Yankees and the St Louis Cardinals, that represented as Halberstam notes, the glorious past of baseball and the emerging new guard that would usher in the age of free agency and an increasingly integrated sport. It was still the early 60’s and the US was in the beginning of the turbulent sixties’ and baseball reflected that turbulent period.
October 1964 traces the stories of both the Cardinal and Yankee players – Lou Brock, Bob Gibson,Bill White, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, and Al Dowling among others – some who were beginning to ascend to the heights of baseball glory and others who were at the end of their long and legendary careers. It is a study of not just our national pastime but of our nation and its changing landscape and the effect of such changes on our national pastime.
I enjoyed this book because Halberstam does a wonderful job of flowing the story of the two teams to a crescendo pitch as the Cardinals win the NL pennant on the final day of the season surging past the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies as he weaves a biographical, sociological, and, in some ways, a psychological study of key players from both teams. It is well written, fair, I believe, and insightful.
If you are a baseball fan, this is a book for your library and reading.
Note: I borrowed this book from my local library.