e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Basic B - Baseball History (Books)

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. Baseball: An Illustrated History,
2. Baseball: A History of America's
3. Great Moments in Baseball History
4. Baseball: A History of America's
5. Greats of the Game: The Players,
6. Bert Sugar's Baseball Hall of
7. Past Time: Baseball As History
8. But Didn't We Have Fun?: An Informal
9. Evaluating Baseball's Managers:
10. The Timeline History of Baseball
11. When the Game Was Black and White:
12. A Picture Postcard History of
13. Sports Illustrated: The Baseball
14. We Would Have Played for Nothing:
15. The History of the Texas Rangers
16. Center Field Shot: A History of
17. The Only Game in Town: Baseball
18. The Pride of Havana: A History
19. The Louisville Baseball Almanac
20. Smithsonian Baseball: Inside the

1. Baseball: An Illustrated History, including The Tenth Inning
by Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns, Kevin Baker
Paperback: 592 Pages (2010-09-21)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$21.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 037571197X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The acclaimed nationwide best seller and companion volume to Ken Burns’s grand-slam PBS documentary—updated and expanded to coincide with the broadcast of a new, two-part Tenth Inning that lokos back on the age of steroids, home-run records, the rise of Latino players, and so much more.

With a narrative by Geoffrey C. Ward, a preface to the new edition by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, a new chapter by Kevin Baker, and an introduction by Roger Angell

Essays by Thomas Boswell, Robert W. Creamer, Gerald Early, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Bill James, David Lamb, Daniel Okrent, John Thorn, George F. Will

And featuring an interview with Buck O’Neil ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Ken Burns' baseball book
The book is excellent; I'd looked it over at a friend's house.It arrived in perfect shape in a timely manner.
No problem.

5-0 out of 5 stars Baseball: An Illustrated History
I liked the book so well that I would like to purchase two more.One for my brother and son.

4-0 out of 5 stars A tribute to baseball by Ken Burns and his team
This volume contains a lot that is very good.Its structure is a bit forced (nine innings, or periods, of baseball history).The 9th inning, as others have noted, covers a large time frame compared with earlier "innings."I'm not sure that the decade is the best way of organizing baseball history, either.Still and all, that's more a matter of taste than anything else.

The book's authors candidly observe that they will focus on eastern teams, e.g., Boston Red Sox and Brooklyn Dodgers, "because we felt their stories especially rich in the human drama that accompanies the history of every team." However, I agree with a reviewer (who bears the name of one of Detroit's best first basemen ever) who laments that this really does slight the deep baseball history that covers much more territory than New York to Boston.Again, though, certainly not a fatal flaw by any stretch in this book.

This book is seen as complementary to the documentary series on PBS, designed to elaborate certain issues in ways not possible in the TV medium. Some of the special features in both the documentary and book are the recollections of Buck O'Neil; interviews with historians, writers, managers, and players.Finally, essays by a number of "guests" represent an interesting twist.Roger Angell has a wonderful Introduction, "Hard Lines," in which he juxtaposes the apparent ease of playing baseball with the harsh realities of players often fighting just to stay in the big leagues or losing the joy for the game (note the brief discussion on Carl Yastrzemski).He observes that: "Once we understand how really hard it is, we become citizens of baseball, admiring its laws and just paths, even when the luck of the day hasn't gone our way."Other guest commentators include George Will, Bill James, and Doris Kearns Goodwin.

But the book is about baseball, so the nine innings are themselves the heart of this book.The early years, up until 1900, feature a strange game to us today, with very different rules--as well as the origins of racial segregation in the game (the issue of race is one of the main themes of the book).The second inning discusses the game as "Something like a war," when players played and fought hard.And so on.No need to provide a full chronology. Some special segments: the role of Babe Ruth, in the Fourth Inning, helping baseball dig out from under the disaster of the Chicago Black Sox, who threw a World Series. The Sixth Inning features the end of segregation in baseball, with Jackie Robinson's big league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

A final quotation from Buck O'Neil illustrates how the game can be addictive--to players (and even to fans), when he says: "There is nothing in life like getting your body to do all the things it has to do on the baseball field."

All in all, an ambitious work, trying to capture the spirit of baseball, its sins, and its contributions.While I do have some questions about this volume, as already noted, it ends up not quite being a home run, but it surely is extra bases.

5-0 out of 5 stars if you love baseball
I think that this book is great. I also own the PBS series on video. I like how it focuses on the human side of the history of baseball. It doesnt just tell all the numbers and stats. If you are a baseball fan I'm sure you will enjoy this.

2-0 out of 5 stars Error
I looked up Curt Flood in the index, turned to p. 339, and found a story told by Flood that is quite obviously inaccurate. Flood said that in 1957 he had a very distasteful experience with a segregated clubhouse.This is the same story he told to Ken Turan of the LA Times a year or so before his death.But then he placed the story in 1956, when he was playing in a different league. Unhappily, there appears to be no substance to the story. A check with Bill White, former president of the Nat'l League in Danville where Flood placed it, elicited the response that no such situation existed.Othere attempts to corroborate the story also fell short.One has to conclude that if there is one serious error in the book, the rest of the stories might also be invented.

Stuart Weiss---slw8125@lvcm.com ... Read more

2. Baseball: A History of America's Game (Illinois History of Sports)
by Benjamin G. Rader
Paperback: 296 Pages (2008-05-02)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0252075501
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

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.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Solid Throwback Piece of Work"
Great book, I actually read this book during the All-Star Break and it conjured up reminants of nostalgia from my own Little League days. Rader examines a "semi-comprehensive" look at Baseball's flucuating stages, touching economical and social issues, while recounting memorable games. Rader's compelling account of Ruth's "called shot" of the 1932 World Series made me feel as if I was at Wrigley! He also reminds us that American History and Baseball will forever remain synonomous, remembering the Great Depression and how the game once struggled as well. The "War Years" also serve as a testament to Baseball's effect on American society and how the game diverted many fellow Americans attention. Throughout the book, Rader illustrates graphs and charts, highlighting a club's attendance, realignment issues, and salary-cap/player income. Solid piece of historic literature on the development of the game and American history as well, his objective sold me completley, moreover, rekindled my passion for the game on all levels.
-Marshall University-

Benjamin Rader's second edition of his definitive history of America's favorite national pastime continues to score. Big. The lively, compact history has been expanded, now including baseball in the 1990s, the Latino invasion, the building of retro parks, the dizzying race for home runs (think Sosa and McGwire), the return (again) of the New York Yankees and team dynasties. This may be a somewhat scholarly analysis of the sport, but it's also highly approachable and highly readable and rich in detail. Rader takes readers into the game both inside and outside the foul lines; he also corrects errors he made the first time 'round, most notably in chapters 14 and 15. (Readers of the first edition will know exactly what we mean, and can start whooping it up now.) As for the rest of you, all together now: Take me out to the ballgame ....

