The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers

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9780062466754: The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers

Finalist for the 2017 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing

From an award-winning journalist comes the riveting odyssey of seven Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1960s—a chronicle of a team, a game, and a nation in transition during one of the most exciting and unsettled decades in history.

Legendary Dodgers Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Wes Parker, Jeff Torborg, Dick Tracewski, and Tommy Davis encapsulated 1960s America: white and black, Jewish and Christian, wealthy and working class, pro-Vietnam and anti-war, golden boy and seasoned veteran. The Last Innocents is a thoughtful, technicolor portrait of these seven players—friends, mentors, confidants, rivals, and allies—and their storied team that offers an intriguing look at a sport and a nation in transition. Bringing into focus the high drama of their World Series appearances from 1962 to 1972 and their pivotal games, Michael Leahy explores these men’s interpersonal relationships and illuminates the triumphs, agonies, and challenges each faced individually.

Leahy places these men’s lives within the political and social maelstrom that was the era when the conformity of the 1950s gave way to demands for equality and rights. Increasingly frustrated over a lack of real bargaining power and an oppressive management who meddled in their personal affairs, the players shared an uneasy relationship with the team’s front office. This contention mirrored the discord and uncertainty generated by myriad changes rocking the nation: the civil rights movement, political assassinations, and growing hostility to the escalation of the Vietnam War. While the nation around them changed, these players each experienced a personal and professional metamorphosis that would alter public perceptions and their own.

Comprehensive and artfully crafted, The Last Innocents is an evocative and riveting portrait of a pivotal era in baseball and modern America.

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From the Back Cover:

WINNER OF THE CASEY AWARD FOR BEST BASEBALL BOOK OF THE YEAR

 

It’s rare for a team to encapsulate an era as indelibly as the Los Angeles Dodgers did the 1960s. White, black, Jewish, Christian, wealthy, working-class, conservative, liberal—the Dodgers embodied the disparate cultural forces at play in an America riven by race and war.

In The Last Innocents, Michael Leahy tells the story of this mesmerizing time and extraordinary team through seven players—Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Wes Parker, Jeff Torborg, Tommy Davis, Dick Tracewski, and Lou Johnson—taking readers through the high drama of their World Series appearances, pivotal triumphs, and individual setbacks while the Dodgers reigned and baseball was king.

It is a story about what it was like to be a major leaguer when the country was turned upside down by the tumult of the civil rights movement, a series of wrenching political assassinations, and the shock waves of the Vietnam War. Even as these seven Dodgers starred in games watched by millions, they coped with anxieties and indignities their fans knew nothing about. In their dissatisfaction, they helped plant the seeds of a rebellion that would change their sport.

About the Author:

Michael Leahy is the author of Hard Lessons and When Nothing Else Matters: Michael Jordan’s Last Comeback, which was described by GQ Magazine as “the best sports book of the year...easily the most fully formed portrait of Jordan ever written and one of the best sports books in recent memory.” His award-winning career has included thirteen years as a writer for The Washington Post and The Washington Post Magazine. Leahy's 2005 Washington Post Magazine story about a California sperm donor won the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award for best magazine story of the year. His stories have been selected four times for the annual Best American Sports Writing anthologies. He lives outside Washington D.C.

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Book Description Harperluxe, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. large type edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Finalist for the 2017 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing From an award-winning journalist comes the riveting odyssey of seven Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1960s--a chronicle of a team, a game, and a nation in transition during one of the most exciting and unsettled decades in history. Legendary Dodgers Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Wes Parker, Jeff Torborg, Dick Tracewski, and Tommy Davis encapsulated 1960s America: white and black, Jewish and Christian, wealthy and working class, pro-Vietnam and anti-war, golden boy and seasoned veteran. The Last Innocents is a thoughtful, technicolor portrait of these seven players--friends, mentors, confidants, rivals, and allies--and their storied team that offers an intriguing look at a sport and a nation in transition. Bringing into focus the high drama of their World Series appearances from 1962 to 1972 and their pivotal games, Michael Leahy explores these men s interpersonal relationships and illuminates the triumphs, agonies, and challenges each faced individually. Leahy places these men s lives within the political and social maelstrom that was the era when the conformity of the 1950s gave way to demands for equality and rights. Increasingly frustrated over a lack of real bargaining power and an oppressive management who meddled in their personal affairs, the players shared an uneasy relationship with the team s front office. This contention mirrored the discord and uncertainty generated by myriad changes rocking the nation: the civil rights movement, political assassinations, and growing hostility to the escalation of the Vietnam War. While the nation around them changed, these players each experienced a personal and professional metamorphosis that would alter public perceptions and their own. Comprehensive and artfully crafted, The Last Innocents is an evocative and riveting portrait of a pivotal era in baseball and modern America. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062466754

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