'Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee' by Allen Barra Norton ($27.95)
How can you go wrong writing a book on Yankee Icon Yogi Berra? Allan Barra presents the fact that Yogi Berra was the driving force of the Yankee Championship teams of his era. The author contends that year after year the Yankees had the best pitching in the league without the best pitchers because Yogi had the magic and know-how to handle the Bob Grims, Art Ditmars, and Ryne Durens along with the Allie Reynolds and Whitey Fords.
Barra is down about Yogi's talent as a big-league manager. Although his 1964 Yankees and 1973 Mets won pennants. And the fact that he understood the intricacies of the game. Yogi as his mentor, Bill Dickey predicted, biggest problem was in "managing men."
You won't find a lot of Yogisms in this book as it is more on the serious side of Yogi. Even so "True Yogi fans," the author insists, must distinguish between as he puts it "real Yogisms," distilled pieces of folk wisdom, and mere malapropisms. Barra even provides an appendix, with a "comparative study" of quotations from Yogi and world history's "great minds."
The Yankee Years by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci Doubleday
I know a lot has been said about this book already but I finally brought myself to read it. You can't attribute everything to Joe and most of the anti A-Rod propaganda was contributed by Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci. The bottom line is Torre had final say what was in and what was left out. He could have said no to anything. Makes you wonder about the Manny (Ramirez) chapters to Joe's next book "The Dodger Years".
Overall a Yankee fan should read it but take it for what it is. Even more now that it is available for under $10.
George: The Poor Little Rich Boy Who Built the Yankee Empire by Peter Golenbock John Wiley & Sons
Long over due this book is a tribute to a man who brought the winning tradition back to the Pinstripes. None other than George Steinbrenner, one of the most controversial figures in sports, the owner of the New York Yankees.
Boss Steinbrenner for 34 years, he berated his players and tormented his managers and employees. He played fast and loose with the rules and made them his own, and twice could have gone to jail. He was banned from baseball for life–but was allowed back in the game. Yet George Steinbrenner also built the New York Yankees from a mediocre team into the greatest sports franchise in America.
This book pays tribute to that George we all know and love without pulling any punches and does it in detail. There is one problem nobody seemed to check out the facts. There were more errors in this book than Horace Clarke made in his career. Given the authors track record this proved to be very disappointing.
The range of the book includes love-hate relationship between George and his Father... the lies... to almost everyone that crossed his path, his hiring's and firings, his legal problems included, but not limited to illegal campaign contributions and lying to the federal government and more lies. You have to hope this isn't the last book we see or that he makes up for it in the paperback.