A collection of essays which "describe developments in the game's past, assess their impact, and explain how they reflect the period in which they occurred; ... explore baseball's influences outside the field of play as well as the effect of external factors on the game; ... [and] discuss such key issues as demographics, communities, social mobility, race and ethnicity."--Cover.
Outside the Lines traces how sports laid a foundation for social change long before the judicial system formally recognized the inequalities of racial separation. Integrating sports teams to include white and black athletes alike, the National Football League served as a microcosmic fishbowl of the highs and lows, the trials and triumphs, of racial integration. Watching a football game on a Sunday evening, most sports fans do not realize the profound impact the National Football League had on the civil rights movement. Similarly, in a sport where seven out of ten players are black, few are fully aware of the history and contributions of their athletic forebears. Among the touchdowns and tackles lies a rich history of African American life and the struggle to achieve equal rights. Although the Supreme Court did not reverse their 1896 decision of "separate but equal" in the Plessy v Ferguson case until more than fifty years later, sports laid a foundation for social change long before our judicial system formally recognized the inequalities of racial separation. Integrating sports teams to include white and black athletes alike, the National Football League served as a microcosmic fishbowl of the highs and lows, the trials and triumphs, of racial integration. In this chronicle of black NFL athletes, Charles K. Ross has given us the story of the Jackie Robinsons of American football.
Analyzes how racism has impacted baseball in Boston, Massachusetts, chronicling the polices and personality of the Yawkey family and the Boston press, and noting what the author calls the city's prevalence of racial intolerance in spite of its historical ideals. Reprint.
Discusses baseball's history and the game's relationship to American society from the 1850s until the present day.
"A hilarious celebration of the worst in baseball history: The boneheads, cheats, jerks and losers who make the grand old game so fun. From a delightful survey of batters who fell below the dreaded "Mendoza Line" to a rundown of managers who had long careers distinguished by relentless losing to a roster of players who took steroids but still stunk, Who's on Worst? is a thoroughly entertaining portrait of the personalities who deserve their place in baseball history as much as the immortals"--
Is the face of American baseball throughout the world that of goodwill ambassador or ugly American? Has baseball crafted its own image or instead been at the mercy of broader forces shaping our society and the globe? The Empire Strikes Out gives us the sweeping story of how baseball and America are intertwined in the export of “the American way.” From the Civil War to George W. Bush and the Iraq War, we see baseball’s role in developing the American empire, first at home and then beyond our shores. And from Albert Spalding and baseball’s first World Tour to Bud Selig and the World Baseball Classic, we witness the globalization of America’s national pastime and baseball’s role in spreading the American dream. Besides describing baseball’s frequent and often surprising connections to America’s presence around the world, Elias assesses the effects of this relationship both on our foreign policies and on the sport itself and asks whether baseball can play a positive role or rather only reinforce America’s dominance around the globe. Like Franklin Foer in How Soccer Explains the World, Elias is driven by compelling stories, unusual events, and unique individuals. His seamless integration of original research and compelling analysis makes this a baseball book that’s about more than just sports.
A succinct history of baseball, newly revised and updated
The Players League, formed in 1890, was a short-lived professional baseball league controlled and owned in part by the players themselves, a response to the National League’s salary cap and “reserve rule,” which bound players for life to one particular team. Led by John Montgomery Ward, the Players League was a star-studded group that included most of the best players of the National League, who bolted not only to gain control of their wages but also to share ownership of the teams. Lasting only a year, the league impacted both the professional sports and the labor politics of athletes and nonathletes alike. The Great Baseball Revolt is a historic overview of the rise and fall of the Players League, which fielded teams in Boston, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Though it marketed itself as a working-class league, the players were underfunded and had to turn to wealthy capitalists for much of their startup costs, including the new ballparks. It was in this context that the league intersected with the organized labor movement, and in many ways challenged by organized labor to be by and for the people. In its only season, the Players League outdrew the National League in fan attendance. But when the National League overinflated its numbers and profits, the Players League backers pulled out. The Great Baseball Revolt brings to life a compelling cast of characters and a mostly forgotten but important time in professional sports when labor politics affected both athletes and nonathletes.
“Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the crowd!” Baseball is an integral part of American popular culture. Lavishly illustrated and colorfully designed throughout, The Timeline History of Baseball presents hundreds of fascinating details about the development of baseball in a fun, easy-to-use format. This unique book brings together a comprehensive history of the sport along with a separate pullout timeline that offers an at-a-glance view of baseball from 1601 to 2009. Did you know that the spit ball was outlawed in 1920, but pitchers who already threw it were permitted to continue using it until they retired? This book is filled with fun and fascinating facts about the game and all of its organized leagues throughout history, including the major and minor leagues, negro leagues, women’s leagues, little league and leagues around the world. This engaging compendium also includes a giant, colorfully illustrated gate-fold timeline that offers a unique way of looking at the history of baseball. The timeline integrates world events with major moments in baseball for a unique overview of social history.
At a time of despair about our national pastime, the Northern League of Professional Baseball is a beacon of hope - an independent league, unaffiliated with the majors, where the games are for the fans and not between the owners and players. In his memorable debut book, Stefan Fatsis takes you inside the Northern League, and in the process discovers how very much baseball still means to America. Commentator Peter Gammons calls the Northern League "the past and future of grassroots baseball in America." Revived in 1993 by a group of minor league executives fed up with the politics of their sport, it has restored baseball to six communities in the upper Midwest and Canada, which have embraced their teams with a fervor any major league team would envy. More than that, the league has breathed new life into a game that, at the major league level, has lost its way and abandoned its fans. The Northern League's startling success has inspired a movement that could, in time, change the face of baseball, as other independent leagues are forming rapidly in its wake. Wild and Outside tells the Northern League's story, from the events that created it through its tumultuous and triumphant second season. Fatsis writes with the authority of a trusted insider, having closely followed the league since its inception. The result is a book as rich in insights into baseball's problems as it is full of indelible portraits of the people who make the Northern League special; a book that blends the texture and history of grassroots baseball with the many dramas of the league's 1994 season.
DIV This is a book about young men who learned to play baseball during the 1930s and 1940s, and then went on to play for one of the most exciting major-league ball clubs ever fielded, the team that broke the colour barrier with Jackie Robinson. It is a book by and about a sportswriter who grew up near Ebbets Field, and who had the good fortune in the 1950s to cover the Dodgers for the Herald Tribune. This is a book about what happened to Jackie, Carl Erskine, Pee Wee Reese, and the others when their glory days were behind them. In short, it is a book fathers and sons and about the making of modern America. 'At a point in life when one is through with boyhood, but has not yet discovered how to be a man, it was my fortune to travel with the most marvelously appealing of teams.' Sentimental because it holds such promise, and bittersweet because that promise is past, the first sentence of this masterpiece of sporting literature, first published in the early '70s, sets its tone. The team is the mid-20th-century Brooklyn Dodgers, the team of Robinson and Snyder and Hodges and Reese, a team of great triumph and historical import composed of men whose fragile lives were filled with dignity and pathos. Roger Kahn, who covered that team for the New York Herald Tribune, makes understandable humans of his heroes as he chronicles the dreams and exploits of their young lives, beautifully intertwining them with his own, then recounts how so many of those sweet dreams curdled as the body of these once shining stars grew rusty with age and battered by experience. /div
“A delight for baseball lovers” (Kirkus Reviews) and “one of the most significant baseball books of the year” (Bob Costas) Ahead of the Curve uses stories from baseball’s present and past to examine why we sometimes choose ignorance over information, and how tradition can trump logic. Forget batting average. Kill the “Win.” Say goodbye to starting pitchers. And please, please stop bunting. MLB Network anchor and commentator Brian Kenny provides “an excellent, entertaining read for the all-around baseball fan” (Library Journal) and shows how baseball has been revolutionized—not destroyed—by analytical thinking. Most people who resist logical thought in baseball preach “tradition” and “respecting the game.” But many of baseball’s traditions go back to the nineteenth century, when the pitcher’s job was to provide the batter with a ball he could hit and fielders played without gloves. Instead of fearing change, Brian Kenny wants fans to think critically, reject outmoded groupthink, and embrace the changes that have come with the sabermetric era. In his entertaining and enlightening book, Kenny discusses why the pitching win-loss record, the Triple Crown, fielding errors, and so-called battling titles should be ignored. He also points out how fossilized sportswriters have been electing the wrong MVP’s and ignoring legitimate candidates for the Hall of Fame; why managers are hired based on their looks; and how the most important position in baseball may just be “Director of Decision Sciences.” “Prepare to have your brain and your assumptions challenged. Guided by data and a deep love of the game, Brian Kenny takes a cutting-edge look at where baseball is and where it is going” (Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated). Illustrated with unique anecdotes from those who have reshaped the game, Ahead of the Curve is “a great story about the game in the age of information and technology” (Billy Beane).
