Saturday, April 25, 2020

April 25, 1980: What If "Desert One" Had Succeeded?

April 25, 1980, 40 years ago: Operation Eagle Claw is launched. It becomes known by its staging area, codenamed Desert One. It was an attempt to rescue the Americans being held hostage by the Iranian government. It was one of the earliest operations of the U.S. Army's Delta Force special-operations group.

But of the 8 helicopters meant to be involved, one had hydraulic problems, one had a cracked rotor blade, and another was caught in a sandstorm. The field commanders got word back to Washington, saying the mission should be aborted. President Jimmy Carter gave that order.

But as the helicopters withdrew, one crashed into a transport aircraft, killing 8 servicemen. Had that not happened, Carter could have simply not told the country what had happened -- and he could have gotten away with it, because nothing had happened.

During his 1976 campaign for President, Carter told the American people, "I will never lie to you." The words had great resonance in the wake of Richard Nixon and Watergate. If the mission were aborted, and he didn't reveal it, it wouldn't have been a lie, just an omission, necessary due to national security. The story might have remained a secret for years. But Carter couldn't hide this.

And so he addressed the nation early in the morning, U.S. time. He was already in trouble in his bid for re-election. Had the mission succeeded, all the talk of the apparent Republican nominee for President, former Governor Ronald Reagan of California, of the Democrats being weak on national security would have evaporated. Instead, Carter now looked absolutely hopeless. His only hope of winning after this was getting the hostages home before the election on November 4. He didn't.
When President Barack Obama was told of the chance to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011, he knew that if the mission failed, it would be “his Desert One,” and he would probably lose his bid for re-election. Advised to do so by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he gave the order to go ahead, and it worked spectacularly: The target was eliminated, and none of our people were lost. Obama was re-elected. He was lucky. Carter was not.

Of the 66 people taken hostage on November 4, 1979 -- 52 of whom were still in captivity at the end, on January 20, 1981, spitefully held over a few minutes after Carter left office so he couldn't get the full credit for his hard work in negotiations -- 46 are still alive. Here are their names:

Thomas Ahern, Clair Barnes, Donald Cooke, William J. Daugherty, Robert Englemann, William Gallegos, Duane Gillette, Alan Golacinski, John E. Graves, Kathy Gross, Joseph M. Hall, Kevin Hermening (at 21, the Marine Sergeant was the youngest of the hostages), Donald Hohman, Michael Howland, James Hughes, Lillian Johnson, Moorhead Kennedy, Steven Kirtley, Kathryn Koob, Frederick Kupke, Steven Lauterbach, Paul E. Lewis, John Libert and James M. Lopez.

Also, Ladell Maples, Michael Metrinko, Jerry Miele, Michael Moeller, Elizabeth Montagne, Paul Needham, Gregory Persinger, William Quarles, Regis Ragan, David M. Roeder, Lloyd Rollins, Barry Rosen (the one infamously paraded in a blindfold before the media 3 days after the embassy takeover), William B. Royer Jr., Charles W. Scott, Donald Sharer, Rodney Sickmann, Joseph Subic, Terri Tedford, Victor Tomseth, Joseph Vincent, David Walker and Joan Walsh.

William F. Keough Jr. died in 1985, Leland Holland in 1990, John McKeel in 1991, Robert Ode (at 65, the former CIA officer was the oldest hostage) in 1995, Jerry Plotkin in 1996, Bert C. Moore in 2000, Richard Queen and Malcolm Kalp in 2002, Robert Blucker in 2003, Elizabeth Ann Swift (Cronin) in 2004, Gary Lee and Richard Morefield in 2010, Phillip Ward in 2012, Charles A. Jones in 2015, Thomas Schaefer in 2016, Neal Robinson in 2017, William Belk and Bruce Laingen in 2019, and Bruce German and Westley Williams earlier in 2020.

*

What if the mission had succeeded?

