Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

When the Colts Belonged to Baltimore Hardcover – October 1, 1994


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$15.00 $2.83

Ashe vs Connors by Pete Bodo
Ashe vs Connors by Pete Bodo
Check out the newest book by Pete Bodo. Learn more
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1St Edition edition (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395621453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395621455
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pro football had a checkered history in Baltimore that began with a wobbly start in 1947. In 1953, a new team was brought from Dallas, the Colts, who, particularly after the acquisition of quarterback Johnny Unitas in 1956, became one of the best in the league. In 1958, the Colts won the championship in an overtime contest with the New York Giants that fans call the greatest football game ever played; 13 years later the Colts won Super Bowl V. Gildea, a sportswriter with the Washington Post who spent his Baltimore youth as a Colts fan, recaptures the optimism and joy of his early years in this warm memoir. After Unitas was traded in 1972, the Colts were good but not great. In 1984, a new owner moved the franchise to Indianapolis, hiring 11 trucks to accomplish the deed in the dead of night. Baltimoreans now refer to the team as the "Indianapolis Vans." Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In this poignant memoir, Gildea (Fighting Irish, 1976) blends memories of his boyhood in Baltimore during the 1950s with profiles of former Colts stars to produce a portrait of city life not unlike that once found in other pro football towns across America. Gildea skillfully interweaves his own reflections with those of the players (e.g., Johnny Unitas, Bert Rechichar, Art Donovan) to illustrate the bond between the town and team that was ultimately broken when the franchise moved surreptitiously to Indianapolis. In contrast to the modern era of free agency-where loyalties between owners and players seem nearly nonexistent-this work evokes a time when the home team often served as the "generational glue" for many families. With gentle style and rich insight, Gildea delivers a gem of a book. For most popular sports collections.
William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
67%
4 star
27%
3 star
0%
2 star
7%
1 star
0%
See all 15 customer reviews
A real must read for any TRUE football fan!
Joseph P. Truncale
In this book, you can relive those memories and once again hear the names of the legends and the prideful roar of a city echo across the years...
Steve R.
This book has brought back so many memories for her as someone from Baltimore.
Baltimore Fan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I'm not a Colts fan, I've never been to Baltimore, and I grew up ten years too late for the 1950s but this is still the best football book I've ever read. Much of it is down to William Gildea's engaging writing style and his ability to seamlessly blend interview with reminiscence. This book isn't so much about the Colts as it is about growing up in Baltimore during the 1950s - which, for me, only strengthens its appeal.
With books like this and John Eisenberg's "Cotton Bowl Days," George Plimpton's "the smaller the ball, the better the literature" axiom is, at long last, under threat.
Can't recommend this strongly enough.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steve R. on March 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a book that evokes memories of a golden era in America and American sports when men played professional football for the love of the game. To those who loved them, the Baltimore Colts of the late 50's and 60's were a gallant and mythical team that resonated with names like Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore, Alan "The Horse" Ameche, "Big Daddy" Lipscomb, Raymond Berry, Gino Marchetti, Art Donovan, and Weeb Ewbank. William Gildea has captured, in a wistful reminiscence, these men and that time...a time when the players were an integral part of the community and the community shared a deep and abiding emotional attachment to the team. This was professional football before free agency, player strikes, owner lockouts, and team relocations.
Like Mr. Gildea, my father introduced me to the Colts when I was a small boy. Like Mr. Gildea, my father instilled an appreciation for the men with the horseshoes on their helmets who won with quiet humility, lost with defiant grace, and personified determination, hard work, and team loyalty. My father and I had never been within 2,000 miles of the city of Baltimore, yet through television on Sunday afternoons, we felt the Colts were our team, too. Sadly, the Baltimore Colts have been forever consigned to memories. In this book, you can relive those memories and once again hear the names of the legends and the prideful roar of a city echo across the years...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
I can`t tell you how much this book brought back so many memories for me. I grew up in Westminster Md., but moved to Baltimore after the war and as hard as it is to believe, I lived 2 doors from the author on Maine Ave, but never did our paths cross. My memories of the Colts extend back to the lst training days at Western Maryland College. Most of the players came into our jewelry store. George Shaw. Bert R., Alex Hawkins, Big Daddy L., and of course Weeb E. I sold him a complete set of Gorham silver for his daughter. But my best friend was Freddy Shubach, Equipment Mgr. who doubled in the ticket office in the winter. I ended up with 14 during the glory years, I truly would like to talk to Mr Gildea about so many aspects of his wonderful book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph W. Arwady on April 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a "Baltimoron" who grew up during the era that William Gidea describes in "When The Colts Belonged To Baltimore." My youth football coaches were Gino Marchetti and Alan Ameche, two "Dads" on the field with their sons and the rest of us, all neighbors and friends. On Saturdays, we played six-on-six tackle football; on Sundays, everyone went to Memorial Stadium to see my coaches play professional football. I was a good friend with Ernie Marchetti, Gino's son, and after every game (we never lost in four years), we were treated to an all-you-can-eat "winner's meal" at either Gino's or Ameche's, two fast-food chains the Gildea discusses in this book. We entered the restautants from the rear, still in uniform, and sat on milk crates as we devoured our hamburgers, fries and milkshakes. It was an era never to be repeated; this is a book I cherish, because it is not only William Gildea and his Dad who lived it, but so did the rest of us who lived in Baltimore when we belonged to the Colts. Gildea is am empassioned writer, one of the best, who captures the essence of a place and time, however, if you lived anywhere but Baltimore in the late 1950's and 1960's, you should read this book to know that professional sports did not always transcend life; there was a time when life transcended professional football, in Baltimore.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pat Fay (PSDCurtis@aol.com) on February 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
William Gildea is a stellar author who really portrays what football was like in the 1950s. He shows how the Colts went from bottom to top. He talks about how football was associated with his family and how he never missed a game. Gildea wrote the best sports book I have ever read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph P. Truncale on December 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I'm Reading this book and let me tell you something, this is a great book. Tells the story of an old time football team and it talks about the great Colts players like Jonnhy Unitas, Raymond Barry, Lenny Moore, and other greats. A real must read for any TRUE football fan!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Canuck in WA on July 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with one of the posts in that the author does have a tendency to focus on his life a bit, but taken in the context of just how much the Colts meant to his family during that period of time, it's understandable to a degree. However, the best thing about the book is the individual stories (Gino Marchetti & Alan Ameche especially) as to how players during that era were real human beings who were elbow to elbow with the working class public on a day to day basis; not the pompus, self-indulgent & ego-centric clowns of today's sport scene.

When you compare the game of yesteryear to that of today's NFL with the constant in your face marketing and overcommercialization, the greed and waste of public money to subsidize the new palaces for the spoiled and calloused athletes of today, it truly does make you wish that time had stood still and remained as it did in the 1950's.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?