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The Best Game Ever: Pirates 10, Yankees 9: October 13, 1960 Hardcover – August 28, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
The nine innings of 1960's World Series' seventh game provide baseball historian Reisler with all the framework he needs to paint an exciting and detailed picture of a sport and its milieu. Reisler (Babe Ruth: Launching a Legend, among others) calls a good game, deftly intertwining the dramatic backstories and subplots of the World Series showdown between each pitch. With cinematic flourish, Reisler breaks from the game's action to zoom in on all the bit players and supporting cast of the competition, including the announcers, children playing hooky, the photographers, random spectators, and the individuals who pillaged the field for souvenirs. Reisler puts together a visually nuanced account without the aid of a video record (the tapes have been lost). As the drama mounts, each pitch and swing takes on greater meaning as Reisler illuminates the events leading up to the game and follows its reverberations into the future. He delivers an account that succeeds in creating suspense when the outcome is already known, and by the time Mazeroski's home run sails over the wall at Forbes Field, each Pirate and Yankee player feels like an old friend. As evidenced by the faithful who still congregate at what used to be Forbes Field's left field wall every October to listen to the rebroadcast, this is a story worth hearing. (Oct.)
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*Starred Review* The black-and-white clip is grainy and dated. For older fans, it rekindles the excitement of seeing it live, watching on television, or listening on the radio; younger fans know it as one of history's greatest baseball moments. The "it" is Bill Mazeroski's dramatic, walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning of the deciding seventh game of the 1960 World Series to give the underdog Pittsburgh Pirates a world championship against the era's most dominant team, the New York Yankees. Veteran sports journalist Reisler, a Pittsburgh native, was only two at the time, but the moment resonated throughout his life as a young baseball fan. Employing the detailed, digressive style of Daniel Okrent's classic Nine Innings (1983), Reisler breaks the game down inning by inningalmost pitch by pitchand along the way profiles the key personnel for both teams, recounting how they migrated through baseball to arrive at that historic moment. Reisler has written a number of books about baseball (A Great Day at Cooperstown, 2006), but whatever good work he has done in the past, this is a true labor of loveand it shows. Relying on interviews with nearly two dozen participants or observers as well as secondary sources, he re-creates the excitement of what may well have been baseball's most exciting game. A truly memorable account of an iconic sports moment. Lukowsky, Wes
Top customer reviews
Page 41 - says Luis Arroyo was right handed. He was a lefty.. that's why his screw ball was so effective
Page 44 - says Yogi Berra was "righty swinging".. how could any baseball fan not know he was a lefty?
Page 211 and Page 212 - contradictory descriptions of the 2nd pitch to Maz. On 211 he says it came in "about an inch above the letters". On Page 212 the very next page he contradicts that and says the pitch arrived "belt high"
Page 221 - says the Yankees went on the play in the next 4 World Series through 1965 winning 3 of them. This is wrong. They did not play in the 1965 Series. And they only won 2 of the next 4.. They won in 1961 and 1962. They lost in '63 and '64.
Page 258 - says 1997 was the year McGuire and Sosa chased Maris' record. That was 1998. How could he not get that right
Because the game is so well-known, there's little suspense. Like some other readers, I occasionally felt like just flipping ahead to the chapters about the eighth and ninth innings. Reisler sandwiches a lot of Pirates' history in between innings. But Reisler tests the reader's attention span as he sometimes writes 20-plus pages before returning to the account of the game.
Reisler includes some interesting nuggets, but he also commits a number of glaring errors, as noted by other reviewers. The book is heavily tilted toward the Pittsburgh perspective. Pirates fans will delight in the book, while others may find it less satisfying.
Nevertheless, this is a good book and I recommend it.
We came back to Oakland, parked near the Webster Hall Hotel, went through the kitchen, and joined the Pirate party. That was a heady experience for a couple that was young and married for just a year.
Reliving the series was fun. The author did a good job and made us smile a lot.
This book is a nice but not great recounting of that game. There were mistakes in the writing and proofing, I was able to get around them. I discovered things I didn't know about the game, such as that the Doctor was asked to come to the Stadium so Kubek could stay with the team. The play-by-play, many times, pitch-by-pitch accounting of the game added to my knowledge. I just wish it were better written and more accurate in it's details.