The immediate effect on Iran might have been devastating. Instead of having their faith in the new Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, deepened, those who had given themselves over to him might have lost faith in him, and there could have been a counter-revolution. The monarchy of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi would not have been reinstituted, but there could have been a true republic.

With the Ayatollah out of the way, President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, always nervous about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in his own country, might have been less so. He was the aggressor in the the Iran-Iraq War that began on September 25, 1980. That war might not have happened, saving, on each side, at least half a million military dead and 50,000 civilian dead.

And much of the terrorism of the 1980s would not have happened. Without funding from the Ayatollahs' government ("Ayatollah" is a title meaning "Sign of God," and Khomeini was not the only holder of that title in the government), Hezbollah (meaning "Party of God") might have had to scale back. The Lebanese Civil War might have turned out very differently, and the men America lost in Beirut in 1983, in 2 separate attacks, might not have happened, regardless of who was President at the time.

In America, people would have rallied around Carter. The economy would still have been an issue. But this, plus the rush of patriotism over the Olympic hockey win over the Soviet Union 2 months earlier, would have made Carter the great patriotic symbol, not Reagan. This helps make his boycott of the Olympics in Moscow that Summer look like a principled stand, instead of an act of petulance as it looked to those of us around then. And, since April 25, 1980, he hasn't had to focus on Iran. He can focus on the economy.

In the history that we know, Reagan closed his one and only debate with Carter with a key question: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" For a majority of Americans, that answer was, "No." But if the hostages had been rescued, how many more would have said, "Yes"?

Carter won just 6 States: His native Georgia, his Vice President Walter Mondale's home State of Minnesota, Maryland, Rhode Island, West Virginia (not shocking for a Democrat then) and Hawaii, plus the District of Columbia. The Electoral Vote was 489 to 49.

Carter did not win normally reliable Democratic States like New York and Massachusetts. And, since 3rd party candidate John Anderson was a Republican (he was a Congressman from Illinois), it's highly unlikely that he swung any State from Carter to Reagan.

If we take every State from which Carter got at least 45 percent of the vote but did not win, and swing it to him, that adds Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina and Louisiana. Remember: Carter was a Southerner. This would have made the EV count Reagan 417, Carter 121. Not even close to being enough.

But maybe that successful rescue would have completely wiped out Reagan's arguments about competence and strength, and Carter could have thrown them back at Reagan. It's hard to believe, with subsequent Presidential nominations having gone to Bob Dole (73), John McCain (72), Donald Trump (70) and now Joe Biden (77), but, at 69, Reagan was seen as a doddering old man. Of course, that wasn't helped by his never having been seen as all that bright, even when he was a young actor.

So what about the States that Carter didn't win, but still managed to get at least 41.7 percent of the vote? That adds Delaware, Missouri, New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts and Illinois. Now, the count is Carter 280, Reagan 258. Carter wins.
So by the time he's sworn in for a 2nd term on January 20, 1981, he's more popular than he's ever been. And, with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt still alive at this point, and Palestinian Chairman Yassir Arafat not having support from Iran, maybe a deal can be reached for a "two-state solution." Don't be surprised if Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel supported it, as long as he didn't have to give up any part of Jerusalem: A Palestinian capital built in the eastern suburbs could have worked then. Sadat might still have been assassinated later that year, but it would have been after yet another triumph for him.

With Iran, Lebanon and Palestine off the table; and inflation, interest rates and unemployment under control, Carter could have initiated his energy policy. By 1984, things would really have been better in America. Although, to be fair, Carter and his Administration would have had no more control over early 1980s music and fashion than did Reagan and his: Those would still have been ghastly.

It is possible that, after 8 years, people would have been tired enough of Carter to not vote for his Vice President in 1984. So even if Mondale still ran (likely), he could have lost. But, with Reagan having been beaten, and "the conservative movement" now discredited twice in a generation (along with Barry Goldwater in 1964), the Republican nominee would not have been from that movement.

