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Book Review: Banned in the Bronx

Mike SteffanosSunday, February 24, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Banned in the Bronx: The Yankee Hater Memoirs: 1953-2005
Author: Gene Hutmaker
Paperback, 404 pages, Virtualbookworm.com Publishing

I have to admit, when I received an e-mail from the author of this book, I didn't know quite what to make of it:

My name is Gene Hutmaker and I am the self-proclaimed Yankee Hater. I am the biggest Yankee Hater on this planet Earth (I go about 230 lbs.). Living in Yankee country in South Brunswick NJ (plus having two Yankee-lovin' sons) doesn't make it easy, but that hasn't stopped my rantings about baseball's Evil Empire. My sons challenged me to put my money where my mouth was and put pen to paper. My son Dr. Michael Hutmaker, a Dean at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, is a reluctant (for obvious reasons) co-author.

I want to highlight a book I recently authored titled BANNED in the BRONX The Yankee Haters Memoirs 1953-2005. The book chronicles the year-by-year account of each baseball season with little or no mention of the success of the New York Yankees, but rather a highlight of their failures...

Banned in the Bronx: The Yankee Hater Memoirs Although Yankee hating isn't an important part of my feelings as a fan, I was impressed by the sense of humor displayed by Gene in the e-mail, and also on his web site. I decided that I'd like to check out his book.

Gene opens his book with an explanation of why he became a Yankee hater at a young age, and then devotes a chapter to each individual season in baseball from 1953 through 2005 from his Yankee-hating perspective. Intertwined with the baseball are snippets from his own life from his childhood through raising and coaching his own two sons -- who both grew up to be Yankee fans.

I had to chuckle as year by year, Gene poked fun at Yankee failures while glossing over their successes. What I really enjoyed, though, was his recaps of legendary seasons in the 50s and 6os. Gene is a knowledgeable baseball fan with an incredible memory for details, and I found myself sucked in to the narrative. He is a good story teller with a love of his subject, and his book is a really fun read.

Both Gene and his book are a little unconventional, but if you give him a chance you're sure to be entertained.

Buy Banned in the Bronx: The Yankee Hater Memoirs: 1953-2005 on the Author's Web Site

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About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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