We Would Have Played for Nothing: Baseball Stars of the 1950s and 1960s Talk About the Game They Loved
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We Would Have Played for Nothing: Baseball Stars of the 1950s and 1960s Talk About the Game They Loved

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Former Major League Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent brings together a stellar roster of ballplayers from the 1950s and 1960s in this wonderful new history of the game. These were the decades when baseball expanded across the country and truly became the national pastime. The era opened, though, with the domination of the New York teams: the Yankees, Dodgers, or Giants we...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Simon & Schuster
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Don LaFountaine
I enjoyed the book, but if it was possible I would have rated it 3 1/2 stars. This is a book for any baseball fan, though some of it may have been heard before.

It was like sitting down for a chat with some old-time baseball players. Some are in the Hall of Fame, like Whitey Ford and Robin Roberts, and some of the players are not, though they had solid careers. I found it interesting reading what they had to say as it brought me closer to the era they played in; one I did not watch and can only l...more
Tommy
This is a great piece of history for baseball fans. Vincent does a great job scouting players to interview and has a great balance of players.
Some hall of famers, some not.
Some AL, some NL
Some from the 50s, some from the 60s
Hitters, pitchers, just really well balanced

My only knock is that some players repeat and ramble so it can slow down at times.

One very funny thing I found was that most of the hitters thought present day hitters were better for various reasons (they lift weights, they stay i...more
Maya
Candid player perspectives on the intersection of game, art, culture, and life from the MLB in the 50s-60s. Fantastic insights on Jackie Robinson and Civil Rights, the single year contracts, and of course, the DH. Not to mention embellishments on Mickey Mantle, comparing The Duke and Willie Mays, and some charming stories of Earl Weaver. Magical.
MJ
Dave gave me this one and although I don't really follow sports in any regular fashion this was an enjoyable read. It is a snapshot of a time before tv and big money entered professional sports. I learned a little more about the ballplayers behind the names of my childhood. These guys came from little towns with not much possibility and baseball gave them a way out into the larger world. No one is this isolated or innocent these days, so it was a pleasure to dip into that era, even if for a shor...more
Nathan
A must-read for any true fans of baseball. This book includes interviews from several greats and not-so-greats of baseball's storied decades of the 50's and 60's. You can hear the 'Paul Harvey' version of various stories from Thompson's Shot Heard Round the World (those dirty cheating Giants and their dugout buzzers!), to Erskine's 14 K World Series game, to how Snider hurt his elbow messing around before a game at the LA Coliseum, to how some of the greats learned how to throw a curve.

A very en...more
Tom
This was a far supperior effort to Mr. Vincent's first attempt to recreate the magic of Ritter's classic oral history "The Glory of Their Times." The stories read fairly smoothly, remain very coherent, and, each player interviewed provides a few glimpses into their lives as baseball players. It is a quick read and an enjoyable one.

Brooks Robinson and Billy Williams are, for my money, the two best interviews.
Nick
I loved this book of interviews with Baseball Hall of Famers from the 50s and 60s. The pitchers were especially interesting as they talked about different pitches and the difference in pitching then and now. Many of the stars interviewed were childhood heroes of mine like Duke Snider and Whitey Ford, which made this book especially interesting to me.
Glenn Robinson
Fun life stories of Frank and Brooks Robinson, Harmen Killebrew, Whitey Ford and may others. Great stories about how they played against all the greats as told to Fay Vincent. Perfect!
Brian
This book was enjoyable for me because I knew all of the players and was following baseball as a kid when almost all of these players were playing, with one or two exceptions. But I'm not sure it would hold interest for baseball fans that grew up later than the '50's and '60's. Still, it was a pleasant read for me.
Bill
Jan 24, 2009 Bill rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Bridget and Jacquie, anyone who loves baseball
Recommended to Bill by: Jay Smith
Wonderful oral history of some of the games greats of the 50s & 60s.
It's worth it just to read Carl Erskine's history, and all the Dodgers (Erskine, Duke Snider) and Robin Roberts (MSU & Phillies) talk about Jackie Robinson.
Dave
Loved the interviews of the old ball player that shaped my original impressions of baseball. I saw a lot of these guys play and I was right back to the days while reading their recollections.
Frank Taranto
An interesting collection of memoirs taken from interviews with some great players of the 50's and 60's. I enjoyed this look back at a more innocent time in sports.
Luis Perez
Nice baseball book. Essentially an oral history of baseball, from the perspective of guys who played in the 1950s and 60s. Great anecdotes.
Tom
This is the book for the fan of baseball before it became a big business.
Ken
Good read, the short auto-bios are a little choppy, they are in the words of the players, but overall a good read.
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