It would more likely have been a "country club Republican" like the elder George Bush, or perhaps a "Washington insider" like Senate Republican Leader Howard Baker of Tennessee, than a tax-cut champion like quarterback turned Congressman Jack Kemp of New York. Given Bush's connection to Reagan's defeat, Baker would have been a likelier choice, especially since he could have taken the South from the Democrats, without having the reputation of a racist Southerner. But he might have taken Kemp as his running mate, as a ticket-balancing, a Northerner from the conservative wing.
With Iran a republic, there would have been no need for an Iran-Contra scandal. And while Baker would have supported the Contras in Nicaragua publicly, he would not have broken the law to do so. Building on the work of Presidents from Truman through Carter, he could have worked with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to bring the Cold War to an end. He likely would have been easily re-elected in 1988, and been President when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, and when the Soviet Union fell in 1991.

Supreme Court nominations matter. Carter never got to make one. He could have nominated the 1st female Justice to replace Potter Stewart in 1981, but it wouldn't have been Sandra Day O'Connor, not even as a compromise choice. Given the record she already had, he could have nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who would now be in her 40th year on the Court, a record.

Baker might well have promoted William Rehnquist from Associate Justice to Chief Justice in 1986, replacing Warren Burger, and Antonin Scalia to take Rehnquist's seat. And he might have nominated David Souter to replace William J. Brennan in 1990. But there's no way he would have appointed Robert Bork to replace Lewis Powell in 1987, because he'd have known the man who helped President Richard Nixon carry out "the Saturday Night Massacre" in 1973 couldn't be confirmed. This might have been the time to appoint O'Connor.

And he might have appointed a black conservative to succeed black liberal Thurgood Marshall in 1991, but it wouldn't have been Clarence Thomas: Regardless of the sexual harassment allegations against him, Thomas was not sufficiently qualified, and Baker, with a fine legal mind, would have accepted this.

With Baker being relatively successful, would his Vice President have won in 1992? Maybe not: There would likely still have been a recession. Then again, it could have been over by the election, and Jack Kemp would have been a harder candidate for Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas to beat than George H.W. Bush was in the history we know. He would have been harder to paint as a racist, or bad on the environment -- indeed, on that score, Clinton might have been a victim of Carter's success. The health care argument might not have worked.

Then again, the alternative to "Hillarycare" in 1993 was essentially what became known as "Obamacare." Maybe Kemp could have gotten that passed in 1994. It would have helped.
With Byron White retiring in 1993 (and Ginsburg, who got that seat in real life, already on the court), and Harry Blackmun doing so in 1994, Kemp gets 2 Justices. One is probably Anthony Kennedy. Does this mean that Roe v. Wade is overturned? Refusing to would have been Ginsburg, Souter, John Paul Stevens, and, given their real-life records, probably O'Connor. So if Kennedy, Baker's 1991 Justice and Kemp's 1994 Justice joined with Rehnquist and Scalia to strike it down, that's 5-4 striking it down.

Abortion laws then go to the States, many of which would ban it outright. This makes the 1996 election, essentially, a referendum on the rights of women. And maybe the Democrats nominate the 1st female major-party nominee. And it isn't Hillary Clinton, who probably never runs for office after Bill's 1992 defeat.

Maybe, instead of waiting until 1990 to do so, Mayor Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco runs for Governor of California in 1986. Which means she serves 2 terms, leaves office early in 1995, and can concentrate on her 1996 campaign, which would also make her the 1st Jewish major-party nominee. God, would I love to have seen a debate between DiFi and "the Republican JFK," both in their primes.

So Feinstein becomes the 1st female President, and the 1st Jewish President. The Republicans try to point out her anti-gun stances (after all, she became Mayor in 1978 because her predecessor, George Moscone, and City Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated), and her husband Richard Blum's questionable business practices (a bit overblown, it's not like he's Donald Trump).
Maybe they regain control of Congress in 1998, and there's an impeachment trial in 1999, anyway, with sex having nothing to do with it. (Although she has been married 3 times, Feinstein has never been accused of sexual misconduct.) Or maybe not: There almost certainly wouldn't have been enough evidence, no matter how much "Christian" conservatives would've wanted there to be against the Jewish female President.