5-0 out of 5 stars Baseball history the way it should be written
I am currently taking a course at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux,Louisiana, entitled: The History of Baseball. Thus far, Benjamin Rader'sbook has provided valuable insight into the complete early history of therise of baseball. Anyone seeking to explore the beginnings of the game, andwhat the game has become from its beginning, should use "Baseball: AHistory of America's Game" as the primary source. ... Read more

3. Great Moments in Baseball History
by Matt Christopher, Glenn Stout
Paperback: 128 Pages (1996-04-01)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$1.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316141305
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Capturing the suspense and play-by-play action of nine major league plays and the personalities of the athletes that made them, a fan's treasury includes Willie May's 1954 World Series catch and Jim Abbott's no-hitter. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Book Project
My son used this book for a non-fiction assignment. He enjoyed reading about the famous moments in baseball. Book was an easy read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Courage Displayed on a baseball diamond

In Great Moments In Baseball History, you can learn a lot about some of the greatest players in major league history. Matthew Christopher, the author of this book, put together his view of a 9 tremendous, and courageous pitching performances, hitting clinics, catches, and life stories in this book. Some people who are in the book are strong, courageous, have stamina, but most of all, each person has their own little characteristic different than everyone else's. Anyone who asks me about this book, all I have to tell them is that it is a great read and a wonderful grouping of stories that any true baseball fan can enjoy time and time again.
All of these stories are incredible in their own special way. For example, there is a story about a pitcher who only had one hand and he threw a no hitter against a team who had in the previous week scored 7 runs against him, he showed to everyone that he had courage. Another story describes a pitcher who had cancer and was told that he would never pitch in the majors again, and it would be considered lucky to be able to play catch in the backyard with his son. Against all odds, after just 11 short months he was back in the majors and he was pitching great. Unfortunately he was diagnosed with cancer again and had his arm removed but he is still alive and well. Finally there is my favorite story of Joe Nuxhall who pitched in his first ever major league game at the tender young age of just 15. Although he was nervous he pitched well and was signed to a contract with the Cincinnati Reds at 16 years old (he was the youngest player ever to play major league baseball).
Matthew Christopher added great little details to every story to kind of add some drama to each one. For example, he told the audience how even though Babe Ruth was old and out of shape he could still hit three homeruns in a baseball game and have fun doing so. Another example is in the story of the pitcher with cancer, Christopher added in the detail of how he "might" be able to play catch with his son in the backyard to add some drama to the already dramatic situation. There are also so great word usages in the stories and he places every one of them in the perfect spot to help the reader make sense of everything.
Great Moments In Baseball History is a great book about heart warming, funny, and enlightening stories and people. Every story is different and exciting in that one special way that you can always remember. Also the author describes everything very well and it is easy to understand every word that is being said. Finally you can learn a lot from every person in the book and a piece of their life that may reach out and touch your own life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good stuff
Matt Christopher is one of the best baseball writers for young readers out there. This is another notch in his belt. Pick this up.

5-0 out of 5 stars great moments
I found this book to be very good. Its reading level is 9th grade or so but that didnt stop this 41 year old from enjoying it. The book talks about 9 great moments in baseball and shares a few interesting perspectives on the game. Every fan should know of these charming and touching moments. If you love the game check it out.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for young ball players
My boys (9 and 14) have read many of Matt Christopher's books.All are good, some are great treats.I gave a copy of "The Kid Who Only Hit Homers" to each boy on my baseball team last year.They loved it! This year I am giving each player a copy of Christopher's "GreatMoments."I read this collection of great moments (an unassistedtriple play in the World Series for example) to my boys and enjoyed everypage.We re-read some of the stories they were so much fun.This is amust read for all young/new baseball fans. ... Read more

4. Baseball: A History of America's Favorite Game (Modern Library Chronicles)
by George Vecsey
Paperback: 272 Pages (2008-03-11)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812978706
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
“Football is force and fanatics, basketball is beauty and bounce. Baseball is everything: action, grace, the seasons of our lives. George Vecsey’s book proves it, without wasting a word.”
–Lee Eisenberg, author of The Number

In Baseball, one of the great bards of America’s Grand Old Game gives a rousing account of the sport, from its pre-Republic roots to the present day. George Vecsey casts a fresh eye on the game, illuminates its foibles and triumphs, and performs a marvelous feat: making a classic story seem refreshingly new.
Baseball is a narrative of America’s can-do spirit, in which stalwart immigrants such as Henry Chadwick could transplant cricket and rounders into the fertile American culture and in which die-hard unionist baseballers such as Charles Comiskey and Connie Mack could eventually become the tightfisted avatars of the game’s big-money establishment. It’s a celebration of such underdogs as a rag-armed catcher turned owner named Branch Rickey and a sure-handed fielder named Curt Flood, both of whom flourished as true great men of history. But most of all, Baseball is a testament to the unbreakable bond between our nation’s pastime and the fans, who’ve remained loyal through the fifty-year-long interdict on black athletes, the Black Sox scandal, franchise relocation, and the use of performance-enhancing drugs by some major stars.

Reverent, playful, and filled with Vecsey’s charm, Baseball begs to be read in the span of a rain-delayed doubleheader, and so enjoyable that, like a favorite team’s championship run, one hopes it never ends.

“Vecsey possesses a journalist’s eye for detail and a historian’s feel for the sweep of action. His research is scrupulous and his writing crisp. This book is an instant classic——a highly readable guide to America’s great enduring pastime.”— The Louisville Courier Journal

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

2-0 out of 5 stars Disapppointing
Every sportswriter has a need to reveal his childhood experiences with the great game - usually baseball but occasionally other sports. This tendency occurs in this volume. How about a different approach, especially in a thin description of the entire history of baseball? I am slightly above novice status as far as baseball knowledge and the history of baseball, yet this slim volume is way too breezy and facile for me. I believe the Modern Library series aims at brief but definitive surveys of its subject, yet this objective is not met in the current volume. I have read magazine articles and essay with more depth of analysis and description in twenty pages or less. Yet this volume assumes a basic knowledge of baseball, so I am not clear on the audience intended for this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Choppy and hard to follow.
This book could have been much better. The author constantly jumps around so the historical time-line is very hard to follow. I felt the author spent way too much time on insignificant portions of the history of baseball and ignored other crucial areas. I would only read this book if you have exhausted all other baseball history books.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Writing, But Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts
Vecsey has written some terrific columns for the New York Times, and this volume includes some very well written vignettes.Of particular interest are the description of Hall-of-Famer Cap Anson's successful lead of the boycott of African American players of the 19th century; the American need to claim baseball as its own unique sport despite evidence of a long international history of bat and ball games; a concise narrative of the Black Sox scandal; the extremely clear explanation of the Curt Flood and Andy Messersmith litigation that led to the free agent era; and an even-handed treatment of the steroid & drug scandals.On this last point, Vecsey is a sensitive observer who is able to admit his own personal fault in looking the other way at a long history of drug and alcohol abuse by players.

But the column method of writing does not translate well to a full volume, and is likely to frustrate most fans who pick up this book.

A more evenly-told chronological narrative would have been more effective.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
One of the best books I've ever read. Well written & puntuated with humour. Started reading it as soon as the book arrived and couldn't put it down until it was finished. If you like to read about the history of the game I recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Readable, Informative, Romantic
Author George Vecsey has written a very readable and informative semi-history of the national pastime.He begins with a look at the game's 19th Century evolution (perhaps even 18th Century), and we learn about the game both before and after the Civil War.Then he comes to the modern era, and informs us of starts like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, pioneers like Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey, and even looks at the commissioners, and the cheaters from the recent power surge.This book has quite a bit, for both casual fans and hardcore fanatics. ... Read more

5. Greats of the Game: The Players, Games, Teams, and Managers That Made Baseball History
by Ray Robinson, Christopher Jennison
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2005-04-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$7.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810958821
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A deceptively simple game rich in subtleties, baseball, more than any other sport, is passed down parent to child, one generation to another. In every era, fans have found heroes to cheer, and in part our attachment to the game has been fueled by hotly contested efforts to measure the superstars of the present against the titans of yesteryear. Greats of the Game fondly contributes to the nostalgic appeal of the national pastime by celebrating-in a subjective, engagingly outspoken text and dazzling, rarely seen photographs-the game's greatest players, teams, managers, games, and colorful personalities.

