October 1 2016
White, black, Jewish, Christian, wealthy, working class, conservative, liberal -- the Los Angeles Dodgers of the 1960s embodied the disparate cultural forces at play in an America riven by race and war.
In “The Last Innocents,” award-winning writer Michael Leahy tells the story of this mesmerizing time and extraordinary team through seven players -- Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Wes Parker, Jeff Torborg, Tommy Davis, Dick Tracewski, and Lou Johnson.
It is a story about what it was like to be a major leaguer when the country was turned upside down by the tumult of the civil rights movement, a series of wrenching political assassinations, and the shock waves of the Vietnam War. Outside the public eye, these seven Dodgers -- friends, mentors, and confidants -- struggled to understand their place in society and in a sport controlled by owners whose wishes were fiat. Even as they starred in games watched by millions, they coped with anxieties and indignities their fans knew nothing about -- some of their wounds deeply personal, others more common to the times. In their dissatisfaction, they helped plant the seeds of a rebellion that would change their sport.
Michael Leahy is the author of “Hard Lessons” and “When Nothing Else Matters: Michael Jordan’s Last Comeback.” His award-winning career has included thirteen years as a writer for the “Washington Post” and the “Washington Post Magazine.” Leahy’s 2005 “Washington Post Magazine” story about a California sperm donor won the Society of Professional Journalists Award for best magazine story of the year. His stories have been selected four times for the annual Best American Sports Writing anthologies.
On the final Thursday of the regular season, Michael Leahy led an enthralling Clubhouse conversation about his great -- yes, great -- book. One hour, three minutes, fourteen seconds. Listen in...