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Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees' First Dynasty

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Overview


Before the feuding owners turned to Ed Barrow to be general manager in 1920, the Yankees had never won a pennant. They won their first in 1921 and during Barrow’s tenure went on to win thirteen more as well as ten World Series. This biography of the incomparable Barrow is also the story of how he built the most successful sports franchise in American history.
 
Barrow spent fifty years in baseball. He was in the middle of virtually every ...
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Overview


Before the feuding owners turned to Ed Barrow to be general manager in 1920, the Yankees had never won a pennant. They won their first in 1921 and during Barrow’s tenure went on to win thirteen more as well as ten World Series. This biography of the incomparable Barrow is also the story of how he built the most successful sports franchise in American history.
 
Barrow spent fifty years in baseball. He was in the middle of virtually every major conflict and held practically every job except player. Daniel R. Levitt describes Barrow’s pre-Yankees years, when he managed Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox to their last World Series Championship before the “curse.” He then details how Barrow assembled a winning Yankees team both by purchasing players outright and by developing talent through a farm system.
 
The story of the making of the great Yankees dynasty reveals Barrow’s genius for organizing, for recognizing baseball talent, and for exploiting the existing economic environment. Because Barrow was a player in so many of baseball’s key events, his biography gives a clear and eye-opening picture of how America’s sport was played in the twentieth century, on the field and off. A complex portrait of a larger-than-life character in the annals of baseball, this book is also an inside history of how the sport’s competitive environment evolved and how the Yankees came to dominate it.
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Editorial Reviews

Booklist

“Substantive baseball history filtered through the career of one of the game’s overlooked titans.”—Wes Lukowsky, Booklist

— Wes Lukowsky

Boston Globe

"Levitt revisits the vexed matter of Sox owner Harry Frazee’s motives in selling baseball’s greatest player to New York and, in so doing, debunks the previous debunking of Glenn Stout and Richard A. Johnson in 2000, in Red Sox Century. . . . Eight years ago Stout and Johnson convinced me of their views; today I am just as convinced by Levitt."—Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe

— Katherine A. Powers

baseballanalytics.com

"[Ed Barrow] will undoubtedly go down as the definitive work on one of the most important baseball figures in the first half of the 20th century."—Rich Lederer, baseballanalytics.com

— Rich Lederer

The Inside Game

"In Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees' First Dynasty, author Daniel Levitt offers a well-detailed account of the great baseball man including his meteoric rise through the professional baseball world, the beginning of the Boston Red Sox's descent from championship status and what would become the legendary Yankee dynasty of the 1920s."—Anthony Basich, The Inside Game

— Anthony Basich

NINE

"One of the many strengths of Levitt's biography is that he provides ammunition for both sides in this schism while telling the story in an even-handed and convincing manner. . . . Levitt's work is of the highest order."—Lee Lowenfish, NINE

— Lee Lowenfish

Robert Creamer
"Baseball scholars will delight in Dan Levitt's Ed Barrow, a meticulously detailed biography of one of the most important figures in baseball history."

-Robert Creamer, author of Babe: The Legend Comes to Life and Stengel: His Life and Times

Rob Neyer
"When we think about the beginnings of the Yankees' long dynasty, we think of Gehrig, and DiMaggio, and the Babe. Especially the Babe. But thanks to Dan Levitt, now we know that mastermind Ed Barrow belongs on that list, too. Perhaps at the top."

-Rob Neyer, ESPN.com

Marty Appel
"Ed Barrow was a towering figure in baseball who arrived in New York to construct the Yankee dynasty-and who left decades later, with the dynasty and his legacy well intact. Dan Levitt has captured his power within the game, his complicated relationships, and his work ethic with a wonderful look at a man who helped shape the game for half a century."

