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The House That Ruth Built: A New Stadium, the First Yankees Championship, and the Redemption of 1923

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  171 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
The untold story of Babe Ruth's Yankees, John McGraw's Giants, and the extraordinary baseball season of 1923

Before the 27 World Series titles--before Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Derek Jeter-the Yankees were New York's shadow franchise. They hadn't won a championship, and they didn't even have their own field, renting the Polo Grounds from their cross-town rivals the N
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Published April 4th 2011 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2011)
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Dec 11, 2011 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are few things better than reading a good baseball book, and The House That Ruth Built is certainly that. While the construction of "the Yankee Stadium" is the centerpiece of the story, like any good historian, author Robert Weintraub tells us everything that lead up to the creation of the stadium and all of the historical context.

There is considerable discussion of the differences between the "dead ball" era and the subsequent rule changes that forever altered baseball, and why they came
Matthew Redmond
Mar 12, 2012 Matthew Redmond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily one of the best pieces of non-fiction I've ever read.
Bill Hazlett
Mar 11, 2012 Bill Hazlett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for the baseball fan/historian. Even a Yankee hater such as myself enjoyed reading about a time when they Yankees were they underdog.
May 24, 2011 Heavensent1 rated it really liked it
The House That Ruth Built is a non-fiction historical account of Babe Ruth's rise to fame and the Yankees stake in baseball history.

In the early 1920's the Giants were the team to beat, John McGraw knew the game and helped shaped baseball as we know it today. He was the owner/operator of the NY Giants and landlord to the Yankees, via the Polo Grounds, in which many of their first games were played.

John McGraw did not like Babe Ruth and often called him names and tormented him. The Babe was havin
Apr 29, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, baseball
THE HOUSE THAT RUTH BUILT Robert Weintraub 04/29/11
Goodreads; ****

This is a well written book that delves into a pivotal moment in baseball’s history—the 1923 season. This is the year that saw a shift in power in the hierarchy of baseball from John J. Mcgraw’s New York Giants to the New York Yankees and their most famous player, Babe Ruth. McGraw was the ultimate proponent of scientific baseball, what we today would call small ball, a great tactician who up until the World Series of 1923 was ab
Jim Gallen
May 23, 2013 Jim Gallen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The House That Ruth Built” tells the story of New York Baseball: 1923. As much as I am a baseball fan, it told a story of a year of transformation in our national game with which I was unfamiliar. As 1923 began the Giants were New York Baseball and Manager John McGraw was “John J,, The Lord of New York.” In 1922 they had beaten their Polo Ground tenants, the Yankees, in the World Series and looked to repeat the following year. Babe Ruth was coming off an humiliating series. Expelling the Yankee ...more
Holly Cline
I won this book through first reads, and it did its job as far as being an enjoyable and informative book for baseball fans. However, this book is not going to launch itself onto anyone's favorite sports books list. And it doesn't achieve any sort of greatness that would make this a necessary read for someone who isn't a fan of baseball.

I enjoyed the stories and settings I'm far too young to know anything about. I always like getting a glimpse into a whole different time. The behavior of players
Paul Brandel
May 21, 2011 Paul Brandel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a homerun,one superb sport's book.
*The summer of 1923,ex-Pittsburg Pirate Fred Clark,invented the clip-down sunglasses.Also in that year "Bullitt"Joe Bush of the Yankees
invented the forkball to great effect.
Had John J.McGraw known that Casey Stengel would use his tutelage to lead the hated Yankees to a spate of titles begining in 1949,he'd
have had Stengel shipped out of town on the next train.
Casesy would put to use McGraw tactics such as dedicated relief pitchers,using the full
Anup Sinha
Dec 01, 2015 Anup Sinha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This really was an excellent book, among the best historical baseball books I have read..... And I have read many. I just stumbled upon this and am grateful I did.

You may think the Yankees and Babe Ruth and the Roaring 20's have been overdone in literature, but Weintraub presented the watershed 1923 MLB season in a way that did it justice and taught me much. It really was a remarkable year with the opening of Yankee Stadium, their first of now 27 World Series championships, Babe Ruth in his prim
Jim Kulhawy
May 24, 2011 Jim Kulhawy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book detailing the need for Yankees' owners Ruppert and Huston to build a new place for their ballclub.

The Yankees had been sharing the Polo Grounds with John J. McGraw's NY Giants until they acquired Babe Ruth and started to become a large gate attraction. After beating the Yanks in the 1921 and 1922 World Series, McGraw, never a fan of Ruth, or the Yankees, had had enough and figured he could displace the team and embarrass them into moving, and bankrupting them in the process.

