Every major league team has had their share of talented pitchers in their history. But none likely have encountered the number of extraordinary pitchers as the Dodgers. Author Jon Weisman is an insider to the Dodgers and used his resources to bring us some awesome interview from the people involved in the organization.
We are taken to the early days and he chooses to begin with Ralph Branca. He was a very good pitcher in his day but is known in baseball history for allowing the giving up the Bobby Thomson home run and the Giants win the pennant. But in Dodgers history, he is one of the best they have had. He completed his career with a 16.3 WAR. This comes from the section known as The Kings of Brooklyn.
He moves on to a section called Two Emperors which gives us a close-up and personal view of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. They help ease the transition from the east coast to the west coast for many fans. From there he dives into pitchers that helped shape the 70’s with Claude Osteen and Don Sutton along with a host of others.
This book is full of sabermetrics and here many of these players fit into the scale of pitchers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles history. He spends a good amount of time with Fernando Valenzuela and the craziness that surrounds him. There are some fun stories that go along with Fernandomania.
There are 24 specific pitchers that are highlighted with many pages devoted to Orel Hershiser and Tommy John. This is a good baseball book for the fans of other teams but this is a great resource for Dodgers fans. It is well researched and has in-depth interviews with those that viewed it on a daily basis.
Put it on your bookshelf.
I would like to thank Triumph Books for sending the copy to me in exchange for a fair and honest book review.
About the Authors
Jon Weisman is the author of 100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, as well as The Best of Dodger Thoughts. For more than 30 years, he has written about sports and entertainment for the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, ESPN.com, SI.com, Variety and other publications. Weisman lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.
Joe Davis is the play-by-play broadcast announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers on SportsNet LA. He also broadcasts college football, college basketball, and Major League Baseball on Fox Sports.