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  1. #1
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    Good Yankees books forum

    This thread is designed to be a forum to discuss or recommend good Yankees books that you have read. There are, of course, many such books, both historical and contemporary. Perhaps you're looking for a good Yankees book to read and can get an idea from a post here. Perhaps you've read one recently you'd like to discuss with others. Here's the place for that!

    I recently read Jonathan Eig's The Luckiest Man, a biography of Lou Gehrig. The book was outstanding in terms of its research and style. I also read Pride and Pinstripes, Mel Stottlemyre's autobiography--also worth a read.
    "You don't play the games on paper....you have to play the games."
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    What a great off-season thread!

    I agree, PYanks. Jonathan Eig's Luckiest Man was a great biography, not just a great baseball biography. It made me even more of a Gehrig fan than I already was.

    Here are a few Yankees books that I've read and recommend:

    Bat Boy: My True Life Adventures Coming of Age with the New York Yankees by Matthew McGough. Very funny account of McGough's turn as a Yankees' bat boy during the early 90s. The team didn't exactly include today's all-star lineup, but there are some good stories about Donnie and others.

    October Men : Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, and the Yankees' Miraculous Finish in 1978 by Roger Kahn. Kahn's writing style is in a class by itself. Some may find it disjointed at times, especially when he includes paragraphs unrelated to the topic at hand, but somehow he always manages to get back to the main point. And no no one turns a phrase like Kahn. His book, Boys of Summer, is considered by many to be the best baseball book ever written.

    Bronx Zoo by Sparky Lyle and Peter Golenbock. Lyle's hilarious behind the scenes account of the tumultuous 1978 season. These are the Yankees of my youth, and I'll always have a soft spot for this team, but even if I didn't, I'd find this book one of the funniest I've read.

    Birth of a Dynasty: Behind the Pinstripes with the 1996 Yankees by Joel Sherman. I really enjoy behind the scenes stuff, and this book has it.

    One Day at Fenway: A Day in the Life of Baseball in America by Steve Kettmann. Another behind the scenes book, but this one is all about one game played in the middle of a pennant race: Yankees vs. Red Sox on August 30, 2003. Kettmann gives us a view of this one game from the perspective of everyone from fans in the stands to Red Sox GM, Theo Epstein. By the way, the Yankees won the game 10-7.

    The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty : The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness by Buster Olney. Some may argue with Olney's premise (that the Yankees are dead), but it gives the reader more behind the scenes stuff. This time it's a view of the Yankee Dynasty principals (Torre, Jeter, Big Stein, etc.) intertwined within an inning by inning look at game 7 of the 2001 world series. Interesting idea, and it works.

    The Pride and the Pressure: A Season Inside the New York Yankee Fishbowl by Michael Morrissey. No big revelations here, but it's more behind the scenes stuff, this time with a more current team, the 2006 Yanks.

    Pride of October: What it Was to Be Young and a Yankee by Bill Madden. Each chapter is a visit with former Yankees from Marius Russo, who played with Lou Gehrig, to more contemporaries like Mattingly and O'Neill. I found it interesting since it gave me some background on Yankees I didn't know much about.

    Chasing the Dream by Joe Torre. Basically an autobiography, but it gives the reader more behind the scenes stuff, this time the 1996 season from Torre's perspective.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City by Jonathan Mahler. This is the book on which the ESPN miniseries was based. Not specifically about the Yankees, but the 1977 team plays a large part. Even if you saw the ESPN series, I recommend the book. Jumping from storyline to storyline works much better on the printed page than it did on the TV screen.

    Few And Chosen: Defining Yankee Greatness Across The Eras by Phil Pepe and Whitey Ford. Like lists? Then this is the book for you. Whitey gives us his top players at each position. He also gives us some anecdotes about his former teammates. Let the discussions begin!

    Thurman Munson: An Autobiography by Thurman Munson and Marty Appel. I took this book out of my local library so many times as a kid, the librarian set it aside for me when it was finally included in a library book sale. She said, "You practically own it already." LOL. Best book out there about Munson. And yes, I still have the library copy.

