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Publisher's Summary

Seventy baseball seasons ago, on a May afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Joe DiMaggio lined a hard single to left field. It was the quiet beginning to the most resonant baseball achievement of all time. Starting that day, the vaunted Yankee center fielder kept on hitting - at least one hit in game after game after game. In the summer of 1941, as Nazi forces moved relentlessly across Europe and young American men were drafted by the millions, it seemed only a matter of time before the U.S. went to war. The nation was apprehensive. Yet for two months in that tense summer, America was captivated by DiMaggio's astonishing hitting streak. In 56, Kostya Kennedy tells the remarkable story of how the streak found its way into countless lives, from the Italian kitchens of Newark to the playgrounds of Queens to the San Francisco streets of North Beach; from the Oval Office of FDR to the Upper West Side apartment where Joe's first wife, Dorothy, the movie starlet, was expecting a child. In this crisp, evocative narrative Joe DiMaggio emerges in a previously unseen light, a 26-year-old on the cusp of becoming an icon. He comes alive - a driven ballplayer, a mercurial star and a conflicted husband - as the tension and the scrutiny upon him build with each passing day. DiMaggio's achievement lives on as the greatest of sports records. Alongside the story of DiMaggio's dramatic quest, Kennedy deftly examines the peculiar nature of hitting streaks and with an incisive, modern-day perspective gets inside the number itself, as its sheer improbability heightens both the math and the magic of 56 games in a row.
©2011 Kostya Kennedy (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"The era, the ballplayer and the record are all laid out beautifully.... The tension of the times is matched by the pressure of the streak." ( San Francisco Chronicle)
"Kennedy combines the sweep of a historian, the narrative power of a novelist and the passion of a fan." ( Newsday)
"56 - the number alone still has meaning, but there is a compelling and textured story behind it, a story that pre- and postdates the summer of 1941. Kostya Kennedy tells that story beautifully." (Bob Costas, NBC sportscaster)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By jeffrey on 03-03-15

Rough start but worth it...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Good for baseball fans....

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

It really should be more chronological than it is...

Which scene was your favorite?

some of the analytics of how unlikely the streak is were really interesting...

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

Good one for baseball fans...

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 07-01-14

A fascinating look at both DiMaggio and the streak

Even though I am a baseball fan and knew quite a bit about the history of the game, I knew little beyond the fact that Joe DiMaggio held the consecutive game hitting record of 56 games. When I saw the book, I thought it was a good time to read it, what it being baseball season and all.

It took me a little time to get "into" the book. At first I did not like Collin's narration, but as the book went along I began to enjoy it more and more and by the end, I thought it was perfect for the book and the subject.

The book goes not only the streak and baseball but also into DiMaggio as a person. Quite and reserved, he had a hard time with crowds. he loved being in the spotlight but didn't like what came with it.

There was a chapter about his first wife and how hard her life with DiMaggio was and that was probably the least interesting part of the book. it did give some incite into his personality, but it is the hitting streak where this book really goes into detail. Not only how hard it was to hit safely in 56 straight games, but how other great hitters, like Ted Williams, one of baseballs greatest hitters and who hit for a 406 batting average in 1941, (the year of the streak) never came close in his carrier.

The book also puts DiMaggio's accomplishment into modern perspective and has one chapter about Pete Rose, who hit safely in 44 games. The final epilogue talks about how statisticians have tried, over the years, to assess the probability of the streak. It's all fascinating listing for baseball fans.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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