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The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  2,502 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
For an extraordinary handful of years around the turn of the millennium, the Yankees were baseball's unstoppable force. With four World Series championships in five seasons and a deep bench of legends and comers -- Clemens, Rivera, Williams, Soriano, Jeter, O'Neill -- they dominated the major leagues.

For the members of the team, though, baseball Yankees-style was a pressur
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published August 17th 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Lewis Weinstein
Mar 25, 2015 Lewis Weinstein rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As I Yankee fan from 1947 to today, of course I enjoyed the read. The structure of the book, stretching a detailed description the last game of the 2001 World Series from the beginning to the end, was well-conceived and well-executed.

The Boss (George Steinbrenner) comes off as a heavy, which he was, but I never forgot how much he wanted to win and how willing he was to pend his money to achieve that.
Grant Hiskes
Mar 27, 2016 Grant Hiskes rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
Overall, I thought the book was pretty good. For any fans of baseball, unless you are an anti-Yankees maniac, you should enjoy reading this book. However, do not be fooled by the idea you have that the book incorporates all of the Yankees history from Babe Ruth and Yogi Berra to Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. Instead, the book really only talks about the Yankees' multiple trips to the World Series from 1996 to the World Series game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, and a mini-biography ...more
May 26, 2012 Tara rated it really liked it
The only really unfortunate thing about this book is the title, which Olney acknowledges as a mistake in the introduction. It's an account of how the Yankees dynasty of 96-01 was built, the relevant players and people, and although Olney doesn't shy away from the problems, it is a very positive account. He frames the book in the introduction (added in a newer edition) and epilogue with the root of the Yankees' problem and why it couldn't sustain success: George Steinbrenner.

I think most basebal
Aug 13, 2008 Ebessenbacher rated it liked it
I hated this team when they were good but I really just have to respect them now. I'm not a Yankees fan but I love baseball and in my newly named tradition of reading a baseball book when baseball season starts this was the first one for no particular reason. It revolves around game 7 of the 2001 World Series against the Diamondbacks and mixes in nearly a chapter each on players, coaches and ownership.

Olney was the New York Times reporter covering the team when they won all those championships i
Aug 27, 2012 Kerry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, sports
This is a first-rate sports book. If I wanted to introduce a bookish friend to MLB and/or the Yankees, this would be a great selection. Thankfully this is not a player memoir, memoirs are so often full of personal anecdotes and tedious evaluations of a player's vices and virtues that they often reveal very little about baseball itself.

Olney's analysis of the Yankee organization is an exceptional look into all aspects of Yankee baseball. He goes back to 1996 when the Yankees became World Series
Michael Grace
Jan 07, 2015 Michael Grace rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball-own
What lies in the heart of a villain? The Yankees around the turn of the century were the number one sports bad guy of my childhood. Everyone I knew hated the Yankees because they just kept winning. They were a true dynasty. But then it fell apart one night in November of 2001.

Olney presents the history of the team in brilliant detail through interviews, anecdotes, and personal experience as one long narrative set alongside the story of Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. Each chapter centers around
Olney did a pretty great job telling his story here. I have not love for Bronx ball club, but it was fascinating to crack open their turn-of-the-millennium juggernaught and see what made it tick. Olney's approach to frame the story of the Yankees rise and the people that were part of it with moment by moment action of that deciding game 7 of the 2001 Series ends up working pretty well. He does a decent job contextualizing all of it in the broader cultural trends, especially 9/11, but I would hav ...more
Sep 06, 2011 Josh rated it liked it
A pleasure, especially for the Yankee haters in the world.
The truth behind the Yankee Dynasty

As a long time fan of the Yankees, I found this book to be spot on. Too many fans from other teams often berate me a little when they find out my team of choice. They say things like how the Yankees buy their championships, are the evil empire, or despise their players. Sadly, not a lot of this was true during their extraordinary run at the end of the 1990's. Instead, they focused on team chemistry, grit, and great starting pitching. Once the team began to move
Eddy Allen
Apr 01, 2014 Eddy Allen rated it really liked it

For six extraordinary years around the turn of the millennium, the Yankees were baseball's unstoppable force. With four World Series championships in five seasons and a deep bench of legends and comers, they dominated the major leagues, earning the love of their hometown fans and the grudging admiration of players and spectators elsewhere.

