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NEW YORK CITY BASEBALL: The Last Golden Age: 1947-1957 by Harvey Frommer Kirkus Star

NEW YORK CITY BASEBALL: The Last Golden Age: 1947-1957

By Harvey Frommer

Pub Date: April 1st, 1980
ISBN: 0299196941
Publisher: Macmillan

Except for 1948, each of these eleven years from 1947 to 1957 saw a New York City baseball team competing in the World Series,"" notes Frommer early on in this absolutely grand account of how well the Dodgers, the Giants, and the Yankees, along with their adoring fans, fared during the post-WW II seasons. By 1958, the two National League teams had decamped for California, where they performed with scarcely less distinction. But Frommer, who was a wire-service reporter during that ""last golden age,"" is reminiscing as much as recounting. And what memories! ""Voice of the Yankees"" Mel Allen intoning, as a ball streaks toward home-run territory: ""Going. . . Going. . . Gone!"" Red Barber, the ""Old Redhead,"" drawling--to the fans' delight--F.O.B. (meaning, of course, bases full of Brooklyns). On the field, Johnny Podres hurling the Dodgers to a two-zip victory over the hated Yankees in the seventh game of the '55 Series. Or the Giants' Bobby Thompson firing ""the shot heard around the world"" with a three-run homer against the Dodgers' Branca in the last game of the '51 playoffs. (Willie Mays--did you know?--was on deck.) And who was the best centerfielder? Duke Snider? Mays? Joe Di? Frommer's narrative also includes a first-rate retelling of how Jackie Robinson, and then Monte lrvin, broke the majors' color bar in '47--along with lots of other specifics that go beyond jockstrap history. He's caught the feel of a happier time when the stars stayed on the sports pages and euphoria was in the air: you ""could go to a butcher shop, a candy store, a laundromat, moving from one to another virtually without missing a pitch.