Book Reviews

“Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character” by Marty Appel

Book review at Knup Sports

Tom looks at the life of the great baseball manager Casey Stengel. Truly, he is one of the greatest characters of the game.

Casey Stengel was a character in baseball. This book grows through a timeline of his life from a youth in Kansas City to his retirement in Glendale California. In the beginning, he was always a very good baseball player and he started in the minor leagues in 1910. Casey takes us on a journey, while sitting in his living room with wife Edna from Brooklyn to the West Coast to countries around the world.

Stengel likes to name all the town he played baseball including many of the minor league stops. As a good player, he credits manager John McGraw with teaching him many of the things as a manager that helped make him successful.

He would begin managing as a player-manager in the minor leagues and proceed to three years in Brooklyn. Always with a few stories at each stop, he helps the reader get an idea of what it was like. Finally, in 1949, he was the manager of the New York Yankees. Playing with and against a players like Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, Ty Cobb, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Billy Martin, he takes us on a fact filled and many times humorous ride through the annals of baseball.

What he did there was remarkable. He won manage them to five consecutive World Series wins and went on to win seven and lose three thru 1960. The Yankees decide he needed to hang it up as he approach the mid 60’s in age so they fired him. From there he went across town to guide the Mets for four seasons.

This book is worth the read. He has some touching moments with his wife Edna throughout his career and how her guidance shaped his decisions. There is so much more to this book and I would recommend it as a great baseball read.

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