Governor George W. Bush of Texas probably still overcomes any issues his father may have had in 1984 as Reagan's 1980 running mate, and wins the 2000 Republican nomination on the backs of the evangelicals. But, with Feinstein running against his intelligence and the Republican Congress, and not having to worry about a sex scandal, like Al Gore worried over Bill Clinton's, she wins going away.

And, in August 2001, she gets that briefing about Osama bin Laden -- the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan still happened and, presumably, with Saddam's army not weakened by 8 years of regional war, the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 did as well -- and takes preventative measures. On September 11, 2001, she addresses the nation, and tells them what was prevented.

Although she never would have gotten a chance to appoint a Supreme Court Justice -- unless Baker's 1991 appointee, or Kemp's 1994 appointee, died or had to resign before the 2004 election -- Feinstein would have appointed enough federal judges that most of the State bans on abortion would have been overturned. And if Anthony Kennedy or either Baker's '91 Justice or Kemp's '94 Justice got the message, then maybe a "Roe v. Wade II" would have been in place by 2004.

But, by then, there would (as there was in real life) likely have been another recession, and Feinstein wouldn't have had a war to hand off to her successor. Given the flak she would have taken as the 1st female and 1st Jewish nominee, her Vice President probably would have been someone not likely to "push people's buttons." It would have been less somebody like liberal "firebrand" Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, more like moderate Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska. Gore probably would have lost his re-election bid for Senator from Tennessee in 1996, so, not him.

But after 8 years of Feinstein, Kerrey, no more charismatic than the similarly-named, similarly-heroic in Vietnam Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, probably would have lost in 2004, probably to someone who could have canceled out his advantages: Senator John McCain of Arizona. Without the baggage of the Iraq War and a recession, McCain wouldn't have needed the Hail Mary pass of Sarah Palin, who wouldn't have been on the radar yet, anyway. So, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is his Vice President.
But the economy was never McCain's strong suit. Maybe the recovery from the 2003-04 recession doesn't move much. And by 2007, a new recession begins, just as in real life. And maybe, with McCain having replaced Rehnquist and O'Connor in 2005, possibly with John Roberts and Samuel Alito as George W. Bush actually did, with Feinstein not having gotten the chance to appoint any Justices, this is conservatives' chance to finally kill Roe v. Wade for once and for all.

Stevens, Ginsburg, O'Connor, Souter and Kennedy vote to uphold; while Roberts, Scalia and Alito vote to kill. So it depends on 2 Justices: The one Baker appointed instead of Thomas in 1991, and the one Kemp appointed in 1994 in place of Stephen Breyer. If 1 of those 2 votes to overturn, abortion laws go back to the States, and many ban abortion completely.

And that, and the Crash of 2008 happening right on time, means not only does Senator Barack Obama of Illinois -- who may even have first won office earlier in this timeline -- become President right on time, but it might be a massive blowout, with white women flocking to him in a way that they didn't quite in real life. And Senator Joe Biden of Delaware is elected Vice President.
Right on time, he appoints Sonia Sotomayor to replace Souter in 2009 and Elena Kagan to replace Stevens in 2010. And, with so many doctrinaire conservatives having gone down in 1980, and Newt Gingrich's 1994 "revolution" also not having happened due to Kemp being the incumbent, Obama is the one to finally get universal coverage passed. He gets re-elected over Mitt Romney in 2012. And Merrick Garland is confirmed to replace the late Antonin Scalia in 2016.

So what about the 2016 election? Donald Trump only "won" because of anger against Hillary. Hillary is not on the political map in this timeline. Trump might still get nominated, but the Democratic nominee would take advantage of his flaws in a way that Hillary never tried to do.

