The Ballad of Billy & George: The Tempestuous Baseball Marriage of Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner

Overview

A riveting look at the stormy baseball relationship between manager Billy Martin and the late, great George Steinbrenner

When Yankees owner George Steinbrenner first hired former player Billy Martin to manage his famous American League franchise, they won two pennants and the 1977 World Series. But it is no wonder they werecompared to Mutt and Jeff, Hatfield and McCoy, and even Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton: two stubborn and driven men whose on-again off-again partnership ...

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Overview

A riveting look at the stormy baseball relationship between manager Billy Martin and the late, great George Steinbrenner

When Yankees owner George Steinbrenner first hired former player Billy Martin to manage his famous American League franchise, they won two pennants and the 1977 World Series. But it is no wonder they werecompared to Mutt and Jeff, Hatfield and McCoy, and even Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton: two stubborn and driven men whose on-again off-again partnership entertained America for two decades. Martin was a scrappy, defiant son to Steinbrenner’s role as fickle father. Feuds erupted and separations ensued. Through five partnerships and five firings, Steinbrenner and Martin created great baseball drama and had some championship seasons along the way.

The Ballad of Billy & George is a wonderful, blow-by-blow history of their combustible chemistry, drawn from interviews with Billy Martin Jr., Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, Sparky Lyle, Goose Gossage, Bucky Dent, Clete Boyer, Graig Nettles, Lou Piniella, Clyde King, and Gene Michael. Black and white photos enhance the drama, presented by a veteran sportswriter who covered the Yankees every day during these rollicking times.

 

With the recent passing of George Steinbrenner, this book is an honest remembrance of one of baseball’s most historic and tumultuous relationships between owner and manager.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762770663
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/17/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Phil Pepe has covered sports in New York for more than five decades. He was the Yankees beat writer for the New York World Telegram & Sun from 1961-64, and for the New York Daily News from 1971-84. 

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Read an Excerpt

The Ballad of Billy & George

 

In the beginning, Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner got along swimmingly.
“Their common denominator,” said Martin’s lawyer, Judge Eddie Sapir of New Orleans, “was that every day they won a ballgame the Lord added some life back into each of them. And every day they lost, the Lord took a little life away from them. That was their common denominator: their burning desire to win.”

As owner and manager of the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner and
Billy Martin made beautiful music in their first two full seasons together with two American League pennants and one World Series championship . . . and a lot of noise, a cacophony that reverberated across the baseball landscape and still resonates to this day.

There was a friendship between them,” said Martin’s son, Billy Martin Jr.
“That friendship would turn sour at times. They were two men with large egos and those kinds of people butt heads. There were times when I know dad wanted to rip George’s throat out. And there were times when he wanted to give the man a hug. I think theirs was the classic love-hate relationship.”

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Table of Contents

(1) Preface (2) Introduction (3) One: Collision Course (4) Two: Baseball Doctor (5) Three: Tiger by the Tail (6) Four: Two Different Worlds (7) Five: Casey’s Boy (8) Six: The Copacabana . . . and Other Arenas (9) Seven: Do You Take This Manager? (10) Eight: Candy Man (11) Nine: The Last Straw (12) Ten: Duel in the Dugout (13) Eleven: Mr. October (14) Twelve: Splitsville (15) Thirteen: Reconciliation (16) Fourteen: BillyBall Fifteen: Billy’s Back (17) Sixteen: “Now Pitching, Ed Whitson . . . Catching, Billy Martin” (18) Seventeen: Proudest Yankee (19) Eighteen: Vodka and Old Lace (20) Epilogue (21) Appendix: Timeline of Key Events (22) Bibliography (23) Index

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