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Book Report: The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant

Your Humble Blogger was going to begin this note with the idea that surely all y’all Gentle Readers know the plot of The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, because surely all y’all have seen Damn Yankees. Then it occurred to me that maybe you haven’t. Maybe it’s an old-fashioned show these days. High Schools must still put it on, yes? “You’ve Gotta Have Heart”, “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets” and “(think about) The Game”. Well, anyway.

The plot, for those who don’t know it, is about a nice middle-aged man who is a fan of the Senators. This is the fifties, and not only are the Senators in the cellar, but the Yankees are in a stretch of dominance that is unparalleled. The book is published in 1954; the Yankees won the World Series in 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, and 1953. They actually didn’t win the pennant in 1954 (the Indians won the American League pennant), but they won the pennant the next four years hand running, and nine of the next ten, for a total of fifteen pennants in eighteen years. Anyway, Joe sells his soul to the devil in exchange for not only a young healthy body but a supernatural ability to hit the ball. Joe then signs with the Senators in the middle of the season, hits forty-eight home runs in fifty or so games, and hits .545 while the Senators win every single game he plays in.

Yes, yes, yes. I was thinking about steroids, too.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,