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56 : Joe DiMaggio and the last magic number in sports
Kostya Kennedy
Adult Nonfiction GV865.D5 K466 2011

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Sports Illustrated senior editor Kennedy recreates the triumph of Joe DiMaggio's improbable 56-game hitting streak during the anxious summer of 1941. With the United States marching toward war, and young men (including professional ball players) being drafted by the millions, the country needed something to cheer about. The New York Yankees centerfielder, then in his fifth season, delivered by setting a record that many experts say will stand forever. As Kennedy writes in one of five compelling sidebars that provide a modern-day perspective on the feat, only nine players in Major League history have run off hitting streaks of more than 35 games in a season. DiMaggio seemed an unlikely candidate as the 1941 season opened. In fact, 56 begins with the slugger in a slump. But then came the hits, and as the streak extended into the twenties, most Americans became enthralled. Kennedy recaps those 56 games and brilliantly depicts an era free of 24-hour-news cycles and social networks, a time when newspapers and the radio delivered information first. Through meticulous research and interviews, he takes readers beyond the field. From the private world inhabited only by DiMaggio and his new bride to Newark barbershops, the playgrounds of Queens, and the streets of DiMaggio's hometown, San Francisco, Kennedy humanizes an immortal accomplishment. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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