Hammerin' Hank, George Almighty and the Say Hey Kid by John Rosengren

By John Rosengren

"The shiny tale of a tender Reggie Jackson on Charlie Finley's A's and the veteran Willie Mays on Yogi's Mets, either destined for the '73 series." -Library JournalThis was once the yr that the nationwide hobby underwent an severe makeover. In 1973, baseball used to be in main issue. the 1st strike in professional activities had soured fanatics, American League attendance had fallen, and America's team-the Yankees-had misplaced extra video games and cash than ever. but that season, 5 of the game's maximum figures rescued the nationwide pastime.Hank Aaron riveted the kingdom together with his pursuit of Babe Ruth's landmark domestic run checklist within the face of racist threats. George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees at a cut price basement rate and commenced purchasing again their pale glory. the yank League broke ranks with the nationwide League and brought the special hitter, extending the careers of getting older stars reminiscent of Orlando Cepeda. An aged and ill Willie Mays-the icon of an previous generation-nearly helped the Mets pull off a miracle with the ultimate hit of his occupation. Reggie Jackson, the MVP of a stressful global sequence, turned the prototype of the fashionable star. The season itself supplied lots of drama served up through a colourful solid of characters. The Mets, controlled by way of Yogi Berra, played one other close to miracle, emerging from final position within the nationwide League East to win the department and take the A's to seven video games on the earth sequence. Pete Rose edged Willie Stargell because the nationwide League's MVP in a debatable vote. Hank Aaron chased Babe Ruth's landmark 714 checklist within the face of racial threats. Reggie Jackson, the area sequence MVP, solidified his acceptance as Mr. October. Willie Mays, arguably the simplest participant of the '50s and '60s, hit the ultimate domestic run of his profession and retired, now not in a position to continue speed with the more youthful gamers of the following new release. destiny corridor of Famers Dave Winfield and George Brett performed of their first significant league video games; Luis Aparicio and Mays performed of their last.That one memorable summer time replaced baseball forever."It's a season-ticket to 1 of the best years in baseball heritage. John Rosengren has given us probably the most relaxing baseball books to come back alongside in years."-–Jonathan Eig, writer of Luckiest guy: The existence and demise of Lou Gehrig and beginning Day: the tale of Jackie Robinson's First Season

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His “Kelly green and Fort Knox gold” creations injected color into baseball’s drab world of gray and white. The boom in color television coverage accentuated the contrast. 8 Americans no longer saw the world in black and white; they viewed it in full spectrum. The A’s brilliant green and gold vibrated off their living room screens. Players griped and critics sniped at the cartoonish costumes. ”10 But there was no denying the colors’ transformative impact. Just as rock n’ roll, the sexual revolution, the Vietnam war, and the Watergate scandal had shattered the black and white paradigm of society’s values and mores into a variety of shades, the A’s colorful uniforms reflected the new spectrum.

Sex was a staple of the game as common as peanuts and Cracker Jack. The whole country was in on it, actually. One out of four college guys bought Playboy, which began picturing pubic hair that year. Everyone enjoyed The Joy of Sex—on the page if not between the sheets. The Kama Sutra’s modern reincarnation had been a bestseller since its publication the year before. Free love ruled, but this situation was unusual. The first week of spring training, two Yankees, pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson, told their teammates they had exchanged wives, kids, houses, furniture, even dogs—a poodle for a terrier.

Despite initial posturing to toughen their stance from the previous year, the owners had given considerably on each of these issues. Arbitration was the players’ biggest gain. It opened the door for contract negotiations. General managers, rather than risk having to accept a player’s price, became more likely to negotiate. ” The players’ only recourse had been to complain to the league president or commissioner, whose sympathies usually lay with the owners. ”39 The two sides had argued about money, but the heart of the issue was independence.

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