-Marty Appel, former Yankees public relations director and baseball historian

Frommer Sportsnet

“An in-depth bio of the man best known for being the power behind the great Yankee dynasty. But he was much more than that as Levitt shows in this well researched and highly readable effort.”—Frommer Sportsnet

Omaha World-Herald

“The University of Nebraska Press, long respected for its scholarly works, has emerged as a valuable baseball resource as well. . . . Notable American players and teams, baseball history overseas (in Latin America, Japan and Australia), sportswriters and broadcasters, the African-American baseball experience, early traces of the game’s essential elements in medieval Europe—all these and more are among the subjects examined in the NU Press’s fascinating explorations of baseball in its many dimensions. . . . . The University of Nebraska Press deserves praise for drawing attention to this notable figure—and for publishing dozens of titles that help fans of our national pastime better understand this venerable sport.”—Omaha World-Herald (NE)

Baseballdigest.com

"Thousands of fans pass by Barrow's large plaque in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park annually, and though it's among the largest, he is probably the one of whom they know the least. But, as Levitt makes clear, he’s among the most important in franchise history."—Jerry Milani. Baseballdigest.com

— Jerry Milani

Booklist - Wes Lukowsky

“Substantive baseball history filtered through the career of one of the game’s overlooked titans.”—Wes Lukowsky, Booklist

Boston Globe - Katherine A. Powers

"Levitt revisits the vexed matter of Sox owner Harry Frazee’s motives in selling baseball’s greatest player to New York and, in so doing, debunks the previous debunking of Glenn Stout and Richard A. Johnson in 2000, in Red Sox Century. . . . Eight years ago Stout and Johnson convinced me of their views; today I am just as convinced by Levitt."—Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe

NY Daily News - Bill Madden

“A captivating overview of baseball from the ‘20s through the ‘40s.”—Bill Madden, New York Daily News

baseballanalytics.com - Rich Lederer

"[Ed Barrow] will undoubtedly go down as the definitive work on one of the most important baseball figures in the first half of the 20th century."—Rich Lederer, baseballanalytics.com
The Inside Game - Anthony Basich

"In Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees' First Dynasty, author Daniel Levitt offers a well-detailed account of the great baseball man including his meteoric rise through the professional baseball world, the beginning of the Boston Red Sox's descent from championship status and what would become the legendary Yankee dynasty of the 1920s."—Anthony Basich, The Inside Game
Ron Kaplan's Baseball Bookshelf - Ron Kaplan

http://rksbaseballbookshelf.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/prtops-to-university-of-nebraska-press/

frommersports.blogspot.com

http://rksbaseballbookshelf.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/prtops-to-university-of-nebraska-press/

NINE - Lee Lowenfish

"One of the many strengths of Levitt's biography is that he provides ammunition for both sides in this schism while telling the story in an even-handed and convincing manner. . . . Levitt's work is of the highest order."—Lee Lowenfish, NINE
Baseballdigest.com - Jerry Milani

"Thousands of fans pass by Barrow's large plaque in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park annually, and though it's among the largest, he is probably the one of whom they know the least. But, as Levitt makes clear, he’s among the most important in franchise history."—Jerry Milani. Baseballdigest.com
Robert Creamer

“Baseball scholars will delight in Dan Levitt’s Ed Barrow, a meticulously detailed biography of one of the most important figures in baseball history.”—Robert Creamer, author of Babe: The Legend Comes to Life and Stengel: His Life and Times
Rob Neyer

“When we think about the beginnings of the Yankees’ long dynasty, we think of Gehrig, and DiMaggio, and the Babe. Especially the Babe. But thanks to Dan Levitt, now we know that mastermind Ed Barrow belongs on that list, too. Perhaps at the top.”—Rob Neyer, ESPN.com
Marty Appel

“Ed Barrow was a towering figure in baseball who arrived in New York to construct the Yankee dynasty—and who left decades later, with the dynasty and his legacy well intact. Dan Levitt has captured his power within the game, his complicated relationships, and his work ethic with a wonderful look at a man who helped shape the game for half a century.”—Marty Appel, former Yankees public relations director and baseball historian
NINE

"One of the many strengths of Levitt’s biography is that he provides ammunition for both sides in this schism while telling the story in an even-handed and convincing manner. . . . Levitt’s work is of the highest order."—Lee Lowenfish, NINE

— Lee Lowenfish

Frommer Sportsnet

“An in-depth bio of the man best known for being the power behind the great Yankee dynasty. But he was much more than that as Levitt shows in this well researched and highly readable effort.”—Frommer Sportsnet

