Here is the fascinating account, rich in nostalgia, of the greatest minor league team in the history of baseball. Ronald Mayer recounts the wonderful early years of the Newark Bears when millionaire beer baron Jacob Ruppert, owner of the New York Yankees, purchased the team from the newspaper publisher Paul Block in 1931. Mayer traces the Bears' exciting first five seasons under Ruppert and the building of a farm system that eventually produced the great Yankee dynasty. These colorful early seasons were sprinkled with some of the great names of the American pastime: Ed Barrow, Paul Kritchell, Al Mamaux, Red Rolfe, Babe Ruth, Shag Shaughnessey, Bob Shawkey, and George Weiss.
The Bears' finest hour, however, came in 1937 with a team that many experts consider the greatest in the history of the minor leagues. This book captures all the thrilling moments of that memorable season--action-packed Spring training at Sebring, Florida, the day-to-day excitement of the pennant race, the vivid play-by-play action of the semifinal playoff against the Syracuse Chiefs, the final playoof against the Baltimore Orioles, and finally, the spellbinding, unforgettable Little World Series against the powerful Columbus Red Birds.
This book is packed with photos and colorful profiles of Babe Dahlgren, Atley Donald, Joe Gordon, Charley Keller, George McQuinn, manager Oscar Vitt, and the rest of the great Newark players. It's all here, in the most comprehensive and thoroughly researched book every published about the Newark Bears.
This engaging study examines sports as both a symbol of American culture and a formative force that shapes American values. Leverett T. Smith Jr. uses "high" culture, in the form of literature and criticism, to analyze the popular culture of baseball and professional football. He explores the history of baseball through three important events: the fixing of the 1919 World Series, the appointment of Judge Landis as commissioner of baseball with dictatorial powers, and the emergence of Babe Ruth as the "new" kind of ball player. He also looks at literary works dealing with leisure and sports, including those of Thoreau, Twain, Frost, Lardner, and Hemingway. Finally he documents the emergence of professional football as the national game through the history and writings of former Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, who emerges as both a critic of the business-oriented society and a canny businessman and manager of men himself.
The American Game: Baseball and Ethnicity
Edited by Lawrence Baldassaro and Richard A. Johnson. Foreword by Allan (Bud) Selig Southern Illinois University Press, 2002 Library of Congress GV867.64.A44 2002 | Dewey Decimal 796.357
These nine essays selected by Lawrence Baldassaro and Richard A. Johnson present for the first time in a single volume an ethnic and racial profile of American baseball. These essayists show how the gradual involvement by various ethnic and racial groups reflects the changing nature of baseball— and of American society as a whole— over the course of the twentieth century.
Although the sport could not truly be called representative of America until after Jackie Robinson broke the color line in 1947, fascination with the ethnic backgrounds of the players began more than a century ago when athletes of German and Irish descent entered the major leagues in large numbers. In the 1920s, commentators noted the influx of ballplayers of Italian and Slavic origins and wondered why there were not more Jewish players in the big leagues. The era following World War II, however, saw the most dramatic ethnographic shift with the belated entry of African American ballplayers. The pattern of ethnic succession continues as players of Hispanic and Asian origin infuse fresh excitement and renewal into the major leagues.
This book does nothing less than redefine the very genre of horror fiction, calling into question the usual conventions, motifs, and elements. Unlike many critics of this genre, Linda Holland-Toll sees dis/affirmative horror fiction acting neither to soothe fears nor reduce them to the vicarious “thrills ‘n’ chills” mode, but as intensifying the fears inherent in everyday life.
In 1937, the Great Depression was still lingering, but at baseball parks across the country there was a sense of optimism. Major League attendance was on a sharp rise. Tickets to an Indians game at League Park on Lexington and East 66th were $1.60 for box seats, $1.35 for reserve seats, and $.55 for the bleachers. Cleveland fans were particularly upbeat—Bob Feller, the teenage phenomenon, was a farm boy with a blistering fast ball. Night games were an exciting development. Better days were ahead.
But there were mounting issues facing the Indians. For one thing, it was rumored that the team had illegally signed Feller. Baseball Commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was looking into that matter and one other. Issues with an alcoholic catcher, dugout fights, bats thrown into stands, injuries, and a player revolt kept things lively.
In Bad Boys, Bad Times: The Cleveland Indians and Baseball in the Prewar Years, 1937–1941—the follow-up to his No Money, No Beer, No Pennants: The Cleveland Indians and Baseball in the Great Depression—baseball historian Scott H. Longert writes about an exciting period for the team, with details and anecdotes that will please fans all over.
Step aside, Abner Doubleday! In this impeccably researched history, Robert W. Henderson uncovers the true origins not only of baseball but of a score of related sports involving hitting, catching, throwing, or kicking a ball.
Henderson traces the origins of ball sports to religious rites in ancient Egypt, where the ball (perhaps a shrunken head) represented a fertility symbol and opposing teams engaged in mock combat signifying the struggle of good against evil. Centuries later, pagan fertility rites featuring the ball were adapted by the Christian church as rituals symbolic of Easter and the Resurrection. Court tennis was also firmly rooted in the church, the earliest players being the bishops, canons, and clerics who played it in their cloistered courtyards.
Henderson overturns the popular belief that the game of racquets originated in the debtors' prison on Fleet Street in the early nineteenth century. He also notes that polo, the most ancient of games played with stick and ball, originated in Persia and migrated to China and India, where it was eventually embraced by English imperialists. Other sports discussed include football, lawn tennis, cricket, and golf.
The most substantial portion of Henderson's study is devoted to the game of baseball. Providing copious evidence of early forms of baseball played in England and the United States before 1829, he offers a meticulous account of the legerdemain by which Abner Doubleday, the famous Civil War general, came to be identified as the inventor in 1839 of a game that was already at least two centuries old.
The new foreword by Leonard Koppett affirms the significance of this classic work of sports history, which was the first to dismantle the Doubleday/Cooperstown myth.
With a legacy that spans two fiercely loyal baseball towns a half-nation apart, the Baltimore Orioles—originally the St. Louis Browns—rank among baseball’s most storied teams. One of the fifteen celebrated team histories commissioned by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in the 1940s and 1950s, The Baltimore Orioles: The History of a Colorful Team in Baltimore and St. Louis chronicles the club’s early history and is reissued on the fiftieth anniversary of their first season in Baltimore.
Hall of Fame sportswriter Frederick G. Lieb begins with the history of baseball in Baltimore from its pre-Civil War beginnings and its major-league debut as the Lord Baltimores in 1872 to the championship seasons of the National League Orioles in 1894, ’95, and ’96 when the roster included Willie Keeler, Joe Kelley, Kid Gleason, Roger Bresnahan, Joe McGinnity, and John McGraw. After the turn of the century, Baltimore was briefly home to the Orioles of the American League in 1901-02, then, after losing its franchise to New York, had to settle for the AAA International League Orioles until 1954. Under the leadership of Jack Dunn, the minor-league Orioles, while developing the talents of Babe Ruth, Lefty Grove, and other future major-league stars, won seven straight International League pennants from 1919 to 1926.
Here, too, is the colorful history of the precursors to the current Orioles, the lovable and luckless St. Louis Browns, augmented for this edition with a new foreword from St. Louis sportswriter Bob Broeg on the escapades of the Brownies. Though they lost more than a thousand games and captured only a single pennant in fifty-three seasons, the Browns remain a legendary part of national lore. Taking their lead in different eras from larger-than-life figures such as Branch Rickey, Rogers Hornsby, Urban Shocker, and the Barnum of Baseball, Bill Veeck, the Browns “boasted a one-armed outfielder, a hired hypnotist, the mighty midget [Eddie Gaedel] and—even the best ballplayer in the land—George Sisler,” as Broeg recalls in his foreword. In 1944, the Browns also played in the only all-St. Louis World Series, losing to the Cardinals.
Originally published in 1955 and featuring twenty-two photographs, The Baltimore Orioles history concludes with the new American League team’s first season in Baltimore, finishing seventh in the league but garnering the lasting adoration of their new hometown.
A rare insider’s perspective on baseball’s great barnstorming age.
The Indianapolis Clowns were a black touring baseball team that featured an entertaining mix of comedy, showmanship, and skill. Sometimes referred to as the Harlem Globetrotters of baseball—though many of the Globetrotters’ routines were borrowed directly from the Clowns—they captured the affection of Americans of all ethnicities and classes.
Alan Pollock’s father, Syd, owned the Clowns, as well as a series of black barnstorming teams that crisscrossed the country from the late 1920s until the mid-1960s. They played every venue imaginable, from little league fields to Yankee Stadium, and toured the South, the Northeast, the Midwest, the Canadian Rockies, the Dakotas, the Southwest, the Far West—anywhere there was a crowd willing to shell out a few dollars for an unforgettable evening.
Alan grew up around the team and describes in vivid detail the comedy routines of Richard “King Tut” King, “Spec Bebob” Bell, Reece “Goose” Tatum; the “warpaint” and outlandish costumes worn by players in the early days; and the crowd-pleasing displays of amazing skill known as pepperball and shadowball. These men were entertainers, but they were also among the most gifted athletes of their day, making a living in sports the only way a black man could. They played to win.
More than just a baseball story, these recollections tell the story of great societal changes in America from the roaring twenties, through the years of the Great Depression and World War II, and into the Civil Rights era.
In this third edition of his lively history of America's game--widely recognized as the best of its kind--Benjamin G. Rader expands his scope to include commentary on Major League Baseball through the 2006 season: record crowds and record income, construction of new ballparks, a change in the strike zone, a surge in recruiting Japanese players, and an emerging cadre of explosive long-ball hitters.
In this fourth edition, Benjamin G. Rader updates the text with a portrait of baseball's new order. He charts an on-the-field game transformed by analytics, an influx of Latino and Asian players, and a generation of players groomed for brute power both on the mound and at the plate. He also analyzes the behind-the-scenes revolution that brought in billions of dollars from a synergy of marketing and branding prowess, visionary media development, and fan-friendly ballparks abuzz with nonstop entertainment. The result is an entertaining and comprehensive tour of a game that, whatever its changes, always reflects American society and culture.
Baseball and Country Music
Don Cusic University of Wisconsin Press, 2003 Library of Congress GV867.64.C87 2003 | Dewey Decimal 796.3570973
The histories of baseball and country music ran in parallel tracks through most of the twentieth century. America’s sport and America’s music moved from the fringes to the mainstream, gaining exposure and building heroes, first via radio broadcasts and then on the television screen. Both evolved with American society through wartime, the Civil Rights movement, and into the age of multimillion dollar superstars. Don Cusic offers an engaging and insightful analysis that addresses race, gender, class, ethnicity, business practices and marketing, performance, media, and the cult of celebrity.
Baseball has long been considered America’s “national pastime,” touted variously as a healthy diversion, a symbol of national unity, and a model of democratic inclusion. But, according to Michael Butterworth, such favorable rhetoric belies baseball’s complicity in the rhetorical construction of a world defined by good and evil.
Baseball and Rhetorics of Purity is an investigation into the culture and mythology of baseball, a study of its limits and failures, and an invitation to remake the game in a more democratic way. It pays special attention to baseball’s role in the reconstruction of American identity after September 11, 2001. This study is framed by a discussion that links the development of baseball to the discourses of innocence and purity in 19th-century America. From there, it examines ritual performances at baseball games; a traveling museum exhibit sponsored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; the recent debate about the use of performance-enhancing drugs; the return of Major League Baseball to Washington, D.C., in 2005; and the advent of the World Baseball Classic in 2006.
Butterworth argues that by promoting myths of citizenship and purity, post-9/11 discourse concerning baseball ironically threatens the health of the democratic system and that baseball cannot be viewed as an innocent diversion or escape. Instead, Butterworth highlights how the game on the field reflects a more complex and diverse worldview, and makes a plea for the game’s recovery, both as a national pastime and as a site for celebrating the best of who we are and who we can be.
Baseball seems tailor-made for the historian, yet even today, after almost a century and a half of organized play, baseball's origins remain unclear. Most accounts focus on Eastern teams and the advent of professionals, but how the game spread across a predominantly rural America to become our national pastime is a question still largely unresolved.
In this well-researched study of Michigan baseball from the 1830s to the 1870s, baseball scholar Peter Morris offers many answers. Drawing on such sources as personal memoirs, period photographs, and an extensive, often hilarious variety of newspaper accounts, he paints a vivid portrait of a game that was widely---if erratically---played well before the Civil War and gradually evolved from an informal amusement into an activity for local groups of young men and finally into a serious, organized sport.
Baseball began with pick-up "raisin'" games---so called because they took place after rural roof-raisings---played purely for fun by any number of participants, with myriad local variations. The first amateur clubs appeared in the 1850s and were often ridiculed for playing a child's game---"baseball fever" was then a term of mockery---but as they persevered and issued challenges to other teams from nearby towns, rivalries developed, rules began to conform, and a tradition started to take shape.
Tournaments, often connected with county fairs, and increased newspaper coverage gave the game new momentum after the Civil War, and what had been sociable matches became serious contests, sometimes marred by bad blood. Enclosed grounds changed the nature of the game--most notably with respect to home runs--and allowed teams to charge admission, which introduced a new element of commercialism, community involvement, and a heightened sense of competition. Ultimately, it brought about a level of play that made the best "amateur" clubs able to challenge professional teams from the East when they toured the country.
As he traces the exploits of clubs like the Excelsiors, the Wahoos, and the Unknowns, season by season and often game by game, Morris adds a wealth of new detail to the story of baseball's early days, showing how decades of at least nominally amateur play prepared the way for the advent of the National League in the 1870s, and with it the true beginnings of the professional sport we know today. In the process, he also paints a fascinating portrait of the attitudes, values, and lives of rural Americans in the mid-nineteenth century.
Peter Morris, a former English instructor at Michigan State University, is a specialist in nineteenth-century baseball and an active member of the Society for American Baseball Research.
Even before the 1889 baseball season began, battle lines had been drawn, revels this history of 19th-century baseball. In the National League, The Players Brotherhood, led by New York Giants shortstop John Montgomery Ward, challenged the insulting classification system devised by league owners. While American Association players had no brotherhood, they proved capable of organizing impromptu responses to abusive treatment by owners. Owners battled with their players and yet struggled to control overflow crowds on weekends and holidays as both major leagues staged the closest, most exciting pennant races to that time. Americans responded by pouring into ballparks in record-setting numbers.
