I have never once made it a secret that my favorite team is the Philadelphia Phillies. Through 130 years of existence, they have manged to win two World Championships and amassed over 10,000 losses. While it is not always easy to be a Phillies fan, my dedication has gone unchallenged for almost 40 years and still going strong. It is due to my team allegiance that when any books come out about my team, I have to check them out. In those 130 years of history there are bound to be some real heartbreaking years in there. For Phillies fans 1964 stands out as the all-time worst, and can generate profanity from old ladies and nuns without much effort. That brings us to todays book, an in-depth look at that bitter 1964 season.
The Year of the Blue Snow – The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies
By Mel Marmer and Bill Nowlin – 2013 Society for American Baseball Research
Books written by the members of SABR have always been thorough and highly detailed. They are the results of long hours of painstaking research that have given fans great historical reports with unparalleled accuracy. The Year of the Blue Snow is no exception to SABR’s great book catalog. Marmer and Nowlin have created a great chronicle of the horrible season that all but destroyed Phillies fans.
The authors break the season down and more importantly dissect the roster. They look at the highlights and lowlights that occurred during the 1964 season. Those occurrences were then put into perspective of how they fit into the season as a whole. It gave a nice look at what actually happened to the team, how it effected them, and how it contributed to the final result, the season ending choke.
Another aspect of this book I found very enjoyable was that it took a look at the complete roster. It did not just a look at the original season opening day roster as other books have done. It is everybody who wore a uniform that year, opening day, in season trades, minor league call ups, coaching staff and waiver claims. The biographies of each player expand beyond 1964. You get a glimpse of each players road to the majors, complete major league career, of course 1964 and post Phillies career as well as their life after baseball. These are very complete biographies of the players and of the quality I have come to expect from SABR books.
If you have any interest in the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, this is a great book to take a look at. I have read and reviewed several of the books produced on this season, but this one is easily the most comprehensive. Its scope covers everything and gives an accurate and extensively detailed picture that is chock full of information for the fans.
You can get this book by contacting the nice folks at the Society for American Baseball Research