    I'd love to get some suggestions from other fans. I'm always looking for a good book.

    Heidi
    "I don't need any extra motivation. My motivation is to win." - Derek Jeter

  3. #3
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by MunsonNY15
    What a great off-season thread!

    I agree, PYanks. Jonathan Eig's Luckiest Man was a great biography, not just a great baseball biography. It made me even more of a Gehrig fan than I already was.

    Here are a few Yankees books that I've read and recommend:

    Bat Boy: My True Life Adventures Coming of Age with the New York Yankees by Matthew McGough. Very funny account of McGough's turn as a Yankees' bat boy during the early 90s. The team didn't exactly include today's all-star lineup, but there are some good stories about Donnie and others.

    October Men : Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, and the Yankees' Miraculous Finish in 1978 by Roger Kahn. Kahn's writing style is in a class by itself. Some may find it disjointed at times, especially when he includes paragraphs unrelated to the topic at hand, but somehow he always manages to get back to the main point. And no no one turns a phrase like Kahn. His book, Boys of Summer, is considered by many to be the best baseball book ever written.

    Bronx Zoo by Sparky Lyle and Peter Golenbock. Lyle's hilarious behind the scenes account of the tumultuous 1978 season. These are the Yankees of my youth, and I'll always have a soft spot for this team, but even if I didn't, I'd find this book one of the funniest I've read.

    Birth of a Dynasty: Behind the Pinstripes with the 1996 Yankees by Joel Sherman. I really enjoy behind the scenes stuff, and this book has it.

    One Day at Fenway: A Day in the Life of Baseball in America by Steve Kettmann. Another behind the scenes book, but this one is all about one game played in the middle of a pennant race: Yankees vs. Red Sox on August 30, 2003. Kettmann gives us a view of this one game from the perspective of everyone from fans in the stands to Red Sox GM, Theo Epstein. By the way, the Yankees won the game 10-7.

    The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty : The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness by Buster Olney. Some may argue with Olney's premise (that the Yankees are dead), but it gives the reader more behind the scenes stuff. This time it's a view of the Yankee Dynasty principals (Torre, Jeter, Big Stein, etc.) intertwined within an inning by inning look at game 7 of the 2001 world series. Interesting idea, and it works.

    The Pride and the Pressure: A Season Inside the New York Yankee Fishbowl by Michael Morrissey. No big revelations here, but it's more behind the scenes stuff, this time with a more current team, the 2006 Yanks.

    Pride of October: What it Was to Be Young and a Yankee by Bill Madden. Each chapter is a visit with former Yankees from Marius Russo, who played with Lou Gehrig, to more contemporaries like Mattingly and O'Neill. I found it interesting since it gave me some background on Yankees I didn't know much about.

    Chasing the Dream by Joe Torre. Basically an autobiography, but it gives the reader more behind the scenes stuff, this time the 1996 season from Torre's perspective.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City by Jonathan Mahler. This is the book on which the ESPN miniseries was based. Not specifically about the Yankees, but the 1977 team plays a large part. Even if you saw the ESPN series, I recommend the book. Jumping from storyline to storyline works much better on the printed page than it did on the TV screen.

    Few And Chosen: Defining Yankee Greatness Across The Eras by Phil Pepe and Whitey Ford. Like lists? Then this is the book for you. Whitey gives us his top players at each position. He also gives us some anecdotes about his former teammates. Let the discussions begin!

    Thurman Munson: An Autobiography by Thurman Munson and Marty Appel. I took this book out of my local library so many times as a kid, the librarian set it aside for me when it was finally included in a library book sale. She said, "You practically own it already." LOL. Best book out there about Munson. And yes, I still have the library copy.

    I'd love to get some suggestions from other fans. I'm always looking for a good book.

    Heidi
    The Bill Madden one is fantastic, the Buster Olney, I never finished, but I didn't really enjoy it.
    "Never, never, never quit."-Winston Churchill.

  4. #4
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    A great book that I've read about the Yankees is Maury Allen's All Roads Lead to October about Steinbrenner's run with the Yankees.
    "Never, never, never quit."-Winston Churchill.

