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5+ stars for Team of Destiny: Walter Johnson, Clark Griffith, Bucky Harris, and the 1924 Washington Senators by Gary Sarnoff #mlb #baseball #baseballhistory #bookreview #newrelease

Title: Team of Destiny: Walter Johnson, Clark Griffith, Bucky Harris, and the 1924 Washington Senators

Author: Gary Sarnoff

Genre: Baseball History


Book Blurb:


In 1924, Washington Senators team president Clark Griffith hired Bucky Harris, his twenty-seven-year-old second baseman, to manage the Senators, a decision called “Griffith’s folly.” Yet the Senators, inspired by their fiery new leader, found themselves in first place heading into the homestretch. The question remained: with an untested manager and an aging star pitcher, would they be able to hold on for the first world championship in team history?


In Team of Destiny: Walter Johnson, Clark Griffith, Bucky Harris, and the 1924 Washington Senators, Gary Sarnoff recounts the uplifting story of a team that surpassed all expectations and gave Washington fans a season to remember. Before the season began, legendary pitcher Walter Johnson announced the 1924 season would be his last. Sarnoff tells how, in the heat of a grueling pennant race, the surging Senators won the approval of the entire country who cheered on the underdogs and the thirty-six-year-old Johnson. A fight to the finish saw the Senators on top and into the World Series, where Johnson was called to the mound in the final game in the ninth inning. With all eyes upon him, would Walter Johnson come through?


Team of Destiny describes in wonderful detail this remarkable season and the players who made it unforgettable. One hundred years later, it’s still a story that is sure to inspire all generations of baseball fans.


Praise for Team of Destiny:

“Thanks to Gary Sarnoff for making us feel we were there one hundred years ago for the most glorious triumph in Washington sports history. All the drama is here—from ‘Griffith’s Folly,’ to a pennant race with the legendary New York Yankees, to the freak hop of a ground ball that gave our beloved Walter Johnson his World Series championship over John McGraw's mighty New York Giants. No matter how often you have heard this story, there are surprises for you in Team of Destiny.” — Bruce Adams, founder of the Bethesda Big Train baseball team


“In Team of Destiny, Gary Sarnoff takes the reader on an entertaining and exhilarating journey chronicling the Washington Senators’ magical 1924 championship season. The author brilliantly captures the true essence and spirit of a team destined for greatness that year. Sarnoff’s excellent writing, impeccable research skills, and keen insight into all things about Washington Senators baseball shine through the entire literary work. An obvious bookshelf addition for baseball lovers and those who enjoy the game’s rich history.” — Ronald T. Waldo, baseball historian and author of Deadball Trailblazers: Single-Season Records of the Modern Era


“While 2019 may have ended Washington baseball’s long drought, for real long-time D.C. baseball fans, the year 1924 was always the benchmark. What Gary Sarnoff has done so well a century later is to bring that season alive, a real treat to those of us who couldn’t have been there for that great event.” — Phil Hochberg, former Washington Senators public address announcer


My Review:


You get to unlock a page from the past with this excellent work. Little is common knowledge today about the 1924 Washington Senators. This hard luck franchise finally won the World Series. This story is told in immaculate detail here.


As a huge fan of baseball history, this book just resonated with me. My bookshelf includes such tomes as Kahn's Boys of Summer and The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. The Team of Destiny will fit nicely with them on this shelf.


Incredible research went into penning this history. The use of primary sources makes this rich and flavorful. The reader will get a genuine understanding of what life was like in 1924.


The hero of the piece is Walter Johnson.  If you are a baseball fan who doesn't know who the Big Train is, then you should read this book.  Every member of SABR will be proud that one of their own wrote such an incredibly detailed book.


You not only get the day-to-day history of the season, but you also get touches about life and politics of the day.  If there is one teeny issue, it is the detail might be daunting for casual readers. I suggest you take the leap and get into this book. The effort needed is worth what you get from learning all about this magnificent team in their season of glory.


My Rating: 5+ stars


Buy it Now:   












Author Biography:


Gary Sarnoff is a writer and historian. He is the author of two baseball history books, The Wrecking Crew of ’33: The Washington Senators’ Last American League Pennant and The First Yankees Dynasty: Babe Ruth, Miller Huggins and the Bronx Bombers of the 1920s. He is an active member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Sarnoff speaks on baseball history throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. 


Reviewed by: Mr. N

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If you're a baseball fan, this book is for you! Perfect gift for Father's Day or Mother's Day.

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