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There is no telling how many more times Murray Lynn can do this—stand before a few hundred people and speak of it again. His father’s murder. His mother’s rape. The train to Auschwitz. His three brothers, all killed, along with his widowed mother. And Murray himself, at 14 years old, the lone survivor.
As a sportswriter and producer for outlets like ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, and the New York Times, Robert Weintraub writes about the action that unfolds on the field of court in front of him in real time. But in his other career, as a Decatur-based author focusing on the history of the nation’s pastime, Weintraub has spent hours upon hours in libraries from St. Louis to Cooperstown scouring old newspapers and taped interviews trying to see the game’s golden age through contemporary eyes. The latest result is The Victory Season (Little Brown Books), a broad, yet incisive look at the 1946 baseball season, the first after the end of World War II, when changed players and fans were coming home from the front to find stingy salaries, unfair contracts, and a game in desperate need of structural—and social—reform.