The Era 1947-1957 by Roger Kahn

The Era 1947-1957

When the Yankees, the Giants and the Dodgers Ruled the World By Roger Kahn.

If you were living in New York and old enough to be a baseball fan during the time period 1947-1957, which this book covers, you will especially enjoy this book. Kahn who is a prolific sportswriter, best known for his classic Boys of Summer (1972) which was about the Brooklyn Dodgers, has been writing books for over 60 years.  Can you imagine being a kid in a city where there are three major league baseball teams and frequently at least one and sometimes two will play in the World Series? When you are living through it, you take it for granted. But when you can look back on it, you realize what a unique experience it had been. Kahn, not only had the writing skills to take us back to that special era, but he has knowledge of the behind-the-scenes events, interactions and personalities of the people who starred in this era.

Before I go further, I must acknowledge that there was only one team that really mattered to me, and that was the Brooklyn Dodgers. My favorite players were Pee Wee Reese, the Dodgers’ shortstop and Jackie Robinson. It was only years later as I grew up, did I fully appreciate the significance of Branch Rickey bringing Robinson to Brooklyn as the first black major league baseball player. But all the behind-the-scenes details are here and a lot more about the personalities and the events of the golden era of baseball.

To me the book was very personal as I imagined that it will be to the older readers who were drawn to this book. One of the most traumatic moments of my life, certainly of my youth, occurred on October 3, 1951, when Bobby Thompson of the New York Giants hit a homerun off  a pitch thrown by Ralph Branca in the 9th inning of the decisive third game of a three-game playoff for the pennant that defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers and put the Giants in the World Series against the New York Yankees.It was known then and now as “The Shot Heard Round The world.” I remember exactly where I was and all the details of that “at bat.”

It happened that my best friend’s father got two tickets to the subsequent 1951 World Series that would now take place between the Giants and the Yankees (a famed Subway Series) and I was invited to go to the game with my friend. We took a subway to Coogan’s Bluff where the Yankees played the Giants. I distinctly remember when a Yankee by the named Gil McDougal hit a grand slam homerun and neither my friend nor I were moved since we were shameless Dodger fans.

This is the type of book that will ignite memories in anyone who lived through this era. It will bring alive many events and personalities such as Willie Mays and his famous outfield “catch”. Other persons that come to mind are “Joltin’” Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Leo Durocher, Charlie Dressen, Casey Stengal, Yogi Berra, Duke Snider, Carl Furillo, Phil Rizzuto, Mickey Mantle, Allie Reynolds, Joe Black, Roy Campanella, Walter O’Malley and many others.

This book was written in 1993 with an after foreword provided by the author in 2001, but it is a timeless book. It provides an account of the personalities and events of our national pastime “when the Yankees, the Giants and the Dodgers ruled the world”.

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One Response to “The Era 1947-1957 by Roger Kahn”

  1. Harvey Pollack

    Ha, enjoyed your comments, it seems like yesterday when you think about it………….


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