Electric October: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever

Kevin Cook. Holt, $30 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-11656-7
The 1947 World Series between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers was notable even if all the people involved weren’t at the time, writes Cook (Titanic Thompson), who profiles six people in this entertaining, well-researched history. It was the first televised World Series, making the games viewable to millions of baseball fans, leading sports writers at the time to refer to the month of the series as “electric October.” Yankee Bill Bevens, pitching in his fourth and final big-league season, was one out away from a no-hitter in game four before a little-used pinch hitter named Cookie Lavagetto came up to bat. Brooklyn’s speedy Al Gionfriddo showed up Joe DiMaggio with a spectacular game-saving catch. One of the Yankees’ best players was second baseman George “Snuffy” Stirnweiss, a man known for his steadiness and nerves. Managers Burt Shotton and Bucky Harris led their clubs to the World Series even though they hadn’t been their team owners’ first choices. In profiling the lives of these six overlooked men, Cook reveals the complicated reality of baseball’s golden era. For example, many players returned to day jobs when their baseball careers were over. Bevens went back to his family farm and took jobs driving trucks and selling home appliances at Sears after his career ended. Stirnweiss became a banker and died a decade after the series in a New Jersey train crash. 16-page b&w insert. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/12/2017
Release date: 08/15/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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