Here are a century's worth of stars and highlights: Babe Ruth and Nolan Ryan, Jackie Robinson and Barry Bonds, Don Larsen's perfect game, Willie Mays's catch of Vic Wertz's 450-foot drive in the 1954 World Series. Ray Robinson, author of the definitive biography of Lou Gehrig, shares more than 70 years of memories, while fellow baseball maven Christopher Jennison describes the stunning photos he has selected-in a lavish, opinionated treasury that is certain to inspire passionate debate.AUTHOR BIO: Ray Robinson has followed baseball since the heyday of Ruth and Gehrig. His books include Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time, The Home Run Heard 'Round the World, Knute Rockne of Notre Dame, and Will Rogers: An American Original. Christopher Jennison, who has chosen the photographs for this book and written the captions, is the coauthor (with Ray Robinson) of Pennants and Pinstripes and Yankee Stadium. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Gift
I bought this book to give a 16-year-old baseball player for Christmas who loves the sport.He will love all the data and pictures.It's the "real deal". ... Read more

6. Bert Sugar's Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America's Greatest Game
by Bert Randolph Sugar
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2009-05-04)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$3.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002PJ4G0E
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

This striking volume takes readers deep into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as never before. Since opening its doors in 1939, the Museum has welcomed more than 14 million wide-eyed baseball fans through its hallowed halls to experience the rich history of America’s Pastime. Now, with more than 500 color and black-and-white original and archival photographs—along with engaging and informative commentary by a celebrated sports raconteur—Bert Sugar's Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America's Greatest Game offers a quintessential take-home of the timeless experience of baseball’s spiritual home.

With sequential exhibit photographs complemented by dramatic close-up images of the most fascinating artifacts on display in the Hall—including artifacts used by legends like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and many more—the Hall of Fame experience is captured in this 320-page commemorative work.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars 'The only real game in the world'
Babe Ruth, in Sugar's opinion the greatest player who ever played the game said 'Baseball is the only real game in the world'. It may not be the only real game but it is probably the one about which there are the most statistics, history, stories of colorful personalities. All this is Sugar's favorite territory (Along with boxing) and as he takes the reader on a guided tour through the Cooperstown 'Hall of Fame' he also illuminates much about of the history and the loreof the game.
Baseball fans who also like to look in books, and there are too more good books about baseball than perhaps any other sport, will truly enjoy the tour.

5-0 out of 5 stars Baseball Fan
I have been a baseball fan for almost 50 years!! I have been to the Baseball Hall of Fame three times. Bert Sugar is very comprehensive. The photographs of the exhibits at the Hall of Fame are impressive. Its like having your own private tour of the Baseball Hall of fame. An excellent book!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Bert Sugars Baseball Hall of Fame
This is the best book on The National Baseball Hall of Fame yet! This is as close as you can get without going there. After ready this, you'll want to go there yourself. I've been there dozens of times and this would make a perfect gift for any baseball fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Experience
The book is everything I hoped it would be. Since I may never visit the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, this is the next best thing. Photography is excellent. Highly recommended for the baseball affecionado!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but could have been great!
Mr. Sugar had a great idea, but the illustrations are often not of Hall of Fame exhibits, but from other sources.The long section reprinting all of the Hall of Fame placques is a bit hard to read and the placques are displayed better on the HOF postcard set available directly from the Baseball Hall of Fame.Despite mionor reservations, this is now the best book for capturing the Hall of Fame experience.Whether you have visited the HOF or not, this is a very good book to own! ... Read more

7. Past Time: Baseball As History
by Jules Tygiel
Paperback: 288 Pages (2001-05-24)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$13.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195146042
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Few writers know more about baseball's role in American life than Jules Tygiel. In Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, Tygiel penned a classic work, a landmark book that towers above most writing about the sport. Now he ranges across the last century and a half in an intriguing look at baseball as history, and history as reflected in baseball.
In Past Time, Tygiel gives us a seat behind home plate, where we catch the ongoing interplay of baseball and American society.We begin in New York in the 1850s, where pre-Civil War nationalism shaped the emergence of a "national pastime."We witness the true birth of modern baseball with the development of its elaborate statistics--the brainchild of English-born reformer, Henry Chadwick. Chadwick, Tygiel writes, created the sport's "historical essence" and even imparted a moral dimension to the game with his concepts of "errors" and "unearned" runs. Tygiel offers equally insightful looks at the role of rags-to-riches player-owners in the formation of the upstart American League and he describes the complex struggle to establish African-American baseball in a segregated world.He also examines baseball during the Great Depression (when Branch Rickey and Larry MacPhail saved the game by perfecting the farm system, night baseball, and radio broadcasts), the ironies of Bobby Thomson's immortal "shot heard 'round the world," the rapid relocation of franchises in the 1950s and 1960s, and the emergence of rotisserie leagues and fantasy camps in the 1980s.
In Past Time, Jules Tygiel provides baseball history with a difference. Instead of a pitch-by-pitch account of great games, in this groundbreaking book, the field is American history and baseball itself is the star.Amazon.com Review
In Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy and the follow-up Jackie Robinson Reader, Jules Tygiel focused his historian's eye on what was arguably baseball's most stunning single event. Dissecting it from every angle, he followed its consequences through the weft of the national fabric in a pair of consummate, readable, and marvelously entertaining books that painted an arresting portrait of a remarkable man and his remarkable ordeal. In Past Time Tygiel widens his focus to turn his considerable narrative and interpretive skills loose on the broader tapestry of the game itself. The result is a superb collection of essays on American history filtered through the national pastime's lens. "If there is a unifying theme"--and there certainly is--"it is that while the game of baseball itself has changed minimally since its origins, the context and format in which Americans have absorbed and appreciated the game have dramatically shifted."

Drawing on his encyclopedic knowledge of the game, Tygiel uses the game as his doorway for entry into--and airing out--several rooms of the American past. Though the nine essays that make up Past Time reflect the game's nine innings and are presented chronologically, they are each entities unto themselves and can be read in any order. Rarely stepping onto the playing field, they avoid the mushiness and rhapsodizing that baseball tends to evoke. Instead, they take provocative looks at the often overlooked--like why statistics hold the game together, and why holding the game together was crucial to an America emerging from the Civil War--and fresh looks at old warhorses like baseball and the Depression era, baseball and civil rights, and baseball and America's post-World War II geographical shift. The final "inning" examines such recent obsessions as rotisserie leagues and fantasy camps, and the chapter on Bobby Thompson's famed home run and how the ways we would experience the game in the early years of the Cold War would change is thoroughly absorbing. But, then, so is the rest of Past Time. It has you wishing for extra "innings." --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific baseball history that goes outside the foul lines
As someone who's been a baseball fanatic for 40+ years, I've read literally hundreds of books on the game.While I would normally recommend the basic baseball histories by Douglass Wallopp and Charles Alexander before this one because they're the best accounts of how the game evolved ON the field, I would strongly recommend "Past Time" to anyone who wants a better understanding of how baseball has reflected American society while both have developed over the past 150 years.

The chapter on Henry Chadwick was a revelation as to how statistics were created and developed (Chadwick was the Bill James of his time), and the chapter on Branch Rickey and Larry MacPhail did a terrific job of how these two very different men changed baseball in their own ways.You'll find something different in each of the nine chapters, but they all work together seamlessly.

If you're looking for a baseball history that focuses on events on the field, try the Wallopp or Alexander books first.If you want to read a baseball history from several different and unusual angles, this is the one.A tremendous book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating social history
I enjoyed this book a lot and have now used it in two book clubs.As Jules notes in his introduction, this is more a social history than baseball as such, which means that I learned a lot about what was going on in the larger society through the lens of baseball.

1-0 out of 5 stars YAWN!...One Big Snoozefest!!
Talk about Boring! This book is about *exciting* as an International Economics textbook.Really dry & slow going!If you are already familiar with Baseball History this adds nothing new.If you aren't it will most likely send you off in search of something else to read. The only "mildly interesting" chapter was the one on the Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves history.
Go get "The Glory Of Their Times" by Lawrence Ritter if you want an excellent History book on Baseball & America.

