The Colonel and Hug


The Colonel and Hug

The Partnership that Transformed the New York Yankees

Steve Steinberg and Lyle Spatz
Foreword by Marty Appel

520 pages

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May 2015


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April 2020


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May 2015


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May 2015


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About the Book

From the team’s inception in 1903, the New York Yankees were a floundering group that played as second-class citizens to the New York Giants. With four winning seasons to date, the team was purchased in 1915 by Jacob Ruppert and his partner, Cap Til Huston. Three years later, when Ruppert hired Miller Huggins as manager, the unlikely partnership of the two figures began, one that set into motion the Yankees’ run as the dominant baseball franchise of the 1920s and the rest of the twentieth century, capturing six American League pennants with Huggins at the helm and four more during Ruppert’s lifetime.
The Yankees’ success was driven by Ruppert’s executive style and enduring financial commitment, combined with Huggins’s philosophy of continual improvement and personnel development. While Ruppert and Huggins had more than a little help from one of baseball’s greats, Babe Ruth, their close relationship has been overlooked in the Yankees’ rise to dominance. Though both were small of stature, the two men nonetheless became giants of the game with unassailable mutual trust and loyalty. The Colonel and Hug tells the story of how these two men transformed the Yankees. It also tells the larger story about baseball primarily in the tumultuous period from 1918 to 1929—with the end of the Deadball Era and the rise of the Lively Ball Era, a gambling scandal, and the collapse of baseball’s governing structure—and the significant role the Yankees played in it all. While the hitting of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig won many games for New York, Ruppert and Huggins institutionalized winning for the Yankees.

Author Bio

Steve Steinberg is a baseball historian and coauthor (with Lyle Spatz) of 1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York (Nebraska, 2010), winner of the 2011 Seymour Medal, and author of Baseball in St. Louis, 1900–1925. Lyle Spatz is the author or editor of several books, including Dixie Walker: A Life in Baseball. Marty Appel is the former director of public relations for the New York Yankees and author of several books, including Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees from before the Babe to after the Boss.



“Miller Huggins and Jacob Ruppert are two of baseball’s all-time great characters, and they finally get the treatment they deserve in this highly entertaining, meticulously researched book. You don’t have to be a Yankee fan to enjoy this wonderful story from baseball’s golden age.”—Jonathan Eig, New York Times best-selling author of Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig

“The foundation of the legendary New York Yankees that we know today was arguably built on the shoulders of three men: Ruth, Ruppert, and Huggins. While Babe Ruth’s exploits have been well documented over the years, we now finally have the definitive story of Yankees’ owner Colonel Jacob Ruppert and his diminutive giant of a manager, Miller Huggins. . . . A ‘must read’ for any fan of the history of this great game.”—Vince Gennaro, president of the Society for Baseball Research and professor of sports business management at Columbia University

“Everyone thinks that it was Babe Ruth who turned the suffering Yankees of New York into the Crusaders of Baseball. The Babe helped, surely, but it was two invisible characters—the team’s owner, Jacob Ruppert, and the manager, Miller Huggins—who played major roles in the Yankees' everlasting turnaround. Our blessings to Steve Steinberg and Lyle Spatz for finally bringing Ruppert and Huggins to new generations of fans.”—Al Silverman, former editor of Sport Magazine and editor and publisher at Viking/Penguin

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