Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius

Bill Pennington Scott Waxman

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Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius

Billy Martin Baseball s Flawed Genius From an award winning New York Times sports columnist the definitive biography of one of baseball s most celebrated mercurial and misunderstood figures legendary manager and baseball genius Billy

  • Title: Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius
  • Author: Bill Pennington Scott Waxman
  • ISBN: 9780544022942
  • Page: 351
  • Format: ebook
  • From an award winning New York Times sports columnist, the definitive biography of one of baseball s most celebrated, mercurial, and misunderstood figures legendary manager and baseball genius, Billy Martin

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      Posted by:Bill Pennington Scott Waxman
      Published :2019-02-12T22:59:03+00:00

    One thought on “Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius

    1. John Devlin on said:

      Billy's fun to read about and the lively prose of the other Bill works well.Possibly the game coverage is a bit exhaustive but Pennington was going for the authoritative so I get it.Martin, like most interesting people, was a mix of contradictions, a vast swell of idiosyncrasies, vulnerabilities, and clevernesses. Obviously, he was talented manager, whose greatest strike was he seemed to wear out his welcome rather quickly. Even when not in Yankee Pinstripes, Martin quickly lost his some of his [...]

    2. Jim Cullison on said:

      Every second of existence was A Season on The Brink for Alfred Manuel Martin, and Bill Pennington captures the entire whiskey-soaked, chip-on-both-shoulders bellicosity and brilliance that was the tortured and triumphant life of this self-immolating genius of the base paths and dugouts. It's not just the definitive biography of baseball's greatest manager. It's an absorbing, entertaining, and enlightening read. You don't have to like baseball, Billy Martin, or the Yankees to appreciate this outs [...]

    3. Steven Peterson on said:

      This is an outstanding biography. Billy Martin was a complex person--and a flawed person. But his career in baseball was dominated by his passion for the game. This biography does a fine job of discussing the trajectory of his career--from sandlot baseball to the minor leagues to the Yankees (and several other teams) in the major leagues. With his career over, the book then chronicles his career as manager and awaiting becoming manager again after one of his multitude of firings.He grew up in a [...]

    4. Harold Kasselman on said:

      I think it's a wonderful book that provides plenty of insight into the "spark plug" of the Yankees in the 50's and the underappreciated managerial accomplishments of Billy Martin. The author does a fine job of highlighting Martin's life as a youngster in West Berkely California. You understand what made him the competitor and brawler for which he later became notorious without undue detail. I believe the author did a great job of presenting a balanced picture of this enigmatic figure. He present [...]

    5. Michael Griswold on said:

      There is no denying that Billy Martin is one of the most dynamic characters in the history of Major League Baseball, while also being one of the most flawed. I thought that Bill Pennington did a pretty good job of placing the reader inside Billy Martin’s world from the rough upbringing in the Bay Area, to his playing career most notably with the Yankees, and his roller coaster of a managerial career. For those non-baseball people, there are plenty of stories of various brawls, tabloid flings a [...]

    6. Shawn on said:

      4 1/2 stars but I'll round up in this case.One of the better biographies I've read.Very captivating from the beginning and stayed that way throughout.It didn't hurt that Martin led the type of life that was tailor-made for a book like this. But the author excelled in escalating your interest level even more so.At first I thought 500 pages was too much to devote to a biography, but this author did an excellent job. That many pages led me to believe it was going to be a long-winded journey. But he [...]

    7. Josh on said:

      As a baseball nerd, I really enjoyed this book. Pennington's research is impressive, and it was fun to read about parts of baseball history that I hadn't thought about in a while. Martin's playing career and his pre-Yankee managerial time were especially fascinating. That said, the book is 100 pages too long and, try as he might, Pennington does come off as a bit of a defender of Martin's excesses with alcohol, women, and fighting. At the end of the day, this is a tragedy. As great of a baseball [...]

    8. Mike on said:

      A genuinely outstanding biography of a deeply complex man. Pennington digs deep into Billy Martin's history, and crafts a compulsively readable book that stands as a warts and all, heartfelt portrait of a complicated genius who often struggled to out-maneuver his many demons. Pennington's empathetic evocation of Billy Martin's tough Oakland childhood provides a clear and meaningful context for the career, with all its peaks and valleys, that followed.I'd highly recommend this book to true fans o [...]

