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Summer of '49 by David Halberstam
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Summer of '49

by David Halberstam

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If you're a big baseball fan, especially from the northeast part of the United States, then you will probably love this book. There are lots of stories about baseball characters and some baseball history. However, this is very much a big collection of anecdotes centered around the author's childhood focus on the rivalry between the New York Yankees, especially Joe DiMaggio, and the Boston Red Sox, especially Ted Williams. Roughly a half-dozen other players from each of those teams is given somewhat less emphasis with other players and other teams barely mentioned at all. This extends all the way to the World Series with the Brooklyn Dodgers where only one player for that team gets much of any attention and it isn't Jackie Robinson. The best parts of the book are really the analysis of how major league baseball was managed back then, and the realization of how much it has changed to the huge business it is today. Other than that, imagine you're sitting around with similarly-minded baseball fans with nothing particularly meaningful to accomplish except be nostalgic for those good old days we keep hearing about. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
Narrative of the Red Sox/Yankee season of 1949 ( )
  JackSweeney | Jan 9, 2017 |
Two Halberstams in my top 10 baseball book list. This is a fantastic account of the 49 season, written by a true journalist, not a sportswriter. ( )
  BooksForDinner | Feb 2, 2016 |
It’s baseball season. David Halberstam is one of my favorite non-fiction authors. Putting those two facts together, I decided to read Summer of ’49, which is about the pennant race between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

Both had great seasons in 1949. Both had aging superstar sluggers, Ted Williams for Boston and Joe Dimaggio for New York. Both teams had crusty managers, Casey Stengel for the Yankees, Joe McCarthy for the Red Sox.

Although I enjoyed reading about the individual players, their superstitions, their peccadilloes, their lifestyles, their peculiar habits -- I found the play by plays of the games booooring. I mean, who knew that conventional wisdom in those days was that hydrating when temps soared during a long doubleheader was bad for a player? Or that needing a sugar fix during a game was un-manly?

I skimmed through the boring parts and devoured all the little factoids that David Halberstem dredged up. An OK book I’m glad I read. ( )
  NewsieQ | May 25, 2014 |
A grand slam ( )
  Faradaydon | Jul 23, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060884266, Paperback)

With the airwaves saturated with so much sporting choice, it's hard to imagine how, not that long ago, baseball so completely dominated the landscape and captured imaginations. Given the 1949 season that veteran journalist David Halberstam meticulously recreates, maybe it's not so hard after all. It was a season of great public and personal drama for the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, with the conflict finally resolving itself in a Yankee pennant following a head-to-head showdown on the final day of the season. Each team was led by a star of the highest magnitude: Joe DiMaggio spurred the Yankees despite missing half the season with a foot injury; Ted Williams virtually carried the Sox on his back, missing an unprecedented third Triple Crown by mere decimal points on his batting average. Halberstam focuses much of his narrative on the trials of these two individual sporting giants, adding fine supporting performances by Yogi Berra, Ellis Kinder, Dom DiMaggio, even restaurateur Toots Shoor. Both on and off the field, Halberstam beautifully captures the ethos of a more innocent game that no longer exists, played by heroes far more driven by their pride than by their salaries.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:19 -0400)

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"A journey through the 1949 pennant race, in which two legendary rivals, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, battled down to a winner-take-all final game of the season"--p. [2] of dust jacket.

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