An All-Star lineup of former major leaguers remembers what baseball was like in the 1950s and 1960s. Whitey Ford, Duke Snider, Carl Erskine, Bill Rigney, and Ralph Branca tell stories about baseball in New York when the Yankees dominated and seemed to play either the Dodgers or the Giants in every World Series. By the end of the fifties, the two National League teams had relocated to California, as baseball expanded across the country. Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts, Braves mainstay Lew Burdette, home-run king Harmon Killebrew, Cubs slugger Billy Williams, and Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson share great stories about milestone events, from Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier on the field to Frank Robinson doing the same in the dugout. They remember the teammates and opponents they admired, including Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Warren Spahn, Don Newcombe, and Ernie Banks.
For anyone who grew up watching baseball in the 1950s and 1960s, or for anyone who wonders what it was like in the days when ballplayers negotiated their own contracts and worked real jobs in the off-season, this is a book to cherish.
Fay Vincent is a former entertainment and business executive who served as the commissioner of baseball from 1989 to 1992. This volume is the third in a series drawn from his Baseball Oral History Project. The previous two volumes, The Only Game in Town and We Would Have Played for Nothing, include ballplayers’ reminiscences of the 1930s and 1940s, and the 1950s and 1960s, respectively.