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Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius Hardcover – April 7, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 401 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Energetically reported and skillfully written, the book is enormously entertaining. Without pretension, it explores the question whether a baseball lifer can actually be a tragic figure in the classic sense—a man destroyed by the very qualities than made him great."
The Wall Street Journal

“Through interviews with Martin’s long-silent widow, his son and others who knew and played with and for him, we get a complete picture — womanizing, drinking, fighting and the rest.” 
New York Post
 
“Sprawling…thorough research.” 
Chicago Tribune
 
“It's all here, copiously reported, including interviews with more than 200 people, many of whom have since died, making this a one-of-a-kind work.” 
Newsday

"All the notable moments are here...Baseball (and Yankees) fans will devour this like ballpark popcorn, and all will muse about the many what-ifs of Martin's motley life." 
Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW 

"Martin’s life was a rollicking one, and as with the life, so with the book. Pennington’s take is great fun, and the author’s drive to talk to everyone who may have known Martin—from the most arrogant star to the humblest bartender—is impressive." 
—BookPage  

"A motley cast of baseball Hall of Famers, including Casey Stengel, Mickey Mantle, Rod Carew, Ricky Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Tommy Lasorda, and Earl Weaver, make appearances in this must-read for fans of the great American pastime." 
Publishers Weekly

"[Pennington] provides what is likely to be the definitive profile, which, as such, belongs in most library sports collections, especially those where Yankee fans cluster."
Mark Levine, Booklist 
 
"His study of Martin is comprehensive and detailed, offering the reader rich details on his early years and his time as a player for several teams...Pennington expertly combines material from his subject’s personal and professional life, leaving the impression of a complicated and flawed but unforgettable man." 
Library Journal

“Two words of advice: read this. Bill Pennington not only writes the sprawling, brawling, no-punches-pulled narrative Martin deserves, but also deftly illuminates the humanity of one of baseball's epic characters.”
—Tom Verducci, bestselling author of THE YANKEE YEARS (with Joe Torre)
 

"The hair on my forearms was standing up by the end of the fifth paragraph of this book's introduction. I knew Billy Martin. I covered Billy Martin. But I never knew him like this. Congrats to Bill Pennington for the definitive work on baseball's flawed genius.''
—Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe columnist and bestselling author of FRANCONA (with Terry Francona) and SENIOR YEAR
 

“Billy Martin has been dead for 25 years? Wow. That means there's a generation or two that know nothing about this character of baseball characters, this incandescent ballplayer/manager/jerk/sweetheart, this irrepressible brawler with a grand mind for the game. Bill Pennington cures all that  with 'Billy Martin, Baseball's Flawed Genius.' This is a terrific tale about a roller coaster life. Pour yourself a cocktail and enjoy. The descriptions of the fistfights alone are worth the price of admission.”
—Leigh Montville, bestselling author of TED WILLIAMS, THE BIG BAM and EVEL
 
“It has been easy to think of Billy Martin as a cartoon--one created by the media and abetted by the man himself. But he was a great American, as important to understanding our game, and our nation, as Ted Williams or Joe DiMaggio. You'll never think of Billy Martin in the same way again, thanks to Bill Pennington's masterpiece of a biography.”
—John Thorn, Official Historian, Major League Baseball
 
 

About the Author

BILL PENNINGTON is an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times and the author of Billy Martin, On Par, and The Heisman. A former syndicated columnist, Pennington was also a beat writer for the New York Yankees. A fifteen-time finalist and seven-time winner of the Associated Press Sports Editors’ annual writing award, Pennington lives with his family in Warwick, New York.

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Product details

  • Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Printing. edition (April 7, 2015)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 544 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0544022092
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0544022096
  • Lexile measure : 1040L
  • Item Weight : 1.7 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6 x 1.84 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 401 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
401 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on October 10, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

MR O ORMAN
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read about how Martin adapted to life in MLB ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2018
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gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 20, 2015
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Bill Humber
5.0 out of 5 stars Pennington has done a great job of ferreting out the most likely accounts - ...
Reviewed in Canada on June 29, 2015
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One person found this helpful
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Gerald Dureault
4.0 out of 5 stars Complete but not too deep biography
Reviewed in Canada on May 16, 2015
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Rick W
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be disappointed!
Reviewed in Canada on July 6, 2018
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