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Review of "Penguin Power"

Even today, when I look back at the Los Angeles Dodgers infield of the 1970's and early 1980's, I am amazed that they played together as a unit as long as they did, considering it was the beginning of the age of free agency.  My latest review is of a memoir by one of those infielders, Ron Cey. 


“Penguin Power: Dodger Blue, Hollywood Lights and My One-in-a-Million Big League Journey” by Ron Cey with Ken Gurnick


4 of 5 stars (very good)

Review: Ron Cey was part of the infield combination that played the most number of games together for one team.  With Cey at third base, Bill Russel at shortstop, Davey Lopes at second base and Steve Garvey at first base, this foursome played together nearly nine complete seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Each one of them was an all-star and Cey talks about his journey to the big leagues in this memoir.

The best part of this book was Cey’s candor.  He wasn’t afraid to drop some criticism or share bad experiences with teammates, especially the other three infielders mentioned above.  This is also true of his coaches, managers and front office personnel.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a book where he harps on the negatives – indeed, most of the stories are positive and at times funny.  It just was refreshing to see that when he sensed something wasn’t right, he wasn’t afraid to call it like he saw it.  The best example of this was his experience with former Dodger GM Al Campanis, whom Cey felt never was totally sold that Cey would be a key part of a winning Dodgers club, which he certainly became.

There are also times where Cey shows that he played in a different era than today as there is more analytical data in the decisions made by on-field managers as well as general managers.  I’ll stop short of calling it sounding like he is yelling at people to get off his lawn, but he clearly doesn’t agree with some of this process today.  To his credit, he gives counterarguments to what was done when he was a player.  For example, when he mentioned that today, players are shuffled in and out of a lineup because of data showing strengths and weaknesses, that was done by communication between players and managers during the 1970’s and 1980’s when Cey played.

Overall, the book does read like a typical memoir with some extra name dropping since after all, this was Los Angeles and Cey was able to rub elbows with many celebrities.  He also talks about his time with the Chicago Cubs, including their memorable 1984 season, but for the most part, both during and after his playing career, he certainly bleeds Dodger blue.  Any Los Angeles fan will enjoy reading this book.

I wish to thank Triumph Books for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Link: Amazon.com: Penguin Power: Dodger Blue, Hollywood Lights, and My One-in-a-Million Big League Journey eBook : Cey, Ron, Gurnick, Ken: Kindle Store


source http://sportsbookguy.blogspot.com/2023/06/review-of-penguin-power.html


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