Philadelphia sports fans constantly get criticized for acting the way they do. They get called all sorts of names that are justified at times. Yes we are pessimists, and always expect the worst. Throughout it all we are loyal to our teams, sometimes to a fault. If you look back in to history perhaps you can trace our actions to one disappointing season. 1964. It was the year that the one time the Phillies fans felt they had the season already in the bag, it blew up in their faces. To this day 50 years later, mentioning 1964 evokes a string of obscenities not even a sailor would love. Todays book gives us fuel for the obscenity laden fire…..
By; Barry Bowe-2014 Self published
Phillies fans to this day are still cursing Gene Mauch for his bonehead moves. Still hating Chico Ruiz for stealing home and still wondering what could have been. For those not familiar with the 1964 Phillies here is the short and quick version. The Phils were leading the National League by 6 1/2 games with 12 games left to play and found a way to blow it. Through a series of managerial blunders and the overworking of two of the anchors on the pitching staff, the Phils coughed up the lead and ended the season tied for second place. The downward spiral was started by a 1-0 loss to the Reds in a game in which Chico Ruiz stole home with Frank Robinson at bat. To this day mention Chico Ruiz to a Phillies fan and they just shake their head.
Barry Bowe undertakes a very touchy subject with this book. It could only be handled by a true Philadelphia sports fan. He does a great job of not only explaining the 1964 season but also interjecting information about the Philly sports fan psyche in general.
Bowe dissects each game inning by inning throughout the entire season. That alone is a monumental undertaking, but he also interjects information about some of the players in those specific games as well. The attention to detail in this book shows through in the fact that every game adheres to the same level of detail. He also throws in little tidbits of information as to what was happening in the world around us on any given day.
Another fun aspect of this book is that the author reveals some personal information. He describes his fan experience during certain points in his own life. Those personal stories did not always occur in 1964, but did explain his growth as a Philadelphia sports fan. He does make the attempt to give a brief explanation as to what other collapses have occurred on the Philadelphia sports scene throughout the years. They are very brief accounts, that give the reader a quick overview, but also shows how these occurences could fill their own book.
Overall Bowe does a great job helping the Phillies fans re-live a nightmare. Phillies fans should really enjoy this book as it helps justify the anger 50 years later. People outside of the Philadelphia area should find this book helpful in the fact that it may help explain, why we the Philly fans are the way we are.
You can pick up this book direct from author Barry Bowe