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Before the feuding owners turned to Ed Barrow to be general manager in 1920, the Yankees had never won a pennant. They won their first in 1921 and during Barrow's tenure went on to win thirteen more as well as ten World Series. This biography of the incomparable Barrow is also the story of how he built the most successful sports franchise in American history. Barrow spent fifty years in baseball. He was in the middle of virtually every major conflict and held practically every job except player. Daniel R. Levitt describes Barrow's pre-Yankees years, when he managed Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox to their last World Series Championship before the "curse." He then details how Barrow assembled a winning Yankees team both by purchasing players outright and by developing talent through a farm system. The story of the making of the great Yankees dynasty reveals Barrow's genius for organizing, for recognizing baseball talent, and for exploiting the existing economic environment. Because Barrow was a player in so many of baseball's key events, his biography gives a clear and eye-opening picture of how America's sport was played in the twentieth century, on the field and off.
A complex portrait of a larger-than-life character in the annals of baseball, this book is also an inside history of how the sport's competitive environment evolved and how the Yankees came to dominate it.
Daniel R. Levitt is the coauthor of Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way, winner of the Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award. He has also published numerous baseball articles and biographical essays.