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Our Team: The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball

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The riveting story of four men—Larry Doby, Bill Veeck, Bob Feller, and Satchel Paige—whose improbable union on the Cleveland Indians in the late 1940s would shape the immediate postwar era of Major League Baseball and beyond. In July 1947, not even three months after Jackie Robinson debuted on the Brooklyn Dodgers, snapping the color line that had segregated Major Leagu The riveting story of four men—Larry Doby, Bill Veeck, Bob Feller, and Satchel Paige—whose improbable union on the Cleveland Indians in the late 1940s would shape the immediate postwar era of Major League Baseball and beyond. In July 1947, not even three months after Jackie Robinson debuted on the Brooklyn Dodgers, snapping the color line that had segregated Major League Baseball, Larry Doby would follow in his footsteps on the Cleveland Indians. Though Doby, as the second Black player in the majors, would struggle during his first summer in Cleveland, his subsequent turnaround in 1948 from benchwarmer to superstar sparked one of the wildest and most meaningful seasons in baseball history. In intimate, absorbing detail, Our Team traces the story of the integration of the Cleveland Indians and their quest for a World Series title through four key participants: Bill Veeck, an eccentric and visionary owner adept at exploding fireworks on and off the field; Larry Doby, a soft-spoken, hard-hitting pioneer whose major-league breakthrough shattered stereotypes that so much of white America held about Black ballplayers; Bob Feller, a pitching prodigy from the Iowa cornfields who set the template for the athlete as businessman; and Satchel Paige, a legendary pitcher from the Negro Leagues whose belated entry into the majors whipped baseball fans across the country into a frenzy. Together, as the backbone of a team that epitomized the postwar American spirit in all its hopes and contradictions, these four men would captivate the nation by storming to the World Series--all the while rewriting the rules of what was possible in sports.


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The riveting story of four men—Larry Doby, Bill Veeck, Bob Feller, and Satchel Paige—whose improbable union on the Cleveland Indians in the late 1940s would shape the immediate postwar era of Major League Baseball and beyond. In July 1947, not even three months after Jackie Robinson debuted on the Brooklyn Dodgers, snapping the color line that had segregated Major Leagu The riveting story of four men—Larry Doby, Bill Veeck, Bob Feller, and Satchel Paige—whose improbable union on the Cleveland Indians in the late 1940s would shape the immediate postwar era of Major League Baseball and beyond. In July 1947, not even three months after Jackie Robinson debuted on the Brooklyn Dodgers, snapping the color line that had segregated Major League Baseball, Larry Doby would follow in his footsteps on the Cleveland Indians. Though Doby, as the second Black player in the majors, would struggle during his first summer in Cleveland, his subsequent turnaround in 1948 from benchwarmer to superstar sparked one of the wildest and most meaningful seasons in baseball history. In intimate, absorbing detail, Our Team traces the story of the integration of the Cleveland Indians and their quest for a World Series title through four key participants: Bill Veeck, an eccentric and visionary owner adept at exploding fireworks on and off the field; Larry Doby, a soft-spoken, hard-hitting pioneer whose major-league breakthrough shattered stereotypes that so much of white America held about Black ballplayers; Bob Feller, a pitching prodigy from the Iowa cornfields who set the template for the athlete as businessman; and Satchel Paige, a legendary pitcher from the Negro Leagues whose belated entry into the majors whipped baseball fans across the country into a frenzy. Together, as the backbone of a team that epitomized the postwar American spirit in all its hopes and contradictions, these four men would captivate the nation by storming to the World Series--all the while rewriting the rules of what was possible in sports.

30 review for Our Team: The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball

  1. 4 out of 5

    Olive Fellows (abookolive)

    Jackie Robinson may have been the first Black player to smash the color barrier and play for the major leagues, but his is not the only story in the era of baseball’s desegregation. The second, less frequently discussed Black player to be invited into the majors, Larry Doby, joined the Cleveland Indians mere months after Robinson historically signed with the Dodgers in 1947. With Doby’s help, the Ohio team would go on to win the World Series the next year. Journalist Luke Epplin tells the thrill Jackie Robinson may have been the first Black player to smash the color barrier and play for the major leagues, but his is not the only story in the era of baseball’s desegregation. The second, less frequently discussed Black player to be invited into the majors, Larry Doby, joined the Cleveland Indians mere months after Robinson historically signed with the Dodgers in 1947. With Doby’s help, the Ohio team would go on to win the World Series the next year. Journalist Luke Epplin tells the thrilling story of the Indians’ 1948 World Series win in “Our Team: The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball.” See the rest of my review in the Christian Science Monitor.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir

