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Publisher's Summary

Legendary Dodgers Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Wes Parker, Jeff Torborg, Dick Tracewski, and Tommy Davis encapsulated 1960s America: white and black, Jewish and Christian, wealthy and working class, pro-Vietnam and anti-war, golden boy and seasoned veteran. The Last Innocents is a thoughtful, technicolor portrait of these seven players - friends, mentors, confidants, rivals, and allies - and their storied team that offers an intriguing look at a sport and a nation in transition.

Michael Leahy places these men's lives within the political and social maelstrom that was the era when the conformity of the 1950s gave way to demands for equality and rights. Increasingly frustrated over a lack of real bargaining power and an oppressive management who meddled in their personal affairs, the players shared an uneasy relationship with the team's front office. This contention mirrored the discord and uncertainty generated by myriad changes rocking the nation: the civil rights movement, political assassinations, and growing hostility to the escalation of the Vietnam War.

©2016 Michael Leahy (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[A] gripping narrative...By using their personal experiences to tell the story of an oft-recounted era of American history, Leahy's book packs an unanticipated jolt of humanness." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Last Innocents

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  • PJ
  • 05-24-17

Reliving my youth

I was a tall kid that just started playing Little League. I could catch a ball so my coach placed me at first base. I watched Wes Parker play every chance I got. TV, listened to Vin Scully on my transistor and followed the team. This book brought those precious memories flooding back. Koufax, Drysdale, Wills, Toborg and so many others. Historic events and the Los Angeles Dodgers, what could be better?

1 person found this helpful

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The Way It Really Was

This is a terrific book that focuses on the appealing Major League Baseball team in Los Angles during the 1960s. They had great fan appeal in a city in the early stages of welcoming a winning major league team that moved to the 'City of Angels' in 1958. They not only had a great winning record, but they also had the single greatest pitcher of the decade, perhaps the greatest star in the history of baseball, one Sandy Koufax. Other great stars included Maury Wills and Don Drysdale. The team broke all previous attendance records, announcer Vin Scully cultivated a fan following in the millions throughout southern California. The ownership reaped millions upon millions of dollars, yet in the period before free agency, players were forever 'owned' by the team that signed them, so the players had no option but to accept the contract offered them by the ownership. Sadly, the gap between players who wanted to be paid a reasonable salary and ownership having complete control in that the players had to accept low salaries that they were offered by ownership. As the team performed well on the field, players were, in some cases, just getting by. Villains include owner Walter O'Malley, general managers 'Buzzy' Bavasi and Al Campanis and Fresco Thompson.

This is a great read for fans who love baseball, particularly in the 1960s and who identified with the Dodgers or remember the great teams of that decade when MLB was THE national sport in America.

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Great baseball history expertly narrated

Michael Leahy does a fantastic job in compiling his history of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the tumultuous 60's. Joe Barret's fantastic and subtle narration of Leahy's gripping history of the Dodgers the stories of players like Koufax, Wills, and Wes Parker were compelling, to say the least. If you enjoy Roger Khan and David Halberstrams baseball books, you will love this.

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Excellent

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story captures the story of the Dodgers and the country in the 1960s. I also really enjoyed the narration.

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Insights Into the Sixties Dynasty

Loved this engrossing narrative of the many key players in the 1960's Dynastic L.A. Dodgers

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Lend It An Ear

To all septuagenarians, baseball enthusiasts, and Dodger fanatics, I urge you to turn your ears to this masterpiece.