The Colts' Baltimore: A City and Its Love Affair in the 1950s

Overview

This is Michael Olesker's nostalgic reminiscence of 1958, the year the Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants in sudden-death overtime in a game that still grips the emotions of Baltimoreans. Olesker recaptures the city’s love affair with the Colts in a series of thoughtful and colorful stories that give voice to such notable characters as Colts players Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, politicians Tommy D’Alesandro and Jack Pollack, entertainers Buddy Deane and Royal Parker, sportscasters Chuck Thompson and ...

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Overview

This is Michael Olesker's nostalgic reminiscence of 1958, the year the Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants in sudden-death overtime in a game that still grips the emotions of Baltimoreans. Olesker recaptures the city’s love affair with the Colts in a series of thoughtful and colorful stories that give voice to such notable characters as Colts players Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, politicians Tommy D’Alesandro and Jack Pollack, entertainers Buddy Deane and Royal Parker, sportscasters Chuck Thompson and Vince Bagli, and filmmaker John Waters.

The Colts’ Baltimore also traces the changing cultural landscape of the city just entering an age of revolution—a time when schools were being racially integrated, rock and roll played on the radio, and Baltimore was planning to renew the dilapidated downtown.

Revealing warm ties between Baltimore and its beloved Colts, Olesker's writing makes the events of 1958 seem like only yesterday.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Baltimore Sun - Diane Scharper

Like a love poem... to a more innocent time.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801890628
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2008
  • Edition description: 20
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 681,230
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Olesker has been writing for newspapers since he went to high school at Baltimore City College and imagined that nothing in the world could be more fun than meeting interesting people and writing about them. In the ensuing four decades, nothing has changed his mind. He began writing a column for The News American in 1976, and after three years moved to the Baltimore Sun. He is now a columnist for The Examiner in Baltimore. Mr. Olesker is the author of Michael Olesker's Baltimore: If You Live Here, You're Home and Journeys to the Heart of Baltimore, both published by Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2009

    Good Read

    I have read just about every book on the Colts/Giants 1958 NFL championship game, from both the Colts and the Giants point of view. I am a Colts fan, born in Baltimore, so I do have a Baltimore bias. What I liked about the book is plain to see in the title - "The Colt's Baltimore" - it is more about the city than the game. My family moved out of Baltimore in 1958 (moved to Georgia, where my mom's family was) - part of the "neighborhood changes" movement mentioned in the book. I was only three years old at the time so much of what is mentioned in the book is not a part of my memory, but if my dad were still alive I'm sure he could have related to much of what was there. Reading the book made me recall a lot of the stories my dad used to tell me about his life in Baltimore.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Baltimore, The Colts, with John Unitas, Raymond Berry, Lenny Moore and Artie Donovan

    Michael Olesker treats the reader to Baltimore in the Fifties and the love affair the city had with their Colts. Featured prominently are John Unitas and Raymond Berry and their attachment on the field. Also included are the racial barriers that existed for the African American players while not on the playing field. What was unique were the lives that many of the players developed after the games were done--John Unitas, Artie Donovan, Andy Nelson, Jim Parker, Lenny Moore, Jim Mutscheller, and others raised their families and continued their after-football careers in Baltimore. Olesker's final chapter dealing with the return of the Colts to Baltimore after defeating the NY Giants in December of 1958, is worth the price of the book--people had jammed Friendship Airport (BWI) and were climbing on the team bus--all were clamoring for a view of their conquering heroes. Over 30,000 Colt fans had crammed into the airport, spilled onto the tarmac, and congested the highways to Friendship.

    Olesker's book is a great companion to Mark Bowden's THE BEST GAME EVER; they should be read at the same time.

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