BASEBALL'S GREATEST RIVALRY: The New York Yankess and Boston Red Sox by Harvey Frommer

BASEBALL'S GREATEST RIVALRY: The New York Yankess and Boston Red Sox

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The omnipotent Yankees vs. the ""more human, more vulnerable"" Red Sox--leading off, predictably, with the Bronx Bombers' spectacular 1978 comeback to win the American League's Eastern Division playoff, in Fenway Park, on Bucky Dent's three-run homer. Though the long, hot rivalry isn't the stuff of which Frommer's New York City Baseball (1980) was made, it does provide some memorable moments. On May 6, 1915, Babe Ruth hit his first home run in the majors for the Bosox against the Yanks; Ted Williams' first big-league hit, on April 20, 1939, was a double at Yankee Stadium; Joe DiMaggio's homer off Sox hurler Herb Newsome on July 1, 1949 extended his hitting streak to a record-breaking 45 straight games. Also on view are the celebrated matchups: the Splendid Splinter vs. the Yankee Clipper; Joe Di vs. brother Dom; Thurman Munson vs. Carlton Fisk; Bobby Doerr vs. Joe Gordon--even Fenway Park vs. Yankee Stadium and Bean Town vs. the Big Apple. Frommer traces the rivalry to the sale of Babe Ruth and other Sox stars to New York during the post-WW I era. Thanks to financial coups of this sort, the Yankees won pennants and World Series in bunches, while the Boston club became a semi-permanent also-ran; a side effect was the near-total suspension of trade relations until 1972 (when the Yankees secured relief ace Sparky Lyle for a journeyman outfielder named Danny Cater). Some fervent letters attest to the strength of the fans' feelings (their increasing violence, Frommer doesn't address); a calendar of high points and lots of stats pin down the specifics. And partisans, at least, will bring their own excitement to Frommer's reliable reportage.

Pub Date: June 24th, 1982
Publisher: Atheneum