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A Tale of Three Cities: The 1962 Baseball Season in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco Hardcover – April 1, 2009

2.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Another bull’s-eye by Steven Travers. He has captured the love, laughter, and largesse of the 1962 baseball season, maybe the most entertaining season of all time, especially in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Yes, he can. And did.”—Maury Allen, author of Yankees World Series Memories
(Maury Allen 2009-01-28)

"Steve Travers does a really fine job of capturing not only the highlights and sidelights of those memorable days in the early 1960s, but he also focuses on some of the legends of that golden period, including Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Maury Wills, Orlando Cepeda, Don Drysdale, Whitey Ford, and so many more. Entertaining, informative, and a great read for the hardcore and the casual fan."—Bruce Macgowan, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
(Bruce Macgowan)

"ESPN Voice Jon Miller dubs the 1962 baseball season his 'coming of age as a baseball fan.' Steven Travers relives that season in this engaging and lively work. A book utterly worthy of an unforgettable year."—Curt Smith, author of Voices of The Game and Pull Up a Chair: The Vin Scully Story
(Curt Smith)

"Travers paints a beautiful picture of baseball in its golden age, a time that should be remembered fondly. All of the characters with their required personas are there: the declining superstar Duke Snider, the partying Mickey Mantle, and the blossoming superstar in Willie Mays. Travers integrates these stories into his storytelling seamlessly. . . . A Tale of Three Cities shines a light on a good era of baseball."—athomeplate.com
(athomeplate.com 2009-06-03)

About the Author

Steven Travers is the author of multiple sports books, including Barry Bonds: Baseball’s Superman and five books in the Triumph/Random House Essentialsports team series. Formerly a columnist for StreetZebra magazine and the San Francisco Examiner, he lives in California.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597974315
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597974318
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,700,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. C. Aston on June 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
On the face, this book looks like a delightful trip back to the halcyon days of the National Pastime. It was an era of rapid change, a time when the greats of the Golden Age of the '50s were ending their careers and the young upstarts who would dominate the '60s were first showing their stuff. Expansion had introduced major league baseball to a New Generation of Americans. Latin and African-American players were beginning to show a dominance that exists to this day.

Sadly, Travers falls well short of these expectations.

The book describes itself as the story of three cities. But New York, the Center of the Baseball Universe for five decades, receives short shrift, even with the unbelievably inept New York Mets and the still dominant Yankees offering plenty of material.

He also presents a disturbingly biased attitude towards the Dodger-Giant rivalry. His disdain for the Giants, and anything associated with the city of San Francisco, is blatant and distracts from the story of an incredible pennant race.

However, the most disturbing thing is the haphazard, careless and amateurish editing throughout the book. Anecdotes are introduced, but left unfinished; other incidents are reported twice, with different facts; and some events (especially in recounting the World Series) are told in confusing, random order. There are even grammar and spelling errors that most 6th graders should catch.

1962 was a marvelous year for all of baseball (even though, as a Dodger fan, I found the conclusion depressing), but this book only manages to leave a bad taste in your mouth.
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Format: Hardcover
First, I'm an avid baseball fan and have been enjoying reading baseball books for over 20 years. Also, I've never reviewed a book up until now but this book aggravated me to the point that I felt obligated to warn others. This book stands out as one that should never have reached the printing press. The author repeats himself, is unorganized and the grammatical errors are an embarrassment. I'm not sure who decided to publish this bias, error filled, tale of TWO Cities, (NY is mentioned briefly), but they made a terrible decision.
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Format: Hardcover
A Tale of Three Cities is a sometimes entertaining and nostalgic volume, but it is marred by one of the worst editing efforts I have ever seen. There are bizarre typos, incomplete sentences, dangling half-thoughts, and acres of irrelevant political comments. I don't mind political bias, but I do mind political preaching--especially in a sports book--and Travers could have used an editor with enough power to delete many of his comments. It is one thing to provide cultural and historical background to a period; it is quite another to distract the reader by inserting simplistic and biased interpretations of the period. Travers praises conservative viewpoints, adores the free market, and freely insults liberals. The last are cast as guilty of insufficent belief in American "exceptionalism," and ballplayers who opposed the Vietnam War are assumed to be liberal and unpatriotic. (What any of this has to do with the subject he is supposedly covering is a complete mystery--one that is never explained.) To give you an idea of the flavor of his comments, Travers lists Ann Coulter's screed "Treason" in the bibliography.

For reasons known only to him, Travers spends an inordinate amount of ink on what he believes are the shortcomings of San Francisco writers of the time, especially Charles McCabe who gets more lines of type than Buzzie Bavasi or Harvey Kuenn or Jose Pagan or several other ballplayers. Here is where Travers desperately needed an editor who would stop him from writing things such as this: "...In a scant 200 years [the United States] had become the most powerful empire in the annals of mankind. McCabe and his kind were the last people on God's Earth to embrace knowledge of the fact that such a thing could happen only by a divine, guiding hand.
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Format: Hardcover
In a book ostensibly about baseball, author Steven Travers offers naive and biased diatribes about political, social, and religious issues, interspersed with occasional (and often inaccurate) information about the 1962 baseball season. I'd advise anyone truly interested in this subject to avoid this book like the plague and instead pick up a copy of David Plaut's excellent "Chasing October: The Dodgers-Giants Pennant Race of 1962."
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First off, let me say that a number of the negative reviews of this book are going after Mr. Travers for the wrong reasons. The ones that take him to task for his politics and more importantly his open expression of his Christian faith, are absolutely out of bounds and reveal more about the bigoted attitudes of the reviewers than they do about the shortcomings of this book. Mr. Travers' only makes a couple of brief references to his faith in the author's intro and frankly after years of seeing authors write books in which they talk about baseball being their religion etc. it's nice to know that Mr. Travers has a sense of perspective about things. Likewise, the assaults on his conservative politics are mostly out of line as well. I have seen liberal authors for years subtly and not so subtly inject their own political biases into the text, and Travers frankly hardly measures up to the level of the more obnoxious types who have done this (think Harvey Araton in his recent book on the 1970 Knicks; or the book on 1970s baseball by an author who thinks Jimmy Carter was wonderful, or Tim Wendel's book on the 1968 season that decided Tom Hayden was the only person worth commenting on the 1968 riots). In fact, his cultural analysis of liberal northern California and conservative southern California is spot on accurate history writing, and in point of fact, one should note that he praises the Los Angeles Times of this era for branching out to be more than just a newspaper for conservatives but to be a higher quality end product.Read more ›
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