Recently, we at the Respect Jeters Gangster blog received an advanced copy of the book "The Truth About Ruth and More: Behind Yankees Myths, Legends, and Lore" by Peter Handrinos. We're always excited to receive books, because it allows us to see what interests people in the baseball world. With "The Truth About Ruth", the author delves into several of the long standing Yankee myths, legends and lore, and reveals the truth behind their stories. From Ruth's called shot, to the Billy Martin Copa fight, to Maris' 61 homeruns, to Reggie Jackson's status as Mr. October, Peter Handrinos leaves few stones unturned.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. For someone who is interested in Yankee history, you can tell that Handrinos did some thorough research and does an excellent job of keeping emotion away from facts. There's no doubt that Handrinos is a Yankee fan, but that does not make him get too sentimental about the legends, myths and lores he debunks, or supports. And that's what makes this book great. Handrinos isn't scared to call out some of our long held notions of the Yankee past, and even extends this to the current Yankee legends, myths, and lores. We all know and love Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, but did you know that the nickname came from a sarcastic Thurmon Munson during one of Reggie's underperforming league champion series? Did you know that Reggie performed terribly throughout his career during the league championship series? Or have you ever heard someone defend Casey Stengel's use of Art Ditmar instead of Whitey Ford for game one of the 1960 world series? Perhaps my favorite however, is Handrinos comparison between the Iron Man Cal Ripken Jr., and the Iron Horse Lou Gehrig. I won't give too much away, but lets just say that Lou Gehrig was in fact, the man.
Peter Handrinos does a good job of retelling stories we've heard before and keeping them fresh. In short, we highly recommend this book, unless of course you can't handle the truth!
Lastly, Peter Handrinos would like us to extend an invitation to a book talk/Q&A at Borders Books in midtown Manhattan- Park Avenue & 57th Street- on Thursday, April 2nd, at 7pm. There will be a complimentary cocktail reception afterwards, and as Peter says "all fans of the Yankees and/or free drinks are invited." You can't beat that.