Branch Rickey

Branch Rickey

4.6 39
by Jimmy Breslin
     
 

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The book that inspired Harrison Ford in his portrayal of Branch Rickey in the hit movie “42”

In a brilliant match between author and subject, this latest addition to the Penguin Lives series features the inimitable Jimmy Breslin telling the rags-to-riches tale of Branch Rickey, the legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who integrated

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Overview

The book that inspired Harrison Ford in his portrayal of Branch Rickey in the hit movie “42”

In a brilliant match between author and subject, this latest addition to the Penguin Lives series features the inimitable Jimmy Breslin telling the rags-to-riches tale of Branch Rickey, the legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who integrated baseball by putting Jackie Robinson into the major leagues. Moving from the dusty Midwest towns where Rickey built baseball's farm system to the Brooklyn streets where he hatched his most famous plan, Breslin brilliantly captures the heady days when baseball became the national pastime. What emerges is the irresistible story of a schemer and redeemer, a great American who remade a sport-and dreamed of remaking a country. See Branch Rickey’s life brought to the screen in the hit movie “42” in theaters everywhere now.

Editorial Reviews

David Oshinsky
Much has been written about [Rickey's] role in the integration of major league baseball, and Jimmy Breslin's slim biography, Branch Rickey, breaks no new factual ground. What Breslin has done, with his usual gritty perception, is revive a story of enormous consequence…Breslin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is a master of the spare narrative.
—The New York Times
Steven Levingston
[Breslin's] effort is less a full biography than an anecdotal retelling of Rickey's plot to knock down the door to the all-white club of the major leagues…It's a slim book, but one pauses over its many bold turns of phrase and mood-setting riffs…Breslin brings his trademark grit and grace to the combustible issue of civil rights in baseball.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Pulitzer Prize–winning Breslin offers this slim biography on baseball manager and executive Branch Rickey, a man Breslin refers to as a “Great American.” What results is a well-rounded look at a man who not only reformed competitive sports but also influenced the norms of society by helping Jackie Robinson break baseball’s color barrier. Born to a tight-knit family in Ohio in the late 19th century, Rickey’s career as a major league player didn’t last long (as a catcher, he once allowed 13 stolen bases in a game), so he graduated from law school and became the manager of the St. Louis Browns. Yet his most far-reaching achievements happened decades later during his time in Brooklyn, when he shook baseball to its foundations by bringing Robinson to the Dodgers. Rickey as general manager knew there would be backlash and Robinson would be subject to rampant racism, but he was undeterred and never stooped to the level of those who attempted to sabotage his work. As he later told a group of students, “racial extractions and color hues and forms of worship become secondary to what men can do.” Breslin’s gift for easy-to-read yet hard-hitting prose will touch even those who aren’t baseball fans. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Breslin's gift for easy-to-read yet hard-hitting prose will touch even those who aren't baseball fans." —Publishers Weekly
Library Journal
Pulitzer Prize winner Breslin reveals much about the development of baseball, the Dodgers' last years in Brooklyn, and the struggle to overcome the national pastime's racism while tracing the life, deeds, and some (but not all) of Branch Rickey's warts. A breezy read, this "Penguin Life" is nonetheless insightful, humorous, and biting at times as it traces how the man dubbed "the Mahatma" by sportswriters emerged from obscurity as an Idaho lawyer to develop the baseball farm system, multiple MLB winners, Vero Beach spring training, the scientific teaching of skills, and the MLB expansion that brought New York the Mets. Breslin clearly admires Rickey. Lovers of the author, baseball, and/or Americana will be delighted to relive this trailblazer's life in this superlative gloss, which, owing to brevity, will not replace more extensive Rickey biographies.—G.R.
Kirkus Reviews

This entry in the Penguin Lives series focuses on Branch Rickey's game-changing efforts to bring Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, shattering baseball's race barrier.

At the age of 80, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Breslin (The Good Rat: A True Story, 2008, etc.) retains his legendary savvy street smarts and crustiness. In a brief volume about a baseball executive, he creates opportunities to crack wise ("Baseball was a sport for hillbillies with great eyesight"), skewer (actress Tallulah Bankhead was "a loud dimwit from Alabama") and appropriately condemn (he blasts baseball journalists of the Robinson era for their unconscionable social blindness and moral retardation). Wesley Branch Rickey (1881–1965), born on an Ohio farm, attended Ohio Wesleyan University, played baseball, made it to the pros (he didn't excel), went to law school and then returned to baseball, where he spent most of the rest of his life as an executive. Breslin credits him for inventing the farm system—a system he compares, fairly crudely, with slavery. The author skims across most of Rickey's career, rightly highlights his efforts to integrate Major League Baseball and shows how the trio of black players Rickey brought to the Dodgers—Robinson, pitcher Don Newcombe, catcher Roy Campanella—elevated the team to elite status. Breslin covers Rickey's final years in a furious few pages, including a stand-alone chapter about legendary black pitcher Satchel Paige. Along the way, we catch glimpses of Rickey's Christian piety, his GOP allegiance and his hand in assembling the 1960 Pirates, a team that defeated the Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series with a home run by second baseman Bill Mazeroski, the last player Rickey had scouted. Breslin ends in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama, an event he alluded to on page one.

