November 11 - Praying for Gil Hodges
Note from TheMirl.com: This is the first installment of a semi-regular series by Larry Fleisher reviewing
sports books from all eras.
This year is the 50th annivesary of one of the most famous World Series victories
in baseball history. In 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers won their only championship in
New York and to remember that there are a handful of books out there to discuss
the dynamics of that victory and its impact.
Some are written by sports people - those that were actually there on the scene
and there are others that are written from fan perspectives.
One such book is Thomas Oliphant's "Praying for Gil Hodges". Written from the
perspective of a nine-year-old kid growing up with the Dodgers, Oliphant's book is
a fascinating look at the time and the history of the Dodgers leading up to their
finest hour in Brooklyn.
The author writes all the background material around a pitch-by-pitch recreation of Game Seven,
which Johnny Podres tossed a 2-0 shutout.
But while the book is about the win, it's about something deeper. It's an excellent story of how
baseball can bring people together although the owners of the Dodgers had been in talks to abandon
Praying for Gil Hodges should be a must-read no matter what team you currently root for. It's an
outstanding book to not only learn about the history of the Dodgers in Brooklyn but the players and life
in New York City in the decade following World War II.