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  • April 21st, 2008

    “The Greatest Game: The Yankees, the Red Sox and the Playoff of ’78″, by Richard Bradley

    Posted by Christine E. at 10:03 pm in Book Reviews,Old Friends,Red Sox Comments (7)

    It was the game that broke many generations of Red Sox hearts, the game that gave Bucky &*$&#@#&$* Dent the middle name (and notoriety) that will stay with him forever, and the game that probably defined a bitter rivalry better than any other game in history…

    We all know the date–Red Sox and Yankee fans alike: October 2, 1978.

    And now, after almost 30 years have passed, Richard Bradley, best-sellingaa240_.jpg author and a life-long baseball fan, has written a book about THE Game–and it’s one of the best books I have ever read with regard to the Rivalry…

    I know, I know, when I was approached to review this book, I thought the same thing: “Why on EARTH would I want to read a book that talks about THAT game???”

    But, truly, Richard Bradley has not taken sides on this one–as a matter of fact, he is careful to not even reveal his personal allegiance. And while he lives and works in New York, he was a teenager living in Connecticut when the game happened–so we never really know…

    Bradley spent countless hours researching and interviewing both Red Sox and Yankees greats, as well as the teams themselves, so this book is not a rehash of other books about the Sox and Yankees, nor does it fall victim to the pretentiousness of the Yankee mentality, or the Sox “we always lose to the Yankees” feeling that pervaded all the years before and until 2004.

    The book jacket says it best: “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”

    The book really does do justice to the Sox, the Yanks, and to their ever-turbulent rivalry. I was completely sucked in–and there were so many little things about both teams that I never knew, such as the fact that Don Zimmer has buttons of a rare metal called tantalum that sealed his skull from where they had to drill the holes in his head after being hit by a pitch in 1953. Or that both Yaz and Goose Gossage visualized that final at bat the night before–just knowing it would all come down to them.

    The only glitch I saw was on the dust jacket–which listed the day of the game as October 4, 1978–but I am sure I am not the only one to notice that.

    Chapters alternate between innings of that playoff game, and different aspects of both teams and their players, as well as the impact of free agency, which was just in it infancy at that time.

    We have all seen this game, but this book allows you to get inside the heads of the players who lived it…So, no matter which side you were rooting for–The Greatest Game is a book you need to read…

    Check it out!

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