The New York Yankees of the 1950s: Mantle, Stengel, Berra, and a Decade of Dominance

THE NEW YORK YANKEES OF the 1950s                 DAVID FISCHER

The 1950s marked a transformative period in postwar American history. In baseball, one dynasty was the story during the decade. The New York Yankees played in eight World Series from 1950 to 1959, winning six of them. Yankees icon Joe DiMaggio retired following the 1951 season, but a new superstar, Mickey Mantle, took over in Yankee Stadium's center field in 1952. Mantle, the powerful switch-hitter who blasted tape-measure home runs and was often tortured by leg ailments, became the number one box office draw in baseball. He was the American League's most valuable player in 1956 and 1957, putting together a triple crown season in 1956. Mantle came into baseball when television was just catching on, and with the Yankees reaching the World Series and appearing on national TV seemingly every season, he became the face of the game during the decade. Mantle joined with his pals, pitcher Whitey Ford, and infielder Billy Martin, to form a hard-partying trio that would be a joy and a pain to management. The author of several books on the Yankees, David Fischer brings expertise and a knack for great story-telling to the saga of the most dominant decade in the annals of sport, set during a defining moment in U.S. history.


I found this book to be right up there with other Yankee books that I have read about their history. This one focuses on the decade of the fifties. The changing of managers to Stengel and how that did not work so well with DiMaggio. The beginning of Mickey Mantle’s career then being sent down and then returning. The World Series that they won and the years that they did not make it or lost. Like to the Dodgers in 55 and the Braves in 57. The Yankees would win six World Series during the 50s and lose those two so they would miss out in 54 and 59. They, of course, would return in 60-64 winning 61 and 62 and that would be it until losing to the Reds in 77. The author will take you through each year and what is happening with other teams in the league and trades that were made. He also takes you through any players released or added. How the team did with batting and pitching and who lead the league if any. How Yogi would win multiple MVP awards and then Mantle would win his plus his Triple Crown year. The author also lets you know what was going on at the time in the country. Whether the “I Love Lucy” show premiered and became one of the top shows for the ’50s, to when “Leave it to Beaver” debuted at the end of the fifties. You say how the highway system changed and car sales took off. That at the beginning of the fifties all teams were east of the Mississippi. By the end of the fifties, there were two teams playing on the West coast. This is a book that is not only about the Yankee’s but about America and baseball. How the game changed from Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers and Giants moving West and the start of something new the sixties. A very good book.

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