Five O'Clock Lightning: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and the Greatest Team in Baseball, the 1927 New York Yankees

Harvey Frommer, Author . Wiley $24.95 (262p) ISBN 978-0-471-77812-7

Frommer (A Yankee Century ; Red Sox vs. Yankees ) spares no detail in this exhaustive but sometimes tedious recounting of the 1927 New York Yankees championship season. The team, which won 110 games when the regular season was eight games shorter than it is today, starred the iconic Babe Ruth and a young Lou Gehrig. Ruth had his career high 60 home run season, and Gehrig batted in a league-leading 175 runs. The Yankees' trademark rallies were dubbed “Five O'clock Lightning,” as they often scored in late innings when the clock struck five (Yankee Stadium in those days had no lights, and most games started at 3:30 p.m.). Frommer sets the stage with a sweeping overview of New York in the 1920s, and then chronologically rehashes the preseason, spring training, each month of the regular season and then the four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series. He concludes with a chapter containing obituaries of all 31 members of the team, many of whom succumbed at early ages: Gehrig died 14 years after the 1927 season, at the age of 38, and Ruth 21 years later, at 53. Unfortunately, Frommer fails to put together an engaging narrative, simply offering a compendium of facts and statistics. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/10/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-470-58032-5
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-118-04072-0
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 288 pages - 978-0-470-17382-4
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-63076-005-2
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-470-46912-5
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-63076-004-5
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