To celebrate the official opening of the 2016 baseball season, Innovative hybrid publisher Riverdale Avenue Books (RAB) has just released Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls by Daily News staffers Robert Dominguez and David Hinckley.
Whether you love the Yankees or loathe them, even the most casual baseball fan is well versed on the team’s nearly 100-year lineage of legends that span the decades from Ruth to DiMaggio to Mantle to Jeter. Most every book on the Yankees, therefore, heralds the unparalleled winning tradition of the famed Bronx Bombers. This is not that kind of book. In Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls, the authors shine a light on the dark side of the team’s otherwise illustrious history.
In 50 lighthearted chapters, Bronx Bummers begins with the tale of the Yankees’ first colorful owners in 1903 — one was a former New York police chief widely considered the most corrupt cop in city history, the other was Manhattan's biggest owner of illegal gambling dens — and continues through the sordid exploits of some of the team’s earliest stars, including a slick-fielding first baseman run out of baseball for throwing games; a good-hitting pitcher who derailed his Hall of Fame-bound career with his brawling and boozing ways; and even the great Babe Ruth himself, who regularly led the league in HRs, RBIs and STDs. And while most baseball teams have a history of bench-clearing brawls, Dominguez and Hinckley, veteran New York City tabloid reporters, chronicle how the Yankees hold the unofficial record for most fights between teammates — not to mention the most front-office blunders. From the bad old days of the team’s origins as the Highlanders all the way to the Bronx Zoo years and beyond, Bronx Bummers divulges what really went on behind the boxscores of baseball's winningest franchise.
Author Robert Dominguez explained the genesis of the book. “The seed of the idea for a book detailing the ‘human’ side of Yankee heroes goes back at least 45 years, when I was growing up near the Stadium. Back in the early ’70s you could easily sneak into the players’ parking lot, and even as a wide-eyed 10-year-old it was easy to see who the really nice ones were (Thank you, Mel Stottlemyre, for your autograph), the not-so-nice (Screw you, Mike Kekich, for promising me one and then driving away) and even which of the married ones were out trolling for groupies. So while I’m still a diehard and devoted fan to this day, it was a blast to delve into the Yankees’ rich history and uncover some of the sordid stuff that people either don’t remember or don’t realize happened.”
Co- author David Hinckley added, “baseball is a game where the core challenge is to overcome imperfection — to get a hit three times out of ten, to advance four bases when most of the time you won’t. That’s why it was so much fun to dig back into moments that did not have a good outcome. It’s what baseball is about, as much as the moments that do. So we looked on these remembered tales as twofers: a consolation for Yankee haters and a reminder for Yankee fans that the HRs and Ws taste sweeter when you endured a few Ks and Ls along the way.”
Publisher Lori Perkins said, “As a native New Yorker and a life-long Yankees fan, I thought I knew it all, but Dominguez and Hinckley really unearthed some great ‘bad Yankees’ tales. I couldn’t put the book down.“