• Billy Ball

  • Billy Martin and the Resurrection of the Oakland A's
  • By: Dale Tafoya
  • Narrated by: Barry Abrams
  • Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Billy Ball  By  cover art

Billy Ball

By: Dale Tafoya
Narrated by: Barry Abrams
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Publisher's Summary

In the early 1970s, the Oakland Athletics became only the second team in Major League Baseball history to win three consecutive World Series championships. But as the decade came to a close, the A's were in free fall, having lost 108 games in 1979 while drawing just 307,000 fans. Free agency had decimated the A's, and the team's owner, Charlie Finley, was looking for a buyer. First, though, he had to bring fans back to the Oakland Coliseum. Enter Billy Martin.

Dale Tafoya describes what, at the time, seemed like a match made in baseball heaven. The A's needed a leader to reignite interest in the team. Martin needed a job after his second stint as manager of the New York Yankees came to an abrupt end. Based largely on interviews with former players, team executives, and journalists, Billy Ball captures Martin's homecoming to the Bay area, his immediate embrace by Oakland fans, and the A's return to playoff baseball. In Oakland, Martin's aggressive style of play came to be known as Billy Ball. A's fans and the media loved it.

But, in life and in baseball, all good things must come to an end. Tafoya chronicles Martin's clash with the new A's management and the siren song of the Yankees that lured the manager back to New York in 1983. Still, as the book makes clear, the magical turnaround of the A's has never been forgotten in Oakland.

©2020 Dale Tafoya (P)2020 Tantor

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Unfortunately this book is very mediocre. As a fan of BB and Billy I wanted to like it but there are far better books about Billy and the Oakland A’s.

The narrator spoke like he was reading a kids book trying not to frighten a group of four year olds.

The most annoying aspect was how repetitive the story was. Often within several minutes.