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Forging Genius: The Making of Casey Stengel Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc. (May 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574888730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574888737
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Even the most fanatic Yankees fans will find themselves exclaiming, 'Wow! I didn't know that!' FORGING GENIUS is a delightful and wonderfully written look at a man who bequeathed more than we know to the game we love." --Suzyn Waldman, New York Yankees radio broadcaster

About the Author

Steven Goldman writes the column “The Pinstriped Bible,” a regular Web column for the New York Yankees focused on their history, and also contributes to Yankees Magazine and He lives in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Robinson on September 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I usually read only fiction as I find non-fiction and biography to be on the heavy side; however, my husband forced me to read this book after he thought it was one of the best books he ever read, saying, "if you enjoyed Seabiscuit, then you'll love this, because it's ten times better." I can honestly say that while it's not ten times better than Seabiscuit, it is definitely on the same level.

Goldman does an amazing job showing how Stengel was really an intelligent man, displaying an American wit, typical of one from the Midwest and the great Mark Twain. After reading "Forging Genius" I discovered that Stengel was an incredibly funny guy with tremendous observational powers. It was truly a compelling and fluid story and I was surprised at how talented this first-time author is.

Forging Genius was meticulously researched, and what really shines through was how much the author enjoyed researching and writing about this colorful personality. It may make Goldman's story a tad biased on the positive side, but in today's cynical society, it was refreshing to see just a touch of hero-worship in a book about a man long considered to be a buffoon in baseball circles. Goldman proves that Stengel was ahead of his time and a genius to boot!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kleeberg on March 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Casey Stengel remains one of my heroes, even though his day in baseball concluded right around the time I was born. I am also a fan of Steven Goldman; his Pinstriped Bible is a much visited feature on my Bookmarks list. I purchased Forging Genius expecting a much closer look at the time of Stengel's managerial career in which he helmed such weak entries as the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves. The book indeed focuses on those years, and some new facts emerge that do not appear in other bigraphies. Nonetheless, those who buy the book with expectations similar to mine should be warned that extensive coverage is given to Stengel's first year with the Yankees, little of which has not been mined in other treatments. This is a book for hardcore baseball fans; those with an eye toward the history of the game will enjoy this book enormously.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frank L. Greenagel Jr. on April 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
Goldman, who writes for the NY Sun and more significantly, Baseball Prospectus, is a historian who interviewed nine of Stengel's players and tirelessly read 60 years worth of New York newspapers and books for this book.

George Weiss stunned baseball insiders, the press corps and Yankee fans when he hired Stengel in the fall of 1948. Many derided Stengel as a clown and a "second division manager." Stengel won 5 straight World Series with the Yankees (and an overall total of 7 titles and 10 pennants). After his unparalleled success, many of those who scoffed began to call him a genius. Goldman's book only spends two chapters on Casey's time with the Yankees; the bulk of it is about his playing and earlier managing career, where his genius was created and tested.

The highlights and major points of the book are the following:
1) his relationship with John McGraw
2) how McGraw platooned Stengel, thus creating the manager who would bring the platoon into vogue
3) how Bucky Harris invented the stopper with Joe Page, and how Stengel adopted and adapted his strategy
4) Stengel's love and ability to teach young players
5) how he used humor and obfuscation with the press
6) his relationship with Frankie Frisch
7) his relationship with Billy Martin
8) how, unlike most people inside and outside of baseball, he was able to learn and adapt as he grew older and moved up the chain of command

It's a wonderful, informative book with loads of quotes and funny stories.
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