The New York Yankees: An Informal History

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In January of 1903, American League president Ban Johnson, "his pince-nez riding precariously on the bridge of his nose,” raised a glass to toast his young baseball league, which had just received permission to purchase the Baltimore organization and establish a team in New York City. That marked the genesis of the fabulous Yankee franchise (known in 1903 as the Highlanders) as well as the opening chapter of Frank Graham’s The New York Yankees: An Informal History. One of fifteen team histories commissioned by G....

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Overview

In January of 1903, American League president Ban Johnson, "his pince-nez riding precariously on the bridge of his nose,” raised a glass to toast his young baseball league, which had just received permission to purchase the Baltimore organization and establish a team in New York City. That marked the genesis of the fabulous Yankee franchise (known in 1903 as the Highlanders) as well as the opening chapter of Frank Graham’s The New York Yankees: An Informal History. One of fifteen team histories commissioned by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in the 1940s and 1950s, The New York Yankees traces the most successful team in either league from the beginning through their 1943 World Series victory over the Cardinals, ending with a quick synopsis of the 1944 season.

 

In Yankee (and baseball) history, of course, Babe Ruth stands above all the rest, but he is flanked by such legends as Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig. Wee Willie Keeler is there, too, joined by fellow Hall of Famers Charlie "Red” Ruffing, Herb Pennock, and Bill Dickey. The Hall of Fame lineup also includes Miller Huggins, Lefty Gomez, Ed Barrow, Joe McCarthy, Tony Lazzeri, Waite Hoyt, and Earle Combs.

 

In his foreword, Leonard Koppett writes that Graham’s "New York Sun columns called 'Overheard in the Dugout’ delighted me as I was growing up; but what I learned later, when I got to work alongside him, was that they were as good and as reliable as court transcripts. He didn’t take a lot of notes. He just absorbed what was being said—and what it meant in the right context—and reproduced it in graceful prose and natural speech. It is this style of narration through dialogue that makes his books come so alive.”

 

Twenty-four black-and-white Yankee photographs enliven Graham’s informal history.

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809324149
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Series: Writing Baseball Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Leonard Koppett, who covered the Dodgers, Yankees, and Giants for the New York Herald Tribune, the New York Post, and the New York Times, is the author of numerous baseball books including The Man in the Dugout and Thinking Man’s Guide to Baseball. Known as an intellectual sportswriter and guru to hundreds of writers, Koppett received the prestigious J. G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Writers of America in 1992, which placed him in the writer’s wing of the Hall of Fame.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Foreword xi
I. The American League Enters New York 3
II. Ruppert and Huston 19
III. The Engagement of Huggins 32
IV. The Arrival of Babe Ruth 43
V. The First Pennant 53
VI. 1922: A Turbulent Year 73
VII. The Departure of Huston 89
VIII. With a Resounding Crash 103
IX. The Upswing to Greatness 113
X. Five-O'clock Lightning 127
XI. "Break Up the Yankees!" 138
XII. The Quest for a New Manager 160
XIII. Up from the Minor Leagues 169
XIV. The Farm System 187
XV. A Three-Year Pause 194
XVI. Never Another Like Him 205
XVII. Another San Francisco Italian 214
XVIII. The Pace Quickens 231
XIX. 1939: Lights and Shadows 247
XX. DiMaggio Goes Swinging Along 257
XXI. End of an Era 268
XXII. Spring, 1943 275
XXIII. Heights Recaptured and Lost Again 282
Index 291
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