This book recounts the story of one of the most memorable seasons in the history of major league baseball. Drawing on interviews with surviving participants as well as daily newspaper accounts, David Kaiser re-creates the drama of the 1948 American League pennant race and places it within a broader historical context.
Unfolding at a time when baseball truly was America's "national pastime," the '48 season saw three teams vie for a championship that always seemed within reach but was never assured. In Cleveland, under the guidance of maverick owner Bill Veeck and charismatic player-manager Lou Boudreau, the Indians set new attendance records with a team that included the first black player in the American League, Larry Doby, and perhaps the most famous pitcher never to have appeared in a major league game, Satchel Paige. In Boston, Ted Williams enhanced his already fabled reputation with another extraordinary season, leading a Red Sox team that new manager Joe McCarthy had reshaped during the off-season. In New York, the defending champion Yankees struggled to repeat behind a crippled Joe DiMaggio, whose clutch hitting down the stretch enthralled baseball fans everywhere.