Baseballdigest.com

"Thousands of fans pass by Barrow’s large plaque in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park annually, and though it’s among the largest, he is probably the one of whom they know the least. But, as Levitt makes clear, he’s among the most important in franchise history."—Jerry Milani. Baseballdigest.com

— Jerry Milani

Kirkus Reviews
Everything you need to know-and much, much more-about a baseball magnate you probably didn't know existed. Born in 1868, Edward Grant Barrow was one of the sport's original renaissance men. He began his professional career in 1903 as manager of the Detroit Tigers, but didn't gain any serious notoriety until he led the Boston Red Sox to a championship in 1918. Excellent on-field tactician though he was, Barrow is best known for his 1920-45 stint as the New York Yankees's head front-office honcho. During his tenure, he not only put together the minor-league system but helped the Yankees become a dynasty for decades with his brilliant personnel moves, acquiring and/or nurturing Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio, among many others. Baseball insiders were appreciative of Barrow's impact on the game-he was elected into the Hall of Fame only eight years after the conclusion of his career with the Yankees-but the average fan wasn't necessarily aware of his existence, which is still the case today. Does Barrow's role in baseball history merit a nearly 500-page exhumation? Levitt (coauthor, Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way, 2003) would certainly answer in the affirmative. A baseball geek writing for baseball geeks-and that is meant in the kindest, most respectful way-the author has an astounding facility with detail: The sheer number of names, dates and salaries he tosses around is mind-blowing, and the 18 informational tables in the appendix are worthy of inclusion in an economics textbook. The primary drawback here is that Barrow is ultimately a footnote, albeit one of the most important footnotes, in baseball history. A labor of love of great value to Yankees fans andhard-core baseball junkies, but not too many others.
Omaha World-Herald (NE)

“The University of Nebraska Press, long respected for its scholarly works, has emerged as a valuable baseball resource as well. . . . Notable American players and teams, baseball history overseas (in Latin America, Japan and Australia), sportswriters and broadcasters, the African-American baseball experience, early traces of the game’s essential elements in medieval Europe—all these and more are among the subjects examined in the NU Press’s fascinating explorations of baseball in its many dimensions. . . . . The University of Nebraska Press deserves praise for drawing attention to this notable figure—and for publishing dozens of titles that help fans of our national pastime better understand this venerable sport.”

NY Daily News

“A captivating overview of baseball from the ‘20s through
— Bill Madden

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803229815
  • Publisher: UNP - Bison Books
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 456
  • Sales rank: 1,235,549
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Daniel R. Levitt is the coauthor of Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way, winner of the Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     ix
List of Tables     xi
Preface     xiii
Acknowledgments     xv
Every Job in Baseball, 1868-1920
"The Best Deal the Yankees Ever Made"     3
Hustling and Scrapping     9
Forcing His Way into Baseball     19
A Pennant in Toronto     37
Major League     53
Back to the Minors     67
League President     77
"Fight These Fellows to the Finish"     89
No Respite     109
World Champions     123
"Please Explain Why Boston Club Has Neglected to Suspend Mays"     145
"I Am Going to Sell Ruth to the Yankees"     161
The Yankees Years, 1920-1953
Business Manager of the Yankees     177
Turmoil and Success     193
Collapse     211
Rebuilding a Dynasty     223
"I Just Couldn't See Him"     239
McCarthy     253
"If You Say I Did It, I Did; but I Did It Asleep"     261
"Close Deal"     281
"I Like to Do Business with Smart People"     299
President of the Yankees     317
"Pure as the Driven Snow"     339
"Over His Dead Body"     361
The Hall of Fame     371
Appendix     381
Bibliography     397
Index     417

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    THis book is written in the very historical biographical mode,

    THis book is written in the very historical biographical mode, with exhaustive attention to as much detail of the subject's life as the author could muster. I thoughly enjoined it, but perhaps not the book for every fan of baseball. In fact, it was just the book I was looking for. It isn't easy to write a book of this caliber that spans the past 20th Century decade of post electronic media, especially an induividual who was not as flamboyant as the icons that so many others choose that built the game. If anyone wants to understand though, why the Yankees became the baseball dynasty they did, how successive owners after Jacob Ruppert were able to continue winning, how the quintessential General Manger job in baseball became an important necessity, then you need to read this book.

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