Sixty Years & Sixty Heroes: A Celebration of Minnesota Sports

By Ross Bernstein

Forewords by: Bud Grant, Kent Hrbek, Joe Mauer & Lindsay Whalen

Pages: 136 (Hardcover)

Price: $24.95

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About The Book

Welcome to “60 Years & 60 Heroes: A Celebration of Minnesota Sports,” the new, expanded and updated version of the 1997 regional best-seller, “50 Years • 50 Heroes.” The continued popularity of this book has led me to revisit it a decade later and I am proud to say that it is now bigger and better than ever. It has been completely redone with updated “where-are-they-now” bios, interviews, stories, as well as all sorts of new historical information. If you are into sports history and enjoy reading about our state’s greatest teams and athletes, then this book is for you.

Here is how the book is laid out: Each chapter represents a year, going back 60 years, and featured in it is, arguably, the greatest moment from the world of Minnesota sports that year. That event is then tied into an interview and biography of a hometown or homegrown hero who played a key role in it. In addition, gone are the old “Cliff Claven” trivia tid-bit sidebars from the old version of the book, and in their place is something much, much better — the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked sporting events from that year — which are also tied into a hometown hero. In a sense, the book tripled in content, going from one to three top headline stories. So, take a year such as 1976, a great one in Minnesota sports history. There was so much stuff going on that year, it was a tough call. Well, I chose Ahmad Rashad and the Vikings losing to the Raiders in Super Bowl XI for the main chapter; Reed Larson and the Gopher Hockey team beating Michigan Tech to win the national championship was No. 2; while Allen Merrick and the Kicks making it all the way to the NASL Finals before losing to Toronto came in at No. 3. Now, is this open to debate? Absolutely. That is what makes the book so much fun.

It is important to note, however, that this book is not a list of the 60 greatest heroes in Minnesota sports. Rather, it is a fun way to celebrate 60 great events, tied into 60 great men and women. While some chapters feature detailed accounts, extensive quotes and game summaries, others focus on different aspects of that particular event or person. No two chapters are alike, and hopefully that will add to the uniqueness of the book. Basically, I tried to have fun with it and pick interesting people and events to feature. Many times it was like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, but overall I would like to think that it all worked out. There are hundreds of coaches and athletes who have either been born and raised in Minnesota, or have played here on either a professional or collegiate team that definitely could’ve been featured in here. Obviously I couldn’t accommodate all of those people, so I chose to celebrate a sampling of men and women who have made a difference in the world of Minnesota sports. So jump in, relax and enjoy, that is what this book is all about — having fun with Minnesota sports.

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