The heartwarming underdog story of the 1924 Washington Senators.
In 1924, Washington Senators team president Clark Griffith hired Bucky Harris, his twenty-seven-year-old second baseman, to manage the Senators, a decision called “Griffith’s folly.” Yet the Senators, inspired by their fiery new leader, found themselves in first place heading into the homestretch. The question remained: with an untested manager and an aging star pitcher, would they be able to hold on for the first world championship in team history?
In Team of Destiny: Walter Johnson, Clark Griffith, Bucky Harris, and the 1924 Washington Senators, Gary Sarnoff recounts the uplifting story of a team that surpassed all expectations and gave Washington fans a season to remember. Before the season began, legendary pitcher Walter Johnson announced the 1924 season would be his last. Sarnoff tells how, in the heat of a grueling pennant race, the surging Senators won the approval of the entire country who cheered on the underdogs and the thirty-six-year-old Johnson. A fight to the finish saw the Senators on top and into the World Series, where Johnson was called to the mound in the final game in the ninth inning. With all eyes upon him, would Walter Johnson come through?
Team of Destiny describes in wonderful detail this remarkable season and the players who made it unforgettable. One hundred years later, it’s still a story that is sure to inspire all generations of baseball fans.
Gary Sarnoff is a writer and historian. He is the author of two baseball history books, The Wrecking Crew of ’33: The Washington Senators’ Last American League Pennant and The First Yankees Dynasty: Babe Ruth, Miller Huggins and the Bronx Bombers of the 1920s. In addition, he has contributed chapters to two football history books and is an active member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Sarnoff speaks on baseball history throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
While 2019 may have ended Washington baseball’s long drought, for real long-time D.C. baseball fans, the year 1924 was always the benchmark. What Gary Sarnoff has done so well a century later is to bring that season alive, a real treat to those of us who couldn’t have been there for that great event.
In 2009, Gary Sarnoff did a fine book on the 1933 Washington Senators, the national capital's last American League pennant-winners. Now Sarnoff has given us an equally fine account of the 1924 season, when the long-downtrodden Senators won their first pennant and only World Series victory, defeating John McGraw's New York Giants in a dramatic seven games. It's one of the most memorable Series ever played, and Sarnoff's book, rich in period detail, vividly brings back a time when baseball was truly our National Pastime.
Thanks to Gary Sarnoff for making us feel we were there one hundred years ago for the most glorious triumph in Washington sports history. All the drama is here—from ‘Griffith’s Folly,’ to a pennant race with the legendary New York Yankees, to the freak hop of a ground ball that gave our beloved Walter Johnson his World Series championship over John McGraw's mighty New York Giants. No matter how often you have heard this story, there are surprises for you in Team of Destiny.
In Team of Destiny, author Gary Sarnoff takes the reader on an entertaining and exhilarating journey chronicling the Washington Senators’ magical 1924 championship season. The author brilliantly captures the true essence and spirit of a team destined for greatness that year. Mr. Sarnoff’s excellent writing, impeccable research skills, and keen insight into all things about Washington Senators baseball shine through the entire literary work. An obvious bookshelf addition for baseball lovers and those who enjoy the game’s rich history.
The title of Gary Sarnoff’s new book tells it all: the unheralded 1924 Washington Senators were truly a Team of Destiny. The book captures the joy and excitement of a remarkable American League pennant race and the drama of the 1924 World Series.