Swinging '73: The Incredible Year Baseball Got the Designated Hitter, Wife-Swapping Pitchers, and Willie Mays Said Goodbye to Americaby Matthew Silverman
Interest and attendance were dropping, and football was ascending. Stuck in a rut, baseball was dying. Then Steinbrenner bought the Yankees, a second-division club with wife-swapping pitchers, leaving the House That Ruth Built not with a slam but a simper. He vowed not to interferebefore soon changing his mind. Across town, Tom Seaver led the Mets' stellar
Interest and attendance were dropping, and football was ascending. Stuck in a rut, baseball was dying. Then Steinbrenner bought the Yankees, a second-division club with wife-swapping pitchers, leaving the House That Ruth Built not with a slam but a simper. He vowed not to interferebefore soon changing his mind. Across town, Tom Seaver led the Mets' stellar pitching line-up, and iconic outfielder Willie Mays was preparing to say goodbye. For months, the Mets, under Yogi Berra, couldn't get it right. Meanwhile, the A's were breaking a ban on facial hair while maverick owner Charlie Finley was fighting to keep them underpaid. But beneath the muttonchops and mayhem, lay another world. Elvis commanded a larger audience than the Apollo landings. A Dodge Dart cost $2,800, gas was a quarter per gallon. A fiscal crisis loomed; Vietnam had ended, the vice president resigned, and Watergate had taken over. It was one of the most exciting years in the game's history, the first with the designated hitter and the last before arbitration and free agency. The two World Series opponents went head-to-head above the baby steps of a dynasty that soon dwarfed both league champions. It was a turbulent time for the country and the game, neither of which would ever be the same again.
VERDICT Highly recommended both for sports fans and those interested more generally in this crucible of a year. They may also enjoy Tim Wendel’s Summer of ’68: The Season That Changed Baseball—and America—Forever.—Jacob Sherman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., San Antonio
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Meet the Author
Matthew Silverman has written or co-written nine books on baseball. Formerly the associate publisher for Total Sports Publishing and a longtime member of the Society of Baseball Research, he was lead writer, editor, and spokesman for Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia. He blogs regularly at MetSilverman.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
This book took me back to the year I graduated from high school and left for college. Enjoyable nostalgic look back at the baseball season and other things going on at the time.
Silverman has selected an eventful year filled with unusual events and colorful characters. His portraits of owners (esp. Charlie Finley, George Steinbrenner), individual players and team chemistry are excellent. It is among the best researched baseball book in quite a while, filled with behind the scenes details. This could have been a GREAT book except for the amateur writing which is distracting. This flaw can eventually be overcome to bring some good satisfying read that could have been better.