Biden? No, his difficulty dealing with his son Beau's death would have stopped him from running that time. Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland, a former Mayor of Baltimore? No, his hometown's 2015 riots would have knocked him out. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont? No, Democrats do not nominate non-Democrats.

It would have opened things up for a different Democrat representing New York. Ladies and gentlemen, the 45th (in this timeline) President of the United States, Andrew Mark Cuomo!
The coronavirus epidemic would still have happened, but he would have known how to handle it, and would probably be leading the likely Republican nominee -- Mike Pence? Ted Cruz? With neither of the George Bushes having won, Jeb wouldn't have a chance.

So here's the Presidents in this timeline:

1977-85 Jimmy Carter
1985-93 Howard Baker
1993-97 Jack Kemp
1997-2005 Dianne Feinstein
2005-09 John McCain
2009-17 Barack Obama
2017-present Andrew Cuomo

A better country, and a better world, all because one more helicopter was ready in Iran 40 years ago today than actually was.

UPDATE: The allegations that forced Cuomo to announce his resignation as Governor of New York on August 10, 2021 would put his Vice President in the White House. So: 

1977-85 Jimmy Carter
1985-93 Howard Baker
1993-97 Jack Kemp
1997-2005 Dianne Feinstein
2005-09 John McCain
2009-17 Barack Obama
2017-21 Andrew Cuomo
2021-present Kamala Harris

Friday, April 24, 2020

Books About Baseball Seasons

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced people to stay home, and even read! People are even reading books, not just their computers, tablets and smartphones.

Since the possibility of us not having a 2020 baseball season at all is starting to loom large, here are some books about previous baseball seasons that you may find interesting -- or may already have.

The Red Stockings of Cincinnati: Base Ball's First All-Professional Team and Its Historic 1869 and 1870 Seasons, by Stephen D Guschov.

The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America's Game (1882), by Edward Achorn.

Fifty-Nine in '84: Old Hoss Radbourn, Barehanded Baseball, and the Greatest Season a Pitcher Ever Had, by Edward Achorn.

Turbulent Seasons: Baseball in 1890-1891, by Charles C. Alexander.

A Game of Brawl: The Orioles, the Beaneaters, and the Battle for the 1897 Pennantby Bill Felber.

MISFITS! Baseball's Worst Ever Team: 1899 Cleveland Spidersby J. Thomas Hetrick and Michael D. Arnold.

The Days of Wee Willie, Old Cy and Baseball War: Scenes from the Dawn of the Deadball Era, 1900-1903by Chuck Kimberly.

The First World Series and the Baseball Fanatics of 1903by Roger I. Abrams.

The Year They Called Off the World Series: A True Storyby Benton Stark. Published in 1991, before the 1994 season.

The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball (1905), by Frank Deford.

When Chicago Ruled Baseball: The Cubs-White Sox World Series of 1906by Bernard A. Weisberger.

Crazy '08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball Historyby Cait N. Murphy.

When Cobb Met Wagner: The Seven-Game World Series of 1909by David Finoli.

The Chalmers Race: Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, and the Controversial 1910 Batting Title That Became a National Obsessionby Rick Huhn and Charles C. Alexander.

Stealing Games: How John McGraw Transformed Baseball with the 1911 New York Giantsby Maury Klein.

The First Fall Classic: The Red Sox, the Giants and the Cast of Players, Pugs and Politicos Who Re-Invented the World Series in 1912by Mike Vaccaro.

Mack, McGraw And The 1913 Baseball Seasonby Richard Adler.

Baseball's Biggest Miracle: The 1914 Boston Braves, by Frank Ceresi and John B. Holway.

The Major League Pennant Races of 1916: "The Most Maddening Baseball Melee in History," by Paul G. Zinn and John G. Zinn.

The 1917 White Sox: Their World Championship Seasonby Warren N Wilbert and William C Hageman. Published in 2003, before the White Sox' 2005 World Series win.

