I received a free Kindle copy of this book from Net Galley and the University of Nebraska Press, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my history book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.
I requested this book because I am a die-hard New York Yankees fan and read most anything that I can get my hands on. This is not the first book by Steve Steinberg that I have read.
The book is well researched and well written. The author’s style makes this a pleasureable and fairly quick read. The book does a very good job of covering how the personality of Urban Schocker was developed by his parents who were somewhat polar opposites in their approach to child rearing. He was intensely focused on winning , but at times it did not take much for him to fly off the handle early in his career.
He started out with the New York Yankees, but was traded to the St. Louis Browns and wanted to face his former team as often as he could. He particularly enjoyed his battles with Babe Ruth. Late in his career he was traded back to the Yankees just as his health started to impact his pitching. He used guile and knowledge of hitters to make up for the loss of array of pitchers. He was one of the last legal spitball pitchers, but faked it more than he used it to throw hitters off balance.
He eventually won a World Series, but did not appear in any of the games. He died in 1928 from a heart condition shortly after retiring from professional baseball.
I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of baseball and in particular the New York Yankees.