“Ted was dying, and the idea for the final trip, driving down to Florida to see him one last time, was Dominic’s.”
This book is a follow up to David Halberstam’s book Summer of 49, which follows the American league pennant race in 1949, which primarily involved a showdown between Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. Joe DiMaggio was a very consistent hitter, not expressly a power hitter, and an excellent fielder. Ted Williams was a little more consistent and definitely more of a power hitter, and a below average fielder. In this book, Ted Williams is dying of cancer in the year 2000-2001, and three of his teammates who were longtime Red Sox with him decide to make a road trip down to see him off or to say their last good byes. This is not really a book about that road trip, but instead the road trip is the occasion for the book. The book is about the friendship shared among Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr, and Dominic DiMaggio (Joe DiMaggio’s younger brother) who played together for about 12 seasons. The book is about that time, their friendship, and each of their respective baseball careers, talents, and achievements. This was also during the Red Sox World Series drought, so they never won the series together (although Johnny Pesky was part of the organization when they won in 2004. Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr were both elected to the Hall of Fame, and the book suggests that at least Dominic DiMaggio should have as well.
The book is plenty sentimental, but it’s a solid baseball book, which is already one of the more literary of sports.