The offseason is a dark and desperate time. The Cardinals have yet to sign Jason Heyward, Lance Lynn will miss the 2016 season, and the number one prospect in the Cardinals system has been suspended fifty games. Baseball is still months away. The warm days of summer are all but a memory now and fall is continuing to shrink in the rearview mirror. The days are shorter. The air is colder. There is only one thing left to do.
This post is to serve as the introductory post to the second season of Viva el Libros, the Official Bookclub of Viva el Birdos. Last season we had a wonderful time reading about baseball and Cardinals history and enjoyed a little bit of fiction as well. This season I have much of the same planned. I hope you will be able to join me!
To start our reading, I thought it would be best to dig right in to one of the most praised baseball books I could find, which also happens to be one that explores Cardinals history as well. The book I chose for December is October 1964 by David Halberstam. As some of you may remember, this October featured two baseball heavyweights: the dynastic New York Yankees led by their manger Yogi Berra and headlined by names like Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, and St. Louis Cardinals, one of the first teams to fully accept the roles of African American players and featured stars like Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, and Curt Flood.
While the book is titled October 1964, it will spend most of its pages explaining how each team reached that point. It will delve into the obstacles the African American players on the Cardinals faced, the pay cuts players were willing to take because of the pride of being a Yankee, and the differences between the star players on each team - Mantle and Gibson. This book promises to provide an in-depth look behind the scenes of one of the most famous World Series. I cannot wait to read it!
The book is available on Amazon, Google Books, and other fine retailers. Also be sure to check your local library!
I will also give away one copy of the book for free to the first person that e-mails me at lil_scooter93 AT msn DOT com the name (first and last, please!) of the MVP of the 1964 World Series. That was quick! Thanks everyone!