Buzzie and the Bull: A GM, a Clubhouse Favorite, and the Dodgers’ 1965 Championship Season

Univ. of Nebraska. Sept. 2020. 208p. ISBN 9781496213174. $28. SPORTS
The 1965 Dodgers season was both the most trying and satisfactory, and, perhaps the most emblematic of all. Sportswriter Lazebnik focuses on two of the catalysts: general manager Emil “Buzzie” Bavasi and journeyman outfielder Al “the Bull” Ferrara. The book highlights how Bavasi’s sly maneuverings and careful handling of his players propelled the Dodgers to the championship. Lazebnik also insists that Ferrara, a reprobate in the best of ways, kept the team loose and provided much-needed levity during this tumultuous season. The 1965 Dodger season was underscored by the exemplary pitching of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, and many of the games were decided by a single run as the Dodgers were not a strong offensive team. Highlights of the book are the stories of how Ferrara lived the good life along the Sunset Strip, while still giving 100 percent on the field when called upon.
VERDICT A wonderful exploration of a single baseball season told with great verve and exceptional research augmented by hours of interviews with Ferrara himself and numerous other baseball luminaries.
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