Diamond Gems in Autumn is Warren Goldfein's tribute to America's national pastime and its most memorable games. His story is a factual, year-by-year account of fifty of the most exciting major league games ever played between the years 1946 and 1993. The description of those fifty battles reads like fifty enlightening stories. They take the reader back to, as former President George H.W. Bush once called it, "A kinder, gentler time." Each year holds a memorable classic that had more of an impact on a pennant race, playoff, or World Series than any other game that season. Each year features drama, such as the home runs by Bobby Thomson and Bill Mazeroski that won a pennant and a World Championship, Don Larsen's perfect game, and Willie Mays' sensational game-saving catch.
Here is a light, easy-to-read, and sometimes humorous account of some of the greatest moments in Major League Baseball history. The games stretch from the end of World War Two until the infamous strike of 1994. The narrative comes complete with a summary of the notable headlines of each year and a list of major winners from the world of sports and entertainment. Reading Diamond Gems is like riding a time machine back to the days when baseball was truly a sport.
A GIANT MIRACLE
Wednesday, October 3, 1951 - Polo Grounds, New York, NY
National League Playoff Game 3- New York Giants 5, Brooklyn Dodgers 4
The New York Giants spent the entire 1951 season chasing the Brooklyn Dodgers and finally caught them during the final week of the season. The National League pennant race ended with both teams in a first-place tie. For the second time in history, a best two-out-of three playoff would produce the club that advanced to the World Series.
The Two squads not only shared a city, they also shared an intense dislike for each other. Their fiery manager, Leo Durocher, constantly baited the Dodger players from the bench and almost drew equally volatile players like Carl Furillo and Don Newcombe into fights several times.
Likewise the fans of both clubs exhibited similar militant behavior towards each other. They would sometimes get into fistfights over issues like arguing who was the better center-fielder, Duke Snider or Willie Mays. As the Civil War was the War Betwwen the States, this tiebreaker series promised to be the War Between the Boroughs.
The Giants won a close first game, but the Dodgers bounced back to decisively win the the second encounter. The decision on who would become the National League champion now rested with a third game tiebreaker to be played at the Giants' home field, the horseshoe-shaped Polo Grounds in Harlem.
This misshapen field had short four lines, where a putting iron could drive the ball into the seats. However, it sloped sharply into a deep center field, where the homerun target extended to almost 500 feet. Furthermore, the clubhouse stood at the end of the playing area in center, and bothe the winning and losing teams had to walk side-by side across the field on their way to their locker.
Warren Goldfein is attempting to fulfill a lifelong dream by publishing his first book. Goldfein has always had a love of the printed word. He actually wrote for the college literary magazine and was a sports reporter for the college newspaper at Muhlenberg College, where he graduated with a degree in English.
Since his college days, Goldfein has submitted articles to newspapers and magazines, many of which are related to current topics of the day. He usually laces his writings with humor and sarcasm. "There is enough tragedy in everything we read in the newspaper, hear on the radio, or see on TV, so when I write, I'd rather entertain the reader and make him laugh a little," he explains.
With all his writings, Goldfein has never put together that full-length book he has always wanted to do - until now. He is 69 years old, married, with two children and two grandchildren. He lives in Northern New Jersey and still works every day as an auto insurance underwriter. "As long as I remain in good health, there is no reason for me not to keep working," he says. While he maintains his career in business, he now intends to continue his other career as a writer.