The New York Yankees: An Informal History (Google eBook)

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SIU Press, 1943 - Sports & Recreation - 299 pages
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In January of 1903, American League president Ban Johnson, “his pince-nez riding precariously on the bridge of his nose,” raised a glass to toast his young baseball league, which had just received permission to purchase the Baltimore organization and establish a team in New York City. That marked the genesis of the fabulous Yankee franchise (known in 1903 as the Highlanders) as well as the opening chapter of Frank Graham’s The New York Yankees: An Informal History. One of fifteen team histories commissioned by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in the 1940s and 1950s, The New York Yankees traces the most successful team in either league from the beginning through their 1943 World Series victory over the Cardinals, ending with a quick synopsis of the 1944 season.

 

In Yankee (and baseball) history, of course, Babe Ruth stands above all the rest, but he is flanked by such legends as Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig. Wee Willie Keeler is there, too, joined by fellow Hall of Famers Charlie “Red” Ruffing, Herb Pennock, and Bill Dickey. The Hall of Fame lineup also includes Miller Huggins, Lefty Gomez, Ed Barrow, Joe McCarthy, Tony Lazzeri, Waite Hoyt, and Earle Combs.

 

In his foreword, Leonard Koppett writes that Graham’s “New York Sun columns called ‘Overheard in the Dugout’ delighted me as I was growing up; but what I learned later, when I got to work alongside him, was that they were as good and as reliable as court transcripts. He didn’t take a lot of notes. He just absorbed what was being said—and what it meant in the right context—and reproduced it in graceful prose and natural speech. It is this style of narration through dialogue that makes his books come so alive.”

 

Twenty-four black-and-white Yankee photographs enliven Graham’s informal history.

 

  

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Contents

The American League Enters New York
3
Ruppert and Huston
19
The Engagement of Huggins
32
The Arrival of Babe Ruth
43
The First Pennant
53
1922 A Turbulent Year
73
The Departure of Huston
89
With a Resounding Crash
103
The Farm System
187
A ThreeYear Pause
194
Never Another Like Him
205
Another San Francisco Italian
214
The Pace Quickens
231
1939 Lights and Shadows
247
DiMaggio Goes Swinging Along
257
End of an Era
268

The Upswing to Greatness
113
FiveOclock Lightning
127
Break Up the Yankees
138
The Quest for a New Manager
160
Up From the Minor Leagues
169
Spring 1943
275
Heights Recaptured and Lost Again
282
Index
291
Copyright

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About the author (1943)

Leonard Koppett, who covered the Dodgers, Yankees, and Giants for the New York Herald Tribune, the New York Post, and the New York Times, is the author of numerous baseball books including The Man in the Dugout and Thinking Man’s Guide to Baseball. Known as an intellectual sportswriter and guru to hundreds of writers, Koppett received the prestigious J. G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Writers of America in 1992, which placed him in the writer’s wing of the Hall of Fame.

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