The October Heroes: Great World Series Games Remembered by the Men Who Played Them

The October Heroes: Great World Series Games Remembered by the Men Who Played Them

The October Heroes: Great World Series Games Remembered by the Men Who Played Them

The October Heroes: Great World Series Games Remembered by the Men Who Played Them

Synopsis

As Donald Honig points out in his introduction, 'Every World Series in itself is a tale with beginning, middle, and end, and because there must be a winner, there must be a hero.' Tales of Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Sandy Koufax, and Willie Mays are related by the star players who knew them. Those players recall vivid moments from their World Series games, stretching from 1912 to 1974.

Excerpt

The World Series remains America's premier sports spectacle. No sporting event so decisively enthralls the national consciousness as baseball's annual October pageant. Because of the length of the baseball schedule--162 games played over six months, beginning with the early buds of spring and ending in the grandeur of autumn--there is something heroic about the pitched combat of two teams that are at once survivors and winners, meeting to decide the world championship.

Given the mesmeric powers of the Series, nothing that occurs during that week in October goes unnoticed. Every pitch, every play, is made under the severest scrutiny, and baseball memory, which absorbs with relentless precision, catalogues the salient events with undiminishing vividness. Each Series is another stanza in an ongoing American epic. Reputations, and sometimes even careers, have undergone sudden and dramatic permutations. It happened to Gene Tenace--as he relates within these pages. After pursuing a steady if unspectacular career, Tenace suddenly erupted with astonishing devastation for one week in October and therein altered baseball's perception of him.

It is safe to say that no cynic has ever played in a World Series. Veteran pitcher Ed Lopat tells how he refused to leave a game despite an aching arm--and a 13-1 lead--because it was a World Series game, and that it nearly cost him his career. It was Lopat's homage to an event that is taut in its own perfect structure, that is rich in its own traditions, that is its own self-perpetuating myth.

The historical spectrum covered in this book ranges from 1908 to 1972. Smoky Joe Wood, who astounds us by saying that when he was a boy growing up in the 1890's there was no such thing as a World Series, remembers an inexplicable error of judgment on the part of the nearly flawless Christy Mathewson, which cost the New York Giants . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.