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PENNANT RACE by JIM BROSNAN
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PENNANT RACE (edition 1962)

by JIM BROSNAN

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733364,075 (3.45)17
"Brosnan obviously knows his baseball, writes about it wittily, informally and with irony. He is a cynical, tough professional athlete and his book makes wonderful reading."--New Yorker From the author of The Long Season--considered by many to be the greatest baseball book of all time--comes another classic sports memoir by legendary pitcher Jim Brosnan, which chronicles how his team, the Cincinnati Reds, went on to win the 1961 National League pennant. In Pennant Race, Brosnan--with his trademark wise-guy wit and plain-spoken practicality--once again offers a refreshingly candid alternative to hackneyed baseball mythologizing. Day by day, game by game, Brosnan reveals the real lives of professional ballplayers: their exhilaration and frustration, hope and despair, chronic worry over job security, playful camaraderie, world-weary cynicism, and boyish--if cautious--optimism. Although the Reds would ultimately lose the World Series to the Yankees, for Brosnan and his teammates, this was a winning season. Pennant Race vividly captures a remarkable year in the life of a ball club and the golden age of one of Major League Baseball's most memorable eras.… (more)
Member:hildr8
Title:PENNANT RACE
Authors:JIM BROSNAN
Info:HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK (1962), Edition: 1ST, Hardcover
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Pennant Race by Jim Brosnan

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In 1961, Jim Brosnan was a relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, who surprised the baseball world by winning the National League pennant. This book is his diary of that season. In fact, this was Brosnan's second book. His first, The Long Season, was a first person account of the 1959 season, during which Brosnan was traded mid-year from the Cardinals to the Reds. That book was considered ground breaking, in that it was the first candid (sort of) look at life on a major league team. Oddly, I haven't read The Long Season, yet.

Anyway, Pennant Race is entertaining fare for baseball fans. This book was published several years before Jim Bouton's Ball Four, about the 1969 season, which was really the first baseball memoir to reveal baseball life warts and all. In Pennant Race, Brosnan depicts life in the bullpen, and on the team in general, as a series of wise cracks under which lie the players' real desire to win and to perform well, along with their not always successful attempts to shrug off their day to day failures. Racial issues are dealt with, but not too deeply or often. Personal animosities among teammates seem non-existent. Again, Brosnan's books were a step forward in terms of real life portrayals of the baseball life, but he doesn't bring us all the way there. The descriptions of some players' personalities are perfunctory. For others, even some relatively famous ones, those portrayals are non-existent. We get almost nothing, for example, about Frank Robinson, then a young star (now in the Hall of Fame). Still there is a feel for what the life was like. Brosnan was a good writer with a breezy, self-deprecating style. It helps that the 1961 season was one of Brosnan's best as a professional ballplayer.

For baseball fans interested in the game's history (or for those with long memories), this book is fun and worth reading, as long as you don't expect too much of it. ( )
  rocketjk | Feb 24, 2021 |
Jim Brosnan was a relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds in 1961. He describes the National League race where the underdog Reds win the pennant. It is a bit of a dated baseball book. Since I am 65, I still remember Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, Don Drysdale and Warren Spahn among others. There are some really good baseball stories but nothing that would create great controversy or scandal. I also got a kick out of reading Brosnan's analysis of the pitiful 1961 Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies had a horrible year ( even worse than this year) and experienced a 20 losing streak.

I downloaded this book from Kindle for $1.99. Not the best baseball book I've ever read but entertaining for an old fan like me. ( )
1 vote writemoves | Jul 16, 2017 |
"Pennant Race," Cincinnati Reds' pitcher Jim Brosnan's first-hand account of the team's 1961 National League Championship season, contains a handful of interesting anecdotes and insights into baseball in that era, but I could never quite get into the rhythm of the diary: observations on the life of a ballplayer, some generally idle banter between the players, and some game action. The narrative feels oddly disjointed somehow, and ultimately unengaging: the game action and pennant race never builds any momentum or excitement, the snippets of banter never amount to anything (and indeed distracts more than it enlightens), and there are simply not enough memorable observations to raise the book from its overall mediocrity. ( )
  ghr4 | Jul 24, 2016 |
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"Brosnan obviously knows his baseball, writes about it wittily, informally and with irony. He is a cynical, tough professional athlete and his book makes wonderful reading."--New Yorker From the author of The Long Season--considered by many to be the greatest baseball book of all time--comes another classic sports memoir by legendary pitcher Jim Brosnan, which chronicles how his team, the Cincinnati Reds, went on to win the 1961 National League pennant. In Pennant Race, Brosnan--with his trademark wise-guy wit and plain-spoken practicality--once again offers a refreshingly candid alternative to hackneyed baseball mythologizing. Day by day, game by game, Brosnan reveals the real lives of professional ballplayers: their exhilaration and frustration, hope and despair, chronic worry over job security, playful camaraderie, world-weary cynicism, and boyish--if cautious--optimism. Although the Reds would ultimately lose the World Series to the Yankees, for Brosnan and his teammates, this was a winning season. Pennant Race vividly captures a remarkable year in the life of a ball club and the golden age of one of Major League Baseball's most memorable eras.

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