3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
the title is perfect,
This review is from: Forging Genius: The Making of Casey Stengel (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.