A lot of my friends are probably a bit surprised that I actually read this book. While I love baseball, I am a Mets fan and certainly NOT a Yankees fan. But like I said, I love baseball. And I actually really enjoyed reading The House The Ruth Built.
It was really interesting, and although it had a lot of history in it, the book did not bore me at all. It follows the Yankees the first season that they had Yankee Stadium and focuses a lot on Babe Ruth.
I also enjoyed how it told a bit about how the radio broadcasts began and how the reporters worked on their stories. Having studied Journalism in college, it was interesting to see how things worked in the 1920s versus now. Also interesting was the cost of tickets. The most expensive opening day tickets were something like $3.00. Bleacher seats? Just $1.00. A couple of scalpers ended up spending the night in jail after trying to sell the bleacher seats for $1.10! And a program from the game? 15 cents! Those $1 tickets probably sell for closer to $100 today! Another interesting fact was how a lot of the players got jobs during the off season because they got paid so little. Could you imagine any if the players today having to take a job in the off season?
Before the 27 World Series wins, before Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Derek Jeter – the Yankees were New York’s also-ran franchise. They didn’t even have a stadium, renting out the New York Giants’ Polo Grounds and, embarrassingly, losing to them when it counted: in the Fall Classic.
But in 1923, the Yankees played their first season on their own field, and everything changed. Babe Ruth bounced back from a contentious season to carry the team to their first title, justifying his new Stadium’s nickname, “The House That Ruth Built.”
This is the untold tale of the Yankees’ break-out season, filled with stories of New York and baseball in arguably their greatest eras. Robert Weintraub’s fresh reporting vividly illuminates the singular year that made the Yankees the storied franchise they are today.
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