Ty and The Babe: Baseball’s Fiercest Rivals: A Surprising Friendship And The 1941 Has-Beens Golf Championship Tom Stanton Thomas Dunne Books First Edition editionAug 11
Starred Review. Stanton’s story of the rivalry-turned-friendship of Ty Cobb (with the Detroit Tigers) and Babe Ruth (with the Red Sox and Yankees) is as splendid as a sunny spring day at the ballpark. Cobb held eight consecutive batting titles the first time he stepped up to hit against Ruth, whom Stanton (The Final Season) describes as “a platter-faced, gray flannelled 20-year-old” rookie pitcher in 1915. The two men were opposite in many waysa Southern Baptist slap hitter versus the Northeastern Catholic home run kingand they would go on to become enemies who competed fiercely for 14 seasons, frequently taunting one another and almost coming to blows. Ruth usurped Cobb’s title as the greatest player in baseball and eventually turned Cobb’s distaste for him into respect. After retiring, they were among the first class inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1939. Two years later, they met in a golf match that stoked their competitive fires one last time and cemented their friendship. Sportswriters regularly characterize baseball players as one-dimensional, either deities or demons, and no two players suffered this fate more than this pair. Cobb is often recalled as a short-tempered racist and dirty player, and Ruth cast as a beer-drinking, hot dog–eating simpleton, but Stanton portrays them sympathetically as exceptionally talented men with complex flaws. Stanton’s writing is seamless, exploring the lives of both men but never lapsing into tedious detail. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A book about the relationship between Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth might seem contrived to baseball fans, each icon representing such a different era, yin to the other’s yang: Cobb as supreme master of the dead-ball era, and Ruth as the virtual progenitor of the modern home-run era. However different those eras were, the players’ careers overlapped 14 seasons (1914-28)–long enough for each to develop an obsessive hatred of the other. Their story is great drama–the older Cobb refusing to relinquish his primacy even as the younger Ruth wrests it from him, Cobb bunting and stealing Ruth’s Yankees to distraction as Ruth pummels Cobb’s Tigers with a barrage of homers–and Stanton tells that story with flair and telling detail. Perhaps most remarkable is the transcendent respect the two men developed for one another during and after their playing days, Cobb realizing that Ruth was multidimensional, and Ruth appreciating Cobb’s work ethic and game smarts. The players’ rivalry would turn, postbaseball, to golf, which Stanton relates with humor and grace. A solid addition to the baseball shelf. Alan Moores
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved
Early in the twentieth century, fate thrust a young Babe Ruth into the gleaming orbit of Ty Cobb. The resulting collision produced a dazzling explosion and a struggle of mythic magnitude. At stake was not just baseball dominance, but eternal glory and the very soul of a sport. For much of fourteen seasons, the Cobb-Ruth rivalry occupied both men and enthralled a generation of fans. Even their retirement from the ball diamond didnt extinguish it.Ty and The Babe: Baseball’s Fiercest Rivals: A Surprising Friendship And The 1941 Has-Beens Golf Championship
Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top
The soap opera that is the Boston Red Sox is in full bloom in Mnookin’s (Hard Times) tale about how the organization coalesced to finally bring Red Sox Nation its first world championship since 1918. After reviewing the dismal bigoted history of Bostonit was the last team to integrate, in 1959, and somehow managed to snub both Jackie Robinson and Willie MaysMnookin, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, explains how the sale of the Sox to a group led by John Henry resulted in changing the direction of the franchise. And like a true soap opera, this one is filled with heroes and villains. There are the ballplayers (Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Curt Schilling) and the executives (owner Henry, CEO Larry Lucchino and GM Theo Epstein). There are the intangibles like Fenway Parkto stay or not to stay, that is one of the questionsand the highly opinionated sportswriters of Boston, Peter Gammons, Dan O’Shaughnessy and the late Will McDonough. There is enough inside stuff here to send the average Red Sox fan into baseball ecstasyand put the rest of the baseball world into a coma. Part Money Ball, part Ball Four and all Red Sox, this title was written for one audienceRed Sox Nationand they will love it. (July 11)
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Seth Mnookin was given access never before granted to a reporter for this fascinating inside account of the Boston Red Sox. As a result he has written perhaps the best book yet about a professional sports team in America.
Feeding the Monster shows what it takes to win a championship, both on and off the field. Seth Mnookin spent mornings in the front office, afternoons in the clubhouse, and evenings in the owners’ box. He learned how the Sox persuaded Curt Schilling to sign, why Nomar Garciaparra resented his teammates, and what led to Pedro Martinez’s acrimonious exit. He knows the real story behind Theo Epstein’s brief departure and witnessed the development of his rift with Larry Lucchino. And in a new epilogue, Mnookin examines the 2006 offseason, including the negotiations for Japanese phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka.
In a juicy narrative that is filled with thrilling detail, Feeding the Monster peels back the curtain to show what it means to be a part of a major league sports team today.