The Last Innocents

The Last Innocents

The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers

Book - 2016
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It's rare for a team to encapsulate an era as indelibly as the Los Angeles Dodgers did the 1960s. White, black, Jewish, Christian, wealthy, working class, conservative, liberal--the Dodgers embodied the disparate cultural forces at play in an America riven by race and war. In this book, journalist Michael Leahy tells the story of this mesmerizing time and extraordinary team through seven players--Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Wes Parker, Jeff Torborg, Tommy Davis, Dick Tracewski, and Lou Johnson--taking readers through the high drama of their World Series appearances, pivotal triumphs, and individual setbacks while the Dodgers reigned and baseball was king. It is a story about what it was like to be a major leaguer when the country was turned upside down by the tumult of the civil rights movement, a series of wrenching political assassinations, and the shock waves of the Vietnam War. Outside the public eye, these seven Dodgers--friends, mentors, and confidants--struggled to understand their place in society and in a sport controlled by owners whose wishes were fiat. Even as they starred in games watched by millions, they coped with anxieties and indignities their fans knew nothing about--some of their wounds deeply personal, others more common to the times, though no less painful. In their dissatisfaction, they helped plant the seeds of a rebellion that would change their sport. This is a unique portrait of a watershed era in baseball and in America. --Adapted from dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062360564
0062360566
9780062466754
Branch Call Number: 796.357 LEAHY
Characteristics: xviii, 473 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

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PimaLib_NormS Sep 29, 2016

When I first saw “The Last Innocents” by Michael Leahy, I thought, “Really? Do we need another book about the Dodgers?” But, I decided to give it a try anyway, and I’m glad I did. It may sound strange, but I do not consider this book to be about baseball, it is more about a group of men that played baseball. A distinction without a difference? Maybe. Many baseball-themed books are about which team won that game, and which player hit the game winning home run. However, Leahy tells the story of the Los Angeles Dodgers of the 60’s by focusing on six very different men, who played on those teams during that turbulent, chaotic decade. By interviewing many of the Dodgers still alive from those days, we get to know what the players were thinking then, and what they think now with the benefit of hindsight. In doing so, the author humanized the baseball cards that I collected as a child. “The Last Innocents” by Michael Leahy is a character driven effort that I would highly recommend.

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