The controversial 1922 Federal Baseball Supreme Court ruling held that the "business of base ball" was not subject to the Sherman Antitrust Act because it did not constitute interstate commerce. In Baseball on Trial, legal scholar Nathaniel Grow defies conventional wisdom to explain why the unanimous Supreme Court opinion authored by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, which gave rise to Major League Baseball's exemption from antitrust law, was correct given the circumstances of the time.
Currently a billion dollar enterprise, professional baseball teams crisscross the country while the games are broadcast via radio, television, and internet coast to coast. The sheer scope of this activity would seem to embody the phrase "interstate commerce." Yet baseball is the only professional sport--indeed the sole industry--in the United States that currently benefits from a judicially constructed antitrust immunity. How could this be?
Drawing upon recently released documents from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Grow analyzes how the Supreme Court reached this seemingly peculiar result by tracing the Federal Baseball litigation from its roots in 1914 to its resolution in 1922, in the process uncovering significant new details about the proceedings. Grow observes that while interstate commerce was measured at the time by the exchange of tangible goods, baseball teams in the 1910s merely provided live entertainment to their fans, while radio was a fledgling technology that had little impact on the sport. The book ultimately concludes that, despite the frequent criticism of the opinion, the Supreme Court's decision was consistent with the conditions and legal climate of the early twentieth century.
Baseball's Greatest Series details what many believe to be the most exciting postseason series in baseball history: the 1995 Division Series between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners.
This division series was not simply about two teams playing five postseason games. It was about Ken Griffey Jr., Lou Piniella, Buck Showalter, Gene Michael, Jim Leyritz, Randy Johnson, Wade Boggs, Tony Fernandez, Pat Kelly, Dion James, Darryl Strawberryùand many others who changed the course of baseball history . . .
A team playing to keep baseball alive in the Pacific Northwest
A manager who was literally managing for his job
A New York sports icon who for one week reminded everybody of the dominating player he had been a decade earlier
Chris Donnelly's replay of this entire season reminds readers that it was a time when grown men cried their eyes out after defeat, and others, just a few hundred feet away, poured beer and champagne over one another while 57,000 people in Seattle's Kingdome celebrated. Five games they were. Five games that reminded people, after the devastating players' strike in 1994, how great a game baseball is because comebacks are always possible, no matter how great the obstacles may seem.
From Don Mattingly's only postseason home run, which caused a near riot, to Edgar Martinez's legendary eleventh inning series-clinching double, Donnelly chronicles the earlier struggles of both teams during the 1980s, their mid-1990s resurgence, all five heart-stopping games of the series, and the dramatic and long-lasting effects of Seattle's victory. Simply stated, Baseball's Greatest Series hits a home run.
Baseball’ s Natural: The Story of Eddie Waitkus is John Theodore’ s true account of the slick-fielding first baseman who played for the Cubs and Phillies in the 1940s and became an immortalized figure in baseball lore as the inspiration for Roy Hobbs in Bernard Malamud’ s The Natural.
The son of Lithuanian immigrants, Edward Stephen Waitkus (1919– 1972) grew up in Boston and served in the Pacific during World War II. His army service in some of the war’ s bloodiest combat earned him four Bronze Stars. Following the war, Waitkus became one of the most popular players of his era. As a rookie he led the Cubs in hitting in 1946 and quickly established himself as one of the best first basemen in the National League. To the disappointment of fans, the Cubs traded Waitkus to the Phillies in December of 1948. When he returned to Chicago in a Philadelphia uniform in June of the following year, he was hitting .306 and seemed destined for the All Star team.
On the night of June 14 at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, Waitkus’ s bright career took an infamously tragic turn. He received a cryptic note summoning him to meet a young fan, Ruth Steinhagen. When Waitkus entered her hotel room, she proclaimed, “ I have a surprise for you,” and then she just as quickly shot him in the chest. Steinhagen, then only nineteen, was one of the many young women— called “ Baseball Annies” – who were fanatic about the game and its players, though her obsession proved more dangerous than most. A criminal court indicted Steinhagen and confined her to a state mental hospital for nearly three years.
Waitkus survived the shooting, made an inspirational return to baseball in 1950, and led the Phillies to the World Series. While Waitkus triumphed over his assault, he could not conquer his private demons. Depression stemming from the attack led to a severe problem with alcohol, a failed marriage, and a nervous breakdown. Waitkus found some happiness in his final summers working with youngsters at the Ted Williams baseball camp. Cancer claimed him in 1972, just days after his fifty-third birthday.
Through interviews with Waitkus’ s family, fellow servicemen, former ballplayers, and childhood friends, and aided by fifteen photographs, Theodore chronicles Waitkus’ s remarkable comeback as well as the difficult years following his eleven-year major league career.
In Beep, David Wanczyk illuminates the sport of blind baseball to show us a remarkable version of America’s pastime. With balls tricked out to squeal three times per second, and with bases that buzz, this game of baseball for the blind is both innovative and intense. And when the best beep baseball team in America, the Austin Blackhawks, takes on its international rival, Taiwan Homerun, no one’s thinking about disability. What we find are athletes playing their hearts out for a championship.
Wanczyk follows teams around the world and even joins them on the field to produce a riveting inside narrative about the game and its players. Can Ethan Johnston, kidnapped and intentionally blinded as a child in Ethiopia, find a new home in beep baseball, and a spot on the all-star team? Will Taiwan’s rookie MVP Ching-kai Chen—whose superhuman feats on the field have left some veterans suspicious—keep up his incredible play? And can Austin’s Lupe Perez harness his competitive fire and lead his team to a long-awaited victory in the beep baseball world series?
Before the Curse: The Chicago Cubs' Glory Years, 1870–1945 brings to life the early history of the much beloved and often heartbreaking Chicago Cubs. Originally called the Chicago White Stockings, the team immediately established itself as a powerhouse, winning the newly formed National Base Ball League's inaugural pennant in 1876, repeating the feat in 1880 and 1881, and commanding the league in the decades to come. The legendary days of the Cubs are recaptured here in more than two dozen vintage newspaper accounts and historical essays on the teams and the fans who loved them. The great games, pennant races, and series are all here, including the 1906 World Series between the Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Of course, Before the Curse remembers the hall-of-fame players--Grover Cleveland Alexander, Gabby Hartnett, Roger Hornsby, Dizzy Dean--who delighted Cubs fans with their play on the field and their antics elsewhere.
Through stimulating introductions to each article, Randy Roberts and Carson Cunningham demonstrate how changes in ownership affected the success of the team, who the teams' major players were both on and off the field, and how regular fans, owners, players, journalists, and Chicagoans of the past talked and wrote about baseball.
All Cub fans know from heartbreak and curse-toting goats. Fewer know that, prior to moving to the north side in 1916, the team fielded powerhouse nines that regularly claimed the pennant. Before the Ivy offers a grandstand seat to a golden age:
• BEHOLD the 1871 team as it plays for the title in nine different borrowed uniforms after losing everything in the Great Chicago Fire
• ATTEND West Side Grounds at Polk and Wolcott with its barbershop quartet
• MARVEL as superstar Cap Anson hits .399, makes extra cash running a ballpark ice rink, and strikes out as an elected official
• WONDER at experiments with square bats and corked balls, the scandal of Sunday games and pre-game booze-ups, the brazen spitters and park dimensions changed to foil Ty Cobb
• THRILL to the poetic double-play combo of Tinker, Evers, and Chance even as they throw tantrums at umpires and punches at each other
Rich with Hall of Fame personalities and oddball stories, Before the Ivy opens a door to Chicago's own field of dreams and serves as every Cub fan's guide to a time when thoughts of "next year" filled rival teams with dread.
Mark McGwire, Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock. These famous Cardinals are known by baseball fans around the world. But who and what were the predecessors of these modern-day players and their team? In Before They Were Cardinals, Jon David Cash examines the infancy of major-league baseball in St. Louis during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. His in-depth analysis begins with an exploration of the factors that motivated civic leaders to form the city's first major-league ball club. Cash delves into the economic trade rivalry between Chicago and St. Louis and examines how St. Louis's attempt to compete with Chicago led to the formation of the St. Louis Brown Stockings in 1875. He then explains why, three years later, despite its initial success, St. Louis baseball quickly vanished from the big-league map.
St. Louis baseball was revived with the arrival of German immigrant saloon owner Chris Von der Ahe. Cash explains how Von der Ahe, originally only interested in concession rights, purchased a controlling interest in the Brown Stockings. His riveting account follows the team after Von der Ahe's purchase, from the formation of the American Association, to its merger in 1891 with the rival National League. He chronicles Von der Ahe's monetary downturn, and the club's decline as well, following the merger.
Before They Were Cardinals provides vivid portraits of the ball players and the participants involved in the baseball war between the National League and the American Association. Cash points out significant differences, such as Sunday games and beer sales, between the two Leagues. In addition, excerpts taken from Chicago and St. Louis newspapers make the on-field contests and off-field rivalries come alive. Cash concludes this lively historical narrative with an appendix that traces the issue of race in baseball during this period.
The excesses of modern-day baseball—players jumping contracts or holding out for more money, gambling on games, and drinking to excess; owners stealing players and breaking agreements—were all present in the nineteenth-century sport. Players were seen then, as they are now, as an embodiment of their community. This timely treatment of a fascinating period in St. Louis baseball history will appeal to both baseball aficionados and those who want to understand the history of baseball itself.
To provide this unique—if controversial—look at major league baseball as umpires see it, Lee Gutkind spent the 1974 season traveling with the umpiring crew of Doug Harvey (crew chief), Nick Colosi, Harry Wendelstedt, and Art Williams, the first black umpire in the National League. The result is an honest, realistic, insightful study of the private and professional world of major league umpires: their prejudices and petty biases, their unbending pride in their performance, their inside perspectives on the game, and their bitter criticism of the abuse often directed at their profession and at their conduct. As relevant today as it was in 1974, this illustrated chronicle shows how little has changed in the lives and duties of umpires in the last quarter century.
Guided by his passionate love for the game as he wrote The Best Seat in Baseball, But You Have to Stand!, Gutkind attempted to present the umpires in a positive but realistic light: "I portrayed them as real people, honorable, hard-working and dedicated, but with warts and flaws like the rest of us. But they didn't want to be compared with real people; they wanted to be umpires—on a plateau above most everyone else." Since the publication of this book in 1975, neither Harvey nor Wendelstedt have communicated with Gutkind, with Wendelstedt even denying that Gutkind traveled with the crew.
Bill Giles and Baseball
John B Lord Temple University Press, 2014 Library of Congress GV865.G+ | Dewey Decimal 796.357092
Bill Giles oversaw one of the greatest eras of winning that the Philadelphia Phillies ever enjoyed. In Bill Giles and Baseball, John Lord chronicles Giles' remarkable career--which includes 44 years with the Phillies--to provide an insider's view of the business of the sport, which takes place off the field.
Based on extensive interviews, Bill Giles and Baseball spans Giles' life from his childhood growing up in the game to the tumultuous years he spent as the president and managing partner of the Phillies. Purchasing the team in 1981, when baseball experienced its first serious labor stoppages, Giles also watched baseball add franchises, grapple with franchise fees, realign the leagues, and restructure baseball's postseason. Yet Giles, the public face of the Phillies championship teams of 1980, 1983, and 1993, is best remembered for his critical role in creating innovative TV deals, and leading the efforts to build the Phillies' beautiful new ballpark.
A book about the business of baseball as seen through the eyes of one of the architects of the game, Bill Giles and Baseball captures the spectacle of the sport through fascinating behind-the-scenes stories of our national pastime.
Baseball Hall of Famer Bill Veeck (1914–86) was an inspired team builder, a consummate showman, and one of the greatest baseball men ever involved in the game. Bill Veeck’s Crosstown Classic, drawn from his uproarious autobiography (cowritten with the talented sportswriter Ed Linn), is an unforgettable trip packed with anecdotes and insight about the history of baseball and tales of players and owners—some of the most entertaining stories in all of sports literature. Veeck’s own love for the game began when his father was manager and then President of the Chicago Cubs; upon his father’s death in 1930, Veeck was hired as an office boy for eighteen dollars a week. Here, Veeck recollects those halcyon days and how they underscored his development as a wily franchise owner, leading up to quite a rumpus, many years later, during his purchase of the White Sox from the “Battling Comiskeys.”
“The best all-around catcher in black baseball history”—Cumberland Posey, Owner of the Homestead Grays
National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher James Raleigh “Biz” Mackey’s professional career spanned nearly three decades in the Negro Leagues and elsewhere. He distinguished himself as a defensive catcher who also had an impressive batting average and later worked as a manager of the Newark Eagles and the Baltimore Elite Giants.
Using archival materials and interviews with former Negro League players, baseball historian Rich Westcott chronicles the catcher’s life and remarkable career in Biz Mackey, a Giant behind the Plate as well as providing an in-depth look at Philadelphia Negro League history. Westcott traces Mackey’s childhood in Texas as the son of sharecroppers to his success on the baseball diamond where he displayed extraordinary defensive skills and an exceptional ability to hit and to handle pitchers. Mackey spent one third of his career playing in Philadelphia, winning championships with the Hilldale Daisies and the Philadelphia Stars. Mackey also mentored famed catcher Roy Campanella and had an unlikely role in the story of baseball’s development in Japan.
A celebrated ballplayer before African Americans were permitted to join Major League Baseball, Biz Mackey ranks as one of the top catchers ever to play the game. With Biz Mackey, he finally gets the biography he deserves.
Disapproving scolds. Sexist condescension. Odd theories about the effect of exercise on reproductive organs. Though baseball began as a gender-neutral sport, girls and women of the nineteenth century faced many obstacles on their way to the diamond. Yet all-female nines took the field everywhere. Debra A. Shattuck pulls from newspaper accounts and hard-to-find club archives to reconstruct a forgotten era in baseball history. Her fascinating social history tracks women players who organized baseball clubs for their own enjoyment and found roster spots on men's teams. Entrepreneurs, meanwhile, packaged women's teams as entertainment, organizing leagues and barnstorming tours. If the women faced financial exploitation and indignities like playing against men in women's clothing, they and countless ballplayers like them nonetheless staked a claim to the nascent national pastime. Shattuck explores how the determination to take their turn at bat thrust female players into narratives of the women's rights movement and transformed perceptions of women's physical and mental capacity.
