The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the End of Baseball's Golden Age

The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the End of Baseball's Golden Age

by Sridhar Pappu


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The Year of the Pitcher is the story of the remarkable 1968 baseball season, which culminated in one of the greatest World Series contests ever, with the Detroit Tigers coming back from a 3–1 deficit to beat the Cardinals in Game Seven of the World Series.

In 1968, two remarkable pitchers would dominate the game as well as the broadsheets. One was black, the other white. Bob Gibson, together with the St. Louis Cardinals, embodied an entire generation's hope for integration at a heated moment in American history. Denny McLain, his adversary, was a crass self-promoter who eschewed the team charter and his Detroit Tigers teammates to zip cross-country in his own plane. For one season, the nation watched as these two men and their teams swept their respective league championships to meet at the World Series. Gibson set a major league record that year with a 1.12 ERA. McLain won more than 30 games in 1968, a feat not achieved since 1934 and untouched since. Together, the two have come to stand as iconic symbols, giving the fans “The Year of the Pitcher” and changing the game. Evoking a nostalgic season and its incredible characters, this is the story of one of the great rivalries in sports and an indelible portrait of the national pastime during a turbulent year—and the two men who electrified fans from all walks of life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547719276
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

SRIDHAR PAPPU is “The Male Animal” columnist for the New York Times. He began his award-winning career as a feature writer for the Chicago Reader and has served as a columnist at the New York Observer, a correspondent for the Atlantic, and as a staff writer at the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated. 


Table of Contents

Prologue: Hope ix

1 Silent Film 1

2 Lost Fathers 14

3 Rising 26

4 Testimony of Pilots 52

5 The Break 67

6 Into the City of Ashes 85

7 A Black Man Wins in Boston 101

8 Winter of Recriminations 115

9 The Silent Spring 130

10 8:45 143

11 Out There 155

12 Unclenched Fists 169

13 President of the World 181

14 A Lousy Pitcher 198

15 Talk to me 213

16 Old Men 227

17 Trouble 243

18 Seventeen 249

19 Mudders 260

20 Anthems 267

21 Slipping 277

22 After the Fall 288

Epilogue 314

Acknowledgments 323

Notes 327

Selected Bibliography 368

Index 373

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