7 World Series Games, 6 Lives, 5 Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever
The 2017 Major League Baseball season ends in just under a month on October 1. The postseason begins 2 days later on October 3. And the 2017 World Series is set to begin October 24.
And just in time for all this baseball excitement comes the new book ELECTRIC OCTOBER. And you don’t have to be a baseball fan to pick up the book and enjoy it!
KEVIN COOK – author of the award-winning Tommy’s Honor (now a feature film) – says: “I think of ELECTRIC OCTOBER as the best baseball story you never heard. A true story of momentary fame, friendship, teamwork, memory, and life’s biggest challenge: how we deal with the cards that fate deals us.”
The 1947 World Series was “the most exciting ever” in the words of Joe DiMaggio, with a decade’s worth of drama packed into seven games between the mighty New York Yankees and the underdog Brooklyn Dodgers. Red Barber, the radio voice of the game’s golden age, swore he’d never witnessed such unlikely highs and lows. It was the first integrated Series, featuring a rookie Jackie Robinson, who broke the color line that year, and it was also the first televised World Series.
But it was also the setting for several unlikely stories of how baseball bestows instant fame – and infamy.
Amid all the star power on display, Cook explores the story of a half dozen men who are remembered by the game’s historians and trivia buffs if remembered at all.
Kevin Cook’s new book, ELECTRIC OCTOBER: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever [Henry Holt and Company] gets its title from the moniker given to the Series by sportswriters at the time.
ELECTRIC OCTOBER spotlights six men who found themselves plucked from obscurity to shine on the sport’s greatest stage: sore-armed Bill Bevens, a journeyman who knocked on the door of pitching immortality; Al Gionfriddo and Cookie Lavagetto, who came off the bench to play key roles for the Dodgers; Snuffy Stirnweiss, a wartime batting champ who never got any respect; and managers Bucky Harris and Burt Shotton, each an unlikely choice to run his team. For some of these men, the ’47 Series was a memory to hold on to. For others, it would haunt them to the end of their days. And for us, Kevin Cook offers insights—at once heartbreaking and uplifting—into what fame and heroism truly mean.
Small-town boys, most of them, each one a hometown hero, they spent a week in the national spotlight and then faded away, forgotten. Yet Cook’s deep reporting and lively narrative goes beyond baseball history to explore how an encounter with greatness can change a man’s life forever. These six lives combine to tell a great American story of fame, friendship, teamwork, memory, and life’s biggest challenge: how we deal with the cards that fate deals us.
What made you want to write about the 1947 World Series?
Is there anything in the book for non-baseball fans?
You spent more than a year researching the book. What surprised you?
The 1947 World Series happened before you were born. Why write about that era?
You’ve written nine books, including the acclaimed Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America, a true-crime story. But your last two have been about baseball. Why?
What will you remember most about writing ELECTRIC OCTOBER?
About the Author: Kevin Cook is the author of the award-winning Tommy’s Honor (now a feature film), Titanic Thompson, Kitty Genovese, and The Dad Report: Fathers, Sons, and Baseball Families. He is a former senior editor at Sports Illustrated who has written for The New York Times, Men’s Journal, GQ, Playboy, Smithsonian, and Details. A longtime resident of Manhattan and Brooklyn, he now lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.