Someone lucky enough to live on Milwaukee’s near north side between 1888 and 1952 could experience the world without ever leaving the neighborhood. Nestled between North Seventh and Eighth Streets and West Chambers and Burleigh, Borchert Field was Milwaukee’s major sports venue for 64 years. In this rickety wooden stadium (originally called Athletic Park), Wisconsin residents had a close-up view of sports history in the making, along with rodeos, thrill shows, and even multiple eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. In Borchert Field, baseball historian Bob Buege introduces the famous and fascinating athletes who dazzled audiences in Milwaukee’s venerable ballpark. All the legendary baseball figures—the Bambino, Satchel Paige, Ty Cobb, Joltin’ Joe, Jackie Robinson, the Say Hey Kid—played there. Olympic heroes Jim Thorpe, Babe Didrikson, and Jesse Owens displayed their amazing talents in Borchert. Knute Rockne’s Fighting Irish competed there, and Curly Lambeau’s Green Bay Packers took the field 10 times. Buege tells stories of other monumental moments at Borchert as well, including a presidential visit, women ballplayers, the arrival of television broadcasting, the 1922 national balloon race, and an appearance by scat-singing bandleader Cab Calloway. Borchert Field is long gone, but every page of this book takes readers back to the sights, sounds, and spectacle of its heyday.
Skillfully edited by John McNally, Bottom of the Ninth: Great Contemporary Baseball Short Stories collects nineteen contemporary baseball short stories from a successful mix of well-established writers, lesser-knowns, and a few up-and-comers. These stories are characterized by the same dramatic elements that draw people to the sport itself— the mythologizing of players, the obsessions and romance of the game, the bonds between players and fans, parents and children. From a key play, a missed catch, a chance lost, these are tales of characters facing high stakes and calls to action, metaphorically and literally, in the bottom of the ninth.
Rather than as a Falstaffian figure of limited intellect, Edmund Wehrle reveals Babe Ruth as an ambitious, independent operator, one not afraid to challenge baseball’s draconian labor system. To the baseball establishment, Ruth’s immense popularity represented opportunity, but his rebelliousness and potential to overturn the status quo presented a threat. After a decades-long campaign waged by baseball to contain and discredit him, the Babe, frustrated and struggling with injuries and illness, grew more acquiescent, but the image of Ruth that baseball perpetuated still informs how many people remember Babe Ruth to this day. This new perspective, approaching Ruth more seriously and placing his life in fuller context, is long overdue.
While baseball is traditionally perceived as a game to be played, enjoyed, and reported from a masculine perspective, it has long been beloved among women— more so than any other spectator sport. Breaking into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime upends baseball’ s accepted history to at last reveal just how involved women are, and have always been, in the American game.
Through provocative interviews and deft research, Jean Hastings Ardell devotes a detailed chapter to each of the seven ways women participate in the game— from the stands as fans, on the field as professionals or as amateur players, behind the plate as umpires, in the front office as executives, in the press box as sportswriters and reporters, or in the shadows as Baseball Annies. From these revelatory vantage points, Ardell invites overdue appreciation for the affinity and talent women bring to baseball at all levels and shows us our national game anew.
From its ancient origins in spring fertility rituals through contemporary marketing efforts geared toward an ever-increasing female fan base, baseball has always had a feminine side, and generations of women have sought— and been sought after— to participate in the sport, even when doing so meant challenging the cultural mores of their era. In that regard, women have been breaking into baseball from the very beginning. But recent decades have witnessed great strides in legitimizing women’ s roles on the diamond as players and umpires as well as in vital management and media roles. In her thoughtfully organized and engagingly written survey, Ardell offers a chance for sports enthusiasts and historians of both genders to better appreciate the storied and complex relationship women have so long shared with the game and to glimpse the future of women in baseball.
Breaking into Baseball is augmented by twenty-four illustrations and a foreword from Ila Borders, the first woman to play more than three seasons of men’ s professional baseball.
The Burden of Over-representation artfully explores three curious racial moments in sport: Jackie Robinson’s expletive at a Dodgers spring training game; the transformation of a formality into an event at the end of the 1995 rugby World Cup in South Africa; and a spectral moment at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Grant Farred examines the connotations at play in these moments through the lenses of race, politics, memory, inheritance and conciliation, deploying a surprising cast of figures in Western thought, ranging from Jacques Derrida and Friedrich Nietzsche to Judith Butler, William Shakespeare, and Jesus-the-Christ. Farred makes connection and creates meaning through the forces at play and the representational burdens of team, country and race.
Farred considers Robinson’s profane comments at black Dodgers fans, a post-match exchange of “thank yous” on the rugby pitch between white South African captain François Pienaar and Nelson Mandela, and being “haunted” by the ghost of Derrida on the occasion of the first FIFA World Cup on African soil. In doing so, The Burden of Over-representation provides a passionate, insightful analysis of the social, political, racial, and cultural consequences of conciliation at key sporting events.
Heralded by local and national media as perhaps baseball's most devoted followers, the lovers of St. Louis's legendary Redbirds have a special bond with their team. Cardinal Memories: Recollections from Baseball's Greatest Fans celebrates this relationship by focusing on the people in the stands. A collection of essays gathered from around the world, from St. Louis to Hong Kong, Cardinal Memories forms a history of the team the way it is best remembered—through the eyes and hearts of its fans.
By turns funny and poignant, these stories chronicle Cardinal teams and players from the Gashouse Gang to the Swifties, from El Birdos to Whiteyball and Big Mac. The bond between parent and child, the generosity of numerous players, and the power of a single game to unite thousands of people are only a few of the themes that run throughout this remarkable collection. Whether it's the tale of young fans clamoring at a bus stop for a glimpse of Stan the Man, a surprise gift from the "Mad Hungarian," or Mark McGwire's "71st" home run, these vignettes capture the joy, heartbreak, and passion of being a Cardinal fan.
Focusing on the game's emotional appeal, Cardinal Memories is about more than baseball—its evocative tales capture the game's deeper meanings and offer readers an affectionate slice of Americana. Transcending Cardinal country, these touching stories will appeal to baseball fans and sports enthusiasts everywhere.
The Manager's Guide for Staying in First Place ... and the worker's guide for becoming a manager!
Cubs fans have often focused on one or two star performers, to the detriment of the team's overall performance.
Stars have often been selfish and devoted to their own success. Leaders have toleratged them, often at a price
to the whole team. Effective leadership recognizes the dangers in this situation. Here's their antidote--in a
highly-readable book that's hot off the press! Foreword by bestselling-author Ken Blanchard.
Danny Litwhiler is one of the lucky players in baseball to "live the dream" of playing in not one, but two World Series during his eleven and a half year career in the majors. In 1942, he set a record for 151 consecutive errorless games as an outfielder—rather ironic since he led the league in errors (15) the year before! Litwhiler's engaging memoir chronicles playing, teaching, and coaching baseball during eight decades, starting with his childhood in Ringtown, PA to playing for his favorite team, the Philadelphia Phillies. After his career in the majors, Litwhiler coached college baseball, and over 100 of his students, including Steve Garvey, Dick Howser, and Kirk Gibson, later signed professional contracts. Litwhiler spent his life loving what he does, and passing his knowledge and enthusiasm for baseball on to others. Danny Litwhiler: Living the Baseball Dream conveys Litwhiler's passion for the game as he fondly recalls playing with legends like Jackie Robinson and Enos Slaughter. But Danny Litwhiler was more than just a player and coach. He invented many devices used in the game today, such as the Jugs radar gun, which measures the velocity of pitches. And he was a goodwill ambassador for baseball—promoting it internationally, from Central and South America to Europe and Japan. He has lived a baseball life.
Dead Balls and Double Curves: An Anthology of Early Baseball Fiction collects twenty-two classic stories from baseball’s youth, presented in chronological order to capture the development of this most American of sports. Many of these tales have never before been reprinted, adding historical value to the rich literary merits of this anthology.
Editor Trey Strecker’s collection begins with an informal village match in an excerpt from James Fenimore Cooper’s Home as Found (1838), published the year prior to Abner Doubleday’s alleged invention of the game outside Cooperstown, New York, and concludes with the arrival of the superstar slugger that signaled the end of the dead-ball era in Heywood Broun’s The Sun Field (1923). The sampling of fiction from the eighty-five-year interim loads the bases with the humor, realism, and athletic gallantry of the sport’s earliest years. Not all grandstanding and heroism, these stories also explore cultural and class conflicts, racial strife, town rivalries, labor disputes, gambling scandals, and the striking personalities that decorated a simple game’s evolution into a national pastime.
Dead Balls and Double Curves presents a lineup of first-division writers, including Mark Twain, Frank Norris, Christy Mathewson, Edna Ferber, and the game’s poet laureate, Ring Lardner, plus legendary characters such as Baseball Joe, South-Paw Skaggs, Tin Can Tommy, and the sole artiste of the mythic double curve, Frank Merriwell. Throughout the volume, each author’s abiding affection for the game and its characters shines through with diamond-like focus.
The Detroit Tigers Reader
Tom Stanton, Editor University of Michigan Press, 2005 Library of Congress GV875.D6D48 2005 | Dewey Decimal 796.357640977434
The Detroit Tigers Reader celebrates the great moments and personalities of the city's rich baseball history.
The story of the Tigers---like the story of Detroit itself---is one of resilience and endurance. For baseball fans it's also an intensely personal one: Detroit Tigers baseball has flowed through the veins of generations of families.
The essays, articles, and letters in The Detroit Tigers Reader capture those stories and the essence of the Tigers' spirit, tracing the history of the team from its first game on April 25, 1901, up through the arrival of "Pudge" Rodriguez in 2004. With contributions from some of the greatest sportswriters and athletes, as well as local journalists and fans, The Detroit Tigers Reader charts the highs and lows of one of the most extraordinary and celebrated teams in baseball history.
Includes contributions from
Fred “Dixie” Walker was a gifted ballplayer from a family of gifted athletes. (His father, uncle, and brother all played major league baseball.) Dixie Walker played in the majors for 18 seasons and in 1,905 games, assembling a career batting average of .306 while playing for the Yankees, White Sox, Tigers, Dodgers, and Pirates. Walker won the 1944 National League batting title, was three times an All-Star, and was runner-up for Most Valuable Player in the National League in 1946. He was particularly beloved by Brooklyn Dodgers fans, to whom he was the “People’s Choice.”
But few remember any of those achievements today. Dixie Walker—born in Georgia, and a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, for most of his life—is now most often remembered as one of the southerners on the Dodgers team who resented and resisted Jackie Robinson when he joined the ball club in 1947, as the fi rst African American major leaguer in the modern game. Having grown up in conditions of strict racial segregation, Walker later admitted to being under pressure from Alabama business associates when, in protest, he demanded to be traded away from the Dodgers.
Written by a professional sportswriter knowledgeable of the era and of personalities surrounding that event, and Dixie Walker’s daughter, this collaborative work provides a fuller account of Walker and fleshes out our understanding of him as a player and as a man. Walker ultimately came to respect Robinson, referred to him as “a gentleman,” and gave him pointers, calling him “as outstanding an athlete as I ever saw.”
Pedro Martínez. Sammy Sosa. Manny Ramírez. By 2000, Dominican baseball players were in every Major League clubhouse, and regularly winning every baseball award. In 2002, Omar Minaya became the first Dominican general manager of a Major League team. But how did this codependent relationship between MLB and Dominican talent arise and thrive?
In his incisive and engaging book, Dominican Baseball, Alan Klein examines the history of MLB's presence and influence in the Dominican Republic, the development of the booming industry and academies, and the dependence on Dominican player developers, known as buscones. He also addresses issues of identity fraud and the use of performance-enhancing drugs as hopefuls seek to play professionally.
Dominican Baseball charts the trajectory of the economic flows of this transnational exchange, and the pride Dominicans feel in their growing influence in the sport. Klein also uncovers the prejudice that prompts MLB to diminish Dominican claims on legitimacy. This sharp, smartly argued book deftly chronicles the uneasy and often contested relations of the contemporary Dominican game and industry.
Of all the great ballplayers to wear Yankee pinstripes, Elston Howard was among the proudest. Remarkable temperament and courage made him the Jackie Robinson of baseball's most storied franchise. No Yankee carried himself with more dignity. No Yankee had greater respect for his teammates or love for his wife and family. And no one loved being a Yankee more than Elston Howard.
In Elston and Me, Howard's widow, Arlene, and coauthor Ralph Wimbish recall the life of the first black to play baseball for the New York Yankees. Howard, who played fourteen major-league seasons, was signed by the Yankees in 1950, but the reluctance of the Yankee organization to break the color barrier held Howard back from the major leagues until 1955 when he was twenty-six years old.
By 1961, the year he batted .348 for the Yankees, Elston had become the everyday catcher. Voted the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1963, Howard was a three-time Gold Glove winner, and his fielding average of the same year remains one of the highest among catchers in major-league history.
In 1967, with the Yankee dynasty in decay, Elston was traded to the Boston Red Sox, although Yankee management had promised him that he would finish his career in pinstripes. After contemplating retirement, he moved to Boston late that season and helped the Red Sox win the "Impossible Dream" pennant. After one more season with the Red Sox, he returned to the Yankees as the first black coach in the American League. Howard died at the age of fifty-one without fulfilling his dream of becoming baseball's first black manager.
Beginning with Howard's early years as a St. Louis teenager, the book relates his encounters with racism and his love of baseball. He began his professional career for the legendary Negro League team the Kansas City Monarchs. His three decades with the New York Yankees include numerous anecdotes about fellow Yankee legends such as Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra. With countless personal moments and never-before- published photographs and clippings from family albums, Elston and Me is the touching story of one of baseball's great players.
With its iconic stars and gleaming ballparks, baseball has been one of the most captivating forms of modern popular culture. In Expanding the Strike Zone, Daniel A. Gilbert examines the history and meaning of the sport's tumultuous changes since the mid-twentieth century, amid Major League Baseball's growing global influence. From the rise of ballplayer unionism to the emergence of new forms of scouting, broadcasting, and stadium development, Gilbert shows that the baseball world has been home to struggles over work and territory that resonate far beyond the playing field.
