From Publishers Weekly
Vincent's second volume of interviews with ballplayers hearkens to a time when kids played baseball all day (with only a break for lunch), annual salaries for professional players rarely reached six figures and the color barrier was only recently broken by Jackie Robinson. Robinson's legacy looms large in the 11 accounts featured here; in one of the book's more touching passages, late New York Giants shortstop Bill Rigney laments failing to introduce himself after the Brooklyn Dodger slugged his first big-league home run against the Giants in 1947. Elsewhere, Duke Snider recalls playing in the final game at Ebbets Field before the Dodgers moved west, and Carl Erskine reveals that players back then didn't bother to read their contracts. Author and former baseball commissioner Vincent records verbatim his subjects' comments, preserving each player's characteristic mannerisms but encouraging digression; that said, everybody questioned has remarkably detailed memories and plenty of opinions on today's game. This is a vivid, entertaining read for anyone old enough to remember Whitey Ford, Lew Burdette and Billy Williams, and an informative insider's history for a new generation of fans.
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This engaging collection of 11 interviews with some of baseball’s best players from the 1950s and 1960s, whose salaries were often less than $10,000, might have been better subtitled, “And, Come to Think of It, We Did” (play for nothing, that is). But those guys could play. Former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent just starts the tape and lets them talk. There’s Ralph Branca, alternately bitter and philosophical about the Shot Heard ’Round the World that Bobby Thompson hit off him in 1951; Harmon Killebrew downplaying the monster homers he hit off everybody; Whitey Ford (236–106 lifetime) sharing great Yankee stories; and Brooks Robinson marveling more at his great peers than at his own illustrious career. Other interviewees include Bill Rigney, Duke Snider, Robin Roberts, Carl Erskine, Lew Burdette, Frank Robinson, and Billy Williams. This loving, valuable addition to baseball historiography is a sequel to Vincent’s earlier The Only Game in Town (2006), which compiled interviews with stars of the 1930s and 1940s. --Alan Moores
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