    Four men, inextricably linked. Two white, two Black. Bob Feller, Satchel Paige, Bill Veeck and Larry Doby. All of them could be said to be pioneers, and each had his own triumphs and disappointments. Bob Feller, signed by the Cleveland Indians, was a “phee-nom,” as they used to say. This teenage farm boy from the heartland of America (Van Meter, Iowa) had a fastball that made grown men beg out of the lineup. Realizing his value --- as well as the short lifespan of an athlete, especially having lo Four men, inextricably linked. Two white, two Black. Bob Feller, Satchel Paige, Bill Veeck and Larry Doby. All of them could be said to be pioneers, and each had his own triumphs and disappointments. Bob Feller, signed by the Cleveland Indians, was a “phee-nom,” as they used to say. This teenage farm boy from the heartland of America (Van Meter, Iowa) had a fastball that made grown men beg out of the lineup. Realizing his value --- as well as the short lifespan of an athlete, especially having lost some prime years to World War II --- he was the first to incorporate himself. He sought endorsement opportunities and produced barnstorming trips, gathering a collection of major leaguers who would travel around the country after the end of the season, giving many fans the only opportunity to see them in person. Feller’s troupe would take on local teams, but the real story was their engagements with players from the Negro Leagues in the years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. It was on these trips that Feller would encourage mano-a-mano duels with Satchel Paige, a beanpole of a pitcher whose speed rivaled Feller’s (Paige also had exceptional control, which Feller did not). These games often showed that players from the Negro Leagues were just as good, if not often better, than their big league counterparts, with Paige up front and center in all of this. Bill Veeck was the P.T. Barnum of baseball. The game was in his blood. His father had been an executive with the Chicago Cubs, and as soon as he was able, he bought himself a team, which turned out to be the Indians after a couple of false starts elsewhere. Veeck was a maverick, bucking tradition with his plans to bring people out to the ballpark, but with the ultimate goal of winning a pennant. That included looking for talent where no one else would (except for the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Branch Rickey, who signed Robinson to a professional contract in 1946). He made Larry Doby, who had been a star with the Newark Eagles in the Negro Leagues, the second African American in the Majors. Despite their renown, Paige and Doby had to deal with the discrimination of their time, the Jim Crow laws of the Deep South, and the attitudes of white teammates, media and fans who perceived Black players as somehow deficient in what it took to be in the Majors. Doby, more than a decade younger than Paige, was more introspective and introverted, while the older man had developed a thicker skin and knew how to “go along to get along.” Like Feller, he was always on the lookout for a bigger paycheck, willing to break contracts and jump from team to team for that larger payday. Ably researched and entertainingly presented by Luke Epplin, OUR TEAM is a painstaking look at the difficulties in the lives of all these men --- Feller’s “lost years,” Veeck’s leg amputation following his own military service, and Paige and Doby trying to make inroads in a sport that did not want “their kind.” But as they worked together for a common goal, many of these differences were set aside. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dan Trefethen

    This one is for fans of baseball history. Cleveland, 1948. The irrepressible showman Bill Veeck, owner of the Cleveland Indians, relies on his ace (but aging) starter Bob Feller to get the Indians into contention for a pennant. But Veeck also decided in 1947 to break the color barrier in the American League by hiring Black athlete Larry Doby. Finally, Veeck reaches out to add a 42-year-old (maybe, his age is uncertain) Satchel Paige, whose pitches still befuddle hitters. The book is well structure This one is for fans of baseball history. Cleveland, 1948. The irrepressible showman Bill Veeck, owner of the Cleveland Indians, relies on his ace (but aging) starter Bob Feller to get the Indians into contention for a pennant. But Veeck also decided in 1947 to break the color barrier in the American League by hiring Black athlete Larry Doby. Finally, Veeck reaches out to add a 42-year-old (maybe, his age is uncertain) Satchel Paige, whose pitches still befuddle hitters. The book is well structured, providing separate chapters of biography of each man leading up to when they came together on the Indians. The book culminates in a close examination of the games of the 1948 World Series, and how the three players fared. The book especially emphasizes how difficult is was for Doby. Unlike Jackie Robinson who had 18 months in the minors before Branch Rickey called him up to the Dodgers, Veeck yanked Doby directly from the Negro Leagues to the Indians, with little warning for either Doby, the Indians players, or fans. Doby agonized through this time with his treatment by certain other players, fans (especially on away games), and segregation when traveling with the team. Unlike Robinson who received immediate acclaim along with the scorn and soon became a baseball icon, Doby did not receive due recognition for decades. It was a bitter pill to swallow for a man who may have done more than any other single player to propel the Indians to a championship in 1948, and had a long playing career until he retired in 1962. He was not directly elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame but chosen to be inducted in 1998 by the Veterans Committee. Fortunately he received that honor before his death in 2003.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ken Heard

