The House That Ruth Built: A New Stadium, the First Yankees Championship, and the Redemption of 1923

Robert Weintraub, Author
Robert Weintraub, Little, Brown, $26.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-3160-8607-3
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
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In his first book, Slate sports columnist Weintraub examines the 1923 New York Yankees, the team that opened Yankee Stadium and won the first of the Bronx Bombers' record 27 World Series titles. The center of this work is the clash between the Yankees' star, Babe Ruth, with his new "bashing" style of playing the game, and the classic "scientific baseball" epitomized by manager John McGraw and his New York Giants. While the Giants got the best of the Yanks in the '22 fall classic, Ruth and the Yankees' 1923 World Series victory over their crosstown rivals would change the face of baseball and New York City forever. Weintraub nicely infuses modern references like "imagine Ruth as Rocky Balboa preparing to wreak vengeance on Ivan Drago" into his 1920s descriptions. The book is comprehensive, and Weintraub details everything from the construction of the stadium and the careers of Ruth and McGraw to a detailed season overview and deconstruction of the 1923 World Series. The stories about Ruth and McGraw hold the narrative together, but it is the asides of forgotten personalities like Mose "The Rabbi of Swat" Solomon, Russ "Pep" Youngs, and Yankees co-owner Cap Huston that create a much-needed undercurrent of character and humor. (Apr.)
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