For the players and coaches, baseball Yankees-style was also an almost unbearable pressure cooker of anxiety, expectation, and infighting. With owner George
Tom Gase
Apr 17, 2012 Tom Gase rated it it was amazing
A nice surprise. I've seen this book in stores for over five years, but never picked it up thinking it was about the Red Sox 2004 comeback win against the Yankees, since the book came out in paperback right around that time. I later learned it was about the Yankees from 96 to 2001, but I have a lot of those books dealing with the same subject. I have a book on the 96 team by Joel Sherman, the 98 team by George King, all the teams by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci called the Yankee Years, and even a ...more
Jun 26, 2012 Aaron rated it really liked it
The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty is New York Times sports writer Buster Olney's bittersweet love letter to the New York Yankees. While his wide-eyed worship of the team's outright dominance at the end of the 20th century was a little annoying to read at times, he masterfully dissects and documents the pieces that were assembled to create one of the greatest baseball teams in history. The two greatest highlights of the book are Olney openly calling out George Steinbrenner for his dramatically ...more
Sean O'Hare
May 31, 2008 Sean O'Hare rated it it was amazing
Yes, it is about the Yankees. Even still, it is a great book. In a historical sense as a baseball fan, if you can't appreciate the way that the dynasty Yankees (and I always refer to the Dynasty Yankees as the team that was constructed beginning in about 1994 and peaked in 2000) were built and managed, then you might be a little bit blind to the truth. They were a great team that played better than the sum of their individual parts and the real beauty of it is that when they lost site of that fa ...more
Aug 01, 2009 David rated it really liked it
The Yankees from 1996-2001 are arguably the only baseball team since the introduction of the free agent system that can be called a dynasty. Their achievements during that time – multiple World Series, two perfect games, one of the winningest records in all of baseball – make some argue that this was the greatest Yankee team of all time, surpassing the great teams of Ruth, Gehrig, and DiMaggio. But what made the team what it was?

In “The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty,” sportswriter Buster Olne
Jason Phillips
Feb 09, 2013 Jason Phillips rated it really liked it
This book is a worthy companion to David Halberstam's excellent "October 1964", another book about the decline of another Yankee dynasty. As a Yankee fan, we celebrate the tradition and history of the Yankees, but often bristle at the hubris by which some in the organization think they can create champions by spending money on the wrong players. As Mr. Olney correctly points out near the end of his book (indeed as a theme throughout), it was the unique team chemsitry and not the salaries that ma ...more
RJ Corby
Feb 22, 2008 RJ Corby rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff Raymond
As a diehard Red Sox fan, I came to this book for the anti-Yankees schadenfreude. I left, however, with a greater appreciation for exactly what the Yankees accomplished in the second half of the 1990s, for baseball in general, and for Buster Olney.

