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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A short easy read about four special baseball players, 31 July 2004
By 
Bert Ruiz "author/journalist" (Pleasantville, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship (Paperback)
"The Teammates; A Portrait of a Friendship," by Pulitzer Prize winning author David Halberstam is a short easy read about four special baseball players. Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dominic DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky played baseball for the Boston Red Sox during the 1940's and formed binding relationships that lasted decades.
This book is a must read for all Ted Williams and die-hard Red Sox fans. Halberstam is careful to portray the great "Ted Williams" as a true baseball legend but also a man with flaws. Moreover, the author does a magnificent job of detailing the Red Sox rivalry with the New York Yankees and Boston's frustrating pursuit of a World Series Championship during this era.
Halberstam uncovers real gems of baseball information. For instance, in 1941, the year Ted Williams hit .406, Bobby Doerr noticed that Williams had made a slight adaptation in his swing because he had chipped a bone in his right ankle during spring training. "Every day Williams would have it wrapped, and he favored the ankle thoughout the season. Because of that, Bobby believed that Williams as a left-handed hitter was favoring his right or front foot and staying back a little more when he swung and so he hit an inordinate number of sinking line drives just past the second baseman into right field," the author reports.
Williams of course is the last Major League Baseball player to hit .400 or better in a single season. To this end, the author repeats some special baseball folklore...that on the last day of the infamous 1941 season Boston faced the Philadelphia Athletics in a doubleheader and, "Ted's average rounded out to .400 and manager Joe Cronin had offered him the day off. But Ted Williams did not round things out, and he had played, gotten six hits, and taken the average up to .406," the author reports. Halberstam comments that few modern day ball players would have had the pride and work ethic to risk it all and do the same thing. Williams had a good day...but if he had gone hitless in six at bats...he would have failed to hit above the difficult .400 benchmark, Halberstam makes a point of reminding the readers.
I think what truly makes this book special is the fact that Doerr, DiMaggio and Pesky were profoundly decent human beings. Unlike Williams who had three marriages and a rocky relationship with his kids, his "teammates" had solid marriages and wholesome lives. Nevertheless, the four men formed a unique friendship that is both hearthwarming and a tribute to their generation of baseball players. Highly recommended.
Bert Ruiz
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A short easy read about four special baseball players, 30 July 2004
By 
Bert Ruiz "author/journalist" (Pleasantville, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
"The Teammates; A Portrait of a Friendship," by Pulitzer Prize winning author David Halberstam is a short easy read about four special baseball players. Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dominic DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky played baseball for the Boston Red Sox during the 1940's and formed binding relationships that lasted decades.
This book is a must read for all Ted Williams and die-hard Red Sox fans. Halberstam is careful to portray the great "Ted Williams" as a true baseball legend but also a man with flaws. Moreover, the author does a magnificent job of detailing the Red Sox rivalry with the New York Yankees and Boston's frustrating pursuit of a World Series Championship during this era.
Halberstam uncovers real gems of baseball information. For instance, in 1941, the year Ted Williams hit .406, Bobby Doerr noticed that Williams had made a slight adaptation in his swing because he had chipped a bone in his right ankle during spring training. "Every day Williams would have it wrapped, and he favored the ankle thoughout the season. Because of that, Bobby believed that Williams as a left-handed hitter was favoring his right or front foot and staying back a little more when he swung and so he hit an inordinate number of sinking line drives just past the second baseman into right field," the author reports.
Williams of course is the last Major League Baseball player to hit .400 or better in a single season. To this end, the author repeats some special baseball folklore...that on the last day of the infamous 1941 season Boston faced the Philadelphia Athletics in a doubleheader and, "Ted's average rounded out to .400 and manager Joe Cronin had offered him the day off. But Ted Williams did not round things out, and he had played, gotten six hits, and taken the average up to .406," the author reports. Halberstam comments that few modern day ball players would have had the pride and work ethic to risk it all and do the same thing. Williams had a good day...but if he had gone hitless in six at bats...he would have failed to hit above the difficult .400 benchmark, Halberstam makes a point of reminding the readers.
