The St. Louis Cardinals are the most successful franchise in National League history, while the St. Louis Browns were one of the least successful, yet most colorful, American League teams. Now Richard Peterson has collected the writings of some of baseball’s greatest storytellers to pay tribute to both these teams. His book, the first anthology devoted exclusively to the Cardinals and Browns, covers the rich history of St. Louis baseball from its late-nineteenth-century origins to the modern era.
The St. Louis Baseball Reader
is a celebration of the many legendary stars and colorful characters who wore St. Louis uniforms and the writers who told their stories, including Alfred Spink, Roger Angell, George Will, and Baseball Hall of Fame writers Bob Broeg, J. Roy Stockton, Red Smith, and Fred Lieb. Here, too, are John Grisham, who grew up a Redbirds fan in Mississippi, and Jack Buck, the most identifiable voice in Cardinal history. Great players—Grover Cleveland Alexander, Rogers Hornsby, Marty Marion, and Satchel Paige—tell their own stories, while Bill Veeck offers an account of his wild ride as the last Browns owner and Whitey Herzog shares regrets about the play that cost the Cardinals the 1985 World Series.
From the days of the Gas House Gang to the 1944 “Streetcar Series,” from Bill Veeck’s legendary stunts to Mark McGwire’s pursuit of Roger Maris’s home-run record, the Reader
will bring back memories for every fan. It takes in all of the magic of the ballpark—whether recounting the unhittable pitching of Bob Gibson, the slugging prowess of Stan “The Man” Musial, or the sterling glove-work of Ozzie Smith—along with reflective commentaries that tell how Jackie Robinson confronted racism and Curt Flood challenged the reserve clause.
St. Louis is a city blessed with a memorable baseball history, and The St. Louis Baseball Reader perfectly captures the joy and heartbreak of its winning and losing teams. It’s a book that will delight current fans of the Cardinals and old-timers who fondly recall the Browns.