The b
Tom Gase
Jun 01, 2013 Tom Gase rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read on the 1923 season, the first for Yankee Stadium. The book describes not only the season but the World Series between the NY Giants and NY Yankees, who were playing each other for the third straight year. I probably should have read this book directly after finishing the book 1921 that also recently came out. This book isn't quite as detailed as 1921, but it does seem easier to read because of that. My only problem with the book is it seems to go off topic on some of the players and ...more
This is a very readable book, easily among the most lively of the baseball mini-histories I've read. Weintraub does a good job capturing the colorful characters of the 1923 season and the clash of the up-and-coming Yankees and the New York Giants, then the kings of Gotham's sporting world. I gobbled this book up--can't remember the last time a mid-level weighty tome flew by so fast. Weintraub has done a great job pulling from primary documents a vivid portrait of the Yankees, the Giants, and bas ...more
victor harris
May 07, 2011 victor harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
The core of the story deals with the bitter rivalry between the emerging Yankee dynasty and the old and powerful New York Giants managed by John McGraw. The Yankees rented the Polo Grounds from the Giants until Yankee Stadium was completed in 1923. Indeed, the Giants did everything they could to thwart the Yankees in constructing the new facility so they could charge exorbitant rent to the Yankees. Appropriately, the first home run in " The House That Ruth Built" was socked by the Babe. The narr ...more
Jul 19, 2011 Les rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice history of the year Yankee Stadium opened. Robert Weintraub gives the background of the rivalry of the New York Giants and the New York Yankees which led to the building of the stadium along with the clash of "Scientific Baseball" as practiced by John J. McGraw, manager of the Giants, and the rise of the home run as represented by Babe Ruth of the Yankees. The troubles encountered with the building of the stadium and the trouble between the two owners of the Yankees, Jacob Ruppert and Cap ...more
Robert Morrow
Sep 15, 2011 Robert Morrow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had this book on my Kindle for months, due to a complete lack of motivation to read another damn book about the damn Yankees. Glad I got over it! Weintraub is a superb writer with wit and insight and somehow he breathes new life and perspective to overly-chronicled legends Babe Ruth and John McGraw. The book is primarily a baseball book but also contains reflections on parallel changes in society and a not-excessively detailed description of the construction of the original Yankee Stadium. In ...more
Oct 15, 2013 Glenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the author very much. While I thought there would be more about the actual building of "The House That Ruth Built" the book turned into an excellent account of the 1923 baseball season as seen through the eyes of the Yankees and John J. McGraw's New York Giants. Baseball was changing along with the popularity of Babe Ruth and John McGraw was desperately trying to live in the past. The "scientific" baseball he loved so much was leaving the scene as the advent of the Home Run and one swi ...more
Dale Stonehouse
Aug 07, 2011 Dale Stonehouse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Filling in somewhat of a historical blank between Babe Ruth's Red Sox days prior to 1920 and the powerhouse 1927 Yankees, this book points out the contrast between baseball in the dead-ball era and the home run era that replaced it. There is also much on the Yankees-Giants rivalry and Giants manager John McGraw, a giant who disdained home runs and the demise of "scientific baseball." After dismal performances in the 1921 and 1922 Yankees' World Series losses to the Giants, Ruth sparked his team ...more
Jun 30, 2011 David rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, ibooks
NY baseball in 1923. The Yankee Stadium opens. The Yankees are trying to finally win a series against the Giants (after two back-to-back losses). Ruth shakes off two poor series performances. The era of "scientific baseball" (we call it "small ball") gives over to the long ball. Weintraub does a nice job of relating these bygone times, complete with city nicknames that only historians would be familiar with. Good book for baseball historians.
Apr 09, 2015 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gives you in-depth look throughout the entire 1932 baseball season up to what is described as the greatest World Series of all time between the Yankees and the Giants. It describes a lot of behind-the-scenes stories about Babe Ruth and how he wasn't just a player that crushed homeruns, but was an all-around perfect baseball player, athlete, and person.

The Notes section gives the reader a lot of interesting stories as well.
Deanna Against Censorship
Great book with so much information given in an entertaining way. Loved it! I must confess I am a HUGH baseball fan. It is the greatest game as one must play the game NOT the clock. I am also a NY Yankee fan. Born a Yankee fan and will always be one. I also love baseball movies and stories. Yes this might color my review. But it really is a wonderful story that is not limited to 1923. I must read this again.
Bill S.
Apr 24, 2012 Bill S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
Author does a masterful job weaving the personalities and inner workings of the front running New York Giants managed by baseball legend John J. McGraw and the up and coming Yankees led by Babe Ruth into a thrilling narrative of the 1923 baseball season culminating the Yanks first ever World Series win. A joy to read!
Jul 04, 2012 Louis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great piece of popular history that tells you the story you know, as well as some facts you've never heard. I'll write more when I finish.
Just finished the book this afternoon (7/4) - great stories but the book was too long and maybe went off in one too many directions - more to follow on my blog soon.
Aug 25, 2011 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
The season recap portions slowed the momentum a little, as season recaps tend to do, but the sketches of the key players involved (Babe Ruth, John McGraw, Miller Huggins, Jacob Ruppert, Til Huston, etc.) were all well done, and things ended on a high note with the World Series chapters. All in all a solid account of a big year in Yankees history.
Sep 06, 2012 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as an audiobook. I really enjoyed it. It nicely presents the 1923 baseball season concentrating on the Yankees and McGraw's Giants. I enjoyed the flashbacks discussing the careers of many of the players, managers and owners of those two teams. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys baseball. It will become a classic.
May 26, 2014 C.C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, hard-copy
I would've given this 5 stars, but the author spends far too much time on McGraw and the Giants for a book ostensibly about the Yankees. I have no objection to an author trying to present an unbiased account, but, particularly in the section on the World Series, the author comes off as anti-Ruth.
Apr 29, 2013 Skyring marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
David Firman
Feb 22, 2013 David Firman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
As much about Ruth as the history of the Yankees and early baseball. Delightful. Didn't know about John Mcgraw and how much he influenced the game.
Nov 21, 2012 Nicole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, dnf
I gave up on this book because while the content was really interesting, it was too dry for my taste.
Mar 29, 2013 Justin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, 2013
A decent book. It was tough to follow certain parts of the book as he jumped back and forth between the 1923 season and the stories in years past.
Wayne Hastings
Aug 14, 2013 Wayne Hastings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Required reading for any baseball fan. The author's research and attention to historical detail is incredible.
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Robert Weintraub is a sports columnist for and has written for, Play, The Guardian, Football Outsiders, and many other publications, as well as written and produced for ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, ABC Sports, the Discovery Channel, and dozens of other television outlets. He lives in Decatur, Georgia.
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