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1954: The Year Willie Mays and the First Generation of Black Superstars Changed Major League Baseball Forever (Anglais) Relié – 22 mai 2014

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17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not enough depth, too much recapping 15 mai 2014
Par Sooz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Bill Madden’s 1954 intrigued me based on the tag on front of the book: “The Year Willie Mays and the First Generation of Black Superstars Changed Major League Baseball Forever.”

Yep, immediately hooked. It was still a year away from Elston Howard making his Yankees debut – as the Yankees were one of the least teams to integrate, but there was information included on Howard, which I found compelling. There were good tidbits on players here and there with Madden having an occasionally insightful quote.

Yet the biggest problem is that 1954 was just a big recap of the season in which the New York Giants swept the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

I hoped 1954 would go deeper into the race relations and issues in baseball. We all know Jackie Robinson was the first black baseball player in 1947. He was recently celebrated with a movie that depicted many of the hardships. But it seems as though Madden glossed over many of these issues, and when he did write about them, he only briefly touched on it. He didn’t spend more than a page at a time going through what minority baseball players contended with.

Most couldn’t stay in the same hotels as their white teammates. There wasn’t much talk as to how this caused problems within the team or how teammates felt about this.

The book was all about baseball – and it’s a baseball book – but the feeling was that it was going to touch on something deeper and it just never went there.

Madden writes in his introduction that more than 10 years ago Larry Doby had contacted him to write his autobiography. That is a book I would have loved to read. Unfortunately, Doby died a short time after that and the book was never written.

I didn’t dislike Madden’s 1954, I just wanted more from it.

**I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1954--A Great Year to Be Old Enough to Appreciate the Game of Baseball 6 mai 2014
Par Bill Emblom - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I turned eleven years old during the summer of 1954 and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about players and happenings that took place in baseball during that year. The book is a heavy concentration on the three New York teams (Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers) in addition to the American League pennant winning Cleveland Indians. 1954 was also the year that Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks broke into the National League yet it was the Cardinals' Wally Moon who was the National League Rookie of the Year. Oddly enough it was the broken ankle of the Braves' Bobby Thompson that gave Aaron the opportunity to begin his major league career. Dodgers' manager Charley Dressen had the audacity to ask for a three year contract from Walter O'Malley so The Big Oom jettisoned him out the door and hired an unknown named Walter Alston to take his place. Starting pitcher Vic Raschi irritated Yankees' GM George Weiss who promptly sent him off to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Yankees had won five World Series in a row but this was the year that manager Casey Stengel lost out to Al Lopez and the Cleveland Indians. Interesting trades that took place during 1954 was the sending of Irv Noren to the Yankees in exchange for Jackie Jensen and Frank "Spec" Shea to the Washington Senators. Cardinals' icon Enos Slaughter openly wept when he was dealt to the Yankees during spring training. Following the 1954 season a 17 player blockbuster, which included numerous supernumeraries, between the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles sent Bob Turley and Don Larsen to New York. This occurred around the same time that the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted the unprotected Roberto Clemente away from the Brooklyn Dodgers' farm club in Montreal.

Larry Doby, Al Rosen, and American League batting champ Bobby Avila squared off against the New York Giants in the World Series that year. They were also backed up by the big three pitching staff of Wynn, Garcia, and Lemon. Bob Feller expressed his greatest disappointment in not having a chance to pitch and secure a World Series win. This was the year of Willie's catch off of Vic Wertz in the 8th inning of game one. However, Durocher's secret weapon in this series was journeyman James "Dusty" Rhodes who hit two home runs, one in extra innings to win game one of the series.

1954 brought us right in the middle of the time period in which African-Americans were beginning to populate major league rosters with only the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, and Phillies remaining as holdouts. At a New York Giants reunion 50 years later Willie Mays stood up and saluted Alvin Dark as the manager he learned the most from. A lot was taking place in baseball in the year 1954 and I'm thankful I was old enough to appreciate being familiar with the stars that made up the game during this time period. Age does have its advantages. If you like baseball history this is a book for you to include in your library.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1954 A Great Book and Time for Baseball 5 août 2014
Par Douglas - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is a sensational book. The cover is my ever lasting image of Willie. Two years after this catch and throw, I saw my first game at Crosley Field and Mr. Mays was the Center Fielder. My Dad said that this guy is the only guy that you should pay to see. Since I was all of eight at the time, I didn't understand what he meant. Willie went 0-4 in an 11-1 loss. So, naturally, I, promptly, forgot about it. But, after seeing Mays a number of times throughout his career, I, finally, realized that my Dad was on the level. Any way, baseball has a rich history and 1954 is a large part of that. Even though the Indians were stacked, they were shell shocked when Mays and Dusty Rhodes performed feats that will last forever.

This is a well written piece about the blacklisting and the quota system then in place. The Reds could have had an outfield of Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson and Curt Flood. But, because of the feelings and emotions of the times, they dealt Flood to the Cardinals. Too bad.

This is a great book and I, highly, recommend it.

Doug Brownlee
Cincinnati, OH
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Book for Fans of Baseball History 18 mai 2014
Par BikingGuy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I admit that I'm a sucker for baseball history books and this one is a nice addition to the genre. It focuses on the emerging black star ball players that helped change the face of baseball in the 1950s: Larry Doby Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks. In addition Bill Madden provides a lot of information on other emerging black players as well. Since many of these players were active when I became a baseball fan in the early 1960s, I found this information fascinating. The book provides some interesting insights and information on each of these players within the context of the 1954 baseball season and the World Series between the Giants and Indians. The book is well paced and I found it hard to put down. I did find the narrative on the World Series to be anti-climatic (but it was a 4 game sweep so that may be why). The author also provides some interesting information on life in the United States during that time as well. For all fans of baseball history I highly recommend that you add this book to your collection.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lived it 3 juin 2014
Par Dr. William Costello - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I had the great fortune to live in the NYC/Long Island area during this era of the game. I was 9 in 1954, but totally in love--with baseball. Yes, it is good that the game has been spread out across the country, but there will never be another era quite like the one with three teams in one city; the rivalry between the Bums and Gints fans was a matter of life and death, but all in good spirits. Even if you were living outside the Metro NYC area at the time, this book is worth the read, as it provides the facts and flavor of a unique decade.

What makes 1954 so special is that it was realization of the Jackie Robinson dream that was described so elegantly in Jules Tygiel's classic Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy.


For maximum enjoyment read the Tygiel book first...
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