Call the Yankees My Daddy: Reflections on Baseball, Race, and Family by Cecil Harris, the Best Baseball Book of the Season

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Journalist Cecil Harris, the first African-American beat writer to cover the New York Yankees full-time, shares his invaluable insights on baseball's most celebrated team. SportsPages.com says, "Cecil Harris's collection of notes and thoughts from the Yankees' beat is tough to put down."

In Call the Yankees My Daddy (The Lyons Press, $14.95), journalist Cecil Harris reminisces on his years spent covering baseball’s most storied team.

In his position as the first full-time African-American beat writer to cover the New York Yankees, Cecil Harris had an up-close perspective of the team that he’d followed as a fan since the 1960s. Raised in a family that rooted against both the Yankees and Red Sox because of both teams’ seeming reluctance to accept integration, Harris nevertheless carried a passion for pinstripes into his professional life.

Here, we get priceless insights into the Yankees’ ascendancy in the mid-1990s—as well as their struggles to stave off a crumbling dynasty in the twenty-first century. Along the way, we meet Joe Torre, George Steinbrenner, Don Zimmer, Hall of Fame legend Joe DiMaggio and many other top baseball personalities.

Harris offers keen insight into the role of race within baseball and the media, even showing how some black American League stars sought to exploit Harris’s race for their own benefit.

Call the Yankees My Daddy (ISBN: 1-59228-939-8) is an entertaining and highly readable narrative that takes us both onto the field and into the dugout and clubhouse with baseball’s biggest names, and in its biggest games.

Harris also tells us why:

  • The 2005 Yankees, despite a major league-record $208 million payroll, were a deeply flawed team and doomed to fail in the postseason;
  • Major League Baseball’s anti-drug policy is a joke:
  • The 1996 World Series champions was the easiest Yankees team to love;
  • Covering the team he rooted for since childhood was not a dream job; and
  • Very few black journalists cover Major League Baseball.

“Cecil Harris’s collection of notes and thoughts from the Yankees’ beat is tough to put down.” – SportsPages.com

Cecil Harris has covered sports for numerous publications, including Newsday, the New York Post, Gannett Newspapers, The Sporting News, The (Raleigh, North Carolina) News & Observer, The Indianapolis Star and USA Today. Harris is also the author of Breaking the Ice: The Black Experience in Professional Hockey (Insomniac Press). A Fordham University graduate, Harris lives in Yonkers, New York.

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