5-0 out of 5 stars Move Over, Herodotus
Jules Tygiel, one of America's finest historians and citizens, died the day before yesterday, July 1 2008, after a three year tussle with cancer. He was a good friend; his son and mine were high school classmates, and had played against each other in Little League baseball. Jules and I were third-base coaches for their opposite teams. Jules taught history at San Francisco State University from 1978 until this year, doing the labor of Sisyphus to maintain intellectual excitement at that wounded school, which was so exciting when he started there but which was dampered and hampered by its Republican political foes. Jules's two historical concentrations were the social history of baseball and the social/economic history of America in the 1920s. His graduate seminar in the latter was described to me again and again as the most exciting history class at SFSU.

Jules wrote a concise, even-handed biography of Ronald Reagan - "Ronald Reagan and the Triumph of American Conservatism - a book that acknowledges Reagan's political skills yet clearly depicts the inconsistencies and shortcomings of his two terms as president. Jules also wrote "The Great Los Angeles Swindle: Oil, Stocks and Scandal During the Roaring Twenties," but his most widely-read books were about baseball, which he loved not only as a sport but as an aspect of America's better nature. Born in Brooklyn in 1949, Jules grew up a passionate Dodgers fan; ironically, he spent most of his career living within a few minutes of the SF Giants ballparks.

Jules first published "Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy" in 1983. That book has been reprinted consistently, awarded the Robert F Kennedy Book Award, and acclaimed by Sports Illustrated Magazine as one of the top 50 sports books of all time, yet it's hardly about baseball as a sport at all. It's a history of Jim Crow discrimination, and of the foresight and courage of Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson in defying America's inveterate racism. Jules rightly considered the integration of baseball one of the defining and enabling acts of civil rights history. Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan, an African American, has called this book his favorite ever about Robinson, and said Tygiel's book "showed us exactly how we got to where we were."

"Past Time: Baseball as History" is a broader study of American society as perceived through the lens of our national pastime. It looks at racial divides, of course, but it also examines the American fascination with statistics and efficiency, at the evolving class structure of America, at urbanization as evidenced by professional sports, at the transportation and marketing revolutions that accompanied the rise of professional sports, and at the psychology of a nation of "good sports." It's a deep and original book, this "Past Time," and one that I would put first on my reading list if I were a professor of history at any level.

If the USA appreciated its intellectual heroes as much as its military, the Major Leagues would declare a moment of silence at every baseball park in America this Fourth of July, and Jules would be buried with honors under third base at Dodgers stadium.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
What a treat! Tygiel presents nine loosely-connected essays on various aspects of baseball and their interrelation with other aspects of American history and social change.With a historian's eye for detail and mind for interpretation, each chapter presents gems of insight that even serious students of baseball history will find intriguing.Tygiel's writing style, as befits a professor of history, is intelligent, literate, and persuasive, but never dry.The "short-story" format works well, and provides opportunity for reflection--although readers may have a hard time not just moving on to the next "inning."Reflecting Tygiel's academic background, the essays are impeccably researched and lavishly footnoted, with many primary sources cited.This book is a must for fans of baseball, and for fans of US history--for fans of both, buy the hardback, and reserve a place of honor for it on your bookshelf. You'll want to read it over again, for this book's only major drawback is the lack of extra innings. ... Read more

8. But Didn't We Have Fun?: An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843-1870
by Peter Morris
Paperback: 296 Pages (2010-03-16)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1566638496
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The story of baseball in America begins not with the fabled Abner Doubleday but with a generation of mid-nineteenth-century Americans who moved from the countryside to the cities and brought a cherished but delightfully informal game with them. But Didn't We Have Fun? will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about baseball's origins. Peter Morris, author of the prizewinning A Game of Inches, takes a fresh look at the early amateur years of the game. Mr. Morris retrieves a lost era and a lost way of life. Offering a challenging new perspective on baseball's earliest years, and conveying the sense of delight that once pervaded the game and its players, Mr. Morris supplants old myths with a story just as marvelous--but one that really happened. With 25 rare photographs and drawings. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Short, sweet, if somewhat sketchy intro to the earliest days of the "National Pastime"
A fun little book, and one of the few that I've been able to find (admittedly, restricting myself to the mediocre public library where I live, at the moment) that deals with the pre-1876 or "amateur" era. While the narrative is fairly well-constructed in a mostly linear/chronological fashion, and I certainly learned a lot that I didn't know, I do feel that the work could have been a lot meatier, and in some very basic areas (how, exactly, did these early baseball games progress? Apart from the Knickerbockers rules, what other rules or guidelines were in place? How long, in fact, did a typical game last, and how many games/how often did these early clubs play) little information is offered, so that the book had, to me at least, a somewhat skeletal feel.Morris gives out a lot of names, but rushes from place to place, club to club, without really giving a meaningful picture of the hows and whys.

This is especially problematic in the area of class/race, which is barely dealt with but which certainly affected these early clubs significantly. The south is hardly mentioned, nor the far west (admittedly little-populated in this period); and it's pretty easy to decry professionalism when your club might be made up entirely of men that can afford to play for free.Also there's not enough discussion I think of the makeup of the audiences, though there is a bit of space devoted to remarks on the "youthful" nature of the game and it's partisans.Still, all in all, worthwhile for fans of early baseball and mid-nineteenth century Americana.

For a novice in baseball history (which I certainly am), then, a worthwhile and easy read, but perhaps not the serious intellectual and cultural history that those more serious students of the game might want.I don't actually know if such a book exists, or is widely available - but with the thousands and thousands of books on baseball out there, it ought to.In the meantime, all my nitpicking aside, this is a fun introduction to the pre-history and definitely makes me want to read more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Americans moved from countryside to cities and brought baseball with them
BUT DIDN'T WE HAVE FUN? AN INFORMAL HISTORY OF BASEBALL'S PIONEER ERA, 1843-1870 tells of a generation of mid-19th-century Americans who moved from countryside to cities and brought baseball with them. Author Peter Morris is a researcher and chronicler of baseball history: he uses primary documents to recreate a lost world and the underlying influences on the rise of baseball as a sport.

3-0 out of 5 stars An Anectodal Survey of the Game's Early Days
A baseball fan knows the outline of the story: Doubleday, Cartwright, The New York Knickerbockers and Cooperstown all converged in 1839 and "baseball" was created.An informed baseball fan knows that this "creation myth" of baseball is bologna.Morris attempts to fill in the questions of the creation myth and produces a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Baseball is generally thought to derive from cricket and rounders.Yet, the links are not direct.In fact, nationwide there were lots of "bat and ball" games being played.Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut all had its specific games that would have resembled modern baseball and cricket.The Knickerbockers, however, published their rules, these written rules therefore could become a template for advancing the sport nationwide.

Morris debunks the idea the Civil War advanced the spread of baseball.It was commonly thought that the soldiers must have passed it on to each other while they had downtime in camps.In fact, he shows that the clubs that played the game dwindled after the war to be rejuvenated only in 1867.

During this pioneer era, Morris makes baseball out to be like church slow-pitch softball.There are the A-teams and the B-teams, each playing to their ability for the enjoyment of the game.Yet, there is the inevitable clash between those that hire players and those who use only townsfolk.Thus, the split between the true amateurs and the professionals and their fans ends the "pioneer days" of baseball.

While Morris sets out that the book is not meant to be a true academic history, I do find two galling oversights in his work.The first is the position of black players in the amateur era.In a brief paragraph, Morris mentions that there was racism that kept black teams from equality with whites.Yet, he does not mention the 1867 by-law to the National Association of Baseball Players that banned "any club which may be composed of one or more colored players."Morris does not see the difference between being ignored and legally excluded from participation.Further, the name Octavius Catto, the pioneer of black baseball in the 1860s is not even mentioned.

