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Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers (Dover Baseball) Paperback – February 18, 2010

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Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers (Dover Baseball) + The Greatest Ballpark Ever: Ebbets Field and the Story of the Brooklyn Dodgers + Tales from the Dodgers Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Dodger Stories Ever Told (Tales from the Team)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Golenbock is the author of many bestselling books, including Dynasty, The Bronx Zoo, Number 1, Balls, and Personal Fouls. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

This history of the Brooklyn Dodgers concentrates on the final dozen years of the franchise, 1946-1957. The bad guys (O'Malley, Bavasi, and Durocher) are clearly identified, as are the good guys (Branch Rickey and all the Dodger players). The narrative includes copious commentary by most of the major players associated with the integration of baseball and the Dodgers' winning of their first-ever World Series. Raymond Todd tells the story well. Without much vocal dramatizing he puts the listener in the middle of Irish-Italian-Jewish Brooklyn and creates a range of voices that move the narrative forward. Each voice is immediately identifiable and convincing. An interesting listen for fans of baseball history. R.E.K. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Baseball
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (March 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486477355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486477350
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Raul R Ruiz on January 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
The strength of this book lies in the first-hand accounts given by the players, executives, and fans that made the Dodgers franchise what it was. It is around these accounts that the book is built, and there is nothing more fascinating than hearing contemporaries reminisce about Campy or the Duke. This moves the book away from journalism and makes it something deeply personal. A must-have for any fan of the game, and especially of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mcgivern Owen L on February 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Bums" is the near-perfect sports story. Only possible time and geographical gaps may lessen its' impact. Author Golenbock covers the Brooklyn Dodgers from just before WW2 through the funereal 1957 season when the curtain descended on traditional National League baseball in New York City. "Bums" is totally contrasted both in tone and scope from Roger Kahn's classic "The Boys of Summer". It is far earthier as Golenbock eschews Kahn's elegant style. Also "Bums" is no paen to the old Dodger franchise. It hits hard in places, delving into franchise back stabbing, front office power grabs and providing readers veiled or sometimes quite direct pillorying of Dodger icons. Not surprisingly that Dark Knight, Walter O'Malley,takes a few direct shots. What an awful man he must have been.

"Bums" also portrays some wonderful characters in their finest past glory. One time owner Leland Stanford (Larry) MacPhail, manager Leo Durocher are two exemplars of character. Golenbock explains how Branch Rickey smoothly finessed Leo's transit from the Dodgers to the hated Giants in the midst of the '48 season. Imagine the headlines! Among the colorful players are pitchers Kirby Higbe and Billy Loes, who truly did lose a ground ball in the sun! (The sunlight shone through the slots in the side of the Ebbets Field façade). "Why should I want to win 20 games?" Billy asked. "Then they will want me to do it every year!" What perfect logic.

As stated above, there is plenty of mudslinging included to match the nostalgia. Manager Walter Alston is portrayed as a dry, colorless organization man/lackey to O'Malley. This corporate duo put a stop to much of the zaniness.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book if you're a fan interested in the early days of baseball, especially the New York teams. The author captures everything around the human spirit surrounding the Dodgers, Ebbets Field, the fans that treated the team like family, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, the Giants and Yankees rivalries.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eugene Katzman on August 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up in Brooklyn and was as naive as some of the others who were interviewed. The level of History of those times suprised me. That Casey Stengle was almost a Dodger manager, that my old nemisis the Giants Leo Durocher was part of the construction of great Dodger teams. That the Yankees GM McFail was part of the original Dodger turn around. It was all factually amazing and beyond that, the book made me see a very nuanced view of the people from Lippy Leo, to Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson, Carl Furillo and others. I couldn't put the book down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
BUMS (1984) is a project that author/compiler Peter Golenbock worked on for so long the advance money ran out and he was forced to rely for a while on the generosity of family and friends. It's good that Golenbock lavished much time and effort on this oral history of the Brooklyn Dodgers, for BUMS is one of, if not THE greatest bio of a single baseball team.

The story begins in 1883 with Charley Ebbets, a program and ticket seller at the Brooklyn park who found a way in 1902 to take control of the franchise even though he had no money. Doing so prevented a Dodger exodus and relocation to Baltimore, thus Ebbets was forevermore a saint in his town. The sad demise of "Dem Bums" came at the hands of Walter O'Malley. Even after years of being the National League's most profitable team and following Brooklyn's 1955 World Series victory over the hated Yankees, O'Malley still schemed to abandon little Ebbets Field and move to wherever he could get the sweetest deal. Los Angeles came through in a huge way. Land, a free stadium and parking, and significant tax breaks sealed the deal and after the final game of the '57 season, the Brooklyn Dodgers were no more.

What comes between in this 451 page book is an amazing story of struggle, success, heartbreak and triumph, all told by the players themselves, plus surviving members of the front office, sportswriters and especally devoted fans. For Brooklynites, their Dodgers weren't just a ballteam, they were a way of life. Some of the more incredible details are fan-related, like the Yankee rooter who was murdered by a Brooklyn fan in a Queens, NY bar right after the second game of the '56 World Series, or another man that in 1951 dropped dead when he heard Bobby Thomson's "Shot heard 'round the world" on the radio.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Cohn on June 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers contains a lot of new info, but also omits some that would be of interest to the reader.
I was 6 years old in 1941 when the Dodgers won their first pennant in 21 years, after spending most of the intermediate years deep in the second division. Everyone in Brooklyn,where I lived, was excited about the Dodgers except for my father who couldn't have cared less. I got my information from my uncle and my older friends. In mid 1942, my uncle was drafted, and in early 1943 we moved to Queens,where I didn't have any older friends. In the spring of 1945 I dicovered the Dodger radio broadcasts with Red Barber and Connie Desmond on WHN. I listened to all broadcasts, and starting in 1948 all games on TV; except for the months of July and August when I was sent to camp.
Given this experience , I was most interested in the heroes of '41 and '42 and what players did in ''43, '44, and the summer of '45. The book has a lot of interesting info, especially on Kirby Higby, who was a big winner in '41, and after the war came back to pitch wery well for the Dodgers in '46. But it doesn't contain much on Whitlow Wyatt, who was the ace of the '41 and '42 teams and of Durocher's awful handling of him. In the summer of '42, Wyatt was pitching in a 1-1 game with the Cardinals going into the 15th inning. He told Durocher that he was tiring and losing speed on his fastball, and asked to be relieved. Durocher called him a quitter and sent him back in. He gave up a run and the Dodgers lost.Though they won 104 games, they lost the pennant to the Cardinals by 2 games. After the season Durocher blamed Wyatt, publically calling him a quitter.
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Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers (Dover Baseball)
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