Harvey Frommer

New York City Baseball : The Last Golden Age, 1947-1957

(Harcourt Brace/Harvest Books, 1992 Paperback;  ISBN: 0156655004)

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What they have said about the book:

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, 1980 

ìWe are again given a good history of the time and the particulars. ''New York City Baseball'' starts near the end, with the initial maneuvering in 1955 by Walter O'Malley in his attempts to get the city to build a ballpark for the Dodgers, maneuvering that led to the eventual move to the West Coast. From this point it goes back to the beginning, the entrance of the black ballplayer onto the major league scene. And then we are off into the individual histories of the three clubs as well as that of their 10-year rivalry for domination of the majors.

Everyone is here: DiMaggio, in pain, killing the Red Sox; Lavagetto ruining Bevens's no-hitter; Thomson and Branca; Wayne Belardi and the Hondo Hurricane. It was a helluva 10 years we had for ourselves. O'Malley, who almost seems human in the book, tells of entering a Manhattan elevator a few weeks after the big play-off game to find himself with Bobby Thomson. ''I said, 'Hello, Bobby,' and one of the men on the elevator said, 'You talk to that bum, he cost me a hundred dollars.' I smiled and said, 'He must have cost me half a million dollars.' The man looked at me wide-eyed. 'You bet that kind of money, Mister?' he said.''

Mr. Frommer includes a handy appendix with complete team rosters and pertinent statistics for the 10-year period, so ''you could look it up.'' In addition to the strong club records over the decade, individual players on the three teams accounted for one-third of the titles in batting average, home runs, games won, e.r.a. and the like. And this was during the heyday of batters like Musial and Williams and pitchers like Spahn, Roberts, Lemon and Wynn, so our boys were playing against some heavy opposition.

The best part of the book, perhaps, is for old Giant fans. The club had far less pure talent than either the Yankees or the Dodgers and yet made the very most of what it had. They did splendidly, and although I'm a lifetime Dodger fan, it took this book to make me admit it, as well as, grudgingly, to allow the Yankees some class.

So it's a good time to find this book  ''New York City Baseball,'' to re-create a happier era.

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NEW YORK TIMES, April 7, 1985,

"Focusing on New York's Giants, Dodgers and Yankees, Harvey Frommer presents what our reviewer, Joel Oppenheimer, called ''a good history of the time and the particulars.'' An appendix lists rosters and statistics. Mr. Oppenheimer said the 1980 book ''re-creates a happier era.''

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SIGNED EDITIONS

"When the lights came on again after World War II, they illuminated a nation ready for heroes and a city --New York--eager for entertainment. Baseball provided the heroes, and the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers--with their rivalries, their successes, their stars--provided the show. Oisk and Newk, Pee Wee and Skoonj, Ski, Campy, Preacher, Westy, Blacky, Whitey, Yogi, the Yankee Clipper, the Peepul's Cherce, the Old Reliable--New York City Baseball recaptures the golden decade of 1947-1957, when the three New York teams were the uncrowned kings of the city and the very embodiment of the national pastime for much of the U.S. In those ten years, Casey Stengel and his Bronx Bombers went to the World Series seven times; Joltin' Joe DiMaggio stepped gracefully aside to make room for a yong slugger named Mickey Mantle; one Bobby Thomson hit "the shot heard 'round the world"' and the Brooklyn (but not for much longer) Dodgers achieved the impossible by beating the Yankees in the 1955 World Series."

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LIBRARY JOURNAL

"A well-written, tight and amusing chronicle. A fine special study of an era and a phenomenon."

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KIRKUS REVIEWS

"An absolutely grand account. Glorious reminiscences."

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NEWSDAY

"In June of that first momentous year, he startled everyone by scoring all the way from first base on a sacrifice by Gene Hermanski in a game in Chicago. Another time he dashed to second base on a walk. He stole home and for a brief instant the loyalty of the hometown fans in a game in Pittsburgh. Walking leads that terrorized opposing pitchers, football-like slides that intimidated infielders, clutch hit after clutch hit, evasive tactics on rundown plays - these became part of the Robinson mystique and style."

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RED BARBER

"An excellent book that brings back the humanness of the Dodgers, the Giants and the Yankees. We shall not have such an era again except in such loving books as this one."

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ROGER KAHN

"A wonderfully written, evocative book."

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PETER GOLENBOCK

"Memory after memory, page after page. I enjoyed it very much."

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ROBERT CREAMER, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

"As one who remembers that era well, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Harvey Frommerís account of it."

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NEWSDAY REVIEW

"No red-blooded baseball fan will want to be without it. A genuine social history of New York sports in the decade of 1947 to 1957. A compulsively fascinating book."

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READERíS CATALOG

When the lights came on again after World War II, they illuminated a nation ready for heroes and a city--New York--eager for entertainment. Baseball provided the heroes, and the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers--with their rivalries, their successes, their stars--provided the show.

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NEW BROOKLYN

"A nostalgic and enjoyable treat."

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NATIONAL REVIEW

"The best blow-by-blow description of the move west by the Dodgers and Giants to be found anywhere. A fine post-mortem which ought to be the last word on the subject."

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PRAIRIE SUN

"The fans and the fanfare, the talented stars and the unique rivalries with atmospheric stories and snappy prose. Vivid and evocative."

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JERSEY JOURNAL

"Itís memories, moods and the story of times that have escaped us. You have to read it."

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STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE

"Itíll make you eat your heart out and drown in nostalgia."

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WNBC RADIO, NY

"A terrific book, the way Frommer describes Ebbets Field it reads like a Fellini movie."

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USA TODAY

"A look back at the heyday of Big Apple baseball when at least one New York team appeared in the World Series in 10 of the 11 years."

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WOR-RADIO/ N.Y.

"A most delightful, a most delectable book."

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NEW YORK POST

"LOVE OF A BOOK lovingly described."

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City Memories

"This slim, illustrated volume makes a fascinating attempt at capturing in theoretical, sociological terms the love affair between the Dodgers--the team of Branch Rickey and Duke Snider, of Pee Wee Reese and, above all, Jackie Robinson--and the homely, family-oriented, working-class borough of Brooklyn in the 1950s. Robinson, a complex and courageous man, is captured here, warts and all; few remember that the gifted ballplayer denounced the great actor Paul Robeson to the House Un-American Activities Committee. But it's the glory of those summer days that lingers in the memories, and in the pages of this book."

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Baseballology

"New York City Baseball in 1947-57 Was The Golden Age"

by Russ Cohen

After reading the touching dedication that Harvey Frommer had for his wife Myrna and the foreword by Monte Irvin, I knew this was going to be a special book.

The author is a real expert on New York baseball in the "Golden Era" and these books really serve as great reference books besides being great reads. This book talks about the Dodgers moving and after talking with Carl Erskine recently I realized how much that move affected the players as much as the fans! When the Bums beat the Yankees on October 4th, 1955 the author paints a terrific picture of one of the greatest World Series moments.

Even Met fans will love this book as it has some great quotes from Wes Westrum and there are some early memories from the team's struggles at the Polo Grounds, formerly the home of the New York Giants!
This book does a nice job of keeping up with events of the era such as the new Buick B-58 car and other nuggets. This book also details the early career of one Jackie Robinson like few books ever have. You can read what Hall-of-Fame announcer Red Barber thought that time in baseball history.

This book also talks about a young ballplayer that hit the streets of New York, one Willie Mays! If you ever heard the song 'talkin baseball' then you will be able to read about Willie, Mickey and the Duke!
Look at the great pictures and marvel at the Abbott, Costello and Joe DiMaggio shot! This book has everything and if you wanted to learn more about this era, buy the book.

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