The second galling oversight is that of Pittsfield, MA.Four years before publication of this book, a 1791 ordinance was found that banned "Base Ball" from being played within 80 yards of a municipal building.There is no mention of Pittsfield or this document in the work.While probably not "baseball" as we know it today, or even as the 1840s Knickerbockers knew it, the very use of the word should have garnered some notice in a history of early baseball.

These two glaring omisions aside, the work is a fun read.Especially interesting to a baseball fan should be the trajectory of the pitcher and umpire from just another fielder or honored guest into the key player in any play and the hated arbiter.I would still recommend it to any baseball fan; others would probably not enjoy it.3 1/2 Stars!

5-0 out of 5 stars Peter Morris debunks the myth about the origins of our national pastime in his delightful new book.
It was a tale that had been handed down from father to son for generations.It went something like this: "Abner Doubleday invented the game of baseball back in 1839 in the tiny village of Cooperstown in upstate New York."Now my dad certainly had no reason to doubt this version of events.And although I had heard rumblings for decades that the the evolution of baseball encompassed a far more complex series of events there was precious little written on the subject.Author Peter Morris noticed the same thing and decided to do something about it."But Didn't We Have Fun: An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneeer Era 1843-1870" presents a far more plausible scenario of how it all began.This is a book that proves to be at once highly entertaining and extremely informative.
What you will discover in "But Didn't We Have Fun?" is that the game of baseball actually evolved from any number of "ball and stick" games that were popular with youngsters around the country during the 1840's and 1850's.Something called "town ball" was all the rage in a number of eastern cities while "wicket" was the game of choice in Connecticut.Other games being played at the time were "cat ball", "sock ball" and something called the "Massachusetts game".The size of the balls and sticks varied and the rules were certainly different in almost every commmunity.What would eventually come to be known as baseball got a huge boost in the 1840's and 1850's when grown men latched onto the game and formed social clubs whose primary reason for being was playing the game.In this meticulously researched book Peter Morris brings his readers back to those halcyon days when baseball was played simply for enjoyment. You will learn about the legendary Knickerbockers ball club from New York City who took the trouble to write down the first crude set of rules in 1845.I suspect that most folks have never even heard of the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ.The is an extremely important place because Morris argues that it was here that baseball was really born. In addition, you will discover how many of the other most important teams of the era were formed.I was quite surprised to learn that many of these early teams were made up of individuals from particular trades such as railroad workers, bankers, haberdashers etc. who relished the keen competition.As time went on it seems that just about every community had at least one ball team.These clubs were a source of civic pride and the rivalries proved to be quite fierce in many instances.Morris also spends ample time discussing some of the era's most colorful and talented players and sheds light on how what had been largely considered a child's game morphed into a professional sport. Very interesting stuff!
"But Didn't We Have Fun: An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneer Era 1843-1870" is an exceptionally well written book.Anyone even remotely interested in the history of baseball will glean a ton of fascinating information from this book that you simply will not find anywhere else. And as an added bonus, Peter Morris does a fabulous job of portraying what life in America was really like during these years. It seems to me that "But Didn't We Have Fun" could be turned into a terrific installment of the PBS series "American Experience".A great gift for the sports fan or the history buff. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Baseball Book
I am unable to write a review from personal experience, but I gave the book as a gift to my 54-year-old son who is a great fan of baseball from his childhood. He reports that he found the book "fascinating" because it told of an era of baseball which is not familiar to current fans. After that glowing report, I ordered a second copy to give to a friend. Ruth Doak ... Read more

9. Evaluating Baseball's Managers: A History and Analysis of Performance in the Major Leagues, 1876-2008
by Chris Jaffe
Paperback: 333 Pages (2009-01-04)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$35.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786439203
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This ambitious study of major league managers since the formation of the National League applies a sabermetric approach to gauging their performance and tendencies. Rather than focusing solely on in-game tactical decisions, it also analyzes broader, off-the-field management issues such as handling players, fans, and media, enforcing team rules, working with the front office, and balancing pressure versus performance. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it
If the title of the book appeals to you, you're going to love this book.I did.

In the book's first part, lasting 62 pages, Chris Jaffe derives three metrics for both evaluating and describing managers' performances.These are expanded versions of articles that originally appeared on various baseball analytical websites.For the key metric, Jaffe examines five aspects of team seasonal performance above or below expectations shaped by the team's surrounding seasons.If a manager has a sufficiently long track record, Jaffe assumes that the performance above or below expectations is due to the manager and not randomness, luck, or other influences.Obviously, that's an artificial assumption as Jaffe recognizes, but it is the best attempt at trying to both quantify a manager's value and describe what he does well that I've seen.There are definitely problems with the metric, most notably that managers blest with strong talent tend to do well, but it's a start.

That first section can be a bit dry, so if you're impatient, feel free to skip chapter 3.

The last 70% of the book is the payoff.There are mini-chapters on every manager with a moderately long major league career applying Jaffe's metrics and describing what the manager does well.This material is just terrific, with plenty of original observations.Jaffe's metrics give him an informed perspective that you won't read elsewhere.This portion of the book is not as quantitative and makes for better reading.The last two chapters, on current and recently-retired managers are the best portions of the book, so peek ahead to read a minichapter on one of your favorite recent managers to see if you'll like it.

One downside is that while the book's subtitle indicates it covers through 2008, in some respects it stops in 2006 due to the restrictions of Jaffe's methodology.Nonetheless, I very much liked it and give the book a 5-star rating.

Note that while the book is a bit expensive for a mere 288 pages, there is plenty of text per page, so it's not a bad bargain. ... Read more

10. The Timeline History of Baseball
by Don Jensen
Hardcover: 72 Pages (2009-05-19)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$13.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592239919
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

“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.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book of baseball's history!
Great book for people of all ages who love baseball!!Got it for my husband, and he enjoyed it greatly!! ... Read more

11. When the Game Was Black and White: The Illustrated History of Baseball's Negro Leagues
by Bruce Chadwick
Hardcover: Pages (1997-06)
list price: US$14.98
Isbn: 0896600912
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Richly illustrated with rare memorabilia and vintage photos, this volume uncovers a lost legacy of American sports history and of American cultural history. In addition to the story of black major-league baseball, this book presents the fascinating tale of barnstorming, integrated Latin American baseball, "off the record" black vs. white contests, and more. (Abbeville Press)Amazon.com Review
With archival photos, text, anecdotes, and memorabilia, this handsome portrait of the Negro Leagues presents some of the greatest ballplayers in the history of the game who never played in the majors. Classic shots of legends such as Satchel Paige (in full wind-up), Josh Gibson, and Buck O'Neil are poignant reminders of what professional baseball might have been without the color barrier. ... Read more

12. A Picture Postcard History of Baseball
by Ron Menchine
Paperback: 124 Pages (1992-11-25)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$5.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0930256212
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A selected historical view of baseball from the early 1900's to the late 1950's.Also includeds reference information for the postcard collector. ... Read more

13. Sports Illustrated: The Baseball Book
by Editors of Sports Illustrated
Hardcover: 294 Pages (2006-10-17)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$21.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003156FYG
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Continuing in the tradition of Sports Illustrated’s 50th Anniversary Book and The Football Book comes a spectacular celebration of baseball that will be treasured by fans of the National Pastime.With the same kind of unforgettable photographs and award-winning writing that propelled The Football Book to surpass the sales of The Anniversary Book, a New York Times best-seller, this lavish coffee-table volume brings to life the legendary players, the classic action and the great traditions of the Summer Game. In 294 oversized pages, The Baseball Book commemorates the epic teams and characters, the crucial plays and classic games, the personalities and performances and artifacts that have kept baseball at the heart of American sports for more than a century. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Love this book! Makes a great coffeetable book and can be a great coversation starter!

