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The American League in Transition, 1965-1975: How Competition Thrived When the Yankees Didn't Paperback – December 10, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Hensler is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society. The author of several essays on baseball published by SABR, he has also lectured on baseball in the 1960s. He lives in Ellington, Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (December 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786446269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786446261
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,965,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paul has written a book that should pull many of its readers back with pleasure to their childhood innocence.

Many of us grew up in areas that did not have a major league team close by and we found ourselves wedded and welded to a baseball team for reasons other than geography. Successful teams with major stars will capture these fans and it is great to see a book take up the story of three great teams. He profiles three mini dynasties that arose in the American League at a time when the Yankees were not the only team getting attention and winning every pennant. He mixes the tales of the heroes that pitched and batted the teams (Twins, Orioles and Oakland A's) to fame along with the back stories that most of us would not know about; the farm team development, critical trades and drafts, and the make of the management staff that all worked together to that success. This era in baseball was a very transitional time period with the development of the player's union and the integration of African American baseball players into the major leagues.

One can only wish that we had many more Harmon Killebrew's playing today. Very well researched and very enjoyable read. Anyone with a baseball fan in the family should gift them with this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By betterdays2 on April 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you are a baseball fan and enjoy the history of the game you will like this book. If your are a baseball fan that enjoys the history of the game and remembers that era of baseball then you will really like this book. If you are a baseball fan who enjoys the history of the game, remember that era of baseball, and are a fan of either the Twins, Orioles or A's then you will love this book. I fall into the second group, I'm not a fan of these 3 teams, but I still really liked the book. For me it brought back memories of my baseball card collecting days. I can still remember the Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew cards. It is a well written book on the time period in baseball where it seemed all teams had an equal shot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Doug on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
For the baseball fan who lived through the non-Yankee decade of the mid-60's to the mid-70's, this extremely well-told story describes the not-so-well-known travails of the three American League teams that filled the void. The insight, beyond the boxscore, provided by the author is fascinating and if you didn't happen to listen to the games during that era, and the story is entirely new to you, then it's all the more enjoyable.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book was great because I learned a lot about how the Minnesota Twins built their team. You get a real sense how GM's of that era constructed their rosters. I've always heard about the "Oriole Way" and this book does a great job of showing how that got started and how the Orioles were so successful. The part on the A's does a great job of describing why the A's left Kansas City and how they built that dynasty. In my opinion, I would read Swingin 73 about the 1973 baseball season. That book is a more in depth look at those great A's teams. Otherwise a great baseball book.
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Format: Paperback
This is an era of baseball I thoroughly enjoyed not so much though because of what the author's subtitle states that the Yankees grew weaker. All I knew as a kid was Vida Blue of the Oakland A's was both a great pitcher and so cool. From there I became an A's fan but enough about me.

So having been an impressionable kid for most of this 1965-1975 era, I was happy to get all the backdrop to the rise of the A's and the Baltimore Orioles in the American League. The stuff on the Minnesota Twins was just a bonus as they peaked the earliest during this time.

The author gives great insight in how these three teams managed to win divisions, pennants and for the O's and A's World Series titles. In fact, in many ways, the most fascinating part was how the Washington Senators were on the verge of having a very good team with plenty of excellent young players then they moved to MInnesota. So just when the Senators may have been able to succeed at the box office in D.C., they were gone.

It's also interesting to note the A's moved from Kansas City and the Orioles from St. Louis where they were known as the Browns. It seems like that thread of both team movement led to the the era of freer player movement that began really in 1975.

The Oriole Way that led to their success is explained and shows it was not some overnight process. The A's having actual physical fights amongst themselves to their contract squabbling with notorious tightwad owner Charlie O. Finley is also all there in all its glory.

Author Paul Hensler also manages to use some easily understandable modern stats at times to explain his point. Also, referencing John Peterson's Kansas City Athletics he shows he knows how to quote from great sources when need be.

A thoroughly enjoyable and unique take on an era in the American League many of us loved growing up.
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