Our Team: The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball

Flatiron. Mar. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9781250313799. $29.99. SPORTS
At first glance, one might wonder how the 1948 Cleveland Indians warrant a book. But then one stops to consider its cast of characters: Bill Veeck, team owner and impresario extraordinaire; Bob Feller, an Iowa farm boy whose blazing fastball elevated him to rock star status in the late 1930s and 1940s; Larry Doby, Major League Baseball’s second Black player, who in many ways had a harder battle than Jackie Robinson, his predecessor; and last, but far from least, iconic Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige, who at over age 40 was finally admitted to the majors. Epplin, a veteran freelance writer, shows us how Veeck brought together these disparate parts to transform a beleaguered franchise into world champions. But he also shows that it wasn’t easy: Veeck battled numerous surgeries, while constantly promoting his team even from hospital beds; Feller became a fallen star, excoriated for tending more to his money-making ventures than pitching; Doby battled the racism of fans, opponents, and his own teammates; and Paige fought both racism and aging.
VERDICT Epplin has given us an entertaining account of this ball club, and we find ourselves rooting for them in the end. An enjoyable read for all sports fans.
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