At the dawn of the roaring twenties, baseball was struggling to overcome two of its darkest moments: the death of a player during a Major League game and the revelations of the 1919 Black Sox scandal. At this critical juncture for baseball, two teams emerged to fight for the future of the game. They were also battling for the hearts and minds of New Yorkers as the city rose in dramatic fashion to the pinnacle of the baseball world.
1921 captures this crucial moment in the history of baseball, telling 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 Series and resulted in the first American League pennant for the now-storied Yankees’ franchise. Lyle Spatz and Steve Steinberg recreate 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. With more than fifty photographs, the book offers a remarkably vivid picture of the colorful characters, the crosstown rivalry, and the incomparable performances that made this season a classic.