Throughout my writings on this blog I have never made it any secret that I am huge Phillies fan. Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia showed me that misery is just part of the game of baseball in the city of brotherly love. Mr. Murphy and his pesky little law always found a way to rear its ugly little face just as the Phightin Phils were on the brink of success. He would show his face in the various forms of Chico Ruiz and the Cincinnati Reds, Davey Lopes and the L.A. Dodgers, Joe Carter and the Toronto Blue Jays and countless others. For some reason we Phillies fans love to relive our misery. With the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Phillies and their season that almost was recently passing, there have been plenty of books recounting the misery of that season. I have looked at three other books on the 64 Phils on this blog, so if you check the archives you can find the others. Today’s is the final one I have been able to get a copy to review, and offers a little different perspective.
Being in a field of books about the same subject has to be a challenge. Each book wants to make its own mark in the world while offering the reader something the others don’t. I have read the other books that came out on this subject except for September Swoon, and each offers the reader something different. The authors of this particular book have found a way to relay the same story to the reader but show pride and passion that they possess for their beloved Phillies.
Stefano and Olcese are two home-grown Philly guys that review the events of 1964 in their writing. The thing that makes it different is that you can feel the baseball fan in their writings. You can see how that team made them hurt and all those fans around Philly as well. The book almost feels like a true Philly fan’s account of what 1964 meant to them. They also do the obligatory state of Philadelphia on a societal level, which does give you nice background on the city itself.
The one thing that has set this book apart from me are the pictures. All the other books had pictures, but this one had them in color. Its little things like this that make a reader go hey, that’s cool. The center of the book also contains recreations of the Philadelphia Bulletin’s player pictures that were given away in the paper in the summer of 64. For someone who grew up in Philly you see this around from time to time, but if you live outside the area you may not be as familiar with them.
Phillies fans will love this books for lots of reasons. It gets in deep with the Phillies of years gone by and shows it from a fans perspective, so its easy to relate to. Also, it allows Phillies fans to do what they have been trained for, wallowing in their self-pity. History fans will like it as well as it is a thorough recount of 1964 season and the events that unfolded for the snake-bitten Philadelphia Phillies.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Chapel Hill Press