Sridhar Pappu

The Year of the Pitcher

Bob Gibson, Denny McLain and the End of Baseball's Golden Age

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017

New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SportsNew Books Network February 1, 2018 Bob D'Angelo

Today we are joined by Sridhar Pappu, author of the book The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain and the End of...

Today we are joined by Sridhar Pappu, author of the book The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain and the End of Baseball’s Golden Age (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017). Pappu is The Male Animal columnist for The New York Times, and his work has appeared in Sports Illustrated and The Atlantic. Blending two interesting pennant races against the backdrop of a turbulent year in world history, Pappu examines 1968 not only as a landmark season in sports, but also views it through social, cultural and racial lenses. Denny McLain became the first pitcher to win 30 or more games in 34 seasons, and Bob Gibson posted an incredible 1.12 ERA. The Detroit Tigers would rally from a 3-1 series deficit in the World Series to win in seven games, beating Gibson in the Series’ finale. But those achievements were tempered by the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. The deadlock in the Vietnam War helped topple a president, and the Democratic National Convention charged with finding his replacement dissolved into clashes between Chicago police and antiwar demonstrators. Worldwide, the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and the Soviets’ crushing of dissidents in Czechoslovakia added to the turbulence. Pappu deftly juggles sports and world events to present an absorbing narrative.


Bob D’Angelo earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and spent more than three decades as a sportswriter and sports copy editor, including 28 years on the sports copy desk at The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. He can be reached at [email protected]. For more information, visit Bob D’Angelo’s Books and Blogs.

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