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Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  344 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Before the team headed to Los Angeles in 1957, the Brooklyn Dodgers had already become part of baseball history, thanks to players such as Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, and Roy Campanella. Bums narrates the colorful history of this beloved team with recollections from the players, the writers who covered them, and fans.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by McGraw-Hill/Contemporary (first published 1984)
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noisy penguin
May 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book was awesome for a Dodger loving baseball history nut like myself. Not just about the team itself, but about Brooklyn, the fans, the regulars that roamed the stands at home games...Golenbock paints a really clear picture. I can imagine sitting in the stands and hearing Hilda Chester roaming the stands, beating on her frying pan with her ladle.
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bums takes you back to a time when baseball was as much a part of your life as church and community. Baseball was the fans and the players. For the fans it was a game that was a very real part of you. Players played the game for the love of the game and won as a team not as individuals. When owners like O’Malley took it away and made it a business the fans lost something special; a feeling that can’t be duplicated in any other sport. Players lost too. Some of the real colorful players were lost ...more
Russell Woodward
Mar 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a nice history of the Dodgers before they went to LA. Definitely some language, but a lot of neat history about Jackie Robinson, Carl Furillo, Pee Wee Reese, and all the rest of the players. I loved how much people lived for baseball back then. I think almost everyone in Brooklyn was heartbroken when Walter O'Malley moved them to LA. This book just reminded me of simpler times. Great read.
Oct 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Bring this book back into print! This is one of the best baseball books I've ever read - over 600+ pages of oral history showing what a whacked out sport baseball used to be. The crazies, drunks, kooks and goofs straight from the horses' mouths.
Bill Christman
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
It is tough for me to feel neutral about the Brooklyn Dodgers. I have a love/hate relationship with them and their history but it is probably similar to the Red Sox lore. The team itself is something I respect and can into, but those that surround the team, their extremely literary fans who overly romantisize the team can be grating. In the Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers that Peter Golenbock has written here it is the players I enjoy listening too. It is the fans and Golenboch himself who ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For die-hard baseball fans, for older Brooklynites, and for sports buffs, this is a terrific read. Aside from the full story of the Brooklyn Dodgers, it really elicits the feeling of Brooklyn (the place) and Brooklynites in the 40's and 50's. Those Brooklynites were Italian, Irish, Jewish, Black, Puerto Rican and a few others, and though we knew who was what, it wasn't a judgment, it was just a characteristic, like blue eyes or curly hair. Up to the age of 12, when I moved from Brooklyn, I had n ...more
Reid Mccormick
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
What’s the difference between sporting events and reality television? Nothing. Both add nothing to society, but I enjoy baseball nonetheless.

I’m a big Dodger fan. That is probably one of the first things you would know about me if you met me. I love going to Dodger Stadium, purchasing an overpriced hot dog, and watching twenty five grown men wearing crisp white uniforms with blue hats compete playing a sport that is meant for kids.

In addition to watching games, I love the history of the Dodger
Don Heiman
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Bums: Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers” by Peter Golenbock was published by G.P. Putman’s Sons in 1984. In 2001 Audio Books released the audio narration by Todd Raymond. I enjoyed listening to the audio book during my daily walks and I used the print copy for notes and references. Golenbock’s book uses narratives from many Dodger’s players, coaches, baseball executives, journalists, and fans. His book covers the period from 1902 to 1957. The story lines are fascinating and his candor is tai ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are some hilarious stories in this oral history. It has everything. But as the book reached its conclusion and the bums won the World Series, finally vanquishing those rotten Yankees, I cried; and as O'Malley moved them to California and the fans described the effect on the neighborhood as well as their own lives, I cried again. The tales and the characters in this book... wow.
Mike Walters
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a lifelong fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and baseball in general, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is the kind of insight and information I am looking for when I read a history book. Unfortunately, many historical sports books don't deliver on this. Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers is NOT one of those books.
James Biser
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
This is an excellent history of the early Brooklyn Dodgers. The stories of the neighborhood team are fantastic, and the strange stories of how things truly got started are amazing. The stories of Jackie Robinson are awe-inspiring. He is a true American hero.
Wes Bartlett
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting and brought back many memories of my years growing up when I used to listen to and watch Dodger games. I remembered many of the players mentioned in the book. I think I like the images of the players I had growing up as opposed to the images the author presented.
Wayne Hastings
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book covering the Brooklyn history of my favorite sports team. The many personal interviews make the book seem more like a personal history than narrated.
Tessa Wise
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought the book was really good. I liked reading about how the club got started and how it moved and all the different baseball players that played for the Dodgers.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Closer to 3.75. The Brooklyn Dodgers is a subject that has been beaten to death but this gives one a fresh perspective (even if you've already read Boys Of Summer) to it.
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Now I understand why my father never enjoyed major league baseball when I was a kid. His heart was ripped it when O'Malley moved the Dodgers to Los Angeles.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I became hooked on the Bums in the early 1950s. If you were good in grade school when I was there the teacher would allow you to listen to the World Series. In 1952,53,55 and 56 the Dodgers were in the Series. I learned a little about them then - they were the first team in a world series to have a grand slam scored against them and to have a triple play done against them(both well before I started to know them). But in those first years that I was listening they had a series of mishaps until 19 ...more
Tom Gase
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a great book. It seems as if I had read a dozen books on the Brooklyn Dodgers, but this had a lot of new material. Kind of a journey of a book, it takes you from the building of Ebbets Field but quickly goes into the early 1940s and takes you into the years where the Dodgers, called the Bums, had Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campenella, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Pete Reiser, Eddie Stanky, Junior Gilliam, Carl Furillo, Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine, Ralph Branca, Leo Durocher, Charlie Dre ...more
Gary Grimes
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is so much more than a history of the Brooklyn Dodgers it is a book that brings you back to a time of innocence an innocence that has been lost by the transformation of the game of baseball into the business of baseball. Read about the players like Robinson and Erskine, Furillo and Campenella and so many others. If you love baseball you will love this book. It is an oral history told from the point of view of players, fans, managers, coaches, announcers, and management. I now better un ...more
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I've been wanting to read for the past 20 years and which I finally broke down and bought for myself on my last birthday. What an in-depth and singular treat Bums is, filled with earthy, behind the scenes stories! If you are not hooked by page 17 or so, when Leo Durocher is dispensing his 7 pm dating advice to a reporter, then this is probably not the book for you, but if you want an entirely human lens through which to view the deeply loved, deeply missed Dodgers of Brooklyn, the ...more
Steve Shilstone
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Takes you there and reveals the ferocious competition and not so pretty underbelly of baseball, presenting real people in their own words.
This is one of my favorite of my brother's books. Read it with In The Country of Brooklyn (2009)
Michael Mudrick
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved every page.I couldn't put it down.
Sep 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An entertaining account of the Dodgers' pre-Los Angeles era, of course, but also a fascinating social history of 20th century Brooklyn.
Robert Cole
rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2018
Gregory C.
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Dec 30, 2019
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Mar 31, 2018
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Oct 16, 2016
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Dec 13, 2012
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Golenbock grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, and in 1963 graduated St. Luke's School in New Canaan, Connecticut. His heroes were Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. One day in the local library he discovered the book, The New York Yankees: An Informal History by Frank Graham ( G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1943) and it made a strong impression on him.''

Golenbock graduated from Dartmouth College in 1967 and the N

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