5-0 out of 5 stars Baseball illustrated
Thank you so much for your lighting fast shipping. This made our Christmas go alot smoother since this was a Christmas gift and they are going to open their gift on time now. We really appreciate professional sellers like you that try their best for their customers. Thank you,again and Merry Christmas :)

5-0 out of 5 stars Baseball History
A great book about Baseball. Lots of Info and Awesome pictures. I highly recommend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Baseball Addicts Dream Book
I bought this book for my 12 year old nephew. He said his dad has a copy but won't let him look at it. He was so happy to get his own copy. He was showing it to everybody. And..the best part is, Auntie got a big hug from him.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for baseball fans
Book that is great for baseball fans.Photos and facts that are good fun for an old man to sit down with. ... Read more

14. We Would Have Played for Nothing: Baseball Stars of the 1950s and 1960s Talk About the Game They Loved (The Baseball Oral History Project)
by Fay Vincent
Paperback: 336 Pages (2009-04-07)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$3.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416553436
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
An All-Star lineup of former major leaguers remembers what baseball was like in the 1950s and 1960s. Whitey Ford, Duke Snider, Carl Erskine, Bill Rigney, and Ralph Branca tell stories about baseball in New York when the Yankees dominated and seemed to play either the Dodgers or the Giants in every World Series. By the end of the fifties, the two National League teams had relocated to California, as baseball expanded across the country. Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts, Braves mainstay Lew Burdette, home-run king Harmon Killebrew, Cubs slugger Billy Williams, and Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson share great stories about milestone events, from Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier on the field to Frank Robinson doing the same in the dugout. They remember the teammates and opponents they admired, including Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Warren Spahn, Don Newcombe, and Ernie Banks.

For anyone who grew up watching baseball in the 1950s and 1960s, or for anyone who wonders what it was like in the days when ballplayers negotiated their own contracts and worked real jobs in the off-season, this is a book to cherish. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good But Not Great
The concept, the players involved, the era - all led me to eagerly look forward to this book. Quite honestly, I was disappointed. Players in their own words, and we're talking Berra, Mantle, Killebrew, Ford, Brooks and Frank Robinson, etc., all talking about the game during the 1950s and 1960s, their respective introductions to the game and the major leagues, experiences, players they found to be the best of their times.....a winning combination. However, I think Vincent does and inadequate job of editing to provide a smooth flow to the reader. The book was simply choppy throughout, in my humble opinion. It isn't a terrible book by any means, it just was not at all up to what I expected and wanted.

5-0 out of 5 stars We Would Have Played for Nothing
I purchased this book at the request of my husband who absolutely loves it.I am waiting for another book by Fay Vincent to arrive.

5-0 out of 5 stars Memories
This collection of interviews takes me back to my youth when there were sixteen big league teams, with 7 of them in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. These are the names I remember--their stories were enjoyable to read, and often pleasantly surprising. I especially enjoyed reading about Bobby Thompson's famous home run from people who were there at the time, including the guy who threw the pitch and the guy who didn't. Great fun.

4-0 out of 5 stars That Good Old Plain Vanilla
This reviewer chose to read "We Would Have Played for Nothing" after finishing a particularly gritty true crime tale, "Darkest Night". Something easy on the psyche and soul was called for. This plain vanilla baseball tale filled the bill. Eleven former stars are featured here in a nice, easy, conversational tone.Those of us of a "certain age" have heard these tales before but who is counting?NYC natives like this reader will be pleased to discover that five chapters spotlight guys who played or managed here: Ralph Branca (Dodgers), Bill Rigney (Giants), Duke Snider (Dodgers), Carl Erskine (Dodgers) and Whitey Ford (Yankees). It has always impressed this reader what good press Branca and Erskine have received. Those guys must have had no enemies!This reviewer enjoyed learning about the Cubs' Billy Williams, who was a tad "current".A nice touch is the placement of old trading cards on the cover, recalling happy memories from halcyon days. One sore point is the lack of any player statistics. Their inclusion should have been easy, given that the author is a former Commissioner!That merits the deduction of a star. Beyond that minor rant" For Nothing" is a fine choice for amazoners of that certain age range wishing to visit with their heroes of the past. Younger readers will have a fine opportunity to appreciate the stars of the 50s and 60s. NYC baseball fans of virtually any age should pounce. "For Nothing" is an easy one to recommend.

5-0 out of 5 stars They Almost Played For Nothing Anyway
Fay Vincent came up with a great idea; and the end result was a great book.Of course, his idea was to interview a bunch of baseball players from the '50s & '60s, and just let them talk about the days when they played the game.From Duke Snider to Billy Williams, we're treated to wonderful memories from some of the game's brightest stars.

In those days, even the great players were lucky to get much more than $10,000 a year, and even if they had great years, they would inevitably be informed by a tightwad general manager that it really wasn't so "great" after all.Of course, back then, the players were at the mercy of the front office, so their bargaining power was limited.

In essense, these guys certainly would've played for nothing; as it was, they played for little more than "nothing".Of course, most of the players had to work during the offseason just to make ends meet.With that type of harsh reality, it made the players respect the game much more than today's prima donnas, and it certainly made for a more exciting brand of baseball.

This book is a wonderful slice of baseball history, from a bygone era; certainly a gem for any fan of the game to cherish. ... Read more

15. The History of the Texas Rangers (Baseball (Mankato, Minn.).)
by Aaron Frisch
Hardcover: 32 Pages (2002-08)
list price: US$27.10 -- used & new: US$91.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583412263
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Highlights the key personalities and memorable games of the Texas Rangers, a team that moved from Washington, D.C., to the Dallas-Forth Worth area in 1972. ... Read more

16. Center Field Shot: A History of Baseball on Television
by James R. Walker, Robert V. Bellamy Jr.
Paperback: 402 Pages (2008-06-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$14.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0803248253
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

In Baseball Weekly’s list of things that most affected baseball in the twentieth century, television ranked second—behind only the signing of Jackie Robinson. The new medium of television exposed baseball to a genuinely national audience; altered the financial picture for teams, owners, and players; and changed the way Americans followed the game. Center Field Shot explores these changes—all even more prominent in the first few years of the twenty-first century—and makes sense of their meaning for America’s pastime.
Center Field Shot traces a sometimes contentious but mutually beneficial relationship from the first televised game in 1939 to the new era of Internet broadcasts, satellite radio, and high-definition TV, considered from the perspective of businessmen collecting merchandising fees and advertising rights, franchise owners with ever more money to spend on talent, and broadcasters trying to present a game long considered “unfriendly” to television. Ultimately the association of baseball with television emerges as a reflection of—perhaps even a central feature of—American culture at large.
(20080527) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Capturing Baseball History
The early days of televised baseball were fairly drab; I recall watching a replay of a 1952 World Series game between the Yankees & Dodgers, and couldn't believe how rudimentary the whole telecast appeared to be.What kept my interest was the historical significance of watching guys like Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Gil Hodges & Pee Wee Reese perform.Of course, there was no slow motion instant replay, and the primary camera angle was from behind home plate, from an overly elevated position.It felt like you had a crummy seat, especially since you knew catching a foul ball was impossible.

How times have changed.The gradual introduction of the centerfield camera changed the viewer's perspective of the game, for the better.In fact, with each passing year, the innovations from improved camera angles and technological advances have made the action seem so close, the viewer now has the best seat in the house.

The magic of televised baseball's centerfield shot has made the game a pleasure for the fan to watch, regardless of the outcome.Who could forget the shot of Carlton Fisk after hitting that dramatic game winning home run in the '75 World Series?He used every bit of body English imaginable to will that long shot down the left field line to stay fair; and it did.Classsic.

Any fan of the game will certainly enjoy James R Walker's fascinating look at baseball from the centerfield camera.It's the only way to watch a game, if you can't be there in person.

