SEASONS TO REMEMBER by Curt Gowdy

SEASONS TO REMEMBER

The Way It Was in American Sports 1945-1960
by & illustrated by
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 An unabashedly nostalgic, silky-smooth memoir spanning a 15- year period that fiftysomething or older people tend to regard as a golden age in American sports. With assistance from Pulitzer-winning journalist Powers (coauthor, One Goal, 1984, etc.), Gowdy makes unobtrusive use of his long career in broadcasting to recall notable post-WW II teams and events. He was at the local mike, for instance, when Bud Wilkinson began making Oklahoma a college-football power and Hank Iba's Oklahoma A&M basketball squads were beating almost all comers. Moving east in 1949 to become Mel Allen's junior partner in broadcasting New York Yankees games, the author was an eyewitness to the dynastic renaissance of the Yankees, who, under the quirky aegis of Casey Stengel, dominated pro baseball for much of the 1950's. Offered a chance to be number one, Gowdy decamped for Boston in 1951 to air Red Sox games, a job that let him become the first voice of the Celtics as well. While he focuses on his era's storied contests and notables (e.g., Red Auerbach, Doc Blanchard, Glenn Davis, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Russell, Tom Yawkey), the author doesn't shrink from recounting its low points--in particular the point-shaving scandals that cost college basketball a full measure of innocence. Gowdy nonetheless manages to end his anecdotal, episodic narrative with an upbeat, I-was-there account of the home run that Ted Williams belted out of Fenway Park during his final time at bat in the major leagues, in 1960. Manna for older fans who may have forgotten how sweet it was, and a fine reminder for younger generations that artificial turf, integrated squads, TV coverage, drug-testing, seven-figure contracts, platooning, and seemingly endless playoffs weren't always in the game. (Illustrations--not seen)

Pub Date: June 16th, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-018228-8
Page count: 220pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993