Quirky, idiosyncratic, oddly balanced and surpassingly entertaining.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143120476
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/2012
Series:
Penguin Lives Series
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
909,743
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Breslin's gift for easy-to-read yet hard-hitting prose will touch even those who aren't baseball fans." —-Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Jimmy Breslin was born in Jamaica, Queens. He is the author of multiple bestselling and critically acclaimed books, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. He lives in New York City.

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Branch Rickey 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy reading but such a wonderful version of the famous story of Jackie Robinson. Breslin describes the careful campaign Rickey waged to introduce a black into major league baseball. He describes how Rickey wanted to this out of a deep moral conviction that it was the right thing to do and sold it as an important source of increased revenue. The book also describes club owners, the farm system. sports writers and is filled with wonderful stories and insights into the life of baseball,
Damian DiLuzio More than 1 year ago
To start, you can't tell the story of Robinson and Rickey in 109 pages. The story and the characters are to complex. This book is a disservice to both men and what they did for baseball and this country. Breslin lists a handfull of books worth reading on Branch Rickey. I'm sorry Mr. Breslin, but your book doesn't make the list. Read the intro and pick one of the other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MerlinDB More than 1 year ago
Well researched, well written. A joy for any baseball fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can anyone see this. Shadowfox
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant post anywhere else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fgcggcg haha
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm back! I've been back!
chucklesCC More than 1 year ago
ANY YEAR WITH A BOOK IN IT FROM JIMMY BRESLIN IS A GREAT YEAR. THIS MAKES 2011 A GREAT YEAR. BRANCH RICKEY, THE MAN WHO INTRODUCED JACKIE ROBINSON TO MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, WAS PARSIMONIOUS, PIOUS AND A BUSINESS MAN AND A BASEBALL ENTREPRENEUR BAR NONE. ASIDE FROM BREAKING THE COLOR LINE, HE DEVELOPED THE FARM TEAM SYSTEM, SPOTTED AND BROUGHT INTO BASEBALL SUCH TALENTS AS SISLER, MAZEROSKI, CAMPY AND OTHERS. WHILE MAKING MONEY HE REMAINED ALL BASEBALL, ALL THE TIME. MESSR. BRESLIN DOES RICKEY PROUD, BRINGNG OUT HIS HUMANITY AND HIS DEVOTION TO THE GAME, WHILE SHEDDING HIS REPORTER'S HIGH POWERED LIGHT ON BASEBALL AS IT WAS THEN. FOR ALL THIS, THE AUTHOR IS GIVEN A WELL DESERVED TIP O' THE CHAPEUAX: AND THIS KUDO...IF BRESLIN WROTE THE PHONE BOOK, I WOULD BUY & READ THE PHONE BOOK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A large area lined with bramblesaround the edge, but moss on the inside edg of them. Where expecting and nursing queens and sleep, and spend most of their time. A pile of mossballs sits in a corner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Be online!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Back. She runs in circles, but all you see in a blur.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Prophicy: a dark era will come for this clan but ones that do dream witll dream and of that dream will be a paw. So comes a time that will come for old and young to come together to save there hopes but all will dream of the paw.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cinderfire padded over to Dreampaw." Yeah?" .:///////Cinderfire\\\\\\\:. Swiftpaw looked at Flowermist." Hiya." <&bull;&bull;&bull;&bull;Swiftpaw&bull;&bull;&bull;&bull;>
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Emberpaw frowns and rolls her eyes. "Talk about it. What are we, chopped crowfood?" She mutters to her littermates. Rainkit: He shuffles his paws. "Hi!!! Im Rainkit!" Thunderpaw sighs and walks over to Swiftpaw Nightpaw and Emberpaw. "Thunderpaw." He nods his head. Frostpaw looks embarrassed. "Im uh... im blind." Flowerpaw just sits there. (Sorry guys but Shadowfox and Sandthorn are locked out. Move to *tree* first few reults.=[ ...) Barkstar + Emberpaw
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is sweetberry still here?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dear Branch clan, If anyone finds this, tell brachleg plus .ufstar that i miss them both. Also, tell branchleg to meet me at wintry third result rvrey night. Branchlegs mate, Deputey Thunderfoot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was locked out. Go to blizzard first reslt!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Result three now
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ur leader is being impostered she wants u to move to Birch all results. Her bff~Lightningstar Leader of the Timeclan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could someone tell sweeterry and snowstar 2 meet me at branches third result? Thanks a BUNCH! -leafkit