Almost Yankees

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

This book is well intentioned, but a serious disappointment in that the author varies between the 1981 Columbus Clippers season and the background on some of the players and his life and wanderings outside of what was supposed to be the subject of the book. That said, it is an interesting read though nowhere as good as it could have been based on Herman's writing style.

I received a free Kindle copy othis book and it was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook and Twitter pages.
Was this review helpful?
As someone who is the same age of the author, this book brought back so many memories of the summer of 81. Suffering thought the strike and following the clippers ga,es I too vividly remember these games. It was wonderful to get the behind the scenes perspective, I still remembers all the players in the IL that are mentioned in this book. The coverage of Andre Robertson was great. I never new about his past at UT. GREAT STUFF AND A GREAT READ
Was this review helpful?
In 1981, the first strike to interrupt a major league baseball season occurred. However, minor league baseball was still played and one of the best teams that season was the Columbus Clippers, the AAA farm club of the New York Yankees. J. David Herman was an 11-year old superfan of this team until his family relocated to California.  His memories are the inspiration for this book about that team.

Herman shares stories about many of the players such as Brad Gulden, John Pacella, Steve Balboni and Dave Righetti, although he only spent a short amount of time on the Clippers before being recalled by the Yankees. However, it isn’t only players who are portrayed in the book. Manager Frank Verdi, broadcaster Rick Rizzs and umpire Bill Emslie are just a few of the other people Herman talks about when he reminisces about the Clippers.

In addition to reviewing the championship season for Columbus, Herman includes passages about other events, baseball and otherwise, that took place in 1981. Of those, he talks most about the Yankees, which is logical since that was the parent club of his favorite baseball team. Righetti is the subject of most of these segments, but other Clippers like Balboni and Pacella who also made the big club are included.

What makes this book stand out more than others about a particular season or team are Herman’s personal memories about the team. These go well beyond simply memories at the ball park with his father or meeting the players.  For example, when he was attending college at the University of Washington, Herman would catch Seattle Mariners games on the radio – and one of the Mariners’ broadcasters was none other than Rick Rizzs. Herman’s writing about hearing Rizzs over the airwaves and imagining he was calling a Clippers game was excellent. 

Fans of minor league baseball will enjoy this book as they could relate to many of the stories. Herman has brought one of the best minor league teams back to life in this book and it will take the reader back to that glorious summer in Columbus when the Clippers were the kings of the baseball universe. 

I wish to thank University of Nebraska Press for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful reflection of what it means to be a fan and the profound effect a team can have on people. Part memoir, part adulation, and part historical record, this book thoroughly captures the 1981 Columbus Clippers tremendous season and the impact it had on the sport of baseball during a time where baseball needed a distraction the most. You are introduced to the rookies, vets, and rejects that constructed the team and gain a greater appreciation of what it means to be a team. There are crazy superstitions, a 33 inning game, and  import baseball influencers inserted throughout the book.
Was this review helpful?
is about more than sport itself. David Herman was schoolboy fan of the 1981 Columbus Clippers, the New York Yankees' Triple A farm team and he recounts the tale of the season when the spotlight fell upon them given that there was a strike which halted the Major League season.

Herman has researched far and wide and spoken to nearly thirty of the team members and he ha provided a beautifully written account of what happened throughout what was a memorable season and also the fate of so many of the players who in many cases were so near - but also so far from making it in The Show and having a Major League career.

I am a sports and baseball junkie and thoroughly enjoyed how Herman also interposed his own life, family and upbringing into the story.

Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?