War Fever: Boston, Baseball, and America in the Shadow of the Great Warby Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith.

Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Seriesby Eliot Asinof.

The Pitch That Killed: Carl Mays, Ray Chapman and the Pennant Race of 1920, by Mike Sowell.

1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New Yorkby Lyle Spatz and Steve Steinberg.

The 1922 St. Louis Browns: Best of the American League's Worstby Roger A. Godin.

The House That Ruth Built: A New Stadium, the First Yankees Championship, and the Redemption of 1923by Robert Weintraub.

Baseball's Greatest Season, 1924by Reed Browning.

The Battling Bucs of 1925: How the Pittsburgh Pirates Pulled Off the Greatest Comeback in World Series Historyby Ronald T. Waldo.

The Cardinals and the Yankees, 1926: A Classic Season and St. Louis in Sevenby Paul E. Doutrich.

Five O'Clock Lightning: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and the Greatest Baseball Team in History, the 1927 New York Yankeesby Harvey Frommer.

The 1928 New York Yankees: The Return of Murderers' Rowby Charlie Gentile.

Simply the Best: The Story of the 1929-31 Philadelphia Athleticsby Brett Topel.

Lefty Grove and the 1931 Philadelphia Athleticsby Robert P. Broadwater.

The 1932 New York Yankees: The Story of a Legendary Team, a Remarkable Season, and a Wild World Seriesby Ronald A. Mayer.

The 1933 New York Giants: Bill Terry's Unexpected World Championsby Lou Hernandez.

The Gashouse Gang: How Dizzy Dean, Leo Durocher, Branch Rickey, Pepper Martin, and Their Colorful, Come-from-Behind Ball Club Won the World Series-and America’s Heart-During the Great Depression, by John Heidenry.


The Boys Who Were Left Behind: The 1944 World Series between the Hapless St. Louis Browns and the Legendary St. Louis Cardinalsby John Heidenry and Brett Topel.

The 1945 Detroit Tigers: Nine Old Men and One Young Left Arm Win It Allby Burge Carmon Smith.

The Stars Are Back: The St. Louis Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox, and Player Unrest in 1946by Jerome M. Mileur.

1947: When All Hell Broke Loose In Baseball, by Red Barber.

Electric October: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever (1947), by Kevin Cook.

A Summer to Remember: Bill Veeck, Lou Boudreau, Bob Feller, and the 1948 Cleveland Indiansby Lew Freedman.

Summer of '49, by David Halberstam.

The Whiz Kids And the 1950 Pennant, by Robin Roberts (the Hall of Fame pitcher for that team).

The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World (1951), by Joshua Prager.

The Boys of Summer (1952 and 1953), by Roger Kahn.

1954: The Year Willie Mays and the First Generation of Black Superstars Changed Major League Baseball Foreverby Bill Madden.

Bums No More: The Championship Season of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, by Stewart Wolpin.

Baseball's Golden Season: The 1956 Major League Baseball Season, Baseball's Greatest Yearby Bill Leatherman.

An Indian Summer: The 1957 Milwaukee Braves, Champions of Baseballby Thad Mumau.

The Dodgers Move West (1957-58), by Neil Sullivan.

Go-Go To Glory: The 1959 Chicago White Sox, by Don Zminda.

Sweet ’60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, by Dick Rosen and C. Paul Rogers.

1961*: The Inside Story of the Maris-Mantle Home Run Chaseby Phil Pepe.

Chasing October: The Giants-Dodgers Pennant Race of 1962, by David Plaut.

The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers (1963 & 1965), by Michael Leahy.

The Year of Blue Snow: The 1964 Philadelphia Philliesby Mel Marmer and Bill Nowlin.

October 1964, by David Halberstam.

Black and Blue: Sandy Koufax, the Robinson Boys, and the World Series That Stunned America (1966), by Tom Adelman.

The Impossible Dream 1967 Red Sox: Birth of Red Sox Nationby Herb Crehan.

