The Victory Season: The End of World War II and the Birth of Baseball's Golden Age

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9780316205917: The Victory Season: The End of World War II and the Birth of Baseball's Golden Age

The triumphant story of baseball and America after World War II

In 1945 Major League Baseball had become a ghost of itself. Parks were half empty, the balls were made with fake rubber, and mediocre replacements roamed the fields, as hundreds of players, including the game's biggest stars, were serving abroad, devoted to unconditional Allied victory in World War II.

But by the spring of 1946, the country was ready to heal. The war was finally over, and as America's fathers and brothers were coming home, so too were the sport's greats. Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Joe DiMaggio returned with bats blazing, making the season a true classic that ended in a thrilling seven-game World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. America also witnessed the beginning of a new era in baseball-it was a year of attendance records, the first year Yankee Stadium held night games, the last year the Green Monster wasn't green, and, most significant, Jackie Robinson's first year playing in the Brooklyn Dodgers' system.

The Victory Season brings to vivid life these years of baseball and war, including the littleknown "World Series" that servicemen played in a captured Hitler Youth stadium in the fall of 1945. Robert Weintraub's extensive research and vibrant storytelling enliven the legendary season that embodies what we now think of as the game's golden era.

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About the Author:

Robert Weintraub is the author of The House That Ruth Built and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times sports pages. He is a sports columnist for Slate, and his writing has also aired on ESPN, ABC Sports, CBS Sports, and dozens of other outlets. He lives in Decatur, Georgia.

Review:

"Robert Weintraub recounts the game's joyous reacclimatization, duly honoring the fine record of service of many players, shedding light on veteran returns and underscoring significant contemporary events.... Admirably wide-ranging." -- New York Times Book Review

"Weintraub loads the bases with the kind of entertaining anecdotes, minutia and quotes that separate baseball -- and baseball writing -- from other sports, and he skillfully captures the facts and texture of the '46 season with meticulous research and a conversational style. Weintraub is a big-league storyteller." -- USA Today

"Weintraub tells myriad good stories. If you want generous context for a great season of baseball when it was still the national pastime and the country was in fascinating flux, Weintraub is your man." -- Washington Post

"A meticulously researched and elegantly written chronicle of what happened in 1946... From start to finish, The Victory Season is a home run." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"As Robert Weintraub's measured, elegant prose illustrates, "The Victory Season" makes an irrefutable case that baseball's golden age begins in 1946. Grade: Grand slam." -- Mark Hodermarsky, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A beautifully written paean to the 1946 baseball season, when normalcy returned to the national pastime." -- Mike Vaccaro, New York Post

"The Victory Season leaps off the page like a newsreel." -- Allen Barra, Chicago Tribune

"The baseball history makes great reading, but the larger story of our sometimes painful transition to peacetime gives the book its staying power. Fine popular history." -- Booklist (starred review)

"An entertaining read... Scattered among those big stories are little gems about players most of us have never heard of." -- Minneapolis Star Tribune

"We see a lot of baseball books each spring, but few will be more supremely entertaining than The Victory Season... Impossibly charming... A winning account." -- Newsday

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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