The Greatest Game

The Greatest Game

The Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Playoff of '78

Book - 2008
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Baker & Taylor
An account of the pivotal playoff game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox traces the season leading up to the game; the contributions of such figures as Carlton Fisk and Reggie Jackson; and the stakes that made the contest particularly significant.

Baker
& Taylor

An insider's account of the pivotal playoff game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox traces the season leading up to the game; the contributions of such figures as Carlton Fish, Reggie Jackson, and Carl Yastrzemski; and the stakes that rendered the contest of particular significance. 60,000 first printing.

Simon and Schuster
In this spellbinding book, Richard Bradley tells the story of what was surely the greatest major league game of our lifetime and perhaps in the history of professional baseball. That game, played at Fenway Park on the afternoon of October 4, 1978, was the culmination of one of the most tense, emotionally wrought seasons ever, between baseball's two most bitter rivals, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Both teams finished this tumultuous season with identical 99-64 records, forcing a one-game playoff. With a one-run lead and two outs, with the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth, the entire season came down to one at-bat and to one swing of the bat.

It came down, as both men eerily predicted to themselves the night before, to the aging Red Sox legend, Carl Yastrzemski, and the Yankees' free-agent power reliever, Rich "Goose" Gossage.

Anyone who calls himself a baseball fan knows the outcome of that confrontation. And yet such are the literary powers of the author that we are pulled back in time to that late-afternoon moment and become filled anew with all the taut sense of drama that sports has to offer, as if we don't know what happened. As if the thoughts swirling around in the heads of pitcher and hitter are still fresh, both still hopeful of controlling events.

That climactic game occurred thirty seasons ago and yet it still captures our imagination. In this delightful work of sports literature, we watch the game unfold pitch by pitch, inning by inning, but Bradley is up to something more ambitious than just recounting this wonderful game. He also tells us the stories of the participants -- how they got to that moment in their lives and careers, what was at stake for them personally -- including the rivalries within the rivalry, such as catcher Carlton Fisk versus catcher Thurman Munson,and Billy Martin versus everyone. Using a narrative that alternates points of view between the teams, Bradley reacquaints us with a rich roster of characters -- Freddy Lynn, Ron Guidry, Catfish Hunter, Mike Torrez, Jerry Remy, Lou Piniella, George Scott, and Reggie Jackson. And, of course, Bucky Dent, who craved just such a moment in the sun -- a validation he had vainly sought from the father he barely knew.

Not a book intended to celebrate a triumph or lament a loss, The Greatest Game will be embraced in both Boston and New York, with fans of both teams recalling again the talented young men they once gave their hearts to. And fans everywhere will be reminded how utterly gripping a single baseball game can be and that the rewards of being a fan lie not in victory but in caring beyond reason, even decades after the fact.

Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2008
Edition: 1st Free Press hardcover ed
ISBN: 1416534385
9781416534389
Branch Call Number: 796.35764 BRA
Characteristics: xvi, 286 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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Sharris871 May 12, 2014

I remember rushing home from school to see this game. I was a big fan of the 1970's Yankees, especially Reggie.I was in the Philadelphia area then and now, so I truly despise both of these teams now. This book reminded me of the fun I had watching the Yankees of the late 1970's.

m
maelo622
Jul 04, 2011

although it helps to be a fan of baseball, the Red Sox, or the Yankees (but especially of the latter), and although the greatest-game tag has been applied to sports from football to golf, I think you will appreciate the day-to-day detail of the doings of the baseball teams in question-from training camp to the regular season to the "greatest game" itself. of note is the background info given on the [in]famous at-bat of the much-maligned Bucky Dent. there have been other playoff games, but perhaps none has proven more heartbreaking (still!) than this particular game between these two rivals, given especially the amazing comeback of the October Men (the Yanks) & the chaos that manager Billy Martin engendered.

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