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From 33rd Street to Camden Yards : An Oral History of the Baltimore Orioles Hardcover – March 20, 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this extensive book, Eisenberg (Cottonbowl Days) traces the history of the modern Orioles from 1954 to the present. He captures the team's exploits at their baseball "boot camp" in Thomasville, Ga., at stadiums all over the country and at various World Series. He sketches key figures in Oriole history like Earl Weaver, Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken Jr., and introduces lesser-known players such as Steve Dalkowski, a phenomenal pitcher with a blazing fastball who never made it to the majors. Connie Johnson and others discuss "the color line" of the 1950s and '60s. We hear extensively from willful owner Peter Angelos, who claims he's uninvolved in the team's daily life, though some managers contend otherwise. Eisenberg introduces each topic in the book and then lets the Orioles whom he interviewed do most of the actual talking. He fills in the gaps between the quotes with narrative, but much of the book is composed of long quotations from players, managers and owners. (This style, from the school of ESPN's Sportcentury TV series and shared by Steve Delsohn's forthcoming True Blue, seems to be the trend in sports team histories recently). The many different voices and opinions are fun and lively, but certain sections run too long, with too much grinding detail. (Apr.)Forecast: The book is a must read for Oriole fans, who will eat up the firsthand accounts and Eisenberg's enthusiastic documentation of their team's history, and it will find a readership among hardcore baseball fans and history buffs. Others, however, will shrug their shoulders: the Yankees, the Orioles aren't.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Eisenberg is an award-winning columnist for the Baltimore Sun whose previous sports books include Cotton Days and the Cowboys in the 60s. This book resembles the popular team histories compiled by Peter Golenbock (e.g., Spirit of St. Louis, Avon, 2000). The Orioles have had some legendary teams and players (including Brooks and Frank Robinson, Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer, and Cal Ripken Jr.). This highly readable and anecdotal volume will circulate well, especially in the Middle Atlantic States.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (March 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809224860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809224869
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,348,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marc Korman on February 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This oral history of the Baltimore Orioles, assembled roughly chronologically from an broad set of interviews, is as good as it gets for an Orioles fan. Starting with Baltimore luring a team from St. Louis and stretching to approximately 2000, John Eisenberg has assembled a comprehensive history of the major league ball club. As an Os fan born in 1981, I've seen few good seasons from the Os but Eisenberg reminded me of the Os great years in the 60s, 70s and early 80s where they were a consistent club that was so respected for the "Orioles way" that an opposing club manager had his team watch the Orioles practice to learn how to play better together. All the characters from Brooks and Frank Robinson, both Cal Ripkens, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, Earl Weaver, Mike Flanagan, McGregor, Singleton, Boog, Brady and on and on are all here. The book ends on a somewhat unfortunate note, with Peter Angelos observing his six years of ownership and pointing out that the Os had been in the playoffs a third of the time, a pretty good statistic. Unfortunately, since the book's publication the Os have not had a winning season and Angelos' ownership record cannot be justified or rewritten the way he tried back then. The best reading for me was the 60s and 70s, mostly highlighting Orioles greats I had never seen play and a stretch of World Series and playoff appearances that rivaled any in baseball. If you enjoy going to Camden Yards or watching MASN, you will not be able to put this book down.
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Format: Hardcover
John Eisenberg let it be known that a real history of the Orioles could not be related in one volume, even at five hundred pages. But, considering that most folks wouldn't read (much less buy) a ten volume set, Eisenberg has offered a terrific alternative. This truly is an oral history. Eisenberg guides us through the history of one of the winningest franchises in baseball history without getting in the way of the story. Virtually every key figure from the Orioles' past is represented here. You'll enjoy hearing from not only the Robinsons (Brooks and Frank), but also from players whose names you have probably forgotten, like Tom Phoebus and Joe Durham. Even Eddie Murray adds his memories to Eisenberg's story. It appears that the players, managers, and others who made their living from baseball, want to be sure to get their two cents into the Orioles' only true book of record. Is anyone missing? One does wonder how a history of Baltimore baseball could be complete without a word from or about Hall of Fame broadcaster Chuck Thompson. He appears to be the only missing link in a comprehensive look back at Baltimore's baseball heritage.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a good read if you are a baseball fan. It becomes a very good read if one is a Baltimore Oriole fan. And, if one is an Oriole fan old enough to remember the early days it is simply excellent.
The oral history told by those who made that history is just wonderful. Mr. Eisenberg has captured some great stories as the history of a once great franchise unfolds.
The memories are spectacular as we hear from the franchise superstars and the lesser known role players over 46 years. This is story telling at its best. One is reminded of so many players that were part of O's story...and they truly come to life.
The human side comes out as well and we are reminded of just how great a franchise it was and how it got that way. It should be required reading for every member of the current Oriole organization...they could learn something.
I too was amazed that Chuck Thomson and Jon Miller were not interviewed and that Bill O'Donnell not mentioned...they were the voices that we all knew.
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Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a birthday present and from the first few glances, I was intrigued. I have read many Oriole books in the past, but none that really told me what had happened. You see, I am 27 now and the first thing I can remember is winning the world series in 1983. So, there is about 300 pages of stories and information that are totally new to me. From the standpoint of a fan who wants to learn more about how the Orioles became what they are in Baltimore this was a very interesting book.
John Eisenberg gives a list of the players he interviewed and a short two lines about them. This was extremely useful to me and I refered back to it often. As the previous reviewer said, I was surprised that Chuck Thompson and also John Miller were not included in the interviewed group, but I'm sure Eisenberg couldn't interview everyone.
From an Oriole's fan perspective, this was an interesting book to read, to learn about how the team got to Baltimore and the different phases of development to the present team. If these things don't interest you then definately skip this book. But I found it to be quite interesting and truly enhanced by the short blurbs from the people who Eisenberg interviewed.
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Format: Hardcover
Former Baltimore Sun sportswriter John Eisenberg, now with the Baltimore Ravens' Web site, wrote this fascinating oral history of the Baltimore Orioles back in 2001. Interviewing current and former players, coaches, managers, front office officials, and owners, Eisenberg covers the entire history of the franchise, from the St. Louis Browns' move to Baltimore in 1954, to the "building" years under Paul Richards, to the glory years of the '60s, '70's, and early '80s, to the decline of this once-great franchise, beginning in the mid-'80s under Edward Bennett Williams, Eli Jacobs, and Peter Angelos. At the time this book was written, the O's were on their way to a fourth straight losing season; little did anyone know that there would be ten more losing seasons after that, before Buck Showalter finally led them to the playoffs in 2012, and had another winning, though non-playoff season, in 2013. With young stars such as Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Manny Machado, Matt Wieters, Chris Tillman, Nick Markakis, and others, the improvement continued in 2014, the club's 60th Anniversary season. Despite season-ending injuries to Wieters and Machado, and an off-year (and season-ending drug suspension, which will end after Opening Day 2015) for Chris Davis, the Birds won their first American League East title since 1997, swept the AL Central champs, the Detroit Tigers, in the AL Division Series, but were then swept by the upstart Kansas City Royals in the AL Championship Series. The Royals lost the 2014 World Series, in 7 games, to the San Francisco Giants - the Giants' third World Championship in 5 years.

While the book is a bit outdated, it is highly recommended for any O's fan who wants to know the good, the bad, and the ugly of the club's history. Hopefully Buck Showalter and General Manager Dan Duquette will improve the club even more for 2015. GO BIRDS!
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