7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2010
I have been a devoted Minnesota Twins fan ever since the former Washington Senators moved to Minnesota in 1961. My first ever major league baseball game was in 1961, Twins vs Kansas City (then the A's). I remember as a college student watching the 1965 World Series in Northrup Auditorium at the University of Minnesota, projected onto a movie-sized screen. And of course the great 1987 and 1991 World Series victories.
Well, Doug Grow has captured the rich history of the Twins, in a year-by-year review that begins with the negotiations to get the Senators to move, and ending with the opening of Target Field in 2010. Each year is contextualized by brief descriptions of what happened that year on the international and national scene, what happened in Minnesota, and what was up in the media and the arts. Grow also had access to many of the players and personalities associated with the Twins and their opponents. He weaves these into an incredibly rich narrative that a devoted fan like me just gobbled up. Over and over I was reminded of things I had lived through as they happened, both the moments of joy and those of pain. And of course all the hilarious things that happened, especially during those long years in the Metrodome. While it is not a pictorial history, there are enough good pictures to complement the narrative.
While the very existence of the Twins was threatened during the to-me idiotic contraction talks, they seem now like a very secure franchise, with a sparkling new stadium, key players signed to good contracts, and the momentum of a mostly successful decade (regular season only; very poor playoff showings in this decade). But, as Grow's history makes clear, there are the almost inevitable cycles of success and failure.
Though I live in California, I've already purchased tickets for a game in the new Target Field later this summer. I'll enjoy getting to know the new stadium with my head full of the rich memories so nicely documented by this history.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2010
I first became a Twins fan in the summer of 2006. At the time, I knew next to nothing about the team -- as seen by my question to a friend who brought me to my first Metrodome game: "Who's this Santana guy on the back of all these jerseys?"
Flash-forward 4 years, I love the Twins and follow them regularly, but I always wanted a clear, concise, and easy to read book about the history of the team. This is that book.
The book does not overly rely on simply summarizing what happened in the season -- rather, Grow does an excellent job pulling out funny and interesting stories, both big and small, from the Twins' history. Chapters are organized by year, and the book includes lots of quotes from current and former players, and journalists. It's not a coffee book, but has lots of pictures. I'd highly recommend.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2011
In the film "Field of Dreams", James Earl Jones' character comments that "baseball rolls by like an army of steamrollers". What he means is that baseball is (with very few exceptions) a constant in a topsy-turvy world. Since 1961, the Twins have been that constant for Minnesota baseball fans, and in this book Doug Grow recaps all of those seasons.
The format that Grow takes in this book is to briefly summarize each season of Twins baseball (1961-2009). The on-field actions are discussed, as are the off-field happenings that have been important to the franchise. Sometimes the actual baseball takes precedence, while other chapters focus on a key player or issue. Each season-summary is anywhere from 4-10 pages in length, including some nice full-page photos to complement the text.
While those summaries are interesting and bring back waves of nostalgia, it is actually a very small touch that Grow adds that really makes this book difficult to put down. On the first page of each chapter, Grow includes some information about what was going on in the world, the nation, the state of MN, and popular culture (best movie, book, TV show, etc). It seems like a simple addition, but it really helps connect the memories of Twins baseball with other real-world events you may remember.
Overall, this is a very entertaining Twins baseball book, and I've read enough of them to know the difference (!). I finished it in less than a week because I had such a tough time putting it down.