“If you’re interested in the Yankees (and who isn’t), you’re a sucker if you don’t buy Frank Graham’s splendid The New York Yankees.”Bob Considine, New York Mirror
The New York Yankees: An Informal Historyby Frank Graham Jr.
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… See more details below
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 saidand what it meant in the right contextand 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.
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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