October 1964, by David Halberstam
The players, almost all white, had been raised in harsh circumstances, the games were played in the afternoon on grass and were broadcast on radio, the teams traveled by train, and the owners had dictatorial power over the players. Here also was the story of the Yankees winning the first of their pennants under Casey Stengel before going on to become baseball's greatest dynasty. "October 1964" is Halberstam's exciting new book about baseball -- this time about the last season of that Yankee dynasty. Like the previous book, it is both sports and history, and it is a fascinating account of an electrifying baseball championship against the background of profound social change. The Yankees, like most American League teams, reflected the status quo and, in contrast to the National League teams, had been slow to sign the new great black players (indeed, for a time, their best scouts were ordered not to sign them). Though the Yankees boasted such great names as Mantle, Maris, and Ford, theirs was an aging team: Mantle, hobbled by injuries, was facing his last hurrah in post-season play. By contrast, the St. Louis Cardinals were a young tough team on the ascent, featuring talented black players -- Bob Gibson, Curt Flood, Lou Brock, and Bill White -- who were changing the very nature of the game with their unprecedented speed and power. Halberstam has once again given us an absorbing tale of an exciting season and a great Word Series that reflected a changing era in bothbaseball and the rest of society as well: The fabric that insulated baseball from the turmoil in the rest of the country was beginning to tear. We get intimate vignettes not only of the players but also of the scouts who signed them including the black scouts who had been denied the chance.
Used. Good condition. Some wear and tear. Some damage to the corners.