Spirit of '67: The Cardiac Kids, El Birdos, and the World Series That Captivated America, by Thomas J. Whalen.

The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the End of Baseball’s Golden Age (1968), by Sridhar Pappu. (Don't let the Indian-sounding name fool you: I've read this book, and he knows his baseball.)

The Tigers of '68: Baseball's Last Real Champions, by George Cantor.

Ball Four (1969), by Jim Bouton.

The Wonder Year: The Championships of the New York Jets, Mets, and Knicks Were Only Part of the Story in 1969by Bert Flieger.

Pitching, Defense, and Three-Run Homers: The 1970 Baltimore Orioles, by Mark L. Armour.

The Team That Changed Baseball: Roberto Clemente and the 1971 Pittsburgh Piratesby Bruce Markusen.

Hairs vs. Squares: The Mustache Gang, the Big Red Machine, and the Tumultous Summer of '72, by Ed Gruver.

Hammerin' Hank, George Almighty and the Say Hey Kid: The Year That Changed Baseball Forever (1973), by John Rosengren.

Ten-Cent Beer Night and the 1974 Baseball Seasonby Daniel R. Grimes.

The Long Ball: The Summer of '75 - Spaceman, Catfish, Charlie Hustle, and the Greatest World Series Ever Playedby Tom Adelman.

Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of ‘76by Dan Epstein.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of of a Cityby Jonathan Mahler.

The Fall of the 1977 Phillies: How a Baseball Team's Collapse Sank a City's Spiritby Mitchell Nathanson. Essentially, Philly's version of The Bronx Is Burning.

Dodgerland: Decadent Los Angeles and the 1977-78 Dodgers, by Michael Fallon. L.A.'s version of The Bronx Is Burning.

South Side Hitmen: The Story of the 1977 Chicago White Sox, by by Dan Helpingstine and Leo Bauby. I've never read this one, so I don't know if it covers Chicago as a city in that time with enough in-depth-ness to be that city's version of The Bronx Is Burning. There should be such a book, because this was the 1st time both the White Sox and the Cubs were both in the Pennant race entering August in about 60 years. But both fizzled in August, and neither won its Division. Throw in the fact that the city was reeling from the late 1976 death of 21-year Mayor Richard J. Daley, and you've got quite a story.

Although not about a city and its baseball team, a similar book was written by Denver Post columnist Terry Frei about his city and its football team: '77: Denver, The Broncos, and a Coming of Age.

'78: The Boston Red Sox, A Historic Game, and a Divided Cityby Bill Reynolds. Boston's version of The Bronx Is Burning, although it also covers the years leading up to the Bucky Dent Game, including the 1974-75 school-busing controversy, the Sox' 1975 Pennant and World Series, the 1976 death of Tom Yawkey, Boston's Bicentennial celebrations, the "Soiling of Old Glory" incident at City Hall, and the Blizzard of '78.

October Men: Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, and the Yankees' Miraculous Finish in 1978, by Roger Kahn.

When The Bucs Won It All: The 1979 World Champion Pittsburgh Piratesby Bill Ranier and David Finoli.

Almost a Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the 1980 Philliesby William C. Kashatus.

Split Season: 1981: Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseballby Jeff Katz.

Whitey's Boys: A Celebration of the '82 Cards World Championshipby Rob Rains and Alvin Reid.

Oriole Magic: The O's of 1983by Thom Loverro.

Wire to Wire: Inside the 1984 Detroit Tigers Championship Seasonby George Cantor.

Doc, Donnie, the Kid, and Billy Brawl: How the 1985 Mets and Yankees Fought for New York’s Baseball Soulby Chris Donnelly.

Crowning the Kansas City Royals: Remembering the 1985 World Series Champs, by Jeffrey Spivak.

The Bad Guys Won: A Season of Brawling, Boozing, Bimbo Chasing, and Championship Baseball with Straw, Doc, Mookie, Nails, the Kid, and the Rest of the 1986 Mets the Rowdiest Team Ever to Put On a New York Uniform -- and Maybe the Best, by Jeff Pearlman. (They were not.)

