I haven’t done a book review in a while, so I figured it was both time to do one and a good way to finish up the year. This time I want to look at A Pennant for the Twin Cities edited by Gregory H. Wolf. It’s a SABR Publication that came out this year (2015).
The book is a review of the 1965 Minnesota Twins American League pennant winning team. The book is divided into sections that explore the players, on field managers and coaches, and the front office through a series of short biographies. The first section looks at the owner (Calvin Griffith), the Twins home stadium, spring training, and offers a short look at the 1965 season. The next section is a group of biographies of the players interspersed with looks at individual games, including the pennant clincher. This is followed by biographies of the manager, coaches, broadcasters, primary sportswriters following the Twins, and then a summary of the World Series, which the Twins lost in seven games. The biographies and summaries are very uneven in quality, because they are written by a host of people. Some are very good, others not so much. Overall, the mixed quality doesn’t distract too much from the book because of the sheer amount of material, most done well. Although the biographies are the heart of the book, the various game summaries and the World Series synopsis are worth a look.
All in all I think this is a very good book if you are interested in 1960s baseball. It is available from SABR online as both an e-book and to purchase as a paperback. It’s $9.99 for the e-book and $19.95 for the paperback. You can also pick it up at Amazon for $19.95. The book runs 396 pages including the list of contributors.