BASEBALL IN '41 by Robert W. Creamer

BASEBALL IN '41

A Celebration of the 'Best Baseball Season Ever'--in the Year America Went to War
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A thoroughly agreeable and digressive trip down memory lane with a lifelong fan of the national pastime. In 1941, Creamer (Stengel, 1984; Babe, 1974) turned 19 and entered college. Though aware that the war raging in Europe would inevitably affect his future, the young New Yorker paid appreciably more attention to major-league baseball's pennant races. Who can blame him? It was a genuinely wonderful year. Among other signal events, Joe DiMaggio hit in 56 straight games, Ted Williams batted .406, the Brooklyn Dodgers (under Leo Durocher) beat out the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League flag, and the New York Yankees returned to form, outdistancing their rivals by a double- digit margin to cop the junior-circuit crown. The Bronx Bombers went on to win a five-game World Series from the Bums, thanks in large measure to Mickey Owen's fabled muff of a ninth-inning pitch. Between opening day and the final out, Creamer recalls other of the season's highlights as well. Cases in point range from Stan Musial's debut and the dramatic three-run homer Williams hit in the last of the ninth to win the All Star game through the way a superpatriotic press almost literally hounded Hank Greenberg (the American League's MVP in 1940) into the military. As a bonus, the author displays touches of real class in his blow-by-blow account of a glorious time. At one point, for instance, he likens the latter-day Yankees to Austria, ``an unimportant little country that has monuments to the days when it ruled half of Europe.'' An evocative delight for nostalgia buffs as well as devotees of the diamond game and its storied past. (Sixteen pages of b&w photos--not seen.)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-670-83374-6
Page count: 318pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1991