    9. Dave on said:

      Pennington had unprecedented access to Martin as a beat reporter for more than a decade, and the access gives a legitimate "you are there" air to the blow-by-blows from Martin's innumerable conflicts on and off the diamond. At 510 pages it feels too long, but Martin had such a colorful and eventful life that I don't know what could have been edited out.This book is a fun read about a surprisingly complex character, and Pennington goes easy on the in-game details, so I would think this would appe [...]

    10. Spiros on said:

      Exhaustive, well written biography of a complex man. He began his life on the wrong side of the tracks (well, the tracks are between where he lived and the Bay, but "on the wrong side of San Pablo Avenue" sounds goofy) in Berkeley, and ended it in a culvert just north of where the majority of my relatives live. There weren't many uneventful times in between.

    11. Rob Neyer on said:

      This is a long book, but Martin lived a terribly eventful life and there's very little fat here. Pennington's most important job was humanizing someone who's so often been caricatured, and the author succeeds admirably.

    12. Hapzydeco on said:

      Billy Martin was a Peter Pan of major league baseball. Although he played the kid’s game, it is too bad that the Baseball Hall of Fame has yet to acknowledge  his managerial genius.

    13. Gerard on said:

      Fantastic book. line of the book was the last, "What a story it was". That sums up this great book on Martin. Highly recommend this book!

    14. Patrick Barry on said:

      Bring a Red Sox fan I was not sure I would like this, but the writing here is high quality and the research and interviews are quite extensive. It is a balanced presentation of a complicated person afflicted with alcoholism. All the genius and warts are on display. I was left thinking that he had no true friends, just drinking buddies. No one cared enough to suggest he get professional help for his drinking problem. Even as times changed from the cocktail era of the 1950's through the end of his [...]

    15. Vern on said:

      I well written, thorough, and interesting biography of one of the most complicated men to ever play the game of baseball. "Flawed Genius" is and apt description of Billy Martin. Maybe the most talented man to ever coach or manage a professional baseball team, but undoubtedly also one of the most self-destructive. You probably have to be a true baseball fan to get through all 500+ pages of this book, and it probably helps if you are over 50 years old, but it is well worth reading if you are.

    16. Todd Harmon on said:

      What an incredible life story! From super humble beginnings in West Berkeley, to the Oakland Oaks, bright lights of New York, World Series MVP, then shuttled off for end of career. Having been witness to Billy Ball in Oakland as a young lad, I had no idea that he was such a brilliant manager! He looked for every advantage and was light years ahead of analytics, understanding what truly mattered to squeeze out every run in a game. He truly loved being a Yankee. Lots of color in this thick biograp [...]

    17. Phillip Gonzales on said:

      What an excellent account of a man who loved baseball and gave his all to the game.Scrappy, irreverent and never willing to back down, Billy Martin might not have been the greatest Yankee but he certainly was the proudest. A quick and easy read, the book explores his minor league and professional playing days, his managerial career, his benevolence and his addiction to women and liquor. His hard-nosed approach and eye for the game, Martin was an innovator and a brilliant teacher. Why he's not a [...]

    18. Tom Kristan Jr. on said:

      Review Billy Martin biographyAn excellent read, it describes Billy Martin's baseball career in depth and does an excellent job describing his managerial career. The description of a 'Flawed Genius' as a man, as well as a manager is shown throughout the book and remembered by all of his friends and family members. The book is well worth the read and shows what a 'Flawed Genius' Billy Martin was.

    19. Rick Ferris on said:

      Ironic I finished this book one day past the 28th anniversary of his death on Christmas Day, 1989. Pennington did a great job at communicating There was a lot more to Billy than the loud, fighting manager who got in fights and harangued umpires. Great read about his entire life. Must read for any Yankee fan or baseball fan for that matter.

