What I’m Reading June 2015
Of Baseball and Beatles……
Chasing October by David Plaut
Baseball fans have selective memories…and in the big scheme of things the 1962 season gets few raves when TV shows highlight some of the “great” seasons of the past. Make no mistake though the 1962 pennant race between the Dodgers and Giants was an epic tale that put California baseball on the map for good. It was the first season of Dodger Stadium,
the year of Maury Wills wild dash to break Ty Cobb’s base stealing record and a year in which the Dodgers and Giants played 165 game seasons (thanks to a 3-game playoff series).
Author Plaut does a wonderful job weaving in the real world on top of the baseball universe and then focusing in on the timeless rivalry of two great franchises whose rivalry extends back to the middle ages (or 1890 or so).
Only five years removed from their controversial relocations to the Golden State these two ex-New York teams squabbled like newlyweds as they attempted to secure their standings in each of their great cities pop culture landscapes. The Dodgers were tinseltown stars with Koufax, Drysdale and Willie Davis effortlessly posting 101 wins in the oasis of Chavez Ravine. The Bay Area Giants were a tough lot of moody superstars like Cepeda, Mays and Alou managed by an odd red-neck manager in Alvin Dark..they too posted 101 wins as the season closed on September 30, 1962.
Without delay a 3-game playoff was underway- with one game at breezy Candlestick and two in LA. As if channeling the epic 1951 playoff series the Giants would take the pennant with a miracle comeback in the final game- sending them to an immediate World Series appearance against the mighty
The 1962 World Series was epic enough as the Yankees squeezed out a tense 7-game victory when Willie McCovey drilled a line drive into the glove of Bobby Richardson (with the tying run on 3rd and winning run on 2nd!), but don't forget that wonderful season when the Giants and Dodgers "officially" put Major League Baseball on the map.
The Beatles Off The Record by Keith Badman
Beatles, Beatles, Beatles....yeah, yeah, yeah......too many Beatle books??? Maybe...but in this epic volume Keith Badman has stitched together a unique chronology of the Fab Four using only quotes by themselves and their associates. Also packed with an array of unique pictures of the band as they transformed from squeaky clean to hippie radicals 'The Beatles Off The Record' offers an amazing glimpse into what was happening...as it happened...a time machine of a book that is done with style and class befitting those hipster skowzers from Liverpool....Yeah Yeah Yeah!