  5. #5
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Yankeesfan924
    The Bill Madden one is fantastic, the Buster Olney, I never finished, but I didn't really enjoy it.
    As much as I can't stand Olney I finished that book in two days. That is how much I enjoyed it even with how that season ended.

  6. #6

    "Babe Ruth & the 1927 Yankees Have the Best Summer Ever"

    QUOTE: (Babe Ruth to a reporter) "Sure I could hit doubles to left and hit .400 every year, but there's a lot more jack in it for me in this home run business."

    I rather immodestly, since I wrote it, recommend "Babe Ruth & the 1927 Yankees Have the Best Summer Ever" which was released in December. Like my other two historical novels, "King of the Hall of Flakes" (2015) about the incredibly talented and nutty Rube Waddell and "The Only Del" (Spring 2017) about the great Irish star Ed Delahanty, the Babe and the '27 Yankees book is based upon exhaustive research so that every bit of the action is realistic.
    It was fact-checked and endorsed by Steve Steinberg ("The Colonel and Hug").

    When the Yankees take a train you learn the name of the train (the expensive ones all had names in those days). When the Yankees order at a restaurant it's from their 1927 menu, not the restaurant's 1925 menu. When you go to Chaplin's house what's in the foyer was really there and his pool is the special shape he ordered. (The mansion was called Breakaway House because he'd had temporary set builders from the studio put up some of the walls.)

    You learn not just what's inside the Babe's locker, you find out what he kept on top for good luck. You learn what other famous movies were being shot on the sets beside the one where Ruth was filming a six-reeler called Babe Come Home. You learn why he calls Benny Bengough Googles and Earl Combs Iron Ass. You find out why conductors are startled by Waite Hoyt's reading material. You learn why first base coach Charley O'Leary should have given Crazy Hank money and what Miller Huggins sneaks off to do when the team's on the road. You learn why Bob Shawkey, the only Yankee with a tattoo, is worried about his wife, "the Tiger Lady", and how Mattie Pipgras finally got George to touch her breasts in their struggle buggy.
    The action includes the Home Run Challenge that captivates America after the mania surrounding Lucky Lindy finally dies down. In April almost superhuman Lou Gehrig is way ahead of the 32-year-old Ruth, who thought he was 33. And you find out a very surprising thing about the Babe's arch enemy the lovable Ty Cobb that becomes a central element in the second half of the book.

    "Babe Ruth & the 1927 Yankees have the Best Summer Ever" and the screenplay based on it, "'27: the Best Season Ever" are designed to be a delight for Yankee fans especially after the two dreadful movies that made about the Babe. My aim for the film is for guys to come out of the theater, hop on their phones and after some searching tell their girlfriend, "Wow, Waite Hoyt really did have one in his trunk! or the Tiger Lady really did that! or the Babe really did hang out with Jack Dempsey and Flo Ziegfeld."

  7. #7

    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Luckiest Man. Best. Yankee. Book. Ever.


    Ten Rings is pretty good, also.

  8. #8
    Lets Get This Dog To Hunt! 51BWilliams's Avatar
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Toaderly
    Luckiest Man. Best. Yankee. Book. Ever.


    Ten Rings is pretty good, also.
    Those Yankee fans who haven't read Luckiest Man are doing themselves a great disservice, absolutely fantastic.
    (Disclaimer: This post not subject to the irony of statements like 'Be careful what you wish for'. I will not be bitten in the ass without prior written consent)

  9. #9
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by 51BWilliams
    Those Yankee fans who haven't read Luckiest Man are doing themselves a great disservice, absolutely fantastic.
    So true...one of the best books I read. Couldn't put it down.

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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    "Luckiest Man" is the best. Hands down.

    Graig Nettles "Balls" is great. The entire book trashes Steinbrenner. It's amazing what he discusses as a current player. No wonder Steinbrenner shipped him off to San Diego after it was published.

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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by PepperGamesAllowed
    "Luckiest Man" is the best. Hands down.