In 1886, a semi-pro team known as the Union Baseball Club was founded in Chicago. Made up of black players under the leadership of Frank Leland, this team worked its way to the top of Chicago's semi-pro city league, an organization which otherwise included only white teams. In 1902, Leland recruited a talented young pitcher from Texas who brought with him not only incredible talent but an intense love of baseball and a knack for organization. It wasn't long before the pitcher, Rube Foster, established himself as one of the game's outstanding players, seized the leadership of the Union Baseball Club and founded the Chicago American Giants, a team that would dominate the early years of the Negro National League.
Many are aware that baseball's European ancestry stretches back centuries, but few realize just how extensive the modern game's history is on the Continent and British Isles. Baseball as we recognize it has been played there since the 1870s, and in several countries the players and devoted followers have included royalty, Hall of Famers from the U.S. major leagues, and captains of industry. Organized by country, this heavily researched book delves into the history of baseball in 40 nations, describing not only the efforts to spread the game but also the culture of baseball unique to Europe. Appendices cover topics from major leaguers who have played in European domestic leagues to a glossary of baseball terms in seven European languages.
Outsider Baseball is the story of a forgotten world, where independent professional ball clubs zig-zagged across America, plying their trade in big cities and small villages alike. Included among the former and future major leaguers were mercenaries, scalawags, and outcasts. This is where Babe Ruth, Rube Waddell, and John McGraw crossed bats with the Cuban Stars, Tokyo Giants, Brooklyn Bushwicks, dozens of famous Negro league teams, and novelty acts such as the House of David and Bloomer Girls. Legends emerged in this alternate baseball universe and author Scott Simkus sets out to share their stories and use a critical lens to separate fact from fiction. Written in a gritty prose style, Outsider Baseball combines meticulous research with modern analytics, opening the door to an unforgettable funhouse of baseball history. Scott Simkus is the founder and editor of the Outsider Baseball Bulletin. He is the winner of a research award from the Society of American Baseball Research for his work on the Negro League Database.
A graphic novel-style history of baseball, providing an illustrated look at the major games, players, and rule changes that shaped the sport. This graphic novel steps up to the plate and covers all the bases in illustrating the origin of America's national pastime, presenting a complete look at the beginnings (both real and legendary), developments, triumphs, and tragedies of baseball. It also breaks down the cultural impact and significance of the sport both in America and overseas (including Japan, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic), from the early days of America to the flying W outside Wrigley Field in 2016. Featuring members of Baseball's Hall of Fame and modern day stand-outs—including Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, the 1930s New York Yankees, the 2004 Boston Red Sox, the 2016 Chicago Cubs, and more—The Comic Book Story of Baseball spotlights the players, teams, games, and moments that built the sport's legacy and ensured its popularity.
The story of Kansas baseball includes the full range of topics that dominated the sport's early history--segregation, Sunday sports, night games, and more--from the "Bloody Kansas" era prior to the Civil War to the eve of World War II.
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.