• Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees From Before The Babe To After The Boss

    Posted by on February 26th, 2012 · Comments (4)

    I’m currently reading a review copy of Marty Appel’s Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to After the Boss – which is due out on May 8th of this year.

    Here’s some background on the book via the publisher:

    It has been almost 70 years since Frank Graham wrote The New York Yankees and not since then has there been a truly narrative, traditional history of the team. Thankfully historian Marty Appel, the Yankees’ former PR director, definitively updates their storied history in Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to After the Boss (May 8, 2012; Bloomsbury hardcover; ISBN 978-1-60819-492-6; $28.00; 640 pages).

    While the book hits every important historical milestone in the team’s history, it is the backstage anecdotes and the personalities of players, managers and executives that make the story great reading. The reader is in the clubhouse as the team finally celebrates its first championship – and in the dugout at Fenway Park when they learn their manager, Miller Huggins, has died. There is Bob Shawkey’s bitterness over being fired as manager after one season, and the romp upending tradition produced by Larry MacPhail as his three-year reign as owner ends with a punch-out. There is the day scout Tom Greenwade first laid eyes on Mickey Mantle. There is Gene Michael pondering trading Mariano Rivera for Felix Fermin to play shortstop instead of Derek Jeter. And all the while in the background is New York City – a character in its own right in the story of this colorful team’s history.

    Further, here’s what Jane Leavy had to say about the book:

    “An opus. Marty Appel brings a fan’s passion and a historian’s dispassion to bear on the Pinstripe Empire. He makes familiar terrain new again and uncovers original material where no one else thought to look. This is the definitive history of the New York Yankees.”

    I am sincerely enjoying what I have read in Pinstripe Empire so far – and will do a full review of it when I am done with the book.

    When I first started reading it, my mind flashed back to the late 1970′s, when I was a young fan visiting Yankee Stadium. I remember, at that time, visiting a souvenir stand in the bowels of the Stadium where they sold yearbooks, those plastic batting helmets, baseballs stamped with team signatures, etc. There, in the display case, among the other sundry items for sale, was a stack of Peter Golenbock’s Dynasty. Seeing the cover of that book, then with pinstripes and the Yankees interlocking “NY” on the cover, on sale in the House That Ruth Built, I thought to myself “This must be a book that every Yankees fan has to read.”

    Now, reading Appel’s Pinstripe Empire, I’m thinking the same thing. I love how it tells the story and is not just a collection of hard facts. It’s a novel, not a text book. But, it’s still a great chronicle of the Yankees franchise – from its beginning through last season.

    Further, I would imagine that any fan of baseball history would enjoy reading this book.

    Again, I will share a complete review once I am done with the book. In any event, I wanted to share some news on this one now – in case some were not aware of its release in a couple of months. Based on what I have read so far, it’s worth having on your radar.

    Comments on Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees From Before The Babe To After The Boss

    1. Raf
      February 26th, 2012 | 11:30 am

      It does sound like a good read. It’s funny that once you think you’ve read all you think you can, there’s always someone else that comes up with a fresh or new perspective…

      Oh, and Rivera for Fermin? Still makes me shake my head. The Yankees sure love their proven veterans, don’t they?

      Speaking of which, Steve, do you remember a deal with Jason Thompson falling through before Don Mattingly got the call?

    2. February 26th, 2012 | 12:29 pm
    3. Raf
      February 26th, 2012 | 11:28 pm

      Thanks, Steve. It seems my timeline is a bit off. I guess by then Balboni was the heir apparent @ 1b? Mattingly didn’t get the call until 82-83, sticking around for good in 1984.

    4. Jim TreshFan
      February 27th, 2012 | 1:56 am

      @ Raf:
      Yes, it was all “Bye-Bye” Balboni then. He had had s huge year in AA in 1980 (.301-34-122) and was considered just a year or two away when the ’81 season started.

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