and - incredibly - for the last 33 innings of the Series they were held completely scoreless.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:14 -0400)

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