The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York

Lyle Spatz and Steve Steinberg
Foreword by Charles C. Alexander

544 pages
53 illustrations, 16 tables, 4 appendixes


March 2012


$24.95 Add to Cart

April 2010


$36.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

At the dawn of the roaring twenties, baseball was struggling to overcome two of its darkest moments: the death of a player during a game and the revelations of the 1919 Black Sox scandal. At this critical juncture for baseball, the two teams that emerged to fight for the future of the game were also battling for the hearts and minds of New Yorkers as the city dramatically rose to the pinnacle of the baseball world.

1921 tells the story of a season that pitted the New York Yankees against their Polo Grounds landlords and hated rivals, John McGraw’s Giants, in the first all–New York City World Series. Lyle Spatz and Steve Steinberg re-create the drama that featured the charismatic Babe Ruth in his assault on baseball records in the face of McGraw’s disdain for the American League and the Ruth-led slugging style. Their work evokes the early 1920s with the words of renowned sportswriters such as Damon Runyon, Grantland Rice, and Heywood Broun, and with more than fifty photographs, offering a vivid picture of the colorful characters, the crosstown rivalry, and the incomparable performances of this classic season.

Author Bio

Lyle Spatz is the editor of The Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers (Nebraska, 2012). Steve Steinberg is the author of Baseball in St. Louis, 1900–1925. Charles C. Alexander is the author of several baseball books, including John McGraw (Nebraska, 1995) and Spoke: A Biography of Tris Speaker.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword by Charles C. Alexander
Part 1. The Preseason
1. Prelude to the World Series
2. Baseball Confronts the Black Sox Scandal
3. The Shady Side of Baseball’s Flagship Franchise
4. Ruppert and Huston Arrive, Ready to “Go to the Limit”
5. “You can’t compare him with anybody else. He’s Babe Ruth.”
6. The Giants Fail to Get Rogers Hornsby
7. Ed Barrow Comes to New York
8. “We fear only Cleveland”
9. “I do not fear any club in the National League”
Part 2. The Season
10. “My job is to knock ’em a mile”
11. “This home run business is being carried too far”
12. The Trials and Tribulations of John McGraw
13. Cobb and Speaker Await as the Yankees Head West
14. “The Yanks are the best worst team in either league”
15. Setbacks on the Road and in the Commissioner’s Office
16. The Giants Solidify Their Lineup
17. “You can’t play your outfielders in the middle of the next block”
18. Lay off Huggins and Hope Nothing Happens to the Babe
19. A Terrible August for the Giants . . . So Far
20. “Let’s go get ’em while the getting’s good”
21. “It is no time in which to count McGraw and his men out of any race”
22. Ascent to First and Then a Demoralizing Loss
23. “It was the greatest game ever played”
24. The Giants Clinch and the Repercussions Get Ugly
25. A Pennant for the Yankees, At Last
Part 3. The Postseason
26. Prelude to the World Series, Part 2
27. Game 1, Wednesday, October 5: “Who said the Yanks were slow and clumsy and dull?”
28. Game 2, Thursday, October 6: The Yankees Again Win with an Inside Game
29. Game 3, Friday, October 7: The Giants’ Offense Comes Alive
30. Game 4, Sunday, October 9: The Giants Finally Get to Carl Mays, or So It Seems
31. Game 5, Monday, October 10: Ruth’s Gameness and Hoyt’s Guts
32. Game 6, Tuesday, October 11: The Series Is Evened, but without Ruth--Is It Really Even?
33. Game 7, Wednesday, October 12: “Give me another game against those Yankees, and they’ll get even less"
34. Game 8, Thursday, October 13: “New York and baseball are proud of the Yanks and the Giants”
Appendix 1. 1921 Yankees and Giants Regular Season Batting and Pitching
Appendix 2. 1921 AL and NL Batting and Pitching Leaders
Appendix 3. 1921 World Series Box Scores
Appendix 4. 1921 Yankees and Giants World Series Batting and Pitching


Winner of the 2011 Seymour Medal, sponsored by the Society for American Baseball Research.

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