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Posted June 6, 2014
"Almost Accurate" might be a better title for this book about a season that, 50 years later, still captivates Philadelphia Phillies' fans. However this book, fraught with misspellings, mis-identifications,and factual errors distracts from the story and misses the mark. The authors claim to have put in three years of research, yet they refer to Detroit catcher Bill Freehan as Jim Freehan, White Sox manager Chuck Tanner as Dick Tanner, and Dodgers pitcher Ron Perranoski as Don Perranowski. On two occasions they indicate that Tommy Davis and Willie Davis of the Dodgers are brothers, when in fact the two players are in no way related to each other. In the description of the 1964 All-Star game they identify Cardinals shortstop Dick Groat as playing for the Pirates, and Cincinnati outfielder Frank Robinson as being a member of the Baltimore Orioles. They refer to Mickey Mantle as being part of the 1950 Yankees team that beat the Phillies in that year's World Series, when in fact Mantle was still in the minor leagues and didn't join the Yankees until the following season. Perhaps the most glaring omission is that they never mention the possibility of a never-before three-way tie for first place in the National League between the Phillies, Reds, and Cardinals, instead focusing only on a possible two-way tie between the Phillies and Cardinals, followed by a playoff game between the two teams. In fact, such a tie was mathematically impossible, as any tie for first place that involved the Phillies would, based on the won-lost records going into the final day of the season, would have also involved the Cincinnati Reds. And if the three-way tie had materialized, the Phillies first playoff game in the round-robin format would have been in Philadelphia against the Reds, not in St. Louis against the Cardinals as the authors state. The book, like the season and team it chronicles, in the end had too many errors and inconsistencies to bring home a championship, and like the 1964 season, and turned out to be a disappointment for this lifelong Phillies fan.
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Posted November 24, 2014
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