Readers encounter both legendary and unheralded figures in this sweeping history, which situates Major League Baseball as part of a larger culture industry. The book examines a labor history defined at once by the growing power of big league stars -- from Juan Marichal and Curt Flood to Fernando Valenzuela and Ichiro Suzuki -- and the collective struggles of players working to make a living throughout the baseball world. It also explores the territorial politics that have defined baseball's development as a form of transnational popular culture, from the impact of Dominican baseball academies to the organized campaign against stadium development by members of Seattle's Asian American community.
Based on a rich body of research along with new readings of popular journalism, fiction, and film, Expanding the Strike Zone highlights the ways in which baseball's players, owners, writers, and fans have shaped and reshaped the sport as a central element of popular culture from the postwar boom to the Great Recession.
A Farewell to Heroes
Frank Graham Jr. Foreword by W.C. Heinz Southern Illinois University Press, 2003 Library of Congress GV742.42.G7A34 2003 | Dewey Decimal 070.449796092
Originally published in 1981 and long out of print, this dual autobiography covers five unforgettable decades of the New York sporting life from 1915 to 1965. Told initially from the point of view of Frank Graham, premier sportswriter for TheNew York Sun, A Farewell to Heroes also includes the chronicles of Frank, Jr., who picks up the narrative as he becomes a sports journalist in his own right.
Frank Graham, Sr., was a self-taught writer known for his uncanny ability to capture the high drama of a game-winning play or the color of a fight mob’ s conversation in spare, straightforward prose. As a reporter, he covered the rough-and-tumble Giants of John McGraw’ s day and continued through boxing’ s greatest era, spanning the reigns of Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis.
As the younger Frank tells more of the story, we watch Lou Gehrig take Babe Ruth’ s place as the Yankees’ star and then trace his glorious career to its tragic conclusion. We see firsthand the legendary Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson and boxing’ s brief but golden age on television in the 1950s.
Aided by sixteen photographs and preserving the most masterful of his father’ s writing while adding to it the best of his own, Frank Graham, Jr., has given the sports fan A Farewell to Heroes, perhaps the ultimate sports reminiscence of a time when the romance of sport gave life a golden hue, when heroes still roamed the earth.
“ In what he calls this ‘ kind of dual autobiography,’ he is his father’ s son, having learned to look and listen as his father did and still go his own way,” says W. C. Heinz, longtime sportswriter for The New York Sun, in his new foreword to this paperback edition.
During star-pitcher Bob Gibson’s most brilliant season, the turbulent summer of 1968, he started thirty-four games and pitched every inning in twenty-eight of them, shutting out the opponents in almost half of those complete games. After their record-breaking season, Gibson and his teammates were stunned to lose the 1968 World Series to the Detroit Tigers. For the next six years, as Bob Gibson struggled to maintain his pitching excellence at the end of his career, changes in American culture ultimately changed the St. Louis Cardinals and the business and pastime of baseball itself.
Set against the backdrop of American history and popular culture, from the protests of the Vietnam War to the breakup of the Beatles, the story of the Cardinals takes on new meaning as another aspect of the changes happening at that time. In the late 1960s, exorbitant salaries and free agency was threatening to change America’s game forever and negatively impact the smaller-market teams in Major League Baseball. As the Cardinals’ owner August A. Busch Jr. and manager Albert “Red” Schoendienst attempted to reinvent the team, restore its cohesiveness, and bring new blood in to propel the team back to contention for the pennant, Gibson remained the one constant on the team.
In looking back on his career, Gibson mourned the end of the Golden Era of baseball and believed that the changes in the game would be partially blamed on him, as his pitching success caused team owners to believe that cash-paying customers only wanted base hits and home runs. Yet, he contended, the shrinking of the strike zone, the lowering of the mound, and the softening of the traditional rancor between the hitter and pitcher forever changed the role of the pitcher in the game and created a more politically correct version of the sport.
Throughout Gibson’s Last Stand, Doug Feldmann captivates readers with the action of the game, both on and off the field, and interjects interesting and detailed tidbits on players’ backgrounds that often tie them to famous players of the past, current stars, and well-known contemporary places. Feldmann also entwines the teams history with Missouri history: President Truman and the funeral procession for President Eisenhower through St. Louis; Missouri sports legends Dizzy Dean, Mark McGwire, and Stan “the Man” Musial; and legendary announcers Harry Caray and Jack Buck. Additionally, a helpful appendix provides National League East standings from 1969 to 1975.
Bob Gibson remains one of the most unique, complex, and beloved players in Cardinals history. In this story of one of the least examined parts of his career—his final years on the team—Feldmann takes readers into the heart of his complexity and the changes that swirled around him.
The authoritative compendium of facts, statistics, photographs, and analysis that defines baseball in its formative first decades.
This comprehensive reference work covers the early years of major league baseball from the first game—May 4, 1871, a 2-0 victory for the Fort Wayne Kekiongas over the visiting Cleveland Forest City team—through the 1900 season. Baseball historian David Nemec presents complete team rosters and detailed player, manager, and umpire information, with a wealth of statistics to warm a fan’s heart.
Sidebars cover a variety of topics, from oddities—the team that had the best record but finished second—to analyses of why Cleveland didn’t win any pennants in the 1890s. Additional benefits include dozens of rare illustrations and narrative accounts of each year’s pennant race. Nemec also carefully charts the rule changes from year to year as the game developed by fits and starts to formulate the modern rules. The result is an essential work of reference and at the same time a treasury of baseball history.
This new edition adds much material unearthed since the first edition, fills gaps, and corrects errors, while presenting a number of new stories and fascinating details. David Nemec began the lifetime labor that helped produced this work in 1954 and admits it may never end, as there always will be some obscure player whose birth date has not yet been found. Until perfection is achieved, this work offers state-of-the-art accuracy and detail beyond that supplied by even modern baseball encyclopedias. As Casey Stengel, who was born during this era, was wont to say, “you could look it up.” Now you can.
Generations after its demise, Ebbets Field remains the single most colorful and enduring image of a baseball park, with a treasured niche in the game's legacy and the American imagination.
In this lively story of sports, politics, and the talented, hilarious, and charming characters associated with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Bob McGee chronicles the ballpark's vibrant history from the drawing board to the wrecking ball, beginning with Charley Ebbets and the heralded opening in 1913, on through the eras that followed. McGee weaves a story about how Ebbets Field's architectural details, notable flaws, and striking facade brought Brooklyn and its team together in ways that allowed each to define the other.
Drawing on original interviews and letters, as well as published and archival sources, The Greatest Ballpark Ever explores the struggle of Charley Ebbets to build Ebbets Field, the days of Wilbert Robinson's early pennant winners, the eras of the Daffiness Boys, Larry MacPhail, and Branch Rickey, the tumultuous field leadership of Leo the Lip, the fiery triumph of Jackie Robinson, the golden days of the Boys of Summer, and Walter O'Malley's ignominious departure.
With humor and passion, The Greatest Ballpark Ever lets readers relive a day in the raucous ballpark with its quirky angles and its bent right-field wall, with the characters and events that have become part of the nation's folklore.
Long before Moneyball became a sensation or Nate Silver turned the knowledge he’d honed on baseball into electoral gold, John Thorn and Pete Palmer were using statistics to shake the foundations of the game. First published in 1984, The Hidden Game of Baseball ushered in the sabermetric revolution by demonstrating that we were thinking about baseball stats—and thus the game itself—all wrong. Instead of praising sluggers for gaudy RBI totals or pitchers for wins, Thorn and Palmer argued in favor of more subtle measurements that correlated much more closely to the ultimate goal: winning baseball games.
The new gospel promulgated by Thorn and Palmer opened the door for a flood of new questions, such as how a ballpark’s layout helps or hinders offense or whether a strikeout really is worse than another kind of out. Taking questions like these seriously—and backing up the answers with data—launched a new era, showing fans, journalists, scouts, executives, and even players themselves a new, better way to look at the game.
This brand-new edition retains the body of the original, with its rich, accessible analysis rooted in a deep love of baseball, while adding a new introduction by the authors tracing the book’s influence over the years. A foreword by ESPN’s lead baseball analyst, Keith Law, details The Hidden Game’s central role in the transformation of baseball coverage and team management and shows how teams continue to reap the benefits of Thorn and Palmer’s insights today. Thirty years after its original publication, The Hidden Game is still bringing the high heat—a true classic of baseball literature.
1942: Americans suddenly found themselves at war but were not about to be distracted from the National Pastime. The Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees were looking to continue their World Series rivalry from the 1941 season, and a youthful team from St. Louis was determined to stop them.
With only one player older than thirty, the St. Louis Cardinals were the youngest team to win the National League pennant and World Series. Built on good pitching and tremendous speed on the base paths and in the field, the team featured rookie Stan Musial, future Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter, and ace pitcher Mort Cooper, the National League’s Most Valuable Player of 1942. With their winningest season ever, posting 106 victories, the 1942 Redbirds have been called the greatest Cardinal team of all time.
Jerome Mileur was just a kid from downstate Illinois, but he well remembers his view of one game from the left-field grandstand—and the thrill of attending the second game of the World Series. In this book, he brings a sure and loving grasp of his subject to reconstructing one of the most remarkable pennant drives in modern baseball history, with the Cards winning forty-three of their last fifty-one games and clinching first place on the last day of the season.
Mileur provides a game-by-game account of the season with play-by-play action, not only capturing all the thrills on the Cards’ way to the top but also conveying the physical and mental demands that the players endured. Counted out by nearly everyone but themselves in August, the Redbirds caught fire in the season’s final weeks to pass the seemingly unbeatable Dodgers. And by winning four games out of five to defeat the New York Yankees for the championship, they handed Joe DiMaggio his only World Series defeat.
More than a recapitulation of a thrilling season, Mileur’s book is a reminder of how major-league baseball in 1942 differed in so many ways from today’s game—one startling example is Mileur’s account of how the absence of outfield warning tracks contributed to a devastating injury to Brooklyn’s star outfielder, Pete Reiser. The tenor of the times is reflected as well in the juxtaposition of the baseball season with the United States’ first year in the Second World War.
The 1942 Cardinals were not only a remarkable team unto themselves but also the beginning of a new baseball dynasty—1942’s pennant was the first of three in a row for the Cards, as well as the first of three World Series victories in a space of five seasons. This account of that tremendous season is a page-turner for anyone who loves the game and a must-read for Cardinals fans.
For more than a century, the University of Wisconsin fielded baseball teams. This comprehensive history combines colorful stories from the archives, interviews with former players and coaches, a wealth of historic photographs, and the statistics beloved by fans of the game. The earliest intercollegiate varsity sport at Wisconsin, the baseball team was founded in 1870, less than a decade after the start of the Civil War. It dominated its first league, made an unprecedented trip to Japan in 1909, survived Wisconsin's chilly spring weather, two world wars, and perennial budget crises, producing some of the finest players in Big Ten history—and more than a few major leaguers. Fan traditions included torchlight parades, kazoos, and the student band playing "A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight" as early as 1901.
There is painful history here, too. African Americans played on Wisconsin's first Big Ten championship team in 1902, including team captain Julian Ware, but there were none on the team between 1904 and 1960. Heartbreaking to many fans was the 1991 decision to discontinue baseball as a varsity sport at the university. Today, Wisconsin is the only member of the Big Ten conference without a men's baseball team.
Appendixes provide details of team records and coaches, All Big Ten and All American selections, Badgers in the major leagues, and Badgers in the amateur free-agent draft.
When the struggling Boston Braves relocated to Milwaukee in March 1953, the city went wild for its new baseball team. Soon, the Braves were winning games, drawing bigger crowds than any team but the Brooklyn Dodgers, and turning Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, and Warren Spahn into Hall of Famers. Within five years the team would win a World Series and two pennants.
It seemed the dawn of a new dynasty. Impassioned fans wore their hearts on their sleeves. Yet in October 1964 team owners made a shocking announcement: the Braves were moving to Atlanta.
In the decades since, many have tried to understand why the Braves left Milwaukee. Fans blamed greedy owners and the lure of Coca Cola cash. Team management claimed they weren't getting enough local support. Patrick Steele delves deeply into all facets of the story, looking at the changing business of baseball in the 1960s, the interactions of the team owners with the government officials who controlled County Stadium, the surging success of the Green Bay Packers, and much more, to understand how the "Milwaukee Miracle" went south.
Honus Wagner: A Biography
Dennis Devaleria University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998 Library of Congress GV865.W33D38 1998 | Dewey Decimal 796.357092
With the coming of the twentieth century, America was thinking on a grand scale. Barriers of communication and transportation were being overcome and giants such as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and William Randolph Hearst walked the land. The nation’s game was baseball, and its giant was Honus Wagner. In 1996, a baseball card depicting Honus Wagner sold for $640,500 - the largest sum ever paid at auction for a sports artifact. What could possibly make that piece of cardboard, approximately one-and-a-half by two-and-a-half inches, worth more than half a million dollars? The DeValerias tell the unique story behind this now-famous baseball card and the man depicted on it. In doing so, they accurately present the local, regional, and national context so readers gain a thorough understanding of Wagner’s times.Wagner’s gradual emergence from the pack into stardom and popularity is described here in rich detail, but the book also reveals much of Wagner’s family and personal life - his minor leauge career, his values, his failed business ventures during the Depression, and his later years. Neither the “rowdy-ball” ruffian nor the teetotal saint constructed of legend, Wagner is presented here in a complete portrait - one that offers a vivid impression of the era when baseball was America’s game and the nation was evolving into the world’s industrial leader.
David W. Zang played junior high school basketball in a drained swimming pool. He wore a rubber suit to bed to make weight for a wrestling meet. He kept a log as an obsessive runner (not a jogger). In short, he soldiered through the life of an ordinary athlete.
Whether pondering his long-unbuilt replica of Connie Mack Stadium or his eye-opening turn as the Baltimore Ravens' mascot, Zang offers tales at turns poignant and hilarious as he engages with the passions that shaped his life. Yet his meditations also probe the tragedy of a modern athletic culture that substitutes hyped spectatorship for participation. As he laments, American society's increasing scorn for taking part in play robs adults of the life-affirming virtues of games that challenge us to accomplish the impossible for the most transcendent of reasons: to see if it can be done.
