on June 1, 2010
Disclaimer: The reviewer is a life-long St Louis Cardinals fan. The opinions expressed by the author are biased towards the Cardinals, while celebrating rare moments of New York Yankees failure. This review should be taken with a grain of salt. Thanks.
There's something fascinating about the contrarian mindset. They have the courage and conviction to thumb their nose at the most popular set of core beliefs, while embracing something so far out in left field, it's out of the park. Such is the case with the author of this book, Gene Hutmaker.
Hutmaker grew up in the New York area during the glory years of the New York Yankees (primarily the 1950s). Rooting for them would've been the easy thing to do; not only were the Bronx Bombers geographically desirable, they won with remarkable consistency. The author refused to jump on the bandwagon, instead rooting for the National League's version of the Yankees - the St Louis Cardinals, led by such stars as Hall of Famer Stan Musial and Ken Boyer (who belongs in the Hall of Fame). While the Yankees were busy winning championships ("bad years" from the author's perspective) the Cardinals were struggling to do much of anything, until 1964; when they finally ended an 18 year drought, defeating the hated Yankees in a classic seven game World Series encounter.
If you love the Cardinals and/or hate the Yankees, you'll probably get a kick out of Hutmaker's irreverent and humorous recollections of each season, from 1953 to 2005. You'll be amazed by the author's statistical prowess, recalling even the most obscure piece of trivia as if it happened just the other day. Above all else, you'll be informed and enlightened about his perspective, because this guy really loves the game and knows how to tell a very good story, year in and year out; for over 50 seasons. It's definitely worth the price of admission.
on September 16, 2011
Gene Hutmaker has an interesting and entertaining perspective on baseball. Living so close to Yankee stadium with fans in is own family, he takes great pains to point out the reasons why he is not a fan, himself. Gene has been surrounded by sports his whole life. He is a living, breathing encyclopedia of the failures of his hated Yankees. Being a life long St Louis Cardinal fan who was brought up in New York state,, made my journey even more enjoyable. Buy the book. You will enjoy it.