Olney, in the introduction to the Kindle edition (at least), talks about how the title of the book is a little misleading given the Yankees successes beyond the early 2000s. Granted, they only won one World Series past 2000, and while they contended th
Vito Colletti
Jun 05, 2016 Vito Colletti rated it it was amazing
As a Yankee fan I hesitated for a long time reading this book. Due to the title, I thought it would be a Yankee bashing book claiming how baseball would be so much better without them. I was way off base (pardon the pun), this is a wonderful, inside the clubhouse look at the great Yankee teams from the late 90's and early 2000's. Well written, very personable, and a true pleasure to read, for Yankee fans but also for any fan of baseball.
Jan 13, 2016 Kevin rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball, yankees
Generally it was written well but I think he was a bit jumpy. I also think he rushed some parts of the book. I think that our problems fielding the same team as the years between '96 and 2001 are not only due to throwing money and filling the team with just great players. The other factors are also mentioned throughout the book (when he talks about the team that built a dynasty).
Overall, I have to be honest, its obvious he did his research; there are stories in here that I didn't know. I though
Aug 21, 2015 Kevin rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the way Buster Olney timelined the book in accordance to game 7 of the 2001 World Series, apropos to the title of his book.
Jul 30, 2008 Adam rated it really liked it
As my ever patient and understanding wife can attest, I was not a happy camper after the bottom of the ninth inning of the 2001 World Series. It took me almost this long to be able to even pick this book up. But once I did, I couldn't put it down. Olney is now all over ESPN but then he was covering the Yankees for the NY Times. His view inside the clubhouse and his insight about the key Yankee personnel and players are skillfully woven into the events of Game 7. They combine to paint a perfect p ...more
Bruce Collett
Oct 14, 2008 Bruce Collett rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any adult with an interest in baseball or the inner workings of management of major league sports
This guy can really write. I'm beginning to think that some of the best writers are churning out sports columns everyday in the great newspapers of American. Buster's style and story-telling is compelling. The story about the Yankees and it's most central figure, George Steinbrenner is interesting even to those of us who aren't baseball fans. Buster takes pains to report both sides of every conflict, but as fair and balanced as he tries to be, Steinbrenner's meglomania leaves the reader with the ...more
Raphael Brian
Sep 03, 2016 Raphael Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars because 1) Yankees 2) baseball behind the screnes 3) Buster Olney is the GOAT
Mar 19, 2016 Stacy added it
A definite read for any Yankee fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jun 25, 2007 Steven rated it it was amazing
Story of the 2001 New York Yankees memorable World Series against loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Book chronicles the key players of the successful Yankee teams of the late 1990s and early 2000s and the grit and determination of those such as Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez, Maraino Rivera, etc.

I learned from this book that whatever becomes of the current versions of the Yankees, there team will always be different from the group of professional grinders that were so dominant in the late 1990
Peggy Lo
Nov 04, 2009 Peggy Lo rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, sport
I liked this book better than Torre's because it was more organized and there was a coherent storyline woven through it. He painted a picture of each of the characters and the book unfolded over Game 7 of the 2001 worldd series.

I think my favorite story was about Jeter and how much fun he has on the field. It's also been interesting to read this book while watching this last series and thinking about all the changes that's happened since then.
Oct 21, 2013 Peter rated it it was amazing
An incredible book that goes much deeper than the surface details of a given season, or a given year. Anyone who followed sports during the late 90s knew the people involved: Jeter, Rivera, Steinbrenner, Torre. Olney goes so much deeper than the general understanding of the players and coaches. This masterful work transcends sports journalism, becoming a meditation on success, failure, team chemistry, and the things money can, and can not, buy.
Steve App
Jul 05, 2011 Steve App rated it really liked it
Shelves: personal
Olney's tale of the last night of the Yankee dynasty is an exceptional must-read to any sports or baseball fan. Olney's writing tells the story in a way that takes the reader through Game 7 of the 2001 World Series between the Yankees and the Diamondbacks while simultaneously telling stories of the most important Yankees from the dynasty, and game 7, from years past. The result is an infectious story that makes the book hard to put down.
Dec 16, 2007 Justin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any legit Yankee fan
To paraphrase Wesley Snipes in "White Men Can't Jump," recent history has proven that the sun even shines on a dog's ass some days (see Boston 1918/2004/2007), but Mariano, Paulie, Jeter, Bernie, Scotty Brosius, Pettitte, Jorge, Tino, Boomer, El Duque, and St. Joseph Torre will live on in the hearts of America forever. And they would ABSOLUTELY mop the floor with any Boston team of this millenium. TAKE THAT RED SOX FANS!!! TAKE THAT!!!
Jan 03, 2013 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
For a Yankees fan this book was fantastic. Olney was able to give personal insight about the inner workings of the 1996-2001 Yankee's Dynasty. Basing the book around game 7 of the 2001 World Series, Olney goes in-depth in each chapter about the key members of that dynasty. Jeter, Williams, Rivera, O'Neill, Martinez, etc. I know all of my reviews say that the book is a must read, but this truly is for a Yankees fan.
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