A Summer to Remember: New book looks back at the 1948 Cleveland Indians

Lou Boudreau, Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Satchel Paige... That would have been an awesome bunch to root for, especially with Bill Veeck in the owner's box.

A Summer to Remember, by Lew Freedman, tells the story of the 1948 Cleveland Indians, who (as you almost certainly know) remain the last Tribe teams to win the World Series. There's a World Series winner every, but few hold as many interesting characters as that year's Indians had, between owner Bill Veeck, player/manager Lou Boudreau, pioneering All-Star Larry Doby, franchise icon Bob Feller, and the incomparable Satchel Paige (who turned 42 years old that season, according to the best records we have available to us).

Freedman (who has written a number of books, including an early biography of Lebron James and multiple volumes on the Iditarod) has clearly done a lot of research in order to track down a number of stories about not only those figures, but just about every other member of the team as well. Those stories are interwoven with the week by week action from the 1948 season, which culminated with a tight race for the American League pennant followed by a closely-contested Fall Classic against the Boston Braves.

Early on I thought the narrative got overly bogged down with the day-to-day minutiae of spring training, but that becomes less of an issue as the book goes on, especially once the final weeks of the season roll around and the Tribe are engaged in a tense battle with the Red Sox and Yankees for AL supremacy. The season's drama lends itself to more compelling day-to-day coverage of wins and losses, but the book is at its best when telling stories about the men who won and lost those games. If you want to get a better feel for some of the most iconic figures in franchise history, the book will deliver them for you.

A Summer to Remember is available now at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, and if you're in the Cleveland area it's probably at your local bookstore too.

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