    20. Catherine Wetzel on said:

      Was an avid Billy Martin fan for many years. This book tells of the man in depth off and in the field. Once I started, could not put it down. Luckily a man I dated in the '80's, gave me an autographed picture of Billy as a gift. It is one of my prized possession, along with many of his baseball cards

    21. Mike on said:

      This is a great biography, a great baseball book, and a great read. It's a long book. I got the e-book version and it was very inexpensive ($2.99) best e-book value ever for me! Bill Pennington writes a pretty unbiased story about Billy Martin. Couldn't be happier with the reading of this book.

    22. Terry Axen on said:

      Very detailed and pulls no punches. Martin was unique individual with many flaws. I was Big Red Machine fan in late 70's as youngster and remember Martin and Reggie controversy but the author's insight was fantastic. Great read for baseball fans.

    23. Thomas Driver on said:

      Complicated man. A fair assessment of his legacy and flaws, but with some apologies offered I thought. Good read for a MLB fan who appreciates the history of the game.

    24. Asa McMahon on said:

      ​Two extremes. Excellence and Imperfection. Intelligent but thoughtless. Magnetic yet equally polarizing. Drunk and sober. Mid-way through Bill Pennington’s fantastic book; Billy Martin: Baseball’s Flawed Genius, I was trying to decide if I admired or despised the “proudest Yankee ever”. 500 pages later, I’m still conflicted but I certainly acknowledge what a riveting story this man’s life makes.​Pennington’s book begins and ultimately ends on a cold Christmas evening in a smal [...]

    25. Chris Blake on said:

      This is an outstanding biography of a complex and tragic man. New York Times writer Bill Pennington has given readers the definitive portrait of Billy Martin, through exhaustive research and reporting. He presents Billy, warts and all, delving deeply into infamous incidents like the fight at the Copacabana in the 1950s, for which Martin was unfairly blamed. The incident resulted in his banishment from the Yankees as he was traded to several teams and wouldn't return to the Yankees until he got t [...]

    26. Bret Dougherty on said:

      This is a good summer baseball read. Pennington does a very good job of detailing Martin's flaws as well as his strengths. He does a very solid job of stressing that Billy Martin was often his own enemy in his dealings with authority, the drinks, and the outside pressures surrounding baseball. I've always had a lot of questions about Martin's tenures in Minnesota and Detroit. If you look around, you'll not only find few detailed accounts on how Martin developed 'worst to first' teams into highly [...]

    27. Katherine Wacker on said:

      In his book, Billy Martin: Baseball’s Flawed Genius, New York Times columnist Bill Pennington takes a comprehensive look at one of the greatest competitors to put on a baseball uniform. Beginning with his chaotic childhood in Northern California and following Martin’s days as both a player and manager, Pennington paints a complete picture of a complicated man before his untimely death at the age of sixty-one.Billy Martin is a brilliantly written account of one of the most fascinating figures [...]

    28. Phil on said:

      Bill Pennington has done a masterful work on the more colorful figures in all of baseball, Billy Martin. This is a widely researched account of the life, the man, the ups and the downs that will entice a reader from the opening word to the last word. Billy comes to life in every page with the joys and the sorrows of his long illustrious career as a player and manager until the fateful Christmas day. You will follow his path from childhood to pro-hood and meet the many who gave so many recollecti [...]

    29. Anup Sinha on said:

      I have long maintained that Billy Martin was the greatest game manager I have ever seen. Though I was quite young, it was clear even to me that he was playing chess when other managers played checkers. That combined with his overwhelming baggage has long made him a compelling figure to me and for that alone I enjoyed reading Pennington's book. I learned a lot about where Martin came from and all he did in the game, which was even more than I knew.It is well-written. I don't consider it a "defini [...]

    30. Melanie on said:

      When I read, which I don't do as much as I used to, I'm often reading two or three books at the same time, rotating with my shifting attention span. The companion to this book was Maureen Corrigan's book about The Great Gatsby, and about both of them I said, what an asshole. No, not about Scott or about Billy, but about Ernest Hemingway and Reggie Jackson, together again in a sentence for the first time. The two of them, not enough straws or enough drinks, not enough room for any rival in litera [...]

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