    Graig Nettles "Balls" is great. The entire book trashes Steinbrenner. It's amazing what he discusses as a current player. No wonder Steinbrenner shipped him off to San Diego after it was published.
    Oh wow....I'll have to check that one out.

  12. #12
    A new year, a new era penguin4's Avatar
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Luckiest Man was great. I only wish it had been written ten years sooner so it had more primary interviews.

    A Pitcher's Story by Roger Angell (about the guy to my left) is also very good. But I've never read anything bad by Roger Angell.

    I've always been a big fan of Murderer's Row by G.H. Fleming, which is a compilation of newspaper articles and other primary sources from the 1927 season. Waite Hoyt had a huge hand as a consultant in the editing process, as well as wrote the forward a couple months before he died -- and it's probably one of the few things ever written about the '27 team by one of the players themselves (ghostwritten columns don't count). [Note: It may be out of print, but most libraries have it, and used copies are always floating around the web.]

    Baseball As I Have Known It by Fred Lieb is another one of my favorites. It's not Yankee-specific, but Lieb was a sportswriter for over seventy years, a significant portion of which was based in New York, so there are chapters on Ruth, Gehrig, Hal Chase, and Carl Mays, among lots of other goodies, a lot of which you may not have heard before.
    "You aint my b!tch, n!gga! Buy your own damn fries!" -- Barack Obama

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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by penguin4
    I've always been a big fan of Murderer's Row by G.H. Fleming, which is a compilation of newspaper articles and other primary sources from the 1927 season. Waite Hoyt had a huge hand as a consultant in the editing process, as well as wrote the forward a couple months before he died -- and it's probably one of the few things ever written about the '27 team by one of the players themselves (ghostwritten columns don't count). [Note: It may be out of print, but most libraries have it, and used copies are always floating around the web.]
    Seconded. Its predecessor, Fleming's "The Unforgettable Season," about the 1908 National League race, might be the best baseball book I've ever read.

  14. #14
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by hellonewman
    Seconded. Its predecessor, Fleming's "The Unforgettable Season," about the 1908 National League race, might be the best baseball book I've ever read.
    Ooh, I've been wanting to check that one out ever since I read Cait Murphy's Crazy '08 -- another ridiculously well-researched (not to mention well-written) book. Only a few pages on the Yankees in there (and seeing as they finished dead last that season and weren't quite The Yankees yet, it's pretty obvious why), but still worth checking out for any baseball history fan.
    "You aint my b!tch, n!gga! Buy your own damn fries!" -- Barack Obama

  15. #15
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    "The Year They Called Off The World Series: A True Story" by Benton Stark details the 1904 BB season which the Yankees (Highlanders) were a major part of.

  16. #16
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    This forthcoming book just came to my attention:
    Yankee for Life: My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripes, by Bobby Murcer
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...etshrinecom-20
    "You don't play the games on paper....you have to play the games."
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  17. #17

    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by penguin4
    Luckiest Man was great. I only wish it had been written ten years sooner so it had more primary interviews.

    A Pitcher's Story by Roger Angell (about the guy to my left) is also very good. But I've never read anything bad by Roger Angell.

    I've always been a big fan of Murderer's Row by G.H. Fleming, which is a compilation of newspaper articles and other primary sources from the 1927 season. Waite Hoyt had a huge hand as a consultant in the editing process, as well as wrote the forward a couple months before he died -- and it's probably one of the few things ever written about the '27 team by one of the players themselves (ghostwritten columns don't count). [Note: It may be out of print, but most libraries have it, and used copies are always floating around the web.]

    Baseball As I Have Known It by Fred Lieb is another one of my favorites. It's not Yankee-specific, but Lieb was a sportswriter for over seventy years, a significant portion of which was based in New York, so there are chapters on Ruth, Gehrig, Hal Chase, and Carl Mays, among lots of other goodies, a lot of which you may not have heard before.

    That Murderer's Row book reminded me of a Joe D book I read a year or so ago. I can't remember the name and can't find it on the net, either. It was a compilation of newspaper articles covering his entire baseball career and his life after baseball. I picked it up at the local library. I'll have to go back and find the title. One thing that stood out was that the NY media was just as fickle back in his day as they are now. If he played poorly, they ripped him apart; if he played well, he was a national hero.

