Friday, August 22, 2008

Book Review - The Ballad Of Billy And George

"When I was a kid, I wanted to do two things: play major league baseball and be in the circus. I'm lucky. I got to do both"

- Graig Nettles, on playing for The New York Yankees

The Ballad Of Billy And George (The Lyons Press, Guilford, CT, March 2008)
Great book here. Former Yankee beat reporter Phil Pepe tells the very funny, very strange tale of The New York Yankees of the late 70's - early 80's, with the incredibly bizarre relationship between George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin serving as the focal point. I miss those teams. Today's Yankees just aren't the same and it kills me. They're nowhere near as fun to watch. But winning or losing, Martin's Yankees were always exciting. You just never knew what was going to happen. Some funny quotes from the book:

"When you open it, it tells you how good it is."

-Catfish Hunter, suggesting that the Reggie Bar (which was actually pretty good) was just as full of itself as its namesake.

"Yeah, I signed 'Albert Walter Sparky Lyle Junior.'"

-Sparky Lyle's response when asked if he had indeed signed the bare ass of a lovely young lady who boarded the team bus in Chicago looking for autographs.

". . .I enjoyed playing for him. I used to like the way he took a bed check. He'd look in the room and say, 'Yeah, the bed's here.'"

-Sparky Lyle on Billy Martin

Should be mandatory reading for any Yankee fan.

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