From teammates named Lop to tracing Joe Paterno's long shadow over Happy Valley, I Wore Babe Ruth's Hat reports from the everyman's Elysium where games and life intersect.
If You Were Only White explores the legacy of one of the most exceptional athletes ever—an entertainer extraordinaire, a daring showman and crowd-pleaser, a wizard with a baseball whose artistry and antics on the mound brought fans out in the thousands to ballparks across the country. Leroy “Satchel” Paige was arguably one of the world’s greatest pitchers and a premier star of Negro Leagues Baseball. But in this biography Donald Spivey reveals Paige to have been much more than just a blazing fastball pitcher.
Spivey follows Paige from his birth in Alabama in 1906 to his death in Kansas City in 1982, detailing the challenges Paige faced battling the color line in America and recounting his tests and triumphs in baseball. He also opens up Paige’s private life during and after his playing days, introducing readers to the man who extended his social, cultural, and political reach beyond the limitations associated with his humble background and upbringing. This other Paige was a gifted public speaker, a talented musician and singer, an excellent cook, and a passionate outdoorsman, among other things.
Paige’s life intertwined with many of the most important issues of the times in U.S. and African American history, including the continuation of the New Negro Movement and the struggle for civil rights. Spivey incorporates interviews with former teammates conducted over twelve years, as well as exclusive interviews with Paige’s son Robert, daughter Pamela, Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe, and John “Buck” O’Neil to tell the story of a pioneer who helped transform America through the nation’s favorite pastime.
Maintaining an image somewhere between Joe Louis’s public humility and the flamboyant aggression of Jack Johnson, Paige pushed the boundaries of segregation and bridged the racial divide with stellar pitching packaged with slapstick humor. He entertained as he played to win and saw no contradiction in doing so. Game after game, his performance refuted the lie that black baseball was inferior to white baseball. His was a contribution to civil rights of a different kind—his speeches and demonstrations expressed through his performance on the mound.
The Inside Pitch and More: Baseball’s Business and the Public Trust, written by former American League President Gene Budig, investigates the human and corporate sides of our nation’s pastime. Throughout the course of this book, the author systematically engages the myriad concerns of Major League Baseball, past, present, and future.
In The Inside Pitch and More, baseball’s economic prosperity is examined, as well as issues that hinder and threaten that perpetuity. Lately, baseball has been increasingly menaced by the popularity of other athletic venues - basketball, football, etc. Budig goes through the proposed methods of revitalizing the game of baseball. He emphasizes the need for a reevaluation of the relationship between the sport and its fan base so that the baseball will resume its role as America’s favorite pastime.
Based on his six years as president of the American League, Budig has composed a fascinating book, which is written to be enjoyed by the casual baseball fan as well as the serious student of this sport or sports management in general. The book is unique in that it is the first work to really dissect the sport of baseball by a retired high-ranking official with a wealth of information on the subject.
Frank Dolson Temple University Press, 1998 Library of Congress GV865.B83D65 1998 | Dewey Decimal 796.357092
Jim Bunning began as a $150-a-month rookie in Richmond, Indiana, spent seven years in the minor leagues, and still made it to the Hall of Fame. He pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park, even though the first-base coach was relaying his catcher's signs to the batters, retiring Ted Williams for the final out. Bunning also pitched an historic perfect game against the New York Mets and performed spectacularly in a succession of All-Star Game appearances.
He was the second pitcher in major league history to win 100 games in each league. The first was CY Young. He was the second pitcher to strike out 1000 in each league; again, only Cy Young beat hims to it. When Bunning retired at the end of the 1971 season, only one man -- Walter Johnson -- had more career strikeouts.
A proud, intensely competitive man, Bunning relished his duels with Ted Williams, Micky Mantle, and other slugging superstars of the day. What he didn't relish was dealing with sportswriter who didn't do their homework and with baseball leaders whose mismanagement, Bunning felt, jeopardized the game's place in the nation's heart. He waged battles with the likes of former commissioner Peter Ueberroth and club-owner-turned-interim-commissioner Bud Selig.
But Bunning did more than play baseball. He was a driving force in the early years of the Players Association, one of the men responsible for choosing Marvin Miller as head of the union. Bunning also was a manager in the minor leagues and in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and was even a player's agent for a time. His baseball career behind him, he began a second career in politics. With a huge assist from his wife, Mary, the mother of their nine children, he waged an unsuccessful gubernational campaign in Kentucky and then became a six-term congressman. Bunning is currently running for the U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky.
Dorothy Mary Kamenshek was born to immigrant parents in Norwood, Ohio. As a young girl, she played pickup games of sandlot baseball with neighborhood children; no one, however, would have suspected that at the age of seventeen she would become a star athlete at the national level.
The outbreak of World War II and the ensuing draft of able-bodied young men severely depleted the ranks of professional baseball players. In 1943, Philip K. Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, led the initiative to establish a new league—a women’s league—to fill the ballparks while the war ground on in Europe and the Pacific. Kamenshek was selected and assigned to the Rockford Peaches in their inaugural season and played first base for a total of ten years, becoming a seven-time All-Star and holder of two league batting titles. When injuries finally put an end to her playing days, she went on to a successful and much quieter career in physical therapy. Fame came again in 1992, when Geena Davis portrayed a player loosely based on Kamenshek in the hit movie A League of Their Own.
Kammie on First is a real-life tale that will entertain and inspire young readers, both girls and boys. It is the first book in a new series, Biographies for Young Readers, from Ohio University Press.
A driving ambition linked Oakland and Kansas City in the 1960s. Each city sought the national attention and civic glory that came with being home to professional sports teams. Their successful campaigns to lure pro franchises ignited mutual rivalries in football and baseball that thrilled hometown fans. But even Super Bowl victories and World Series triumphs proved to be no defense against urban problems in the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s. Matthew C. Ehrlich tells the fascinating history of these iconic sports towns. From early American Football League battles to Oakland's deft poaching of baseball's Kansas City Athletics, the cities emerged as fierce opponents from Day One. Ehrlich weaves a saga of athletic stars and folk heroes like Len Dawson, Al Davis, George Brett, and Reggie Jackson with a chronicle of two cities forced to confront the wrenching racial turmoil, labor conflict, and economic crises that arise when soaring aspirations collide with harsh realities.Colorful and thought-provoking, Kansas City vs. Oakland breaks down who won and who lost when big-time sports came to town.
In the 1930s, Monroe, Louisiana, was a town of twenty-six thousand in the northeastern corner of the state, an area described by the New Orleans Item as the “lynch law center of Louisiana.” race relations were bad, and the Depression was pitiless for most, especially for the working class—a great many of whom had no work at all or seasonal work at best. Yet for a few years in the early 1930s, this unlikely spot was home to the Monarchs, a national-caliber Negro League baseball team. Crowds of black and white fans eagerly filled their segregated grandstand seats to see the players who would become the only World Series team Louisiana would ever generate, and the first from the American South.
By 1932, the team had as good a claim to the national baseball championship of black America as any other. Partisans claim, with merit, that league officials awarded the National Championship to the Chicago American Giants in flagrant violation of the league’s own rules: times were hard and more people would pay to see a Chicago team than an outfit from the Louisiana back country. Black newspapers in the South rallied to support Monroe’s cause, railing against the league and the bias of black newspapers in the North, but the decision, unfair though it may have been, was also the only financially feasible option for the league’s besieged leadership, who were struggling to maintain a black baseball league in the midst of the Great Depression.
Aiello addresses long-held misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the Monarchs’ 1932 season. He tells the almost-unknown story of the team—its time, its fortunes, its hometown—and positions black baseball in the context of American racial discrimination. He illuminates the culture-changing power of a baseball team and the importance of sport in cultural and social history.
“ We wait for baseball all winter long,” Bill Littlefield wrote in Boston Magazine a decade ago, “ or rather, we remember it and anticipate it at the same time. We re-create what we have known and we imagine what we are going to do next. Maybe that’ s what poets do, too.”
Poetry and baseball are occasions for well-put passion and expressive pondering, and just as passionate attention transforms the prose of everyday life into poetry, it also transforms this game we write about, play, or watch. Editors Brooke Horvath and Tim Wiles unite their own passion for baseball and poetry in this collection, Line Drives: 100 Contemporary Baseball Poems, providing a forum for ninety-two poets. Line after line, like baseball itself game after game and season after season, these poems manage to make the old and the familiar new and surprising.
The poems in these pages invite interrogation, and the reader— like the true baseball fan— must be willing to play the game, for these poems are fun, fresh, angry, nostalgic, meditative, and meant to be read aloud. They are keen on taking us deeply into baseball as sport and intent on offering countless metaphors for exploring history, religion, love, family, and self-identity. Each poem delivers images of pure beauty as the poets speak of murder and ghost runners and old ball gloves, of baseball as a tie that binds families— and indeed the nation— together, of the game as a stage upon which no-nonsense grit and skill are routinely displayed, and of the delight experienced in being one amid a mindlessly happy crowd. This book is true to the game’ s long season and to the lives of those the game engages.
Marvin Miller changed major league baseball and the business of sports. Drawing on research and interviews with Miller and others, Marvin Miller, Baseball Revolutionary offers the first biography covering the pivotal labor leader's entire life and career. Baseball historian Robert F. Burk follows Miller's formative encounters with Depression-era hard times, racial and religious bigotry, and bare-knuckle Washington politics to a successful career in labor that prepared Miller for his biggest professional challenge--running the moribund Major League Baseball Players Association.
Educating and uniting the players as a workforce, Miller embarked on a long campaign to win the concessions that defined his legacy: decent workplace conditions, a pension system, outside mediation of player grievances and salary disputes, a system of profit sharing, and the long-sought dismantling of the reserve clause that opened the door to free agency. Through it all, allies and adversaries alike praised Miller's hardnosed attitude, work ethic, and honesty.
Comprehensive and illuminating, Marvin Miller, Baseball Revolutionary tells the inside story of a time of change in sports and labor relations, and of the contentious process that gave athletes in baseball and across the sporting world a powerful voice in their own games.
During their thirteen years in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Braves never endured a losing season, won two National League pennants, and in 1957 brought Milwaukee its only World Series championship. With a lineup featuring future Hall of Famers Henry Aaron, Warren Spahn, Eddie Matthews, Red Schoendienst, and Phil Niekro, the team immediately brought Milwaukee "Big League" credentials, won the hearts of fans, and shattered attendance records. The Braves' success in Milwaukee prompted baseball to redefine itself as a big business—resulting in franchises relocating west, multi-league expansion, and teams leveraging cities for civically funded stadiums. But the Braves' instant success and accolades made their rapid fall from grace after winning the 1957 world championship all the more stunning, as declining attendance led the team to Atlanta in one of the ugliest divorces between a city and baseball franchise in sports history.
Featuring more than 100 captivating photos, many published here for the first time, Milwaukee Braves preserves the Braves' legacy for the team's many fans and introduces new generations to a fascinating chapter in sports history.
Professional baseball players have always been well paid. In 1869, Harry Wright paid his Cincinnati Red Stockings about seven times what an average working-man earned. Today, on average, players earn more than fifty times the average worker's salary. In fact, on December 12, 1998, pitcher Kevin Brown agreed to a seven-year, $105,000,000 contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the first nine-figure contract in baseball history. Brown will be earning over $400,000 per game; more than 17,000 fans have to show up at Dodger Stadium every night just to pay his salary.
Why are baseball players paid so much money? In this insightful book, legal scholar and salary arbitrator Roger Abrams tells the story of how a few thousand very talented young men obtain their extraordinary riches. Juggling personal experience and business economics, game theory and baseball history, he explains how agents negotiate compensation, how salary arbitration works, and how the free agency "auction" operates. In addition, he looks at the context in which these systems operate: the players' collective bargaining agreement, the distribution of quality players among the clubs, even the costs of other forms of entertainment with which baseball competes.
Throughout, Dean Abrams illustrates his explanations with stories and quotations -- even an occasional statistic, though following the dictum of star pitcher, club owner, and sporting goods tycoon Albert Spalding, he has kept the book as free of these as possible. He explains supply and demand by the cost of a bar of soap for Christy Mathewson's shower. He illustrates salary negotiation with an imaginary case based on Roy Hobbs, star of The National. He leads the reader through the breath-taking successes of agent Scott Boras to explain the intricacies of free agent negotiating.
Although studies have shown that increases in admissions prices precede rather than follow the rise in player salaries, fans are understandably bemused by skyrocketing salaries. Dean Abrams does not shy away from the question of whether it is "fair" for an athlete to earn more than $10,000,000 a year. He looks at issues of player (and team) loyalty and player attitudes, both today and historically, and at what increased salaries have meant for the national pastime, financially and in the eyes of its fans. The Money Pitch concludes that "the money pitch is a story of good fortune, good timing, and great leadership, all resulting from playing a child's game -- a story that is uniquely American."
Nice Guys Finish Last
Leo Durocher with Ed Linn University of Chicago Press, 2009 Library of Congress GV865.D83A3 2009 | Dewey Decimal 796.357092
“I believe in rules. Sure I do. If there weren't any rules, how could you break them?”
The history of baseball is rife with colorful characters. But for sheer cantankerousness, fighting moxie, and will to win, very few have come close to Leo “the Lip” Durocher. Following a five-decade career as a player and manager for baseball’s most storied franchises, Durocher teamed up with veteran sportswriter Ed Linn to tell the story of his life in the game. The resulting book, Nice Guys Finish Last, is baseball at its best, brimming with personality and full of all the fights and feuds, triumphs and tricks that made Durocher such a success—and an outsized celebrity.
Durocher began his career inauspiciously, riding the bench for the powerhouse 1928 Yankees and hitting so poorly that Babe Ruth nicknamed him “the All-American Out.” But soon Durocher hit his stride: traded to St. Louis, he found his headlong play and never-say-die attitude a perfect fit with the rambunctious “Gashouse Gang” Cardinals. In 1939, he was named player-manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers—and almost instantly transformed the underachieving Bums into perennial contenders. He went on to manage the New York Giants, sharing the glory of one of the most famous moments in baseball history, Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard ’round the world,” which won the Giants the 1951 pennant. Durocher would later learn how it felt to be on the other side of such an unforgettable moment, as his 1969 Cubs, after holding first place for 105 days, blew a seemingly insurmountable 8-1/2-game lead to the Miracle Mets.
