Several years ago, I read Nixon: An Oral History of His Presidency by Gerald & Deborah Hart Strober. The book was broken down into different topics and included comments from various people on those topics. They interviewed nearly a hundred people who had insights on various parts of Nixon’s Presidency. And it’s a fascinating inside look. I found it an excellent approach.
Steve Delsohn’s True Blue (subtitled The Dramatic History of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Told by the Men Who Lived It) is just such a book. After a chapter discussing the end of the days in Brooklyn, he looks at every Dodger season in Los Angeles, through 2000. And he interviewed over 100 persons, including scores of former players and coaches, to tell the story.
This is unlike any other Dodger history book on my shelves. Hear Stan Williams talk about Leo Durocher’s backstabbing of Walter Alston in 1962. Read the behind the scenes feelings that led to the famed Don Sutton-Steve Garvey fight. Get inside the clubhouse for Kirk Gibson’s team transformation in 1988.
I’ve always considered Juan Marichal a thug for hitting Johnny Roseboro in the head with a bat. But after reading Roseboro’s comments, I realize the catcher sort of brought the situation on (which his wife has said he admitted to).