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Baseball players as a rule aren't known for documenting their experiences on the diamond. Red Rolfe, however, during his time as manager of the Detroit Tigers from 1949 to 1952, recorded daily accounts of each game, including candid observations about his team's performance. He used these observations to coach his players and to gain an advantage by recording strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies of opposing players and managers. Rolfe's journals carry added value considering his own career as an All-Star Yankee third baseman on numerous world champion teams, where he was a teammate of Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.
Today, in the era of televised broadcasts, networks often wire a manager so that viewers can listen to his spontaneous comments throughout the game. Red Rolfe's journals offer an opportunity to find out what a manager is thinking when no one is around to hear.
"Somewhere, if they haven't been destroyed, there are hundreds of pages of typewritten notes about American League players of that era, notes which I would love to get my hands on."
—Bill James, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, on the journals of Red Rolfe
"Red Rolfe was one of baseball's most astute observers. This is 'inside' baseball from the inside."
—Donald Honig, author of Baseball America, Baseball when the Grass was Real, and numerous other books in The Donald Honig Best Players of All Time Series
"In his lucid journals Red Rolfe has provided an inside look at how an intelligent baseball manager thinks and prepares."
—Ray Robinson, Yankee historian and author of Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time
"Red Rolfe's journal for his years as manager of the Detroit Tigers is the kind of precious source researchers yearn for. In combination with William M. Anderson's well-done text, The View from the Dugout will be of great interest to general readers and of immense value to students of baseball history."
—Charles C. Alexander, author of Breaking the Slump, Ty Cobb, and John McGraw
". . . a remarkable exposition explaining a team's strengths and flaws."
—Mark Pattison, Tiger Stripes
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