All the while, Durocher made as much noise off the field as on it. His perpetual feuds with players, owners, and league officials—not to mention his public associations with gamblers, riffraff, and Hollywood stars like George Raft and Larraine Day—kept his name in the headlines and spread his fame far beyond the confines of the diamond.
A no-holds-barred account of a singular figure, Nice Guys Finish Last brings the personalities and play-by-play of baseball’s greatest era to vivid life, earning a place on every baseball fan’s bookshelf.
Nikkei Baseball examines baseball's evolving importance to the Japanese American community and the construction of Japanese American identity. Originally introduced in Japan in the late 1800s, baseball was played in the United States by Japanese immigrants first in Hawaii, then San Francisco and northern California, then in amateur leagues up and down the Pacific Coast. For Japanese American players, baseball was seen as a sport that encouraged healthy competition by imposing rules and standards of ethical behavior for both players and fans. The value of baseball as exercise and amusement quickly expanded into something even more important, a means for strengthening social ties within Japanese American communities and for linking their aspirations to America's pastimes and America's promise.
With World War II came internment and baseball and softball played behind barbed wire. After their release from the camps, Japanese Americans found their reentry to American society beset by anti-Japanese laws, policies, and vigilante violence, but they rebuilt their leagues and played in schools and colleges. Drawing from archival research, prior scholarship, and personal interviews, Samuel O. Regalado explores key historical factors such as Meji-era modernization policies in Japan, American anti-Asian sentiments, internment during World War II, the postwar transition, economic and educational opportunities in the 1960s, the developing concept of a distinct "Asian American" identity, and Japanese Americans' rise to the major leagues with star players including Lenn Sakata and Kurt Suzuki and even managers such as the Seattle Mariners' Don Wakamatsu.
America's pastime has roots in New Jersey dating back to 1846 when the first baseball game using modern rules was played on Elysian Fields in Hoboken. The sport thrived throughout the state until the 1950s when fans began to turn away from local competition, preferring to watch games broadcast on television, to take a trip to see a major league team in New York, or to frequent newly air-conditioned movie theaters or bowling alleys. By the early 1990s, however, a growing disenchantment with the high ticket prices and corporate atmosphere of Major League Baseball led to the revival of a purer form of the sport in the Garden State.
In No Minor Accomplishment, sports historian and New Jersey native Bob Golon tells the story of the state's baseball scene since the Trenton Thunder arrived in 1994. Drawing on interviews with team owners and employees, industry executives and fans, Golon goes behind the scenes to show how maintaining a minor league ball club can be a risky business venture. Stadiums cost millions to build, and a team full of talented players does not immediately guarantee success. Instead, each of the eight minor league and independent professional teams in the state must tailor themselves to the communities in which they are situated. Shrewd marketing is necessary to attract fans, but Golon also explains how, unlike Major League Baseball, the business aspect of the minor and independent leagues is not something the average spectator notices. For the fans, baseball in New Jersey is wholesome, exciting family entertainment.
The Cleveland Indians of 1928 were a far cry from the championship team of 1920. They had begun the decade as the best team in all of baseball, but over the following eight years, their owner died, the great Tris Speaker retired in the face of a looming scandal, and the franchise was in terrible shape. Seeing opportunity in the upheaval, Cleveland real estate mogul Alva Bradley purchased the ball club in 1927, infused it with cash, and filled its roster with star players such as Bob Feller, Earl Averill, and Hal Trosky. He aligned himself with civic leaders to push for a gigantic new stadium that—along with the team that played in it—would be the talk of the baseball world.
Then came the stock market crash of 1929. Municipal Stadium was built, despite the collapse of the industrial economy in Rust Belt cities, but the crowds did not follow. Always the shrewd businessman, Bradley had engineered a lease agreement with the city of Cleveland that included an out clause, and he exercised that option after the 1934 season, leaving the 80,000-seat, multimillion-dollar stadium without a tenant.
In No Money, No Beer, No Pennants, Scott H. Longert gives us a lively history of the ups and downs of a legendary team and its iconic players as they persevered through internal unrest and the turmoil of the Great Depression, pursuing a pennant that didn’t come until 1948. Illustrated with period photographs and filled with anecdotes of the great players, this book will delight fans of baseball and fans of Cleveland.
Owning a Piece of the Minors
Jerry Klinkowitz. Foreword by Mike Veeck Southern Illinois University Press, 1999 Library of Congress GV865.K56A3 1999 | Dewey Decimal 338.761796357092
Owning a Piece of the Minors is by and about a man who lived his dream and acquired a baseball team. When Jerry Klinkowitz joined the group that ran the Waterloo, Iowa, Diamonds in the 1970s, ownership of a minor league baseball franchise conferred little mystique. Neglected for a half century, minor league baseball was at best obscure. Yet in the purchase of fantasy, what difference if your desire is out of style?
Klinkowitz continued his work with the Diamonds through the 1980s and much of the 1990s. In Owning a Piece of the Minors, he maps out his personal journey through baseball and probes his fluctuating fortunes and those of his team as he evolves from a fan to a team executive and, most important, to a writer writing about baseball. This baseball story begins with a nine-year-old Klinkowitz who is elated when Milwaukee lures the Braves from Boston; this story of a love affair with baseball might have died—and in fact suffered a ten-year hiatus—when the apostate Braves fled to Atlanta in 1965.
Klinkowitz rediscovered the joy of being at the baseball park when, as a middle-aged professor, he took his own children to the Waterloo Diamonds games. Gradually his involvement with the Diamonds grew deeper until he owned the team. His immersion into team activities was complete, from shagging batting practice and working the beer bar to struggling with the Cleveland Indians and then the San Diego Padres as minor league affiliates to accommodate baseball's resurgence.
Klinkowitz writes of loss—first the Braves and later the Diamonds; of writing baseball fiction; of attending the 1982 World Series back in Milwaukee; of the great old ballparks around the country, including Wrigley, Fenway, and old Comiskey Park; of fictional and factual accounts of how the Diamonds franchise was lost; of friendships among season ticket holders in "Box 28"; and of Mildred Boyenga, the club president and Baseball Woman of the Year. A first-rate stylist, Klinkowitz shows the problems and perks and, most rewarding, the priceless relationships made possible in the world of baseball.
From its first pitch, baseball has reflected national values and promoted the idea of what it means to be American. Beloved narratives tied the national pastime to beliefs as fundamental to our civic life as racial equality, patriotism, heroism, and virtuous capitalism.
Mitchell Nathanson calls foul. Rejecting the myths and much-told tales, he examines how power is as much a part of baseball--and America--as pine tar and eye black. Indeed, the struggles for power within the game paralleled those that defined our nation. Nathanson follows the new Americans who sought club ownership to promote their social status in the increasingly closed caste system of nineteenth-century America. He shows how the rise and public rebuke of the Players Association reflects the collective spirit of working and middle-class America in the mid-twentieth century and the countervailing forces that sought to beat back the emerging movement. He lays bare the debilitating effects of a harsh double standard that required African American players to possess an unimpeachable character merely to take the field--a standard no white player had to meet.
Told with passion and righteous outrage, A People's History of Baseball offers an incisive alternative history of America's much-loved--if misunderstood--national pastime.
Richard Orodenker Temple University Press, 2005 Library of Congress GV875.P45P486 2005 | Dewey Decimal 796.357640974811
An anthology of some of the best writing about the up-and-down history of the Philadelphia Phillies, this updated paperback edition features several new essays—including one about Citizens Bank Park—and the team's recent history. The stories herein provide fans with some of the best sportswriting about the woes and triumphs of Phillies baseball. The Phillies Reader features essays on the athletic achievements of such legendary players as Chuck Klein, Richie Ashburn, Dick Allen, and Mike Schmidt; the political turmoil surrounding the "ok" from manager Ben Chapman to "ride" Jackie Robinson about the color of his skin; the bizarre shooting of Eddie Waitkus; the heroics of the Whiz Kids; the heartbreak of '64; and the occasional triumphs and frequent travails of controversial managers Gene Mauch, Frank Lucchesi, and Danny Ozark. It asks why fans boo great players such as Del Ennis, but forgave Pat Burrell for his horrendous 2003 slump. Featuring essays by Red Smith, Pete Dexter, Roger Angell, and James Michener, among others, The Phillies Reader presents a compendium of Phillies literature that reveals what it is that makes legends.
Richard Peterson University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007 Library of Congress GV875.P5P53 2003 | Dewey Decimal 796.357640974886
Whether winning world championships or falling into last place, fielding teams with Hall of Fame players or trotting out bumbling boys of summer, the Pittsburgh Pirates have thrilled, frustrated, and fascinated generations of fans since 1876.
To date, the Pirates have won five World Series and have a total of thirty-six players and managers in the Hall of Fame-including Honus Wagner, Pie Traynor, Lloyd and Paul Waner, Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, and Bill Mazeroski.
The Pirates Reader is a tribute to the fans, players, and teams who have forged the franchise's rich history. Richard Peterson has collected the writing of baseball's greatest storytellers and brings to life the players, games, and magical moments for this classic and well-loved team.
The Pittsburgh Pirates
Frederick G. Lieb. Foreword by Richard "Pete" Peterson Southern Illinois University Press, 2003 Library of Congress GV875.P5L5 2003 | Dewey Decimal 796.357640974886
An admirer of Pirate president Barney Dreyfuss, prolific baseball writer Frederick G. Lieb consorted with the club’s biggest stars, christened the legendary Dreyfuss “the first-division man,” and produced The Pittsburgh Pirates, one of the fifteen celebrated histories of major league teams commissioned by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in the 1940s and 1950s. Originally published in 1948, Lieb’s history ranges from the ball club’s earliest professional days in the late nineteenth century as the Pittsburgh Alleghenies to its spring training session in preparation for the 1948 season, a span that included six National League pennants and two World Series championships, as well as a loss to the Boston Red Sox, then the Pilgrims, at the inaugural World Series a century ago.
“This reprint of Fred Lieb’s The Pittsburgh Pirates is an invitation for baseball readers to enjoy Lieb’s wonderful stories of the great Pirate teams of the first half of the twentieth century,” writes Richard “Pete” Peterson in the new foreword to this edition. “Lieb’s book is rich with accounts of World Series triumphs and disappointments, of epic encounters on the playing field, like that between Wagner and Cobb, of mutinies in the clubhouse, of courageous comebacks, and of devastating defeats, including the infamous ‘homer in the gloaming.’”
In Lieb’s personable and anecdotal prose, honed over the course of his sustained sportswriting career, the book conveys “baseball drama of the highest order,” including the pre-Dreyfuss days of Captain Kerr, Ned Hanlon, and Connie Mack; Dreyfuss’s dynasty in the early twentieth century; the dramatic World Series triumphs of 1909 and 1925; the end of the Dreyfuss era and the sale of the club to a syndicate headed by John Galbreath and Bing Crosby; and the purchase of Hank Greenberg and the emergence of slugger Ralph Kiner. Aided by twenty-five black-and-white photographs, this rare history revisits the glories and stories of “fabulous old Pirates” such as Honus Wagner, Tommy Leach, Fred Clarke, Babe Adams, Max Carey, Kiki Cuyler, Pie Traynor, Paul and Lloyd Waner, and Arky Vaughan.
Long before Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson to a Brooklyn Dodger contract in 1945, Lester Rodney, the newly hired and first sports editor of the Communist Daily Worker, launched the campaign that proved decisive in eventually breaking baseball's color line. But in the hostile anti-Communist climate of those years and for many years after, Rodney's story remained largely unknown. It therefore came as a surprise to many when Arnold Rampersad, in his authoritative 1997 biography of Jackie Robinson, wrote: "In the campaign to end Jim Crow in baseball, the most vigorous efforts came from the Communist press, most notably from Lester Rodney." Now Press Box Red tells the story of that remarkable 11-year campaign and of Rodney's unique career covering sports for the Daily Worker until he left the Communist Party in 1958. Press Box Red is packed with first-hand accounts of Rodney's challenges to the high muck-a-mucks of professional and collegiate sports, and contains frank and frequently humorous encounters with owners, managers, and coaches like Branch Rickey, Larry MacPhail, Bill Veeck, Leo Durocher, Casey Stengel, Nat Holman, Clair Bee and numerous athletes including Robinson, Roy Campanella, Joe DiMaggio, Satchel Paige, Peewee Reese, Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong, and many others. It's a story every fan will love.
It happens every summer: packs of beer-bellied men with gloves and aluminum bats, putting their middle-aged bodies to the test on the softball diamond. For some, this yearly ritual is driven by a simple desire to enjoy a good ballgame; for others, it’s a way to forge friendships—and rivalries. But for one short, wild-haired, bespectacled professor, playing softball in New York’s Central Park means a whole lot more. It's one last chance to heal the nagging wounds of Little League trauma before the rust of decline and the relentless responsibilities of fatherhood set in.
Professor Baseball is the coming-of-middle-age story of New York University professor and Little League benchwarmer Edwin Amenta. As rookie manager of the Performing Arts Softball League’s doormat Sharkeys, he reverses softball’s usual brawn-over-brains formula. He coaxes his skeptical teammates to follow his sabermetric and sociological approach, based equally on Bill James and Max Weber, which in the heady days of early success he dubs “Eddy Ball.” But Amenta soon learns that his teammates’ attachments to favorite positions and time-honored (if ineffective) strategies are hard to break—especially when the team begins losing. And though he rejects the baseball-as-life metaphor, life keeps intruding on his softball season. Amenta here comes to grips with the humiliation of assisted reproduction, suffers mysterious ailments, and finds himself lingering at the sponsor’s bar, while his partner, a beautiful but baseball-challenged professor, second-guesses his book in the making. Can he turn his team—and his life—around?
Packed with colorful personalities, dramatic games, and the bustle of New York life, Professor Baseball will charm anyone who has ever root, root, rooted for the underdog.
In parks and cafes, homes and stadium stands, Cubans talk baseball. Thomas F. Carter contends that when they are analyzing and debating plays, games, teams, and athletes, Cubans are exchanging ideas not just about baseball but also about Cuba and cubanidad, or what it means to be Cuban. The Quality of Home Runs is Carter’s lively ethnographic exploration of the interconnections between baseball and Cuban identity. Suggesting that baseball is in many ways an apt metaphor for cubanidad, Carter points out aspects of the sport that resonate with Cuban social and political life: the perpetual tension between risk and security, the interplay between individual style and collective regulation, and the risky journeys undertaken with the intention, but not the guarantee, of returning home.
