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Bushville Wins!: The Wild Saga of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the…

de John Klima

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"From 1949-1958, the New York Yankees won the World Series seven times. And in 1957, the last team anybody would have thought of to challenge New York City's baseball supremacy would have been Milwaukee. But who better to beat the Yankees than the Midwest guys at the corner bar? The Braves became America's team, a happy band where color and the Cold War didn't matter, where the Cold One created the close bond between the fans and the team. Young sluggers Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews proved that brotherhood meant as much as home runs. Legendary pitcher Warren Spahn teamed with Yankee-killer Lew Burdette for a climactic finish. 'Bushville' was ready to strike a blow for the rest of America, and the Milwaukee Braves were about to turn the sports world upside down"--… (mais)
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This could have been such a fun and enjoyable baseball history to read. The story of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves is indeed an interesting tale, and the players who made up the team are a colorful lot. The story of the team's owner, Lou Perini, having the vision and the guts to move the team from Boston to Milwaukee, and thereby foreshadowing the move of the Giants and Dodgers from New York to California is a significant part of the tale, as well. Also, the city of Milwaukee's acceptance of the team and the town's desire to be considered "major league" rather than "bush" by the rest of the country rings true. The author, John Klima, does a good job of relating the growing tension as the team fights through and ultimately prevails in a tough, multi-team pennant race. And the defeat of the seemingly unbeatable New York Yankees in the World Series that season makes for an exciting finale. Hank Aaron's coming out party to the nation as a true superstar adds to the poignancy of the story.

In addition Klima, clearly interviewed as many people as he could, and did a lot of deep diving into contemporary newspaper reports.

And yet, I can't really recommend this book, even to avid baseball fans. Because, unfortunately, the book was in large part ruined for me by Klima's overwrought style and scattershot use of cliche and word-salad sentences. Just some examples that come to mind:

* People are often "having none of that" and are frequently "beside themselves."

* Adverbs and adjectives are thrown together in thoughtless and even contradictory fashion. For example, Klima describes on pitcher, mid-game, who is pitching "cautiously and menacingly." Can one be cautiously menacing?

* Thoughts are put into people's heads that Klima couldn't possibly have any authoritative knowledge of. In the seventh game of the World Series, with the Yankees behind with two outs in the 9th inning, but with runners on base, Yankee manager Casey Stengel sends his pitcher, Tommy Byrne, up to bat instead of pinch hitting. Byrne is a pretty good hitter for a pitcher, and in fact keeps the game going, and loads the bases, with a single. but still he was a pitcher with only a .237 batting average. Klima tells us with great certainty, "Stengel never thought about pinch hitting." Well, but given that Stengel died in 1975, how does Klima know that? It seems like he made it up, or if he has some source for this assertion (as in, "Stengel later told sportswriter P.J. Scribbler that he never thought about pinch hitting for Byrne . . . ") he keeps it a secret.

All of these, again, are just singular examples of things that Klima does over and over. I began tripping over Klima's shoddy writing at about the one-quarter mark in the book and the potholes began showing up four or five to the page thereafter. It's really too bad. With some attentive editing, this could have been an excellent baseball history. ( )
  rocketjk | Nov 18, 2020 |
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"From 1949-1958, the New York Yankees won the World Series seven times. And in 1957, the last team anybody would have thought of to challenge New York City's baseball supremacy would have been Milwaukee. But who better to beat the Yankees than the Midwest guys at the corner bar? The Braves became America's team, a happy band where color and the Cold War didn't matter, where the Cold One created the close bond between the fans and the team. Young sluggers Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews proved that brotherhood meant as much as home runs. Legendary pitcher Warren Spahn teamed with Yankee-killer Lew Burdette for a climactic finish. 'Bushville' was ready to strike a blow for the rest of America, and the Milwaukee Braves were about to turn the sports world upside down"--

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