THE COLONEL AND HUG: The Partnership that Transformed the New York Yankees
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.
This is an excellent book about the true beginnings of the Yankee Dynasty. Beginning at a time when the New York Giants where the toast of the town. In 1915 Jacob Ruppert and Cap “Til” Huston bought the team wanting to put a competitive team out there. Then in 1918 when Huston was in Europe for WWI, Ruppert hired Miller Huggins who was a scrappy player but as a manager new how to put a team together. With the two of them they were able to win 6 American League Pennants. Of course it helped getting Babe Ruth from the Red Sox, but Ruppert also got Ed Barrow who left the Red Sox for the Yankees and it was really his leadership in contracts, starting a scouting team that helped as well. Together the forged ahead and when forced they purchase land in the Bronx which was just starting to grow and by the time it opened that year they made it to their third World Series and finally won. The author describes how the relationship broke down between the owners because of the hiring of Huggins, and Ruppert bought out Huston. The author gives you an inside look into the workings of the beginning of the winningest team. The good along with the not so good. For me being a Yankee fan this was a great book and my family being from the Bronx that was just the way it was and who you routed for. A lot of history about the team, players, manager and from an era gone for good. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com