Bushville Wins!

The Wild Saga of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the Screwballs, Sluggers, and Beer Swiggers Who Canned the New York Yankees and Changed Baseball

John Klima

Thomas Dunne Books

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“Bushville hits the sweet spot of my childhood, the year my family moved to Wisconsin and the Braves won the World Series against the Yankees, a team my Brooklyn-raised dad taught us to hate. Thanks to John Klima for bringing it all back to life with such vivid detail and energentic writing.” -- David Maraniss, New York Times bestselling author of Clemente and When Pride Still Mattered

The rip-roaring story of baseball’s most unlikely champions, featuring new interviews with Henry Aaron, Bob Uecker and other members of the Milwaukee Braves, Bushville Wins! takes you to a time and place baseball and the Heartland will never forget.

In the early 1950s, the New York Yankees were the biggest bullies on the block. They were invincible: they led the New York City baseball dynasty, which for eight consecutive years held an iron grip on the World Series championship.

Then the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953, becoming surprise revolutionaries. Led by visionary owner Lou Perini, the Braves formed a powerful relationship with the Miller Brewing Company and foreshadowed the Dodgers and Giants moving west, sparking continental expansion and the ballpark boom.

But the rest of the country wasn’t sold. Why would a major league team move to a minor league town? In big cities like New York, Milwaukee was thought to be a podunk train station stop-off where the fans were always drunk and wouldn’t know a baseball from a beer. They called Milwaukee Bushville.

The Braves were no bushers! Eddie Mathews was a handsome home run hitter with a rugged edge. Warren Spahn was the craftiest pitcher in the business. Lew Burdette was a sharky spitball artist. Taken together, the Braves reveled in the High Life and made Milwaukee famous, while Wisconsin fans showed the rest of the country how to crack a cold one and throw a tailgate party. And in 1954, a solemn and skinny slugger came from Mobile to Milwaukee. Henry Aaron began his march to history.

With a cast of screwballs, sluggers and beer swiggers, the Braves proved the guys at the corner bar could do the impossible – topple Casey Stengel’s New York baseball dynasty in a World Series for the ages.

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Book Excerpts

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1
DAVID VERSUS GOLIATH
 

Lou Perini’s secret weighed on him like the water pails he once hauled on his father’s work crew. He had a plan so extraordinary he dared tell nobody, not breathing a word to his wife, his seven children, or the Jesuit priest who routinely passed him while he whispered his daily rosary. But on the morning of March 14, 1953, when Perini emerged in the lobby of the Dixie Grande Hotel after an exhaustive all-night planning session, his tousled hair and crooked collar were barely a shade better kept than the Boston sportswriters.

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Reviews

Praise for Bushville Wins!

“[Klima] tells a great story well, makes a dead era vivid and focuses on what really mattered about a wonderful team. The Braves may have won just once, but in so doing they humbled a dynasty, brought pride to the provinces and helped reshape baseball's geography. There are teams that won more championships but few that did half as much.” –The Wall Street Journal

“A veteran baseball writer chronicles the unlikely triumph of big-league baseball’s first small-market team… A rollicking read that captures the spirit of the team, the city and a unique moment in baseball history.” --Kirkus

 

“Bushville hits the sweet spot of my childhood, the year my family moved to Wisconsin and the Braves won the World Series against the Yankees, a team my Brooklyn-raised dad taught us to hate. Thanks to John Klima for bringing it all back to life with such vivid detail and energentic writing.” -- David Maraniss, New York Times bestselling author of Clemente and When Pride Still Mattered

 

"An irresistible tale, beautifully told, about one of the most colorful - and neglected - underdog champions in baseball history. Bushville is a winner." – Mark Frost, New York Times bestselling Author

 

“Screwballs, sluggers and beer-swiggers? Those are my kind of people, and this is my kind of book. Bushville Wins!  is captivating from beginning to end, a dramatic story told with marvelous writing and meticulous research. Highly recommended.” -- Jonathan Eig, New York Times bestselling author of Opening Day


“One of baseball’s finest, and most overlooked, seasons finally gets the chronicle it deserves. Thoroughly reported and elegantly written, Bushville recaptures a time and place--1950s Milwaukee--with loving detail. Except perhaps for Yankees fans, baseball lovers will want to keep Bushville on their bookshelf.” --Cait Murphy, author of Crazy '08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History 


“Klima (Willie’s Boys) weaves the team’s “sense of destiny” with a Milwaukee fan’s obsession and a journalist’s eye in relating this “David versus Goliath” baseball saga that avoids the braggadocio of others of its ilk.” –Publishers Weekly

 

 


In the Press

BUSHVILLE WINS! by John Klima | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of BUSHVILLE WINS! The Wild Saga of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the Screwballs, Sluggers, and Beer Swiggers Who Canned the New York Yankees and Changed Baseball. A veteran baseball writer chronicles the unlikely triumph of big-league baseball's first small-market team.
- Kirkus Reviews


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About the Author

John Klima

John Klima is the author of Willie's Boys: The 1948 Birmingham Black Barons, The Last Negro League World Series, and The Making of a Baseball Legend (Wiley, 2009). His story, Deal of the Century, was selected by When Pride Still Mattered: Lombardi author David Maraniss to appear in the 2007 edition of The Best American Sports Writing. Klima's work has also appeared in The New York Times, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN.com and The Los Angeles Times. A former national baseball columnist and minor league radio play-by-play announcer, Klima is also a professionally trained baseball scout who studied with legendary scouts, and is a graduate of the Major League Baseball Scout Development Program. He holds a degree in cultural anthropology and spent his boyhood summers sitting in the outfield cheap seats of Milwaukee County Stadium.

John Klima

Jennifer Marder
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Available Formats and Book Details

Bushville Wins!
The Wild Saga of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the Screwballs, Sluggers, and Beer Swiggers Who Canned the New York Yankees and Changed Baseball
John Klima

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
July 2012
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781250006073
ISBN10: 1250006074
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 336 pages, Plus one 8-page b&w photo insert
$25.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
July 2012
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781250015143
ISBN10: 1250015146
304 pages
$12.99
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Thomas Dunne Books

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