  18. #18

    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    My favorites are Luckiest Man, Bleeding Pinstripes, Birth of a Dynasty and 101 reasons to Love the Yankees (and 10 reasons to hate the Red Sox). The Yankee Stadium Official Retrospective is a great coffee table book with excellent pics. I am currently reading Unbeatable about the 1998 championship season.

  19. #19
    A new year, a new era penguin4's Avatar
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Toaderly
    That Murderer's Row book reminded me of a Joe D book I read a year or so ago. I can't remember the name and can't find it on the net, either. It was a compilation of newspaper articles covering his entire baseball career and his life after baseball. I picked it up at the local library. I'll have to go back and find the title. One thing that stood out was that the NY media was just as fickle back in his day as they are now. If he played poorly, they ripped him apart; if he played well, he was a national hero.
    Was it a big coffee table book with lots of photos? If so, I have it. The Daily News put it out right after his death with a lot of their articles. Other than the fact that Loopy wrote the forward, I thought it was well done. You're making me want to go digging through my closet to find it, now.
    "You aint my b!tch, n!gga! Buy your own damn fries!" -- Barack Obama

  20. #20
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Just finished Five O'Clock Lightning, by Harvey Frommer. It was definitely a well-researched book about the 1927 Yanks, but didn't make me feel particularly close to the team, as compared to David Halberstam's style in his books. I felt like I was reading a collection of snippets or the back of a bunch of baseball cards. There are a lot of statistics and game results, and he focuses on the Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig home run race of that season. The last chapter is sort of grim as Frommer enumerates the team after the 1927 season, in order of their deaths, and tells us how each one died.
    "You don't play the games on paper....you have to play the games."
    --Derek Jeter

  21. #21
    A new year, a new era penguin4's Avatar
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by PYanks
    Just finished Five O'Clock Lightning, by Harvey Frommer. It was definitely a well-researched book about the 1927 Yanks, but didn't make me feel particularly close to the team, as compared to David Halberstam's style in his books. I felt like I was reading a collection of snippets or the back of a bunch of baseball cards. There are a lot of statistics and game results, and he focuses on the Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig home run race of that season. The last chapter is sort of grim as Frommer enumerates the team after the 1927 season, in order of their deaths, and tells us how each one died.
    I was browsing through it in a bookstore because that subject always interests me, and I have to say I was pretty disappointed with the little I read. It's hard to judge a book by a few pages, of course, but it just felt kind of superficial to me -- like nothing we didn't know -- and not really all that well-written, either. I was curious to hear the thoughts of someone who actually read it.
    "You aint my b!tch, n!gga! Buy your own damn fries!" -- Barack Obama

  22. #22

    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by penguin4
    Was it a big coffee table book with lots of photos? If so, I have it. The Daily News put it out right after his death with a lot of their articles. Other than the fact that Loopy wrote the forward, I thought it was well done. You're making me want to go digging through my closet to find it, now.

    Yep, that's the one. Let me know when you find it. I'd like to see if I can get a copy.

  23. #23
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty is the best sports book I have ever read.

    The Michael Morrisey crappy book was crap. I think it was called Pressure and Pinstripes. Sucked.

  24. #24

    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Game of Shadows isn't a Yankee book (though Giambi is in it), but you should read it anyway if you haven't.

    "Birth of a Dynasty" and "Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty" are very good, I liked the latter better.
    If they ask who was our star, give them twenty five names, and if you forget our names, just tell them we were Yankees.

  25. #25
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    Re: Good Yankees books forum

    Quote Originally Posted by ace
    Game of Shadows isn't a Yankee book (though Giambi is in it), but you should read it anyway if you haven't.

    "Birth of a Dynasty" and "Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty" are very good, I liked the latter better.


    Birth of Dynasty was really good.

    Another good one....although its one really just for fun....is 101 Reason to Love The Yankees (And 10 Reasons to Hate The Red Sox) By Ron Green, Jr

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