Magic! 1987 Twins' Enchanted Season, by the sports staff of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Miracle Men: Hershiser, Gibson, and the Improbable 1988 Dodgersby Josh Suchon. Like the aforementioned Wire to Wire, it has Kirk Gibson on the cover. It's easy to forget that 1988 was the 2nd time, and for the 2nd different team, in a 2nd different League, that Gibson was a World Series home run hero.

Three Weeks in October: Three Weeks in the Life of the Bay Area, the 1989 World Series, and the Loma Prieta Earthquake, by Ron Fimrite. Books titled Three Weeks in October have also been written about the 2002 D.C. Sniper case, and as a young adult novel about the 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

The Hunt for a Reds October: Cincinnati in 1990by Charles F. Faber and Zachariah Webb.

Down to the Last Pitch: How the 1991 Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves Gave Us the Best World Series of All Timeby Tim Wende.

Macho Row: The 1993 Phillies and Baseball's Unwritten Codeby William C. Kasthaus.

Ecstasy to Agony: The 1994 Montreal Expos, by Danny Gallagher and Bill Young.

Baseball's Greatest Series: Yankees, Mariners, and the 1995 Matchup That Changed History, by Chris Donnelly.

Cleveland Rocked: The Personalities, Sluggers, and Magic of the 1995 Indiansby Zack Meisel.

Bravo! The Inside Story of the Atlanta Braves' 1995 World Series Championship, by I.J. Rosenberg.

Birth of a Dynasty: Behind the Pinstripes with the 1996 Yankeesby Joel Sherman.

If They Don't Win It's a Shame: The Year the Marlins Bought the World Series (1997), by Dave Rosenbaum.

The Perfect Season: Why 1998 Was Baseball's Greatest Yearby Tim McCarver and Danny Peary.

Unbeatable! The Historic Season Of The 1998 World Champion New York Yankeesby George King.

The Subway Series: Baseball's Big Apple Battles And The Yankees-Mets 2000 World Series Classicby Jerry Beach.

The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty New Edition: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness (2001), by Buster Olney.

Out of the Blue: The story of the Anaheim Angels' improbable run to the 2002 World Series titleby Joe Haakenson.

Miracle Over Miami: How the 2003 Marlins Shocked the Worldby Dan Schlossberg.

Don't Let Us Win Tonight: An Oral History of the 2004 Boston Red Sox's Impossible Playoff Runby Allan Wood and Bill Nowlin.

Say It's So: Papa, Dad, Me, and 2005 White Sox Championship Seasonby Ben Shapiro and David Shapiro.

We Shocked the World: How the Underdog St. Louis Cardinals Won the 2006 World Seriesby the sports staff of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First (2008 Tampa Bay Rays), by Jonah Keri.

Hard to Believe! The Incredible Game-By-Game Story of the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Philliesby Mike McNesbyJason Weitzel.

Mission 27: A New Boss, A New Ballpark, and One Last Ring for the Yankees' Core Four (2009),
by Mark Feinsand and Bryan Hoch.

A Band of Misfits: Tales of the 2010 San Francisco Giantsby Andrew Baggarly.

Wild Cards: The Story of the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, by the sports staff of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

For Boston: From Worst to First, the Improbable Dream Season of the 2013 Red Soxby the sports staff of The Boston Globe.

Keep the Line Moving: The Story of the 2015 Kansas City Royalsby Kent Krause.

A Season for the Ages: How the 2016 Chicago Cubs Brought a World Series Championship to the North Sideby Al Yellon and Pat Hughes.

Hurricane Season: The Unforgettable Story of the 2017 Houston Astros and the Resilience of a Cityby Joe Holley.

Fight to the Finish: How the Washington Nationals Rallied to Become 2019 World Series Championsby the sports staff of The Washington Post.