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The House That Ruth Built: A New Stadium, the First Yankees Championship, and the Redemption of 1923

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Great Read for any Baseball Fan!

    I'm one of those rare baseball fans that neither loves nor hates the Yankees, but I loved "The House That Ruth Built." While Yankee's fans will certainly find the construction of the Yankee Stadium, the first Yankee's championship, and Babe Ruth's redemption engrossing, there is so much more to this story then the Yankees. In the opening chapter, as the great Giant's manager John McGraw walks from the Polo Grounds to take on his old tenants in the new Yankee Stadium for the first game of the 1923 World Series, author Robert Weintraub's meticulous attention to detail transports you back to the roaring '20's -- you are walking with McGraw. In a rare double-play moment, Weintraub uses your personal trek with McGraw to adeptly set the stage for the story that is to come: McGraw vs. Ruth, Polo Grounds vs. The Yankee Stadium, Giants vs. Yankees, Temperance vs. Drink, and Ruth's Ultimate Redemption. Weintraub's wit, wisdom and love of his subject matter are evident throughout the book creating a thoroughly enjoyable and lively read.

    Weintraub has written a fascinating baseball book that is about much more than just baseball. It's a story of larger than life characters living in a larger than life era and taking place in a larger than life venue -- the first true cathedral of sports, "The Yankee Stadium." I recommend Weintraub's work for baseball fans and non-baseball fans alike. Weintraub's in-depth research and superior writing skills are on full display, but it is his wry sense of humor that truly separates him from the sports writing pack. I can't wait to see who or what Weintraub selects for his next book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Babe Ruth and the NY Yankee's 1923 World Series Redemption~!!

    The House That Ruth Built is a non-fiction historical account of Babe Ruth's rise to fame and the Yankees stake in baseball history.

    In the early 1920's the Giants were the team to beat, John McGraw knew the game and helped shaped baseball as we know it today. He was the owner/operator of the NY Giants and landlord to the Yankees, via the Polo Grounds, in which many of their first games were played.

    John McGraw did not like Babe Ruth and often called him names and tormented him. The Babe was having a rough time, his fans were turning on him and his game was slacking. He decided to take a break from the game to refocus himself, and though by this time, he was already a superstar, his legend had yet to be born.

    The book is chock full of true life stories and accounts on the glory of the game, the Yankees rise to fame, Babe Ruth's rise to glory and John McGraw's infamous hatred to all things Yankee. McGraw did everything he could to stall or stop the construction of the Yankee Stadium, nestled a short way across the river, sitting like a giant with the Polo Grounds in shadow. The inevitable was about to occur and the control McGraw curried was about to run thin.

    I am not a huge baseball fan but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved all the historical references and the facts and figures that go with the territory. I loved Robert Weintraub's casual and friendly writing style, I could almost envision myself in the crowds of the people on opening day of the new Yankee stadium. He was able to write it in such a way that you could smell the hot dogs and the popcorn and feel the excitement of the 1923 World Series game.

    I enjoyed all the attention to detail that the author was easily able to describe, from the cut blade of the grass to the dimensions of the stadium, nothing is left out and the research involved must have been insurmountable. What you get in the end is a well-documented piece of literature that is a must read for any baseball fan, but especially those who are fans of two of the countries most rivaled teams, the Yankees and the Giants.

    It can be a bit of a dry read in places, especially when they're talking about individual stats of players, but the antics of "The Bambino" as well as, other known greats such as Lou Gehrig, Casey Stengel, Carl Mays etc. etc. We see a side of Babe Ruth that many are not aware of, as well we are shown his less controlled self also, leaving Babe exposed and human. We are escapulated by anecdotes that help to deliver a finely expressed love of baseball from the viewpoints of both the Giants and the Yankees, and how they became the epitome of all things American.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 20, 2012

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    Posted May 30, 2011

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    Posted May 28, 2011

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