Black and Blue: The Golden Arm, the Robinson Boys, and the 1966 World Series That Stunned America

ISBN: 0316069019
ISBN 13: 9780316069014
By: Tom Adelman

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About this book

This text presents an account of the epic Baseball World Series in 1966 between the celebrated Los Angeles Dodgers and the perennial underdog Baltimore Orioles.

Reader's Thoughts

Daryl Grigsby

i enjoyed reading this - shows how little the American League was integrated even in '66 (20 years after Jackie); the discipline of Frank Robinson, courage of Sandy Koufax; and prominent role African-American players had on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kris Marolt

A book about the 1966 Pennant races and the world series. The real kicker are the players and bios about them.


I couldn’t finish this book. Part of it was the endless references the author made to Baltimore as the capital of Maryland. It’s really hard for me to take a book seriously if it’s supposed to be a historical look at something and the there are a high number of obvious mistakes. Makes it difficult to believe what you read.Beyond that, the title and text were somewhat at odds. Part of the title reads, “the 1966 World Series that Stunned America.” Then the first few chapters are all about how the Orioles went into spring training believing they had a chance to be a great team while no one thought the Dodgers were going to have a good season. I knew the Orioles won in a sweep. Nothing I read suggested to me that the people were really shocked. Yet, I know that people were. That’s bad writing.Overall, the book was just boring. It’s a feel-good story. Each chapter is like a separate vignette whose purpose is to show the readers how great of a guy Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer and Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale were. Everybody was the good guy. And that’s fine…if that’s what you’re looking for. I was looking for a real historical look at the 1966 World Series and baseball season. I did not get that. Very disappointing.




As a lifelong baseball fan with a pretty solid grasp of its storied past, I had, of course, already known about the great Sandy Koufax and the story of how he'd walked away from the game in his prime due to a chronically arthritic elbow. What reading this book helped me realize is that I had always unconsciously questioned Mr. Koufax's commitment to the game. If I, who would've given anything as a youth to become a major leaguer, had grown up to become as successful as he, surely I could've pitched through such an injury. To be that good and to walk away in one's prime simply didn't compute for me, no matter the reason.Chalk those feelings up to youthful ignorance, but it's also not a viewpoint I had thought to revisit much in my adulthood. How often in one's life does one, even one as baseball obsessed as I, think about the trials of Sandy Koufax? Well, upon reading this book, my previous (unrealized) opinion is forever changed. The amount of pain an only thirty-year-old Koufax endured to pitch, and pitch at an insanely high level, is staggering. The tales of ice baths and cortisone shots and painkillers interspersed with the stories of just how unhittable he was has given me an incredible respect for the man.So Koufax, for me, was the thing that stuck with me the most from this book. It was an easy read and I enjoyed many of the quirky little bits about fans and broadcasters (I especially enjoyed the recounting of the BBC announcers trying to make sense of this strange American game).I also find myself hungry now to find a more in-depth portrait of Frank Robinson. Hopefully there's a good biography out there.

Jeff Clark

Being a baseball guy from the seventies - this was a perfect history for me. Love it!


A good baseball book, a good World Series book. Fun to read in the off-season when the bats are quiet.


This book absolutely broke my heart -- the Orioles, of course, swept that World Series from the heavily favored Dodgers, but that wasn't what broke my heart. Adelman does a spectacular job of taking the story of that season and that World Series and giving it its due backdrop of America -- and Baltimore, a heavily segregated city until very late -- during the 60s. Heartbreaking and gorgeous, and very subtly written and very well paced.


Taut, well-written account of the Dodgers' and Orioles' '66 campaign, including a detailed analysis of their World Series clash. But could someone down there at the publisher have been bothered to maybe check a fact? Among other errors, there are multiple instances of date confusion (e.g. 1995 is "19 years" after 1966), and repeated references to Baltimore as the capital of the state of Maryland...somebody tell Annapolis.


An hilarious and sentimental look at the 1966 World Series. It's notable for being Baltimore's first World Series victory, and featuring Sandy Koufax's final game. Adelman does a wonderful job of capturing the players - Koufax's willingness to work through the terrible pain in his arm, Frank Robinson's drive to win and Brooks Robinson's unquestioning acceptance of his new battery mate, Moe Drabowsky's career season and bullpen hijinks.Despite the handful of big names (Koufax, Robinson, Don Drysdale), I didn't know most of the players involved in the series, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book. That's pretty much the hallmark of a well-written sport book, because they can so often be dependent on know the people who were playing and the games being discussed.Adelman rushed the games themselves, skipping innings, and sometimes switching back and forth between teams that I had trouble keeping up - there were a couple instances of "but why is Sutton striking out guys on his own team? that seems counterproductive!" He was better at the player profiles, and they more than made up for the iffy sportswriting.


Great Book. Go O's!!!


Seeking the nostalgia of summer afternoons listening to baseball games on a transistor radio, looking at baseball cards, wishing I could pitch, sipping on a lemonade, I bought this book.And, I'm glad I did.

Chance Brinley

This book starts out by talking sbout the career that frabk robinson was having at the Cincinati Reds. it talk about how the Reds traded him a year before his pruduction started to decrease, that way they could get the best young talent possible for him. The Reds trade him to the Balitmore Orioles. Everyone thought that the Reds got th better part of the deal, but they were wrong. By the end of the 1966 season frank robinson won the leages Tripple Crown, the most prestige hitting title you can get. In order to win the Tripple Crown you must lead the league in Batting Average, Homeruns, Runs Batted In. The Balitomore Orioles, behind a re-charged Frank Robinson, surged their way into the fall classic to face the defending World Series champs, the Los Angeles Dogers. The Dogers were a team that focused on defense, lead by their ace pitcher Sandy Koufax. Sandy Koufax won 27 games in the '66 season, apersonal best, while battling with arthritis in his pitching arm.


Great book! If you like baseball history you probably will enjoy it. I love the way this book is put together in parts. First the background of the Orioles (and their off-season acquisition of Frank Robinson) and then the background of the Dodgers, and the hold out by their two star SPs before the season. This then sets things up for a great World Series. I liked this set up a lot more then the one he did for his Reds/RedSox book. He does a very good job displaying the personality of not just the star players, but some of the other players as well (like Blair, Roseboro and Davis). Good stuff. Please write another of these!!!!


Since the O's keep winning I figured I'd read about their past success. Surprised at how many of the issues facing baseball today (holdouts, amphetamines, painkillers, players hitting each other with bats, players pulling guns on civilians) were going on in the 1960's (and we're talking about players named Koufax, Drysdale, Marichal & Frank Robinsons).

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