Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s

Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s

4.1 19
by Dan Epstein
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0312607547

ISBN-13: 9780312607548

Pub. Date: 05/25/2010

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

The Bronx Is Burning meets Chuck Klosterman in this wild pop-culture history of baseball's most colorful and controversial decade

The Major Leagues witnessed more dramatic stories and changes in the ‘70s than in any other era. The American popular culture and counterculture collided head-on with the national

Overview

The Bronx Is Burning meets Chuck Klosterman in this wild pop-culture history of baseball's most colorful and controversial decade

The Major Leagues witnessed more dramatic stories and changes in the ‘70s than in any other era. The American popular culture and counterculture collided head-on with the national pastime, rocking the once-conservative sport to its very foundations. Outspoken players embraced free agency, openly advocated drug use, and even swapped wives. Controversial owners such as Charlie Finley, Bill Veeck, and Ted Turner introduced Astroturf, prime-time World Series, garish polyester uniforms, and outlandish promotions such as Disco Demolition Night. Hank Aaron and Lou Brock set new heights in power and speed while Reggie Jackson and Carlton Fisk emerged as October heroes and All-Star characters like Mark "The Bird" Fidrych became pop icons. For the millions of fans who grew up during this time, and especially those who cared just as much about Oscar Gamble's afro as they did about his average, this book serves up a delicious, Technicolor trip down memory lane.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312607548
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
05/25/2010
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
9.56(w) x 6.56(h) x 1.15(d)

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Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are or know of a baseball fan who remembers the 70's, you need to buy this book. I read it in two days, and I was sorry when it ended. I remember a good number of the games described, but there was plenty I didn't know--and I'm a pretty fanatical fan. I read some of the anecdotes out loud for my fiance, who is only recently a baseball fan, and it made her laugh. An absolute delight from the first page to the last.
SlapShot62 More than 1 year ago
This book covered my "formative" years with the game of baseball. Coming off the Miracle Mets of 1969, I was hooked as a youngster as the 1970s began. Epstein does a great job highlighting each year and the major events that occurred, as well as throwing in separate chapters on a variety of trends and social highlights of the times. This decade covered my life from the age of 8 through high school, so it was a huge hit for me. Even if you were born after the 1970s, you will love this book. Personally, it was fun to relive baseball and my youthful memories while reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The decade was strange but had great baseball also.
MinTwinsNY More than 1 year ago
 A franchise moves halfway across the country after only one season in the Pacific Northwest.   A controversial book describing the antics of baseball players off the field.   Those are two of the events in baseball in 1970, setting the table for an entertaining and interesting decade for the sport.   The book is broken into chapters for each year 1970-1979 with a few extras on topics such as hair styles and uniforms.    The baseball season recaps are quite informative and well researched.   Not every detail is included, such as you don’t see the listing of individual award winners listed each year, but there are recaps of the season for each of the four division winners, other teams that played significant roles in the season and then brief recaps of the League Championship Series followed by a detailed account of that year’s World Series.    None of these are written in great detail, but with enough so that the reader will get a good feel of what it was like to be watching that championship series.  Whether it was the 1971 Series that introduced night games and saw the Pirates become the first team to come back from being down three games to one, or the 1977 Series in which Reggie Jackson hit three homers on three pitches, it is all covered in this book.  If there was a problem with the baseball coverage with this book, I thought that some of the best moments or performances were ignored or omitted in favor of giving more information on only the teams that were contenders.   As an example, there is no mention of Rod Carew at all in the 1977 chapter when he had one of the best individual seasons of the decade with a .388 average, the highest at that time in over 30 years and was the American League MVP.   Another omission was when Mike Marshall became the first player in to lead both the American and National Leagues in pitching appearances.  His record 106 appearances with the Dodgers in 1974 is mentioned in that chapter, but his 90 appearances for the Twins in 1979 to set the record in that league is not mentioned.    However, there is more than just baseball covered in this book.  Using the game as a background, many political and social issues of that time are discussed as well.  As an example, to illustrate the “sexual revolution” of the times, a story of two pitchers who swapped wives is included in the book.   The fashion tastes of the decade are covered in a chapter about the uniforms worn by various teams.  As a personal note, I must admit that one of my favorite jerseys of all time is called hideous, among other terms, by the author.  That jersey is the “rainbow” jersey of the Houston Astros.   Ah, well, guess I can’t agree with him on everything, right?  As a whole, this book was very entertaining and great stroll down memory lane as I recalled many of the stories and games described.  Some of the social commentary was informative for me as well, especially in the early part of the decade as I was a kid at the time and didn’t fully understand the significance.   Whether you were a fan at the time or just would like to learn more about that interesting decade, this book is a good read
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