More than 6 years after his death David Halberstam remains one of this country's most respected journalists and revered authorities on American life and history in the years since WWII. A Pulitzer Prize-winner for his ground-breaking reporting on the Vietnam War, Halberstam wrote more than 20 books, almost all of them bestsellers. His work has stood the test of time and has become the standard by which all journalists measure themselves.
The Teammates is the profoundly moving story of four great baseball players who have made the passage from sports icons--when they were young and seemingly indestructible--to men dealing with the vulnerabilities of growing older. At the core of the book is the friendship of these four very different men--Boston Red Sox teammates Bobby Doerr, Dominic DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, and Ted Williams--who remained close for more than sixty years.
The book starts out in early October 2001, when Dominic DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky begin a 1,300-mile trip by car to visit their beloved friend Ted Williams, whom they know is dying. Bobby Doerr, the fourth member of this close group--"my guys," Williams used to call them--is unable to join them.This is a book--filled with historical details and first-hand accounts--about baseball and about something more: the richness of friendship.
Famed journalist and baseball aficionado Halberstam (Summer of '49) presents a short but sweet account of the lives and friendship of four ballplayers from the legendary Boston Red Sox teams of the 1940s: Ted Williams, Dominic DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr. Told in a series of flashbacks as DiMaggio and Pesky drive from Massachusetts to Florida to see an ailing Williams for what was probably their last time, Halberstam's story is less a biography and more a reverie for "men of a certain generation, born right at the end of World War I" who "had seized on baseball as their one chance to get ahead in America." The book tells the various ways each player "shared an era," from their childhoods to their first meetings through their long tenures with the Red Sox. As in his other sports books, Halberstam has a great eye for the telling detail behind an athlete's facade, whether it is Williams's sense of himself as "a scared, unwanted, unloved kid from a miserable home" or Pesky's stoic acceptance of being blamed for the Red Sox's loss in the seventh game of the 1946 World Series, when in fact as Halberstam clearly shows it was not Pesky's fault at all. Fans of Halberstam's work will be satisfied by his chapter-long description of that crucial World Series game. But that is merely the more obviously exciting part of a book in which the main pleasures are more quiet glimpses of the four friends, including Doerr's calming influence over the more explosive Williams, DiMaggio's heroic fight against Paget's disease and the friends' final, touching meeting with Williams in Florida.