5-0 out of 5 stars Baseball and Television - From Every Angle
A well written book in which the authors discuss the yet still developing and sometimes burgeoning relationship between baseball and television.First discussed is local baseball telecasts of baseball, which were done well before any national coverage of baseball, the national coverage in terms of broadcast and cable channels, and how this "marriage" of baseball and television has been dysfunctional - various announcers are discussed, too.Many nice insights in this book - it gives THE best explanation for the declining attendance figures of the Fifties and the contraction of the minor leagues then that I have read in my lifetime - it was almost like a light bulb went off in my head when i read that section. It's also fun to read about how few camera angles were used in the early telecasts of games, and how surprising it was to read that the centerfield camera shot was discouraged by MLB and not prominent until the later Sixties.A book definitely worth getting - the chapter on the television rights was kinda slow reading (X year contract for X billion dollars, etc) and the chapter references in this book (ie "see Chapter XX" or "discussed in Chapter XX") got a little annoying but all in all, a better book than I expected. ... Read more

17. The Only Game in Town: Baseball Stars of the 1930s and 1940s Talk About the Game They Loved (The Baseball Oral History Project)
by Fay Vincent
Paperback: 256 Pages (2007-04-03)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$3.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743273184
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The 1930s was the era of such baseball legends as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, and Joe DiMaggio. In The Only Game in Town, pitcher Elden Auker recalls what it was like to face these sluggers, while Red Sox outfielder Dom DiMaggio remembers how he nearly ended his brother Joe's record hitting streak. Then, in the 1940s, baseball underwent tremendous change. First came World War II, and stars such as Bob Feller and future star Warren Spahn -- both among the ten ballplayers who discuss their playing days in this book -- left the game to serve their country. When the war ended, integration came to baseball. Jackie Robinson was soon followed by other outstanding African-American ballplayers, including Larry Doby and Monte Irvin, both of whom recall their pioneering experiences in Major League Baseball. Buck O'Neil describes scouting and coaching the next generation of African-American ballplayers and helping them make it into the major leagues. Johnny Pesky and Tommy Henrich recall great Red Sox-Yankees rivalries, but from opposite sides, while Ralph Kiner remembers his remarkable ten-year stretch as the most feared home-run hitter of his day.

The ten ballplayers who spoke with Fay Vincent for this fascinating book bring back to life baseball from a bygone time. Their stories make The Only Game in Town a must-have for all baseball fans. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

3-0 out of 5 stars The rapid shifts from subject to subject greatly diminishes a good book
The personal reminiscences of former players are excellent ways to learn additional information about the history of major league baseball and in a few cases debunk some of the myths. However, it must be done well, specifically it must be organized so that it flows. That was not done here, there is little flow to the comments of the players, the stream of consciousness regularly undergoes a dramatic shift and it takes a sentence or two before you realize that the subject has changed. The two most interesting new bits of baseball history that I learned were both recounted by Elden Auker. The first was that Leo Durocher was once Babe Ruth's roommate and Durocher was caught trying to steal a gold watch and $500 from Ruth. The second was that when a group of baseball players went to Japan before the Second World War, one of the players, Moe Berg, served as a spy for the U. S. government.
The players interviewed for the book are:

*) Elden Auker
*) Bob Feller
*) Tommy Henrich
*) John "Buck" O'Neil
*) Dom Dimaggio
*) Johnny Pesky
*) Warren Spahn
*) Larry Doby
*) Ralph Kiner
*) Monte Irvin

Since there were great changes in major league baseball during the careers of these players, if you can get past the disjointed presentation, this is a good book of baseball history.

2-0 out of 5 stars Rambling, sloppy, incoherent
Despite the title, several of the players interviewed for this book starred in the 1950s.Many of the verbatim interviews are nothing more than rambling, incoherent reminiscences of aged players whose memories are exaggerated at best.Ralph Kiner's interview, in particular, is almost undecipherable, much like his broadcasts were.

3-0 out of 5 stars worth while, and that's about it
It was worth hearing these players' words verbatim, but it did make it awkward to read. Passing this off as original is a stretch; Fay Vincent "might" have compiled this stuff, but he certainly didn't do any real work.
It would have been better if they had put the questions that were asked, so you could follow a bit easier.

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor execution by a skilled lawyer
One would think that a former commissioner of baseball and skilled attorney would be able to product a fascinating set of reminesces that served to educate the reader about baseball during the Depression.Sadly, that's not the case.

It's unclear whether Vincent had any interaction with the players.These unfocused streams of consciosness don't really show any thought regarding what types of information was being sought.It's as if someone sent a tape and said "talk about what you remember from playing baseball for three hours and return" and then pretty much typed what they said verbatim.

In short, I was very disappointed.There's a great book to be written on baseball during the Great Depression, but this isn't it.

4-0 out of 5 stars WELL WORTH IT

18. The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball
by Roberto González Echevarría
Paperback: 512 Pages (2001-05-24)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195146050
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
From the first amateur leagues of the 1860s to the exploits of Livan and Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, here is the definitive history of baseball in Cuba. Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria expertly traces the arc of the game, intertwining its heroes and their stories with the politics, music, dance, and literature of the Cuban people.What emerges is more than a story of balls and strikes, but a richly detailed history of Cuba told from the unique cultural perch of the baseball diamond.
Filling a void created by Cuba's rejection of bullfighting and Spanish hegemony, baseball quickly became a crucial stitch in the complex social fabric of the island. By the early 1940s Cuba had become major conduit in spreading the game throughout Latin America, and a proving ground for some of the greatest talent in all of baseball, where white major leaguers and Negro League players from the U.S. all competed on the same fields with the cream of Latin talent.Indeed, readers will be introduced to several black ballplayers of Afro-Cuban descent who played in the Major Leagues before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier once and for all.Often dramatic, and always culturally resonant, Gonzalez Echevarria's narrative expertly lays open the paradox of fierce Cuban independence from the U.S. with Cuba's love for our national pastime.It shows how Fidel Castro cannily associated himself with the sport for patriotic p.r.--and reveals that his supposed baseball talent is purely mythical. Based on extensive primary research and a wealth of interviews, the colorful, often dramatic anecdotes and stories in this distinguished book comprise the most comprehensive history of Cuban baseball yet published and ultimately adds a vital lost chapter to the history of baseball in the U.S.Amazon.com Review
The "national" in "national pastime" is a relative term inYale literature professor and former semi-pro catcher Roberto GonzalezEchevarria's meticulous examination of baseball in the land of hisbirth. A respected scholar, Echevarria is also a fan, and he managesto weave both objectivity and appreciation throughout a carefullyresearched and multi-layered narrative that draws from numerousfirst-person reminiscences. If Echevarria's prose is dry at times, itmanages to cover plenty of interesting territory as he threads thegame through the fabric of Cuban history, culture, and lore.

Theisland's romance with baseball has remarkable parallels andinterconnections with America's embrace of the game. Ballplayers fromthe United States loved to barnstorm during the off-season inwide-open Havana, the Dodgers used to train there, the CubanLeague--alums include Brooks Robinson, Tommy Lasorda, Don Hoak, andDon Zimmer--was a major force in the vibrant spread of baseballthrough the Caribbean, and, not surprisingly, several Major and NegroLeague standouts--Martin Dihigo, Bert Campaneris, Mike Cuellar, LuisTiant, Minnie Minoso, Camilo Pascual, Tony Oliva, and, more recently,the Hernandez brothers--were stars in their homeland first. But thereare also stunning and powerful differences, as stunning and powerfulas the differences between the two countries since Castro's rise topower.

Castro's own obsession with the game plays prominently,though Echevarria is quick to strike out the myth that Fidel himselfwas once a prospect. "Let it be known here," he emphasizes, "thatFidel Castro was never scouted by any major-league team, and is notknown to have enjoyed the kind of success in baseball that would havebrought a scout's attention to him." He had to settle for the world'sattention instead. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cuban Baseball
It's an excellent and very well documented book and easy to read.
It relates Cuban Baseball History from its begining.