I think what truly makes this book special is the fact that Doerr, DiMaggio and Pesky were profoundly decent human beings. Unlike Williams who had three marriages and a rocky relationship with his kids, his "teammates" had solid marriages and wholesome lives. Nevertheless, the four men formed a unique friendship that is both hearthwarming and a tribute to their generation of baseball players. Highly recommended.
Bert Ruiz
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life-long Lessons!, 12 July 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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When we are young, most of us idolize certain sports heroes . . . usually because of their feats on the field rather than for their characters. Author David Halberstam had the great pleasure of getting to know some of his idols when he wrote the Summer of '49 about the Yankees-Red Sox pennant race in that year. He kept up with his new friends from the Red Sox including Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky after the book came out. When he learned that in 2002 about the last trip that Dom, and Johnny had taken to see Ted, Mr. Halberstam knew that he had a story. This book relates that tale.
The book recounts the backgrounds of all four players, details their friendships from the days when they were in the minor leagues through the end of their lives and provides lots of perspective on the Red Sox during the 1940s and 1950s when these remarkable players were on the team. The end of the book also has the lifetime stats for each player.
One of the intriguing parts of the book is how hard Ted Williams was on himself and his friends. It is a remarkable tale of friendship to see how others would tolerate his abuse by rolling with the punches. Behind the friendships, you get many glimpses of great character . . . character that actually makes their athletic accomplishments seem paler by comparison.
I strongly urge all Red Sox fans and parents who want their children to develop better characters to read this book, and share the story with their friends and family. I know of no better book about athletes that looks at the qualities of true greatness.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensitive story of a great baseball friendship., 26 May 2003
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Teammates (Hardcover)
Many wonderful books of baseball history pack the Sports shelves in bookstores, but this book is unique, not because of its rehash of old ball games, but because it brings back an era, more than a half-century ago, when close and supportive friendships developed between players who spent their whole careers on the same team. Telling the story of the sixty-year friendship of baseball greats Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, and Johnny Pesky of the Boston Red Sox, Halberstam shows the kind of friendship which was possible in an era in which players were people, not commodities.
Warm and nostalgic, the book opens in October, 2001, as Dom DiMaggio, accompanied by Boston writer Dick Flavin and Johnny Pesky, makes a melancholy car trip from Boston to Florida to pay a last visit to Ted Williams, who is dying. As the men drive from Boston to Florida, they reminisce about their playing days more than fifty years in the past, recalling anecdotes about their friendship and talking about their lives, post-baseball. .
Halberstam uses these memories as the framework of this book, describing the men from their teenage years. All were from the West Coast, all were about the same age, and all arrived in Boston to begin their careers within the same two-year period. All shared similar values, and all but Ted came from supportive families. Ted Williams, "the undisputed champion of contentiousness," was the most dominant of the group. Bobby Doerr, was Williams's closest friend and roommate, "a kind of ambassador from Ted to the rest of the world" and "among the nicest and most balanced men." Bespectacled Dom DiMaggio, the brother of Vince and Joe, was the consummate worker, a smart player who had been "forced to study everything carefully when he was young in order to maximize his chances and athletic abilities." Johnny Pesky, combative and small, was also "kind, caring, almost innocent."
Stories and anecdotes, often told by the players themselves, make the men individually come alive and show the depth and value of their friendship. The four characters remain engaging even when, in the case of Williams, they may be frustratingly disagreeable. Though their journey to Williams's deathbed is a sad one, we see them, in Halberstam's sensitive rendering, as men who have always recognized and preserved the most important of human values. In that respect they continue to serve as heroes and exemplars to fans of baseball. Mary Whipple
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The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship
The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship by David Halberstam (Paperback - 25 Dec 2014)
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