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October 1964 Paperback – April 11, 1995
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
However, Halberstam's take on the demise of the Establishment Yankees is the more accurate one. The '63 World Series was won single-handedly by a couple of white guys, Koufax and Drysdale. Yes, the Dodgers did have five black regulars in the starting lineup, but apart from the second inning of the opening game, they just didn't hit, or make history the way Koufax did.
The 1964 World Series was won by the heroics of men that the Yankees didn't understand, by men who couldn't play for the Yankees, by virtue of who they were. The Yankees could accept being struck out 15 times by Sandy Koufax, but when they struck out 13 times against Bob Gibson -- on whom their sole scouting report was woefully inaccurate -- it was an outrage. Gibson wasn't supposed to have courage, or determination! Lou Brock wasn't supposed to get more hits in the Series than Mickey Mantle!
And yet, the '64 Yankees didn't go quietly in the Series, and in fact they scored more runs than St. Louis. Mantle had an incredible seven games. The Yanks had more walks and homers than the Cardinals, and their pitching (behind white youngers Jim Bouton and Mel Stottlemyre) basically matched St. Louis out for out. At least on paper.Read more ›
As Halberstam points out, it looked as if all the ingredients of a great team were coming together for the Cardinals in the early 1960s. The team had all of the attributes of its successful teams of the past, excellent pitching, great defense, and speed. But there was something more that was critical to the Cardinals success in 1964, as Halberstam emphasizes, how the team bridged the racial divide in the United States to create a cohesive unit. Everyone who visited the Cardinals locker room recognized that something was different from other teams. The African American, White, and Latino players seemed to have an easier relationship than elsewhere. No question, many of the premier players for the Cardinals were African Americans in 1964--Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Curt Flood, and Bill White--and they certainly helped set the tenor of the clubhouse. But southerners like Ken Boyer and Tim McCarver were also committed to the successful integration of American life and brought that perspective to the team as well.Read more ›
Sometimes the best sports books are not really sports books, as is the case with David Halberstam's brilliant "October 1964", which tells the story of a changing America through the microcosm of two very different baseball teams.
Halberstam, one of the great living American writers, concentrates on events that occurred during tumultuous times. Halberstam examines the loser of the 1964 World Series, the New York Yankees, who represent the old America, and the winners, the St. Louis Cardinals, who represent the new.
The Yankees were the Republican Party, conservative, white, country club elite, old money, Wall Street, the status quo, featuring Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Whitey Ford. Their style of play was to not take chances, and they only had a couple black players.
The Cardinals mirrored Berkeley rabble rousers, and they played "National League baseball"--aggressive, stealing bases, stretching singles into doubles. Bob Gibson-black, college-educated, a man's man with something to prove, was their undisputed leader. Curt Flood was another thoughtful black athlete who harbored quiet resentment over his treatment by rednecks in Southern minor league towns. Tim McCarver came from a well-to-do white family in Memphis that employed black servants, his only frame of reference, until Gibson asked to take a sip from his coke. McCarver hesitatingly handed Gibby the can, Gibby took a big old honkin' Samuel L. Jackson sip, flashed the kid a giant smile, and handed the can back. McCarver's lesson: Sharing with black's is just like sharing with whites.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book touches on so much...two franchises going in opposite directions, lagging race relations on one team (and America) and moving ahead on another, and Baseball! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gary Jakobs
Enjoyable read. Returned me to my youth and explained just what happened to the Yankee organization, and why. Bitter depiction of Mantle's decline and physical failure.Published 2 months ago by David Edwards
Talk about a time capsule. David Halberstam was one of the great writers of his generation. A very frank, fair, and accurate account of the 1964 MLB season and the times that... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Thonza
Decent read. A bit too much batter by batter, game by game information. But overall interesting information on the cardinals and Yankees and what was transpiring at the time.Published 4 months ago by Greg Gohranson
If you are a fan of St. Louis Cardinal and/or New York Yankee baseball history, this book will provide a great read. Otherwise, I'm not so sure.Published 4 months ago by john hooks
David Halberstam wrote three books on baseball, and two of them two bookend the Yankee glory days from 1949 to 1964. "The Summer of '49" covers the opening... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kiwiwriter
Great story, well written! Fast paced and informative. Highly recommended for any baseball fan.Published 7 months ago by W.MillerRN
This is not vintage Halberstam, in fact, if he were a pitcher, I would say he was trying to get people out with his off speed stuff. Read morePublished 8 months ago by olingerstories