Whitey Ford, a Hall of Fame pitcher with the Yankees for 16 seasons, gives unique insight and takes on the challenge of selecting the five best players at each position in the franchise's history, which includes 26 World Series championships and 36 American League pennants?a legacy no other team comes close to achieving. Featured players include Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Mize, and Enos Slaughter.
Whitey Ford, a Hall of Fame pitcher with the Yankees for 16 seasons, gives unique insight and takes on the challenge of selecting the five best players at each position in the franchise's history, which includes 26 World Series championships and 36 American League pennants—a legacy no other team comes close to achieving. Featured players include Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Mize, and Enos Slaughter.
No other baseball team, indeed no other sports team, can claim as many championships as the New York Yankees. Former Yankee pitcher Whitey Ford, a Hall of Famer, and diamond reporter Phil Pepe combine to celebrate the heroic guys in pinstripes. Yogi Berra adds his inimitable perspective in a foreword. Regardless of team allegiance, any baseball fan would covet this book.
Instead of the Grand Unifying Theory about what makes the Yankees great that Ford's title promises, his book simply offers his certainly eminent opinions about the all-time best Bronx Bombers at each position. He uncovers no explanations scientific, spiritual or otherwise for that elemental Yankee je ne sais quoi. Ford engagingly discusses his former teammates and coaches, divulging personal experiences and anecdotes. He is less successful on players who preceded or succeeded him. He adds no new insight, for instance, into Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig, protesting that he never saw them play. Still, charming anecdotes about his predecessors occasionally surface: once, Hall-of-Famer Tony Lazzeri secretly filled Babe Ruth's eyedrops bottle with water, then later complained of dry eyes and, borrowing Babe's "medicine," terrified his friend by drinking it. The book's problems are inherent to any such project, and Ford does as well as the next guy. His down-to-earth, sometimes simplistic writing makes for a quick read. Sidebars by other Yankee greats break up the text with additional opinions about the players being discussed, but they never quite disagree with the author, and therefore don't do much to enhance this workmanlike addition to Yankee lore. (Oct.) Forecast: Despite its flaws, Yankee loyalists will enjoy the book, and the Chairman of the Board's name will help sales. Fans of other teams might not buy it, for obvious reasons. With an October release, the book's fate could ultimately be decided by how far the Yankees go in the postseason. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Chockfull of personal anecdotes, Ford's book undertakes a difficult task: to rank the top players and managers from major league baseball's most storied franchise. This offering by the former great Yankee southpaw will pique controversy, weighted as it is toward Ford's teammates and others he viewed in action. At the same time, legendary figures like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Tony Lazzeri are hardly given short shrift. In one sense, the book's sweep is even broader than might be anticipated as Ford explores much of the Yankees' history over the past 80 years. Humor is abundant, with tales of Yogi Berra and off-field antics, but pathos is present too, through the recounting of Roger Maris's difficult quest to break Ruth's single-season home run record. Best of all, Ford produces something of an autobiography by sharing his earliest days on the Yankees, dealings with good friends Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin, and the camaraderie that characterized the team during the Fifties and mid-Sixties. For public libraries. R.C. Cottrell, California State Univ., Chico Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Whitey Ford is a former MLB pitcher who spent his entire 18-year career with the New York Yankees. He is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Phil Pepe is the author of more than 40 books on sports, including collaborations with Yankees legends Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, and Whitey Ford. He is a former Yankees beat writer for the New York Daily News and a former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Yogi Berra is a National Baseball Hall of Famer and a former MLB catcher, outfielder, and manager. He was named an All-Star player 15 times, won the American League MVP three times, played in 14 World Series games, and holds numerous World Series records including hitting the first pinch-hit home run in World Series history. As a manager, his teams won pennants in both the American and National Leagues during his career with the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.