As an avid baseball fan, Carter draws on his experiences listening to and participating in discussions of baseball in Cuba (particularly in Havana) and among Cubans living abroad to describe how baseball provides the ground for negotiations of national, masculine, and class identities wherever Cubans gather. He considers the elaborate spectacle of Cuban baseball as well as the relationship between the socialist state and the enormously popular sport. Carter provides a detailed history of baseball in Cuba, analyzing players, policies, rivalries, and fans, and he describes how the sport has forged connections (or reinforced divisions) between Cuba and other nations. Drawing on insights from cultural studies, political theory, and anthropology, he maintains that sport and other forms of play should be taken seriously as crucibles of social and cultural experience.
Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game transports us onto diamonds and into dugouts on the other side of the globe, where the vigorous sportsmanship of the game and the impassioned devotion of its fans transcend cultural and geographic borders and prove that baseball is fast becoming an international pastime.
Called Yakyu, baseball has been played in Japan since the 1890s but has only recently gained a substantial global following. Robert K. Fitts chronicles the nation’s distinctive version of the sport as recounted by twenty-five of its players. Fitts’s careful choice of subjects represents the experiences of a mix of American and Japanese players—including stars, titleholders, and members of the Japanese Hall of Fame. Informal, candid, and remarkably specific, these recollections describe teammates and opponents, corporate owners and loyal fans, triumphs and frustrations, collectively capturing all the spirit and emotion engendered by the game from decidedly personal vantage points. Throughout, readers glimpse the unique traits of baseball in Japan and discern how the game has evolved since its inception as well as how it differs from its American counterpart.
An unparalleled introduction for an American audience, Remembering Japanese Baseball is augmented by photos of its twenty-five interviewees and a timeline demarking milestone moments in the game’s Japanese history. Robert Whiting, author of You Gotta Have Wa! and The Meaning of Ichiro, provides the foreword.
The story of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and his teammates purportedly conspiring with gamblers to throw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds has lingered in our collective consciousness for more than eighty years. Daniel A. Nathan's wide-ranging, interdisciplinary cultural history is less concerned with the details of the scandal than with how it has been represented and remembered by journalists, historians, novelists, filmmakers, and baseball fans. Saying It's So offers a series of astute reflections on what these different cultural narratives reveal about their creators and the eras in which they were created, producing a complex study of cultural values, memory, and the ways people make meaning.
A volume in the series Sport and Society, edited by Benjamin G. Rader and Randy Roberts
The heart of professional baseball, if not its roots, may be found in the American Midwest, especially in Missouri. In Seasons in the Sun, Roger D. Launius offers an excellent overview of the teams, pennant races, trials, and triumphs of the different major-league teams that have resided in the state over the years.
Since 1876, when St. Louis became a charter member of the newly formed National League, there have also been other major-league franchises from less well known leagues in St. Louis. The St. Louis major-league baseball experience is not limited to the extraordinary success and fame of the Cardinals, who have won more World Series championships than any other National League team. St. Louis also claims the excellent but short-lived Brown Stockings, the city’s first entry into the National League; the American League’s Browns, who spent most of their existence in the first half of the twentieth century at the bottom of the standings; the virtually forgotten Terriers of the Federal League in 1914-1915; and the Maroons of the pre-twentieth-century National League.
On the other side of the state, Kansas City was home to one of the premier franchises of the Negro Leagues, the Kansas City Monarchs. The Monarchs were members of the Negro National League between 1920 and 1931, and won the Negro World Series in 1924 plus a host of league championships thereafter. Independent barnstormers between 1932 and 1936, they were part of the Negro American League from 1937 to1959. In addition, Kansas City hosted the American League’s Athletics for thirteen seasons between the team’s glory years in Philadelphia and Oakland. The A’s departed in 1967, but in 1969 the Royals replaced them as Kansas City’s American League entry. The Royals contended for the pennant within three years of their creation, then won a string of division championships in the late 1970s, the American League pennant in 1980, and the World Series against the cross-state Cardinals in 1985.
Major-league baseball has a long and significant history in the state of Missouri, and Launius has done a superb job of telling its story through words and pictures. As the first work to encapsulate this rich history of statewide major-league activities, Seasons in the Sun will be welcomed by baseball fans everywhere.
“Gorgeous George” Sisler, a left-handed first baseman, began his major-league baseball career in 1915 with the St. Louis Browns. During his sixteen years in the majors, he played with such baseball luminaries as Ty Cobb (who once called Sisler “the nearest thing to a perfect ballplayer”), Babe Ruth, and Rogers Hornsby. He was considered by these stars of the sport to be their equal, and Branch Rickey, one of baseball’s foremost innovators and talent scouts, once said that in 1922 Sisler was “the greatest player that ever lived.”
During his illustrious career he was a .340 hitter, twice achieving the rare feat of hitting more than .400. His 257 hits in 1920 is still the record for the “modern” era. Considered by many to be one of the game’s most skillful first basemen, he was the first at his position to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Yet unlike many of his peers who became household names, Sisler has faded from baseball’s collective consciousness.
Now in The Sizzler, this “legendary player without a legend” gets the treatment he deserves. Rick Huhn presents the story of one of baseball’s least appreciated players and studies why his status became so diminished. Huhn argues that the answer lies somewhere amid the tenor of Sisler’s times, his own character and demeanor, the kinds of individuals who are chosen as our sports heroes, and the complex definition of fame itself.
In a society obsessed with exposing the underbellies of its heroes, Sisler’s lack of a dark side may explain why less has been written about him than others. Although Sisler was a shy, serious sort who often shunned publicity, his story is filled with its own share of controversy and drama, from a lengthy struggle among major-league moguls for his contractual rights—a battle that helped change the structure of organized baseball forever—to a job-threatening eye disorder he developed during the peak of his career and popularity.
By including excerpts from Sisler’s unpublished memoir, as well as references to the national and international events that took place during his heyday, Huhn reveals the full picture of this family man who overcame great obstacles, stood on high principles, and left his mark on a game he affected in a positive way for fifty-eight years.
In the deciding game of the 1992 National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates suffered the most dramatic and devastating loss in team history when former Pirate Sid Bream slid home with the winning run. Bream’s infamous slide ended the last game played by Barry Bonds in a Pirates uniform and sent the franchise reeling into a record twenty-season losing streak. The Slide tells the story of the myriad events, beginning with the aftermath of the 1979 World Series, which led to the fated 1992 championship game and beyond. It describes the city’s near loss of the team in 1985 and the major influence of Syd Thrift and Jim Leyland in developing a dysfunctional team into a division champion. The book gives detailed accounts of the 1990, 1991, and 1992 division championship seasons, the critical role played by Kevin McClatchy in saving the franchise in 1996, and summarizes the twenty losing seasons before the Pirates finally broke the curse of “the slide” in 2013, with their first playoff appearance since 1992.
Spitball n., an illegal pitch in which a foreign substance (spit or Vaseline) is applied to the ball by the pitcher before it is thrown.
Dead ballera n., a time period during baseball, usually regarded as 1900–1919, when the game used a "dead" or almost soft ball during play. Usually, the same ball was used for the entire game.
In 1911, when Bradley Hogg began his major-league pitching career for the National League’s Boston Rustlers, baseball was a different game. Hogg played during a time known as the dead ball era, when a pitcher could spit on, shine up, or even roughen a ball to secure an advantage over a hitter. Although only seven World Series had been played at that point, the names of the best and most colorful players remain familiar today: Cy Young, Casey Stengel, Honus Wagner, Rogers Hornsby, and Christy Mathewson.
During his major and minor league career, Hogg played with or against twenty-seven Hall of Fame ballplayers and under the critical gaze of two Hall of Fame umpires and eleven Hall of Fame sportswriters. In Spitting on Diamonds, Clyde Hogg details the life of baseball’s everyman, including excerpts from newspapers throughout the country to bring to life the times in which Bradley Hogg played. The author shows how Hogg’s career is representative of the thousands of men who have played professional baseball since its inception more than 125 years ago, men who didn’t make it into the Hall of Fame or win awards but made it possible for millions of fans to enjoy the game. These players were the flannelled hosts of America’s favorite pastime and the ones who made the game what it was and is today.
The author uses Hogg’s career as a spitball pitcher in leagues from coast to coast to show the rapid change and growth of our nation between 1910 and 1920. With enough baseball statistics to satisfy even the most hard-core fan, this time capsule of early-twentieth-century America will appeal to sports enthusiasts and readers of general historical nonfiction alike. They will find in its pages an America now visible only in faded photographs, along with a version of the national pastime that no longer exists. Featuring multiple bunts, double steals, inside pitching, and the now outlawed “spitball,” as well as the skill it took to hit such deliveries, this game was hard, fast, and nonstop. Spitting on Diamonds lets the reader understand what it was like to live and play professional sports when America and its national pastime were coming of age.
William Zinsser University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003 Library of Congress GV875.6.Z56 2003
Spring training, a time when every team is in first place, is an American tradition dating back to the early years of the twentieth century. William Zinsser vividly brings to life the unique, once-a-year relationship between Bradenton, Florida, and its adopted team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In 1988 the Pirates were an unproven yet promising bunch with high hopes of competing for the National League pennant. Given rare access to players, management, scouts and umpires, Zinsser sought to discover how a team prepares for the longest season in professional sports.
As valid today as it was when first published, Spring Training reveals how the fundamentals of baseball are taught and learned. The author has added a new introduction and postscript, which includes a lengthy interview with manager Jim Leyland about the lessons that can be learned from losing.
The St. Louis Baseball Reader
Richard Peterson University of Missouri Press, 2006 Library of Congress GV863.M82S7 2006 | Dewey Decimal 796.357640977866
The St. Louis Baseball Reader is a tale of two teams: one the city’s lovable losers, the other a formidable dynasty.
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.
In 1946, as the aftershocks of World War II still trembled across the globe, America returned to its favorite pastime: baseball. In The Stars Are Back, Jerome M. Mileur offers a fascinating account of this storied season and of the backstage battle that would forever transform the game of professional baseball. Mileur begins with one of the most famous clashes in major league history: the neck-and-neck race to the National League pennant between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Brooklyn Dodgers. As these two iconic teams engaged in a bitter struggle leading to the first-ever playoff to determine the winner of the National League pennant, the Boston Red Sox blazed a trail to the top of the American League to face the Cardinals in the World’s Series, as it was then called.
But while the nation was riveted by the return of its beloved baseball heroes, the game behind the scenes was just as dramatic. As the threat of unionization loomed and the Mexican League continued to lure players away from the United States with lucrative contracts, tensions between players and team owners mounted. The result was a standoff for control of the game that would culminate in the Magna Carta of baseball and the creation of standard contracts for players, ushering in the modern era of baseball.
Set against the backdrop of a country recovering from war, facing the new adversary of Communism, and absorbing the emotional impact of the atomic bomb, The Stars Are Back tells the story of a nation hungry for a return to normalcy and a game poised on the brink of new horizons.
Appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs—specifically, anabolic steroids (APEDs)—provide a tempting competitive advantage for amateur baseball players. But this shortcut can exact a fatal cost on talented athletes. In his urgent book Suicide Squeeze, William Kashatus chronicles the experiences of Taylor Hooton and Rob Garibaldi, two promising high school baseball players who abused APEDs in the hopes of attracting professional scouts and Division I recruiters. However, as a result of their steroid abuse, they ended up taking their own lives.
In Suicide Squeeze—named for the high-risk play in baseball to steal home—Kashatus identifies the symptoms and dangers of steroid use among teens. Using archival research and interviews with the Hooton and Garibaldi families, he explores the lives and deaths of these two troubled young men, the impact of their suicides on MLB, and the ongoing fight against adolescent APED use by their parents.
A passionate appeal to prevent additional senseless deaths by athletes, Suicide Squeeze is an important contribution to debates on youth and sports and on public policy.
June 12, 1952—only a local sportswriter showed up at the Eau Claire airport to greet a newly signed eighteen-year-old shortstop from Alabama toting a cardboard suitcase. "I was scared as hell," said Henry Aaron, recalling his arrival as the new recruit on the city’s Class C minor league baseball team.
Forty-two years later, as Aaron approached the stadium where the Eau Claire Bears once played, an estimated five thousand people surrounded a newly raised bronze statue of a young "Hank" Aaron at bat. "I had goosebumps," he said later. "A lot of things happened to me in my twenty-three years as a ballplayer, but nothing touched me more than that day in Eau Claire." For the people of Eau Claire, Aaron’s summer two years before his Major League debut with the Milwaukee Braves symbolizes a magical time, when baseball fans in a small city in northern Wisconsin could live a part of the dream.
In 2007, the Mitchell Report shocked traditionalists who were appalled that drugs had corrupted the "pure" game of baseball. Nathan Corzine rescues the story of baseball's relationship with drugs from the sepia-toned tyranny of such myths. In Team Chemistry , he reveals a game splashed with spilled whiskey and tobacco stains from the day the first pitch was thrown. Indeed, throughout the game's history, stars and scrubs alike partook of a pharmacopeia that helped them stay on the field and cope off of it:
In 1889, Pud Galvin tried a testosterone-derived "elixir" to help him pile up some of his 646 complete games.
Sandy Koufax needed Codeine and an anti-inflammatory used on horses to pitch through his late-career elbow woes.
Players returning from World War II mainstreamed the use of the amphetamines they had used as servicemen.
Vida Blue invited teammates to cocaine parties, Tim Raines used it to stay awake on the bench, and Will McEnaney snorted it between innings.
Corzine also ventures outside the lines to show how authorities handled--or failed to handle--drug and alcohol problems, and how those problems both shaped and scarred the game. The result is an eye-opening look at what baseball's relationship with substances legal and otherwise tells us about culture, society, and masculinity in America.
