I am not a Yankees fan or a Sox fan but I am a fan of The Breaks of the Game, probably the best book I have ever read about sports. Summer of 49 is not on that level, but, for someone like me who was not alive during the summer of 1949, and who was unaware of what happened, Halberstam still
manages to capture enough of interest for someone like me, who hates both teams, to make this engaging, interesting and even compelling by the end.
There’s a host of interesting back-stories and some of the the most interesting information is how things have changed – for the better!: apparently players didn’t drink water during the games because they thought it would make them “bloated” and players weren’t allowed to have snacks during the games because they would no longer be viewed like men. So that’s crazy.
Anyway, the drama of the pennant race is what really turns this book from a rather so-so account of seemingly just another baseball season into a kind of incredible story of two teams of fairly unknown baseball players – at
least to me when you omit the Dimaggios and Williams – imperfectly
striving to be the best.
Worth your time, even if you don’t like baseball.