P.J. Sullivan's Reviews > The Gashouse Gang

The Gashouse Gang by John Heidenry
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's review
Feb 13, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: missouri, st-louis, nonfiction
Read in February, 2016

An entertaining read for any baseball fan. It transcends the game, into personalities, business and social conditions, historical context, etc. The players are real human beings, warts and all, not just names on a score card. As Joe Garagiola would say, these guys didn’t run on batteries. Dizzy Dean may have been a 30-game winner but he was really just a big kid at heart. “A great big boy,” said his wife. He did have legitimate grievances, however, as no baseball team today would exploit a pitcher’s arm as the Cardinals did his. He had a right to complain of arm soreness.

This was “the most colorful team in the history of baseball,” says author Heidenry, and he has a point. With Ripper playing first base and Pepper playing third, with “The Lip” at shortstop and “The Flash” at second. With Spud behind the plate and Ducky-Wucky in the outfield, this team had some serious color! The pitching rotation mostly consisted of Dizzy and Daffy, with Tex and Wild Bill thrown in for good measure.

The first chapter is about Branch Rickey, the second is about the Dean Brothers. The rest of the book recaps the 1934 pennant race and World Series, punctuated by amusing anecdotes about the antics of a wild bunch of jokers and alpha males! A fun read for any baseball fan, especially those partial to St. Louis.
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02/02/2016 marked as: to-read
02/02/2016 marked as: read

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