I received a prerelease e-copy of this book through NetGalley (publication date May 1, 2015) with the expectation that I will post a review on their site and others (my blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, Amazon, etc.).
I requested this book as I am an avid New York Yankees fan and have read several books about the team. This is the first book that I have read than focused on Colonel Ruppert and Miller Huggins.
The book covers both main subjects prior to their meeting, their partnership and what happened after Huggins died. It is a well written and interesting read that contained a deeper insight into the early years of the Yankees than other ones that I have read.
One of the aspects of the book that I found interesting is that not much has changed from the Yankees of the 1920’s and 1930’s with the current teams as far as statements by others about the team. They had the highest payroll then and now (well almost now); they went after players they wanted and obtained them in trades; the relentless pursuit to win with the ultimate goal of winning the World Series; and calls for breaking up the team to create a more competitive environment. The underwriting philosophy of the team was established by the partnership of Ruppert and Huggins.
Ruppert was the driving force for winning, hired good people and stayed mostly out of the way of running the team. Huggins was the excellent judge of talent and knew how to mold a group of individuals into a team even when there were issues with some of them that had to be dealt with individually.
It is indeed unfortunate that the stress of managing the team (even with the full support of the owner) contributed to the early death of Miller Huggins. It also turned out that Colonel Ruppert’s only really successful, long-term business venture is the Yankees.
I recommend this book for anyone who is a New York Yankees fan. Others may find it of interest only in the fact that attitudes toward the Yankees have not changed in nearly 100 years.