“New York City Baseball: The Golden Age 1947-1957” by Harvey Frommer
Baseball, history, Dodgers, Giants, Yankees
November 1, 2013 (original publication:1980)
3 of 5 stars (okay)
For baseball fans in New York, the 10-year period from 1947 to 1957 were great times – all three of the teams that called the city home – the Giants, Dodgers and Yankees – had some of their best seasons and their best players. Harvey Frommer takes the reader back to that decade in this book that tells of the teams and their records from that time.
The book also talks about the mood of the fans when the Giants and Dodgers left for San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively in 1958. Even though this was not supposed to be the main topic of the book or the chapter that was supposed to set the mood for the reader, this was the best chapter in doing what I believed the author set out to do and that was to describe the teams, the players and the city and their emotions toward their baseball teams. I felt all of these were captured quite well when describing the politics involved in trying to replace Ebbets Field and the ultimate rejection of that proposal and subsequent departure of the Dodgers.
It was also the section of the book in which I learned the newest information, as I was not familiar with that conflict. I picked up this book in order to try to learn some new information about the three teams and while there was some, the book seemed like one long novel with an unhappy ending for 2/3 of the city since the Yankees were left as the only New York City baseball team in 1958.
The writing about the baseball achievements of all three teams is good. The storytelling is good, especially for a reader who may not be familiar with the New York teams of that era. Baseball historians or those who have previous knowledge of this era will want to pass on this book, as there isn’t a lot of deep research or new material that someone who has a deep interest in this era wouldn’t already know.
Overall, this is a decent read to pass a couple hours away to take a trip back to a simpler time in the city when there was always a winning team, or two, or three to cheer on. But if a reader wants to do research on these teams in this era, it is best to skip this one.
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