1941 -- The Greatest Year In Sports: Two Baseball Legends, Two Boxing Champs, and the Unstoppable Thoroughbred Who Made History in the Shadow of War

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jun 5, 2007 - Sports & Recreation - 256 pages
0 Reviews
Joe DiMaggio . . . Ted Williams . . . Joe Louis . . . Billy Conn . . . Whirlaway

Against the backdrop of a war that threatened to consume the world, these athletes transformed 1941 into one of the most thrilling years in sports history.


In the summer of 1941, America paid attention to sports with an intensity that had never been seen before. World War II was raging in Europe and headlines grew worse by the day; even the most optimistic people began to accept the inevitability of the United States being drawn into the conflict. In sports pages and arenas at home, however, an athletic perfect storm provided unexpected—and uplifting—relief. Four phenomenal sporting events were underway, each destined to become legend.
In 1941—The Greatest Year in Sports, acclaimed sportswriter Mike Vaccaro chronicles this astounding moment in history. Fueled by a somber mania for sports—a desire for good news to drown out the bad—Americans by the millions fervently watched, listened, and read as Joe DiMaggio dazzled the country by hitting in a record-setting fifty-six consecutive games; Ted Williams powered through an unprecedented .406 season; Joe Louis and Billy Conn (the heavyweight and light-heavyweight champions) battled in unheard-of fashion for boxing’s ultimate championship; and the phenomenal (some say deranged) thoroughbred, Whirlaway, raced to three heart-stopping victories that won the coveted Triple Crown of horse racing. As Phil Rizzuto perfectly expressed, “You read the sports section a lot because you were afraid of what you’d see in other parts of the paper.”
Gripping and nostalgic, 1941—The Greatest Year in Sports focuses on these four seminal events and brings to life the national excitement and remarkable achievement (many of these records still stand today), as well as the vibrant lives of the athletes who captivated the nation. With vast insight, Vaccaro pulls back the veil on DiMaggio’s anxieties and the building pressure of “The Streak,” and chronicles the brash, young confidence Williams displayed as he hammered his way through the baseball season largely in DiMaggio’s shadow. He takes readers inside the head of Billy Conn, a kid who traded in his light-heavyweight belt for a shot at the very decent and very powerful Joe Louis, and tells the story of the fire-breathing racehorse, Whirlaway, who was known either for setting track records or tearing off in the wrong direction.
Rich in historical detail and edge-of-your-seat reporting, Mike Vaccaro has crafted a lasting, important book that captures a portrait of one of America’s most trying, and extraordinary, eras.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
GOODBYE DEAR ILL BE BACK IN A YEAR
8
GOD GAVE HORSES TAILS FOR A REASON
25
A HELL OF A LOT OF HORSE ON YOUR HANDS
47
THERES NO USE KIDDING MYSELF
74
HELL WITH THE NO TAKEN OFF
91
YOURE IN FOR A FIGHT TONIGHT JOE
114
THE ONLY TIME TO WORRY IS WHEN YOURE NOT HITTING
143
ID LIKE TO HOIST THAT MARK WHERE NOBODY COULD REACH IT
166
WASNT IT A PIP?
198
BUD IM A HITTER
224
WE CANT GO AROUND WITH SAD FACES
253
EPILOGUE
273
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
290
INDEX
297
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

is a lead sports columnist for the New York Post and is the author of Emperors and Idiots. He has won more than fifty major journalism awards since 1989 and has been cited for distinguished writing by the Associated Press Sports Editors, the New York State Publishers Association, and the Poynter Institute. He lives in New Jersey.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bibliographic information