Archive for May 2014

“John Rosengren extraordinarily depicts how two men long since retired taught the world a valuable lesson -- that it is okay to forgive.”

-Andre Dawson, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame

The moment is immortalized by an iconic photo: Juan Marichal’s bat poised to strike John Roseboro’s head.

But that moment is merely a flashpoint in an extraordinary story about fierce baseball competition and culture, an era of great conflict and change, and two men who were determined to turn an ugly incident from their past into a beautiful friendship.

One Sunday in August 1965, when baseball’s bitter rivals, the Giants and Dodgers, vied for the pennant, the national pastime reflected the tensions in society and nearly sullied two men forever.  Marichal, a Dominican anxious about his family’s safety during the civil war back home, and Roseboro, a black man living in South Central L.A. shaken by the Watts riots, attacked one another during a fight -- uncharacteristic of either man -- that linked the two forever and haunted both.

In The Fight of Their Lives, award-winning author John Rosengren explores the American culture of the time.  Through interviews with Roseboro’s surviving family and Marichal himself, contemporary and remembered accounts of teammates like Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays, and dogged research, Rosengren unpacks a story that transcends the game.  Listen in...

John Rosengren is the award-winning author of eight books, including Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes.  His articles have appeared in more than 100 publications, ranging from Reader’s Digest to Sports Illustrated to the Utne Reader.

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The Myth and Mystery of Baseball's Greatest Home Run

Game Three of the 1932 World Series between the Cubs and Yankees. Some 50,000 fans had gathered at Wrigley Field that bright October day, but above their roar Babe Ruth heard insults pouring from the Cubs dugout. He watched a fastball from Cubs pitcher Charlie Root set the count at 2-2.  Agitated, the Bambino made a gesture, holding out two fingers -- but what did it mean? In the on-deck circle, Lou Gehrig heard him call out: “I’m going to knock the next one down your goddamn throat.” Then the game’s greatest showman pounded the next pitch. The ball whizzed past the centerfield scoreboard and began its long journey into history.

In an instant, the legend of the Called Shot was born. The debate about what Ruth actually did still divides fans and sports historians alike more than 80 years later. Deftly placing the homer in the social and economic contexts of the time, veteran sportswriter Ed Sherman gives us the first full-length, in-depth look at one of baseball’s most celebrated, debated, and enduring moments -- including the incredible stories of two handheld films taken by fans and rediscovered decades later -- and answers the question: Did Ruth really call his shot?

Pull up a seat and listen in to our Clubhouse discussion as we learn the answer...

Ed Sherman, a longtime Chicago Tribune writer, reports on sports media for his highly acclaimed website,

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