The 1971 Pirates of Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski, Dock Ellis, and Steve Blass are among my all-time favorite teams, and their spectacular World Series win over the Orioles of Earl Weaver, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, and Dave McNally is one of the great baseball upsets of the postwar era. Still, though I followed their season closely, I never fully understood their impact."—Allen Barra, The New York Sun
In 1947, major league baseball experienced its first measure of integration when the Brooklyn Dodgers brought Jackie Robinson to the National League. While Robinson's breakthrough opened the gates of opportunity for African Americans and other minority players, the process of integration proved slow and uneven. It was not until the 1960s that a handful of major league teams began to boast more than a few Black and Latino players. But the 1971 World Championship team enjoyed a full and complete level of integration, with half of its twenty-five-man roster comprised of players of African American and Latino descent. That team was the Pittsburgh Pirates, managed by an old-time Irishman.
In The Team That Changed Baseball: Roberto Clemente and the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates, veteran baseball writer Bruce Markusen tells the story of one of the most likable and significant teams in the history of professional sports. In addition to the fact that they fielded the first all-minority lineup in major league history, the 1971 Pirates are noteworthy for the team's inspiring individual performances, including those of future Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, and Bill Mazeroski, and their remarkable World Series victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles. But perhaps their greatest legacy is the team's influence on the future of baseball, inspiring later championship teams such as the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics to open their doors fully to all talented players, regardless of race, particularly in the new era of free agency.
Over one hundred and thirty years ago, pioneers arriving in Colorado during the Civil War era brought the game of baseball to the high and dry Rocky Mountains frontier. From the days of games in pastures with no gloves to the high drama of Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies, baseball and Coloradans have had a love affair that has continued to flourish over the decades.
In They Came To Play: A Photographic History of Colorado Baseball, historians and avid baseball fans Duane Smith and Mark Foster have collected the finest historic baseball photographs of teams, players, and games from around the state. They are all here, the town teams, company teams, early professional clubs, and the ethnic teams that made baseball an integral part of the life and times in Colorado's mountain towns, prairie hamlets, and bustling frontier cities. Combined with the wonderful photographs and captions is an essay that brings baseball's rich heritage in Colorado to life for the reader.
Their names were chanted, crowed, and cursed. Alone they were a shortstop, a second baseman, and a first baseman. But together they were an unstoppable force. Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance came together in rough-and-tumble early twentieth-century Chicago and soon formed the defensive core of the most formidable team in big league baseball, leading the Chicago Cubs to four National League pennants and two World Series championships from 1906 to 1910. At the same time, baseball was transforming from small-time diversion into a nationwide sensation. Americans from all walks of life became infected with “baseball fever,” a phenomenon of unprecedented enthusiasm and social impact. The national pastime was coming of age.
Tinker to Evers to Chance examines this pivotal moment in American history, when baseball became the game we know today. Each man came from a different corner of the country and brought a distinctive local culture with him: Evers from the Irish-American hothouse of Troy, New York; Tinker from the urban parklands of Kansas City, Missouri; Chance from the verdant fields of California’s Central Valley. The stories of these early baseball stars shed unexpected light not only on the evolution of baseball and on the enthusiasm of its players and fans all across America, but also on the broader convulsions transforming the US into a confident new industrial society. With them emerged a truly national culture.
This iconic trio helped baseball reinvent itself, but their legend has largely been relegated to myths and barroom trivia. David Rapp’s engaging history resets the story and brings these men to life again, enabling us to marvel anew at their feats on the diamond. It’s a rare look at one of baseball’s first dynasties in action.
Now revised and expanded, Touching Base examines the myths as well as the realities, symbols, and rituals of "America's favorite pastime." Steven Riess details the relationships among urban politics, communities, and baseball, exploring how debates over issues such as Sunday games, ballpark construction, and the promotion of the game were shaped by Progressive Era sensibilities. Focusing on Atlanta, New York, and Chicago, Riess analyzes the spectators, owners, and players to evaluate how baseball both influenced and mirrored broader society.
Bill Veeck was an inspired team builder, a consummate showman, and one of the greatest baseball men ever involved in the game. His classic autobiography, written with the talented sportswriter Ed Linn, is an uproarious book packed with information about the history of baseball and tales of players and owners, including some of the most entertaining stories in all of sports literature.
Veterans Stadium was the outdoor sports and concert capital of Philadelphia from 1971 until its televised demolition in 2004. At its best, "The Vet" spawned two of the greatest moments in the city's sports history—Tug McGraw's 1980 strikeout of Willie Wilson to win the World Series and the Eagles thrashing of the Dallas Cowboys to clinch their first Super Bowl bid. At its worst, it saw fans pelt Santa Claus with snowballs and the opening of an in-stadium branch of Philadelphia municipal court to deal with rowdy Eagles fans.
Part of a look-alike generation of all-purpose stadiums erected around the country, the Vet took on its own personality over the years. For all its deficiencies, it left fans loving it in the way they loved their own families—warts and all. Almost 100 photographs and Rich Westcott's yarns make Veterans Stadium the one book that will help Philadelphians—and Philadelphia visitors—remember thirty years of their history.
"Somewhere, if they haven't been destroyed, there are hundreds of pages of typewritten notes about American League players of that era, notes which I would love to get my hands on."
-Bill James, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, on the journals of Red Rolfe
"Red Rolfe's journal for his years as manager of the Detroit Tigers is the kind of precious source researchers yearn for. In combination with William M. Anderson's well-done text, The View from the Dugout will be of great interest to general readers and of immense value to students of baseball history."
-Charles C. Alexander, author of Breaking the Slump: Baseball in the Depression Era
"Red Rolfe was one of baseball's most astute observers. This is 'inside' baseball from the inside."
-Donald Honig, author of Baseball America, Baseball When the Grass Was Real, and other books in the Donald Honig Best Players of All Time series
"In his lucid journals Red Rolfe has provided an inside look at how an intelligent baseball manager thinks and prepares."
-Ray Robinson, Yankee historian and author of Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time
Baseball players as a rule aren't known for documenting their experiences on the diamond. Red Rolfe, however, during his time as manager of the Detroit Tigers from 1949 to 1952, recorded daily accounts of each game, including candid observations about his team's performance. He used these observations to coach his players and to gain an advantage by recording strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies of opposing players and managers. Rolfe's journals carry added value considering his own career as an All-Star Yankee third baseman on numerous world champion teams, where he was a teammate of Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.
Today, in the era of televised broadcasts, networks often wire a manager so that viewers can listen to his spontaneous comments throughout the game. Red Rolfe's journals offer an opportunity to find out what a manager is thinking when no one is around to hear.
William M. Anderson is Director of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries for the State of Michigan. His books include The Detroit Tigers: A Pictorial Celebration of the Greatest Players and Moments in Tigers' History.
Lively and anecdotal, Viva Baseball! chronicles the struggles of Latin American professional baseball players in the United States from the late 1800s to the present. Even as "Fernandomania" raged in 1981, most Latin players felt lonely, shunned, and forgotten. Samuel O. Regalado reveals the shocking racism faced by these immigrant athletes in a white culture. In addition to mining the National Baseball Library in Cooperstown, New York, and the Sporting Newsarchives, Regalado conducted interviews with some twenty-five Latin baseball stars, including Felipe Alou, Orlando Cepeda, and Tony Oliva.
Major League Baseball is a beloved American institution that has been a product of the economic, social, and media structures that have evolved in the United States over the last century. In his shrewd analysis, Will Big League Baseball Survive?, Lincoln Mitchell asks whether the sport will continue in its current form as a huge, lucrative global business that offers a monopoly in North America—and whether those structures are sustainable.
Mitchell places baseball in the context of the larger, evolving American and global entertainment sector. He examines how both changes directly related to baseball—including youth sports and the increased globalization of the game—as well as broader societal trends such as developments in media consumption and celebrity culture will impact big league baseball over the next few decades.
His book ultimately proposes several possible scenarios for what big league baseball might look like. Will it become more global, smaller, or remain the same, or will it transform into some kind of hybrid of the three?
Lively and unusual art inspired by baseball’s best all-around player.
As much as any other sports figure, Willie Mays embodies the changes that racial integration brought to America’s game fields and its larger culture in the mid-20th century. Playing baseball with grace, skill, flair, and obvious delight, Willie Mays broke color barriers for more than just himself. He combined the ability to stroke majestic home runs while with an equal ability to outrun and catch what would have been home runs for opponents most famously when he turned Vic Wertz’s titantic blast into a long out in the 1954 World Series. As is often said of great players but never more true than in his case, Willie Mays could do it all.
Assembled in this work are 40 representations of how contemporary artists respond to and portray the skill, fame, and sheer love of the game that make Mays so remarkable and memorable. The art includes a broad range of styles and media from impressionistic graphite pencil drawings on paper through realistic Kodachrome photographic prints to expressionistic colored acrylics on canvas or glass. Mike Shannon offers a perceptive introductory essay on Mays’s long career and places the art in the context of his times. First curated as a traveling exhibit to honor Willie Mays’s 75th birthday, the exhibit opened at the Louisville Slugger Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, and is currently on tour.
To a generation of fans, Willie Mays was the greatest ballplayer they had ever seen. The prowess and speed of the Say Hey Kid were unmatched on the diamond before his time, prompting Joe DiMaggio to label him, “ the closest you can come to perfection.” He was the first player to hit fifty home runs and steal twenty bases in a single season. Mays played for the New York Giants (1951– 1957), San Francisco Giants (1958– 1972), and New York Mets (1972– 1973), and in his glory days with the Giants he not only set the major league mark for consecutive seasons by appearing in 150 games or more but by winning his two MVP awards a record twelve seasons apart. When Mays retired, he ranked third in career home runs (behind Aaron and Ruth), a record of 660 soon to be surpassed by Mays’ s godson, Barry Bonds.
This twenty-fifth anniversary edition of the only ballplayer biography ever named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Willie’ s Time: Baseball’ s Golden Age, restores to print Charles Einstein’ s vivid biography of one of the game’ s foremost legends. With a new preface from the author, this volume replays the most dramatic moments of the Say Hey Kid’ s career— from the 1951 Miracle Giants to the Amazing Mets of 1973— and takes us inside the lives of Ruth, DiMaggio, Aaron, Durocher, and others along the way. Einstein offers a compelling and complete look at Mays: as a youth in racist Birmingham, a triumphant symbol of African American success, a sports hero lionized by fans, and yet all the while, still a very human figure destined to play for two decades amid baseball’ s Golden Age.
What are boys like? Who is the creature inhabiting the twilight zone between the perils of the Oedipus complex and the Strum und Drang of puberty? In With the Boys, Gary Alan Fine examines the American male preadolescent by studying the world of Little League baseball. Drawings on three years of firsthand observation of five Little Leagues, Fine describes how, through organized sport and its accompanying activities, boys learn to play, work, and generally be "men."
Without a Tout is a practical, no-nonsense guide to building models for team sports. Making predictive models accessible to the nontechnical reader, the book describes a class of handicapping methods based upon careful analysis of sports data and thorough testing of model performance.
There is recreational betting---this can be fun. There is betting out of necessity or perceived necessity, induced perhaps by poverty or addiction---this is sad. And there is rational betting---betting when it makes sense to do so---this is a test of wit. Without a Tout is about betting when it it makes sense to do so, when the odds are in our favor. Data-driven models presented in this book show us when the odds are in our favor.
Applications of models and good modeling practice go well beyond the world of sports. They have relevance to any competitive arena. We can predict which product will be chosen, what consumers are willing to pay, or which firm will win in the marketplace. As long as there are relevant data from the past and ways of keeping score, we can use models to our advantage.
In spring 1914, a new ballpark opened in Chicago. Hastily constructed after epic political maneuvering around Chicago’s and organized baseball’s hierarchies, the new Weeghman Park (named after its builder, fast-food magnate Charley Weeghman) was home to the Federal League’s Chicago Whales. The park would soon be known as Wrigley Field, one of the most emblematic and controversial baseball stadiums in America.
In Wrigley Field: The Long Life and Contentious Times of the Friendly Confines, Stuart Shea provides a detailed and fascinating chronicle of this living historic landmark. The colorful history revealed in Wrigley Field shows how the stadium has evolved through the years to meet the shifting priorities of its owners and changing demands of its fans. While Wrigley Field today seems irreplaceable, we learn that from game one it has been the subject of endless debates over its future, its design, and its place in the neighborhood it calls home. To some, it is a hallowed piece of baseball history; to others, an icon of mismanagement and ineptitude. Shea deftly navigates the highs and lows, breaking through myths and rumors. And with another transformation imminent, he brings readers up to date on negotiations, giving much-needed historical context to the maneuvering.
Wrigley Field is packed with facts, stories, and surprises that will captivate even the most fair-weather fan. From dollar signs (the Ricketts family paid $900 million for the team and stadium in 2009), to exploding hot dog carts (the Cubs lost that game 6–5), to the name of Billy Sianis’s curse-inducing goat (Sonovia), Shea uncovers the heart of the stadium’s history. As the park celebrates its centennial, Wrigley Field continues to prove that its colorful and dramatic history is more interesting than any of its mythology.
White Sox fans were overcome with euphoria when their beloved team won after eighty-eight years of failure, and the long-suffering Red Sox Nation finally received their vindication in 2004. Now the Cubs are the only “cursed” team left: The team has repeatedly made the playoffs without ever winning the World Series for the last ninety-nine years, and yet thousands who bleed Cubbie blue pack Wrigley Field for every game. The reasons why ardent sports fans in Chicago and around the world buy expensive game tickets and memorabilia, fill stadiums, and live and die by their team’s fortunes is the subject of Your Brain on Cubs, an engaging study that delves into why sports engender such passionate emotions in us all.
A group of today’s leading science writers and neuroscientists explore here the ways that our brain functions when we participate in sports as fans, athletes, and coaches, taking baseball as the quintessential sport for all three perspectives. The contributors tackle such questions as: How does a player hit a ninety-mile-per-hour fastball when he barely has time to visually register it? Why do fans remain devotedly loyal year after year? And what allows them to believe in superstitions, such as a curse? Other topics investigated in the book include how a ballplayer’s brain changes as he gains experience and expertise, why there are a higher percentage of left-handers in the major leagues compared to the general population, and the ethical implications of neurological performance enhancement.
An expertly written and thought-provoking read, Your Brain on Cubs challenges us to reevaluate the nature of the sports fan and the athlete, revealing the scientific complexity underlying the seemingly black-and-white world of wins and losses.