    While much of the focus in the baseball world of 1947 was on Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers, Larry Doby was crossing the color barrier in the American League at the same time. Luke Epplin has written an excellent, well-researched book about Doby and the Cleveland Indians as they embarked on their 1948 World Series run. It included some of the more well-known things, like Bob Feller's desire for money and his obsession to promote himself. But Epplin shows plenty of examples to further de While much of the focus in the baseball world of 1947 was on Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers, Larry Doby was crossing the color barrier in the American League at the same time. Luke Epplin has written an excellent, well-researched book about Doby and the Cleveland Indians as they embarked on their 1948 World Series run. It included some of the more well-known things, like Bob Feller's desire for money and his obsession to promote himself. But Epplin shows plenty of examples to further develop that. He does include Bill Veeck's attempt to buy the Philadelphia Phillies with the intent of stocking the roster with Negro League players. That's been refuted in other biographies, but Epplin shows more proof of that intent. Finally, I was struck by how sad Doby's season was. He was cheered in the stadium for his exploits, but then not allowed to eat in restaurants or stay in hotels. He spent much of his time alone, all the while leading his team to the American League pennant. Epplin showed that well, and he also wrote of how good Doby was after a rough rookie season. This was one of the better baseball books I've read this year. We all know the story of Jackie Robinson and of Veeck, but Epplin's work expands that in a very enjoyable read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mike Lindgren

    An outstanding and deeply enjoyable book. Epplin has used the 1948 Cleveland baseball team, who ended up winning the World Series that year, as a lens through which to look at baseball and at America. Epplin examines the careers of four men, two white -- eccentric owner Bill Veeck and fireballing Cleveland pitcher Bob Feller -- and two black: star outfielder Larry Doby and legendary pitcher Satchel Paige. These four men came together in unpredictable ways to bring a championship to Cleveland in An outstanding and deeply enjoyable book. Epplin has used the 1948 Cleveland baseball team, who ended up winning the World Series that year, as a lens through which to look at baseball and at America. Epplin examines the careers of four men, two white -- eccentric owner Bill Veeck and fireballing Cleveland pitcher Bob Feller -- and two black: star outfielder Larry Doby and legendary pitcher Satchel Paige. These four men came together in unpredictable ways to bring a championship to Cleveland in the dawning days of postwar America. The writing is fresh and vivid. Add it to the short shelf (Eight Men Out, The Glory of Their Times) of indispensable baseball books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pete

    this was my mowing the lawn/doing chores audiobook - really satisfying work of sports history that follows larry doby, satchel paige, bob feller and bill veeck up to and through the 1948 world series. well-paced and very fresh (to me) in its account of feller and paige's long-standing barnstorming rivalry. felt a little repetitive, which is sort of unavoidable. baseball, it turns out, is pretty repetitive. also repetitive: racial animus. nicely turned portrait of bob feller as a talented but fat this was my mowing the lawn/doing chores audiobook - really satisfying work of sports history that follows larry doby, satchel paige, bob feller and bill veeck up to and through the 1948 world series. well-paced and very fresh (to me) in its account of feller and paige's long-standing barnstorming rivalry. felt a little repetitive, which is sort of unavoidable. baseball, it turns out, is pretty repetitive. also repetitive: racial animus. nicely turned portrait of bob feller as a talented but fatally uptight weenie.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Justine Chen

    You can publish this in a mobile app so a lot of readers can see your lovely work. Check on NovelStar and see how other writers earn by pursuing their passion in writing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    While certainly not exhaustive concerning Black ball players, this is an informative volume on those players in the early to mid 20th century as they opened up the game.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Yumi

    Great story; I love how it was given. Good job writer! If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to [email protected]

  10. 4 out of 5

    Budd Margolis

    Wonderful story of the early days and the development of baseball by a marketing genius and three ball player legends whose careers were impacted by segregation of the sport & American society. These four, along with Brooklyn Dodgers Rickey & Robinson, broke the race barrier but what a struggle it was. If you love baseball then this is a must, if you are from Cleveland then it fills in a lot of Cleveland history. Hats off to Luke Epplin, well done!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Samir

  12. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tim Odzer

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  15. 4 out of 5

    TEELOCK Mithilesh

  16. 4 out of 5

    Beth Parker

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mark Maier

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Book

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tim Day

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brian Rice

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael Dalby

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Shiffman

  23. 4 out of 5

    Martin

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Ford

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jodie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kirk Weber

  27. 5 out of 5

    William

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bradford Pearson

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chen

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chris

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