Book Buzz: They Bled Blue by Jason Turbow

#BookBuzz They Bled Blue: Fernandomania, Strike-Season Mayhem, and the Weirdest Championship Baseball Had Ever Seen: The 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers by Jason Turbow

The wildly entertaining narrative of the outrageous 1981 Dodgers from the award-winning author of Dynastic, Fantastic, Bombastic and The Baseball Codes

In the Halberstam tradition of capturing a season through its unforgettable figures, They Bled Blue is a sprawling, mad tale of excess and exuberance, the likes of which could only have occurred in that place, at that time.

That it culminated in an unlikely World Series win—during a campaign split by the longest player strike in baseball history—is not even the most interesting thing about this team. The Dodgers were led by the garrulous Tommy Lasorda—part manager, part cheerleader—who unyieldingly proclaimed devotion to the franchise through monologues about bleeding Dodger blue and worshiping the “Big Dodger in the Sky,” and whose office hosted a regular stream of Hollywood celebrities. Steve Garvey, the All-American, All-Star first baseman, had anchored the most durable infield in major league history, and, along with Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, and Ron Cey, was glaringly aware that 1981 would represent the end of their run together. The season’s real story, however, was one that nobody expected at the outset: a chubby lefthander nearly straight out of Mexico, twenty years old with a wild delivery and a screwball as his flippin’ out pitch. The Dodgers had been trying for decades to find a Hispanic star to activate the local Mexican population; Fernando Valenzuela was the first to succeed, and it didn’t take long for Fernandomania to sweep far beyond the boundaries of Chavez Ravine.

They Bled Blue is the rollicking yarn of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ crazy 1981 season. 

"The names are larger than life, the games are some of the greatest in Major League history. But what makes 'They Bled Blue' a fantastic baseball book is the passion. Love the Dodgers or hate the Dodgers, this return trip to 1981 will leave you pining for Fernandomania and and wishing you were a kid again, sitting in front of your TV with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Ron Cey at the plate and Goose Gossage throwing smoke. Bravo, Jason Turbow. This is epic." —Jeff Pearlman, New York Times best-selling author

"They Bled Blue was eye-opening, thought-provoking, and hands down the most accurate portrayal of events and personalities of the 1981 Dodgers that I've seen. I enjoyed every minute reading it, and no doubt will page through it again to relive the best baseball year of my life." —Jerry Reuss, former MLB player for the Los Angeles Dodgers

“The spirited tale of a unique Major League Baseball championship team . . . The 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers produced enough fireworks to deserve significant attention, and Turbow delivers the goods . . . A skillful mixture of biographies, on-field action, and behind-the-scenes baseball politics in a story with a happy ending for Dodger fans.” Kirkus Reviews

From the Author

JASON TURBOW is the author of Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic, The Baseball Codes, and the audio book Baseball Forever!, narrated by Bob Costas. He’s written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and Wired, among many publications.