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High Fives, Pennant Drives, and Fernandomania: A Fan's History of the Los Angeles Dodgers' Glory Years (1977-1981) Paperback – March 15, 2012
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"With Vin Scully's broadcasts as a touchstone, Paul Haddad revives the glory years of the Dodgers. His recollections are as rich and wonderful as Scully himself." —Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times
"Warm and fuzzy time! Paul Haddad's account is the shirt from the back of the closet that still fits and never goes out of style. I enjoyed it thoroughly." —Jerry Reuss, Los Angeles Dodgers, 1979–1986
"An evocative, playful, exuberant tribute to the sunniest days of the Los Angeles Dodgers and to the unmatched purity, intensity, and hilarity of fandom as a child, High Fives, Pennant Drives, and Fernandomania is a crystal-clear signal breaking through the static of fading memories and the distance of time. Reading it is like somehow finding your hometown team's game on the radio while hundreds and hundreds of miles away."—Josh Wilker, author, Cardboard Gods
"We never forget our first loves—whether it was a fresh-grilled Dodger Dog, a double bag of salted-in-the-shell peanuts, or Tommy John's bionic arm. All my adult life I've wondered if someone could bring back to life those wonderful days of a childhood lost to Vin Scully on the transistor radio and the team that dared you to believe even when they crushed your heart. Now somebody has." —Les Carpenter, Yahoo! Sports
"As a fan of sharp writing, warm childhood memories, and all the visceral elements of baseball, this book left me exhilarated. As a die-hard Montreal Expos fan who'd love to never hear the name Rick Monday again, this book left me saddened and furious. I want to buy Paul Haddad a beer, shake his hand . . . then punch him in the face." —Jonah Keri, author, The Extra 2%
"If you bleed Dodger Blue and want to relive a championship time, this is an ideal read -- breezy, funny and unsparing in its praise of the Blue Crew and its criticism of all other teams." --Jim McConnell, Pasadena Star-News
"Haddad's sense of humor shines throughout the book, particularly when detailing some of the low points of the hometown team." --James Bailey, Baseball America
"Extremely unique... The author does a good job of splitting [the book] up and giving the reader different topics about the Dodgers to focus on throughout each chapter. Even if your team is not the Dodgers, all fans will be able to relate to Haddad's thoughts, actions and words throughout the book." --Bill Jordan, Baseball Reflections.com
"Haddad explores one of America's most important teams the way only a true fan can." --Larry Mantle, AirTalk, KPCC 89.3 FM
"It will invoke warm nostalgia among those who were present, and it is a purposeful guide to others who may not realize how dominant radio broadcasts were now that we live in a time when you can purchase and watch the entire baseball season on your television, computer, phone, even a watch... Haddad has hit one out of the park." --Mike Terry, San Fernando Sun
About the Author
Jon Weisman, who wrote the Foreword, is the former proprietor of Dodger Thoughts, a popular weblog about the Los Angeles Dodgers. He current oversees Digital and Print Content for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Top customer reviews
I became a fan of the Dodgers back in 1981 when they beat the Yankees in the World Series, which was also Fernando Valenzuela's rookie year. I still remember Fernando starting the 1981 season winning his first eight games before losing to the Phillies, I believe 4 - 0. You could feel the magic of the 1981 season.
I had been following the Dodgers since 1977 and was very familiar with all the great players like Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey, Don Sutton, Dusty Baker, Rick Monday and many others. Even though I grew up in New York, my father was a Dodgers fan from when they played in Brooklyn and remained loyal to them when they moved out West, so the Dodgers were always big in my house even though they played 3000 miles away. Well, Paul Haddad was right there in California and brings all his childhood memories alive. Paul transcribes some recordings he kept of the Dodgers radio broadcasts as they actually happened is a tremendous thrill. It's all here: Jerry Reusse's no-hitter against the Giants (I remember my father yelling out the living room window the next morning while I was playing in the street, "Reuss no-hit the Giants last night"). The three game sweep of the Astros to end the 1980 regular season in a tie and force a one game playoff, only to leave the fate of the season in the hands of Dave Goltz (I remember my father saying the Dodgers didn't have a prayer). And the 1981 season starting off with Fernandomania, to Rick Monday's dramatic home-run against the Expos in Montreal, and then concluding with a World Series win over the Yankees. I highly recommend this book to any Dodgers' fan.
Thanks for bringing back all the great memories as a kid again, Paul.
And from the second I had this book in my hands, it does not disappoint. It's a ride.
These were the Dodgers of my youth - I'm a product of the 70s and 80s. But I grew up in New York and have always been a Yankees fan. The Dodgers got their start in Brooklyn though, right? At a time when New York was the baseball capital of the world and boasted three MLB squads. THREE! So I always had a fascination with the Dodgers, their mystique and what happened once they traversed the country to Los Angeles for brighter sunshine and brighter attendance.
Reading this book was like looking into a mirror or parallel universe. While I was cheering-on the Yankees of this era - which included Munson and Reggie and Nettles and Guidry and the list goes on - the author of High Fives, Pennant Drives and Fernandomania was suffering from defeats to the Yankees in two consecutive World Series appearances. While I was sneaking a radio into bed for the late night World Series losses to the Dodgers in 1981, the author was rejoicing at a World Series victory. I was in tears and someone out west was having a party.
Fast-forward 30-plus years, and the perspective and multiple narratives Paul Haddad weaves are amazing and pure baseball joy. This is not just a book for Dodgers fans but for all baseball fans. What real baseball fan hasn't suffered those agonizing losses and ecstatic victories when their team was in a pennant drive? Haddad, who also does a marvelous job telling the story of his own youth - took it a step further and was taping the games at home and patching together his own highlight cassettes. Now that's dedication - and It doesn't get much more 70s/80s than that.
Of course, the book provides some fantastic insight into the phenomenon know as Fernandomania and the arrival of a magical, unknown pitcher from Mexico - Fernando Valenzuela - who captured a team, a city and a nation in his rookie year. Alongside is a great snapshot of the Dodgers broadcast team of the era, including the legendary Vin Scully.
I first packed this book on my Honeymoon and brought it with me to the beaches of New Hampshire and Maine - deep into enemy territory and Red Sox Nation. I enjoyed every page of this book and have read it twice since. I knew it was a winner when the author decided to break down and rate the best baseball movies ever made - and I completely agree with his #1 choice for all the same reasons he provides. He gets it.
This is the Dodgers book to buy if you buy any for yourself, a Dodgers fan, or just a baseball fan. The author has weaved a great story about a special team and a special time in baseball.
I also like his approach of distilling each season down to 5 Games that are representative of that year. Some of them are pretty iconic - The Mother's Day Massacre of 1978, when Dave Kingman's 3 home runs led to Lasorda's epic post-game meltdown, or Jerry Reuss' 1980 no-hitter. But many of them are games that have been forgotten to time that marked a turning point in the season. Other highlights include the recurring "Fernando Watch" segments, in which Haddad gives "real-time" updates of each of El Toro's starts during his historic 1981 season. I lived through that awesome period, and this is the closest thing I've ever experienced since then that recaptures that magic.
At the end of his introduction, Haddad remarks his book was written "in the same spirit of idly chatting with a friend at Chavez Ravine itself." This about sums it up... You can almost smell the Dodger dogs off these pages (grilled, of course).
Most recent customer reviews
Ah yes, back when baseball had CHARACTER. The Dodgers were the talk of baseball back then, along with the Reds and Yankees.Read more