Leo Durocher: Baseball's Prodigal Son

Leo Durocher: Baseball's Prodigal Son

by Paul Dickson

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From Paul Dickson, the Casey Award–winning author of Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick, the first full biography of Leo Durocher, one of the most colorful and important figures in baseball history.

Leo Durocher (1906–1991) was baseball's all-time leading cocky, flamboyant, and galvanizing character, casting a shadow across several eras, from the time of Babe Ruth to the Space Age Astrodome, from Prohibition through the Vietnam War. For more than forty years, he was at the forefront of the game, with a Zelig-like ability to be present as a player or manager for some of the greatest teams and defining baseball moments of the twentieth century. A rugged, combative shortstop and a three-time All-Star, he became a legendary manager, winning three pennants and a World Series in 1954.

Durocher performed on three main stages: New York, Chicago, and Hollywood. He entered from the wings, strode to where the lights were brightest, and then took a poke at anyone who tried to upstage him. On occasion he would share the limelight, but only with Hollywood friends such as actor Danny Kaye, tough-guy and sometime roommate George Raft, Frank Sinatra, and his third wife, movie star Laraine Day.

As he did with Bill Veeck, Dickson explores Durocher's life and times through primary source materials, interviews with those who knew him, and original newspaper files. A superb addition to baseball literature, Leo Durocher offers fascinating and fresh insights into the racial integration of baseball, Durocher's unprecedented suspension from the game, the two clubhouse revolts staged against him in Brooklyn and Chicago, and Durocher's vibrant life off the field.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632863126
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 03/21/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 124,373
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Paul Dickson was born in 1939 in Yonkers, New York where, as a young baseball fan, he spent many hours reading about the antics and achievements of Leo Durocher in Brooklyn and New York City.

Dickson has written more than 65 non-fiction books and numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Most of these books concentrate on writing about the American language, baseball, and 20th Century American history. His first biography Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick, published in 2012, was awarded the Jerome Holtzman Award from the Chicago Baseball Museum, the Reader's Choice Award for the best baseball book of 2012 from the Special Libraries Association, and the Casey Award from Spitball magazine.

Dickson has also been awarded the Tony Salin Award from the Baseball Reliquary in 2011 for his role in preserving baseball history. The New York Public Library named his Dickson Baseball Dictionary one of the best reference books of 2009. In 2010, the Wall Street Journal called the third edition of the Dickson Baseball Dictionary one of the six best baseball books ever published. In 2013 he was awarded The Henry Chadwick Award by the Society for American Baseball Research which honors “ … baseball's great researchers for their invaluable contributions to making baseball the game that links America's present with its past.”

He lives in Garrett Park, Maryland with his wife, Nancy.
Paul Dickson is the author of more than forty books, including The Joy of Keeping Score, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Baseball's Greatest Quotations, and Baseball: The Presidents' Game. In addition to baseball, his specialties include Americana and language. He lives in Garrett Park, Maryland.

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Leo Durocher: Baseball's Prodigal Son 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Andrew_of_Dunedin More than 1 year ago
Author Paul Dickson chose to take on the task of separating truth from legend in writing the biography of one of those larger-than-life characters, baseball legend Leo Durocher. Separating – but not ignoring, as in Durocher's case, the legend WAS a large part of the man himself. A legend he cultivated in both the world of baseball and in the Hollywood aura in which he spent so much of his time. “Leo Durocher: Baseball's Prodigal Son” does a great job of documenting one of the most colorful characters in baseball history, casting him neither as heroic nor demonic (although some of his actions certainly fell into each of those categories). Certainly some of the other people whose lives intersected with Durocher's had their own opinion – and Leo probably not only earned their praise or condemnation, but probably did his best to provide opportunities to reinforce that feeling, Durocher was a dichotomy. He was an early advocate of allowing the African American to play in the major leagues, but then did not get along with Jackie Robinson. (In fairness, race was never an issue; baseball style and effort were.) He mingled with underworld characters, but was innocent of any actual charge when Commissioner Happy Chandler finally suspended him for a year – again, ironically, missing the opportunity to be the manager of the team who first integrated the Majors. He managed the Cubs, but never got along with “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks. And author Paul Dickson captured all of this in one of the few biographical “page turners”.that I've ever come across. Anyone interested in baseball's history should snap this book up at their earliest opportunity. RATING: 5 stars. DISCLOSURE: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book in a random draw. No obligations were requested nor bestowed, although a reasonably prompt HONEST review was hinted at.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Paul Dickson’s Leo Durocher—Baseball’s Prodigal Son to the point that I've purchased multiple copies which I'm giving to friends and relatives. One of the reasons is that it is not only an important book about baseball—from the Yankees of the late 1920s to the post-moon landing Houston Astros—but also a book about celebrity in the 20th century. It may be the only baseball book with an index which includes Greta Garbo, Judy Garland, Spencer Tracy, Mr. Ed. the talking Horse, and strongman Rafael Trujillo. This week Spitball—The Baseball Literary Magazine reviewed the book and said in part: “If you fancy yourself even a casual baseball fan then this book is a must read.” It also called the book “Dickson’s masterpiece.” I couldn't agree more. If you're looking for a terrific Father's Day gift look no further.