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Forging Genius: The Making of Casey Stengel Paperback – October 31, 2006
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"Even the most fanatic Yankees fans will find themselves exclaiming, ‘Wow! I didn’t know that!’ Forging Genius is a delightful and wonderfully written look at a man who bequeathed more than we know to the game we love."
"Baseball talent doesn’t just appear, it evolves. After all these years, fans can finally learn where Casey Stengel came from--and perhaps where the next Stengel could come from, too."
"Goldman pulls off a difficult trick: Forging Genius is both densely researched and informative, yet a thoroughly engaging read too. He proves that there was much more to Stengel than a gift for shtick and blessed timing."
"Meticulously shows how managing atrocious teams prepared him for greatness."
"Forging Genius isn't so much a biography as a study in how three-quarters of a century of baseball wisdom came to be encapsulated in one of the game's classic eccentrics. . . . [It] is that rarest of baseball books: respectful toward tradition and irreverent to perceived wisdom. Mr. Goldman has looked down a well-traveled road and taken it to a new destination. The greatest of American sportswriters, Red Smith, once wrote that it was necessary to reintroduce Stengel to readers 'at least once a decade.' Mr. Goldman's book ought to do that for at least a century."
"Best book about a baseball manager this year."
About the Author
Steven Goldman writes the column “The Pinstriped Bible,” a regular Web column for the New York Yankees focused on their history, and also contributes to Yankees Magazine and www.mlb.com. He lives in East Brunswick, New Jersey.
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Top Customer Reviews
But how did Casey do all that?
That is the question that Steven Goldman examines in this book. This is a baseball biography of Casey that begins with is playing days, and ends with his first year as the Yankees Manager. 95% of this book is the pre-Yankee Casey. He played for, and learned from John McGraw. McGraw was Casey's idol and mentor. Casey helped McGraw win a world Series in 1923 with 2 timely Home Runs- one an inside the park job. But Casey also sat with McGraw on the Giants bench and watched how McGraw applied his strategy and moved his players.
One of the things Casey always got a lot of credit for was his system of Platooning . It seems that he always plugged in the right guy for the right situation with the Yankees. Goldman shows how Casey learned the art of platooning. During his managerial stints with the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves Casey had a lot of bad players and a lot of injured players. He learned to move his infielders around to different positions and adjust the composition for different game situations. In Al Lopez, he had a catcher who could function as an "on the field" manager- the way Yogi Berra later did in New York. (Lopez later won 2 pennants managing against Stengel.)
The teams that Casey managed prior to the Yankees had mixed outcomes. He won 2 championships in the minors. Brooklyn and Boston were both second Division teams while he managed them.But Goldman points out that both teams were very cash poor and Casey did quite well with what he had to work with. According to the experts,the Dodgers should have finished last in 1935 but Casey managed to finish 5th with a pretty rotten club.
"Forging Genius" is a good book. if you love Baseball and want to learn how its greatest Manager got to be great, this study will keep you interested to the last page. I highly recommend it.
Now, in this biographical sketch, learn about this great man and what makes him tick. How did he lead the Yankees through five straight championships? From his humble beginnings baseball fans thought that this old man would never be able to compete with the Red Sox or Indians. And did he surprise every baseball fan.
Forging Genius gives insights about the love Casey Stengel had for the game and the desire to entertain baseball fans. With a relentless hunger to succeed he earned everybody's respect. This is a must read for every body who likes baseball and wants to learn something about this great American sport. I like it and give it five stars. Marvin P. Ferguson, author of BOYS ON THE GOLD COAST.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this guy writes a good column for the NY Sun, but if he ever does another...Read more