DYNASTIC, BOMBASTIC, FANTASTIC: REGGIE, ROLLIE, CATFISH & CHARLIE FINLEY'S SWINGN' A'S

DYNASTIC,BOMBASTIC, FANTASTIC        JASON TURBOW

The Oakland A's of the early 1970s were the most transformative team in baseball history. Never before had an entire organization so collectively traumatized baseball's establishment with its outlandish behavior and business decisions, let alone an indisputably winning record: five consecutive division titles and three straight championships. The drama that played out on the field was exceeded only by the drama in the clubhouse and front office. But those A's, with their garish uniforms and outlandish facial hair, redefined the game for coming generations.

Under the visionary leadership of owner Charles O. Finley, the team assembled such luminaries as Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, and Vida Blue. Finley acted as his own general manager, his insatiable need for control dictating everything from the playlist of the ballpark organist to the menu for the media lounge. So pervasive was his meddling that one of his managers, Dick Williams, quit in the middle of the championship celebration following Oakland's Game 7 victory over the Mets in the 1973 World Series. The advent of free agency spelled the end of Finley's reign; within two years, his dynasty was lost.

A sprawling, brawling history of one of baseball’s unforgettable teams, Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic is a paean to a turbulent, magical time.

PAT'S REVIEW:

I grew up watching the Amazing A’S winning the World Series three years in a row. Really though they were in the playoffs before and after. I am sure that most people remember their colorful uniforms, mustaches, and their personalities. This book goes into all of that and starts with the owner Charles Finley. How he became an owner, moving the team from Kansas City to Oakland. His finding the player’s weather they were in high school or college. He was the one listening to a few scouts and bringing these players together. I found that part of the story very fascinating. That was something that I did not know. He did go through a lot of managers until he found Dick Williams who left after their second championship because he was tired of Finley. I always wondered about that. His putting this team together was before the draft started and even after the draft he was still picking good players. The book also goes into contract negotiations which in the end would be the down fall for the team. He missed an insurance payment on Catfish Hunter’s contract and even when he was given the chance to make the payment he refused. He then at the end of the year went to the commissioner’s office wanting them to intercede and when they did, Hunter’s lawyer was able to go to court on the grounds of his contract was violated. The court in turn made Hunter a free agent because Finley did not met his part of the promise of said contract. Then months later when he signed with the Yankees Finley saw the way things were going to change and tried to sell away ball players. Some worked some did not. There still the only team other than the New York Yankees to win three World Series in a row, and I think if they would have stayed together they could have won more. They also beat the big red machine of the 70’s, the Baltimore Orioles, L.A. Dodgers, and yet it is like people have forgot about them. Also in this day an age of sabermetrics Dick Williams the manager was using his pitchers back then the way people talk about using them now. In the 72 series against the Reds he came in relief for most games while he was the best pitcher, and the one game he did start game 6 he lost. With him and Fingers the Reds were shocked. It was things like this that made the A’S special and fun to watch, and I was only able to see them on T.V. By the time I saw them in person they were with other teams but still good players. Being a Yankee fan I still like baseball and this is a great book about baseball and a great team. Worth the read. I got this book from netgalley.com. I gave it 5 stars. Follow us atwww.1rad-readerreviews.com 

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