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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402209568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402209567
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,486,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

While many baseball fans likely have a casual knowledge of the subjects Rosengren explores in his latest effort, the depths to which the author travels gives new insight into the 1973 baseball season. Rosengren follows the season chronologically from opening day to the Oakland Athletics' dramatic victory in the World Series, and while he discusses the issues that shaped the game, such as the advent of the designated hitter, more time is given to the personalities of the era. Plenty of fans can tell you that Willie Mays hit 660 career home runs, but Rosengren portrays a different side of the man whose arms and knees ached every time he set foot on the ball field. Rosengren also analyzes the Athletics, notorious for superstar Reggie Jackson but also Charlie Finley, an owner "famous for his megalomania." And as for Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, Rosengren shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The author's style is overexplanatory at times, and excessively breezy at others. However, the book is exhaustively researched, and for baseball fans not alive in 1973, an enjoyable history lesson. (Apr.)
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About the Author

John Rosengren is an award-winning journalist and author. He has written five other books, including Blades of Glory: The True Story of a Young Team Bred to Win. His articles have appeared in more than a hundred publications, ranging from Sports Illustrated to Reader's Digest. He is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. A lifelong Twins fan, John lives in Minneapolis with his wife and their two children.

Visit him at www.johnorosengren.net

More About the Author

John Rosengren is an award-winning author of eight books. A freelance writer since 1981, he has written articles for more than 100 publications ranging from Reader's Digest to Sports Illustrated. He's a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors, Biographers International Organization, and the Society for American Baseball Research. He earned his master's degree in creative writing at Boston University, where he studied with Saul Bellow and Derek Walcott. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and their two children.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jason A. Miller VINE VOICE on April 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've always been fascinated with the 1973 baseball season, mostly because I was born hours after the conclusion of Game 2 of the World Series. I've been a Mets fan most of my life and always found it darkly funny that I was born during a year they lost the Series.

There have been a run of books in the past several years by authors celebrating individual baseball seasons: 1964 and 1949 (David Halberstam), 1975 and 1966 (Tom Adelman), 1908 (Cait Murphy); each one has a hook about what makes that year special. John Rosengren's concept for 1973 is that it's a transition year for baseball, a year of firsts and lasts: the first year of the designated hitter, and the first year of George Steinbrenner's ownership of the Yankees; the last year of Willie Mays' career and the first year of Reggie Jackson's superstardom. It was also the year Hank Aaron did not break Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, but any book with Aaron on the cover is likely to do well this year, thanks to Barry Bonds-inspired backlash.

"Hammerin' Hank" is an easy read, as chapters alternate between the book's five principal characters: Willie, Reggie, Hank, George, and Orlando Cepeda (the first great DH in his last great season). Interesting that all the players involved are minorities: three essentially winding up their careers, and one just beginning. Much attention is paid to the AL West and NL East division races, all three playoff series and the All-Star game. As with
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S.Fury on May 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
The research that obviously went into this book would earn the
admiration of any historian, but it's the vivid, engaging writing that makes "Hammerin Hank..." such an appealing read. For fans who remember the 1973 season, and those who weren't even born yet, this book paints a picture with details and a story that live up to the title's hype. The effects of many of the events from that season are still being felt today.

This was the year that George Steinbrenner took over the Yankees, and 35 years later the Boss, and now his son, continue to loom over the game. In the book, we read the type of Steinbrenner tale - him demanding that three Yankees get haircuts - that made him such an easy target, yet Rosengren also shows the lengths he'd go to to make the Yankees a winner, no matter the cost.

The DH went into effect in '73, and years before chicks dug the long ball, Rosengren shows how Oakland owner Charlie Finley pushed for more offense in the game, believing it would bring fans back. The DH rule led Carl Yazstremski to say, "It's legalized manslaughter," because pitchers no longer had to worry about suffering the consequences if they beaned an opposing hitter.

1973 was Willie Mays's final season. Today, whenever an older athlete struggles, it's almost become cliche to say that he should retire because we don't want to see him "stumbling around like Willie Mays." Rosengren details exactly what happened to the baseball legend, and how he struggled through his final days on the field.

The book tells the big stories, as well as the memorable smaller ones - like Gaylord Perry's spitball-throwing antics, and the tale of the two pitchers who switched lives, including wives.
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Format: Paperback
Nineteen seventy-three was a memorable year for major league baseball. John Rosengren brings the outsized personalities who populated the game, on and off the field, back to life in the pages of this book. His subtitle, "The Year That Changed Baseball Forever," may seem a bit audacious, but a look at the developments of that remarkable season will back up that claim.

It was the year Willie Mays said good-bye to the game. It was the year Hank Aaron pulled to within one home run of Babe Ruth's cherished career home run mark. It was the year the American League introduced the designated hitter, and although the Yankees' Ron Bloomberg went into the books as the first official DH, it was Orlando Cepada, in the last great season of his career, who put his stamp on the job. It was the year when the Mets went from worst to first, manager Yogi Berra declaring "It ain't over until it's over" (sort of). It was the year the swaggering, brawling Oakland A's, resplendent in their green and gold uniforms, took their second consecutive World Championship. That World Series was the first for the A's' budding superstar Reggie Jackson (Reggie had been injured during the '72 series) who began putting together the performances that would earn him the title of Mr. October.

It was also a year dominated by two oversized personalities in the owners' box--the A's Charley Finley and the new Boss of the Yankees, George Steinbrenner. Older fans will recall (and younger ones will learn) why the A's won in spite of, not because of Finley. And Yankee lovers and haters will see how the early months of Steinbrenner's reign laid the path for what was to follow in the decades ahead.
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