2-0 out of 5 stars The Pride of Havana:A History of Cuban Baseball
Although the book offers a TON of information on the history of baseball in Cuba, there is definitely way too much reading and not enough pictures!I would have liked to see pictures along with the reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bestbook on Cuban baseball!
I loved this book! From the very beginning Gonzalez Echavarria had me smelling the air in a Cuban baseball satdium and feeling the tension in the crowd as the pitchers winds up.

But what this book truly delivers, is a history lesson to those who think they know Cuban baseball, which has often been "presented" through American eyes (such as PBS specials or even through Ken Burns' documentary on Baseball).

Cubans not only exported baseball through Latin America, but because of the paradox of the intense Cuban racism at the amateur level and integrated leagues at the professional level, many young black Cuban players found fame and fortune in Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and other places (including the Negro Leagues in the US), while many US professional Negro Leagues got to play alogside white US teammates in professional Cuban teams. Even the virulent Ty Cobb!

It also tells the stories of Cuban legends - such as Adolfo Luque - who played in the US Major Leagues in the 20's through the 60's - both as pitcher and manager in a time when white Cubans were allowed to play US professional baseball while their talented black countrymen couldn't.

This is a must read - from a Cuban perspective - for fans of baseball - not just Cuban baseball!

3-0 out of 5 stars Canseco Over Linares or Tony Oliva?
In the months that have passed since the publication of RGE's monumental book on Cuban baseball history the nature and value of his work has slowly come more clearly into focus. The dedicated scholar-author is to be praisedfor his valuable contribution in providing rich detail on the early yearsof Cuban baseball not found in other English-language sources. But as DavidSkinner has pointed out in a recent on-target review in the scholarlyjournal NINE (Canadian Scholars' Press), Professor Gonzalez has throughoutengaged in a good deal of mythmaking of his own. While RGE provides manydelighful nuggets about early Cuban baseball and Negro league barnstormingon the island, and while he also does service for monolingual baseballenthusiasts by translating into English accounts and statistics from earlyseasons heretofore found only in Spanish-language books like those of RaulDiez Muro and Angel Torres, Skinner emphasizes rightly that there are manyshortcomings in PRIDE OF HAVANA as a comprehensive history of Cuba'snational pastime. RGE's heavy anti-Castro's politics causes him to lace the40s and 50s era "Golden Age" with a thick coat of unwarrantednostalgia (baseball was actually near its death-knell in Cuba at the time),to dismiss the exciting and competitive brand of Cuban League baseballplayed after the revolution as totally worthless and unworthy of detailedchronicle, and to ignore the crucial fact (which should be central to anycomprehensive history of island baseball) that the sport has only beennational in its scope in Cuba after 1962 (the professional league whichended in 1961 was restrict to the city of Havana). Skinner's review alsounderscores other shortcomings: facts of Negro League barnstorming in Cubaare often presented without documentation and sometimes even inaccurtate;abilities and accomplishments of recent defectors and Cuban-born majorleaguers are highly exaggerated (especially the claim that one-dimensionalslugger Jose Canseco is perhaps the best-ever Cuban born player, ratherthan Martin Dihigo or Tony Oliva or Luis Tiant Jr.); legitimate islandstars like Omar Linares, Jose Ibarand Jose Contreras are taken lightlybecause "they have not played against major leaguers," and theoutright dismissal of the past forty years of Cuban baseball development(about one-third of the time frame covered by the saga of Cuban baseball)undermines any claim for a full-scale comprehensive history of the subject.THE PRIDE OF HAVANA has its many merits. But if one wants to see the truecoloration of RGE's approach and discover what is missing in this ratherincomplete history of Cuban baseball, an excellent start is David Skinner'sperceptive review (NINE, Vol. 8, No. 2, Spring 2000).

4-0 out of 5 stars Papa Montero Says...
This book filled many voids for me with regard to the history of Cuban baseball. It is especially good in discussing the heyday of Cuban baseball in the twenties and thirties. Like one of the other reviewers, though, I was dissappointed that the author did not discuss baseball since therevolution in greater detail. ... Read more

19. The Louisville Baseball Almanac (KY)
by Philip Von Borries
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-07-16)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596299940
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Though long associated with fine bourbons, riverboats and champion Thoroughbreds, Louisville, Kentucky, is home to another icon--the Louisville slugger. The Louisville Baseball Almanac presents the first-ever comprehensive look at the rich history of professional teams, ballplayers and managers, a history that runs deep within the city. Originally a major-league city that won a pennant in 1890, the early Louisville teams gave rise to a host of legends and eccentrics, in equal measure. And ever since, Louisville has maintained a strong position in baseball history as a top-flight minor league city. Red Sox, Yankee, Dodger, Reds and Cardinals fans--aseball fans!--have Louisville to thank for launching the careers of some of the game's most memorable players. Louisville baseball historian Philip Von Borries recounts the breadth of Louisville's ballplaying heritage, his text complemented by numerous vintage photographs. ... Read more

20. Smithsonian Baseball: Inside the World's Finest Private Collections
by Stephen Wong
Paperback: 296 Pages (2007-04-01)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$3.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061121215
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Among the national treasures you'll find:

  • The only known photographic image of baseball's first organized team, the New York Knickerbockers, circa 1846.
  • Original copy of the first written rules of modern baseball.
  • One of the earliest known color advertising posters promoting the very first set of baseball cards, released in 1887.
  • Scorecard from the inaugural World Series in 1903.
  • Shoeless Joe Jackson's rookie-era game-used bat.
  • Game-worn jerseys of Ty Cobb, Dizzy Dean, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Grove, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Smiothsonian Baseball
I purchased this as a gift and the recipient was thrilled with it.I did sneak a peak before giving it away and enjoyed it immencely.

5-0 out of 5 stars Smithsonian Baseball
A very well done book. Big glossy pictures of some of the greatest Baseball artifacts in America. Probably the closest I will get to seeing these in person.

5-0 out of 5 stars 1 picture is worth...........
As a lover of the old days of baseball (prior to the 1970's) , and with an interest in various types of artifacts pertaining to the old days,this book wonderfully broadened my horizons.The sections on baseball cards was especially fascinating for me as i do some collecting to add to some as i had as a kid (50's-60's).
would recommend this book to anyone remotely interested in the old days of baseball or collects baseball memorabilia.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, It's Beautiful, but It's Smart, Too
Stephen Wong has created a drop-dead gorgeous look at some of the game's great artifacts, and many will be surprised to learn that they are not at the Baseball Hall of Fame nor even at the Smithsonian (despite the book's title). The game's artifacts extend way beyond the cards and gimcrack collectibles sold at the ballpark, and Wong has deftly toggled his focus from collectible to collector and back again, providing a memorable prose portrait of the lively game played off the field. I cannot recommend this brilliantly conceived book highly enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Coffee-Table Book
This beautiful book belongs in every baseball enthusiast's library, but it would be a mistake to keep it on the shelves.Author Stephen Wong has partnered with the Smithsonian to publish the moststunning book on baseball on the market.It deserves to be on your coffee table not only because of its wonderful photographs but also due to the wonderfully rich way he presents the history of the game.Wong gained remarkable access to the sport's foremost collectors, combing through hundreds of images and memorabilia items.The payoff is tremendous for anyone with an interest in baseball or, for that matter, in American history and culture.Readers will learn the essential facts about the game, and the fascinating tidbits, such as the origins of the curve ball.They then get to see remarkable shots, some most unusual - from folk art statues to Don Larsen's enshrined shoes from his perfect game to the bricks of former stadiums.In fact, this book should be placed in the Hall of Fame! ... Read more

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats