“Bums No More: The Championship Season of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers” by Stewart Wolpin
Baseball, championship, Dodgers, Brooklyn, Yankees, history
June 15, 2010
3 1/2 of 5 stars (good)
The Brooklyn Dodgers won only one World Series before the move to Los Angeles in 1958 and this book is a good recap of that season. It reads much like any other season recap book with one exception. The stories shared here by fans, including some famous ones like Larry King, are a wonderful addition and they are interspersed throughout the book.
There is not a lot of depth to the recap of the season. It reads much like a brief summary when describing the various ups and downs to the season, beginning with the 12 game winning streak and ending with first the despair entering the World Series and then the elation of winning it all. The despair was illustrated through the reactions
I also liked the thought by Vin Scully about how the entire borough of Brooklyn was rabidly celebrating the Dodgers winning but in the author’s opinion, the Bronx did not match that for the Yankees for any of their championships, nor did Manhattan do the same for the Giants in the previous season of 1954. Overall a good read.
Did I skim?
No. The book was long enough to capture the entire season, but short enough that it didn’t take too long to finish.
Did I learn something new?
Yes. I don’t usually look up or research older baseball records, so I didn’t know that the Dodgers started that season with a 12 game winning streak or that they broke out of the gate so fast. Also, while I knew that the Dodgers were not drawing well because many of their fans were now heading east on Long Island, I didn’t realize just how severe a drop in attendance they were experiencing. The low crowds described in some of the games seems hard to fathom for a championship team worshipped by the locals.
Pace of the book:
Very good. The stories of fans, both famous and not so famous, are interwoven with the season recap nicely. There isn’t a long pause before getting back to the season when one of these stories was shared.
What the book lacked in depth and new revelations was more than made up by the wonderful description of the love affair between Brooklyn and the Dodgers. Each fan’s story and the write-up of the celebration after the championship illustrate this.
Fans who are either old enough to remember this special season or those who are well-versed in Dodgers history might be disappointed in the lack of depth in the description of the baseball happenings or the portrayal of the players. While good for a casual fan or a reader who knows little about the Dodgers, hard core fans might be disappointed.
Do I recommend?
Yes. It is good for baseball historians, Dodger fans, or those who wish to learn a little more about the Brooklyn baseball era.
Book Format Read: