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1 Burnside Sports and Fitness- Baseball Teams

The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball

by

The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball Cover

ISBN13: 9780871138859
ISBN10: 0871138859
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of America's greatest sportswriters, Frank Deford, tackles the story of two of baseball's legendary figures -superstar baseball pitcher Christy Mathewson and Giants Manager John McGraw- and how their friendship helped bring the first Worlds Championship to New York City. When Mathewson joined the Giants in 1903, the Giants were coming off their worst season ever. Mathewson was one of baseball's first superstars. College educated (at a time when only 6% of Americans had finished high school), good looking and a man of strong morals and principles, Mathewson captured America's attention as a superlative athlete and a role model. By contrast, his coach John McGraw was a pugnacious cocksure hell raiser who loved to gamble and play dirty. Yet together, Mathewson went onto win 31 games in 1905, and clinched New York City's first World Series title by throwing three shut outs on six days rest, an incredible feat that has never been surpassed by any pitcher since. While both of these men would meet tragic ends (Mathewson died from TB at age 45 a 373 game winner and was honored with a period of national mourning; McGraw would never again win a world series and died an embittered alcoholic), never was there such an odd couple in the history of the sport. Because of their association, baseball had it's first superstar, the Giants ascended into legend, and baseball as a national pastime bloomed.

Review:

"At the turn of the 20th century, 'every American could want to be Christy Mathewson,' Deford writes, and 'every American could admire John J. McGraw.' For a generation of fans in the era before Babe Ruth, Giants pitcher Mathewson was the best baseball had to offer and the epitome of good sportsmanship. By contrast, McGraw was a hard-drinking player/manager frequently ejected from games for attacking the umps. When McGraw came to New York (after wearing out his welcome elsewhere), though, the two became so close that they moved in together along with their wives. Deford, expanding on an article he wrote for Sports Illustrated, provides an entertaining string of anecdotes peppered with his own observations, focusing on one player and then looping back to address the other. An NPR Morning Edition weekly commentator, Deford has a thoughtful eye for the details of a century past, but he also points out how much early 1900s baseball culture shares with today's, as when he compares early gambling scandals to the contemporary steroids controversy. Though not quite a full biography of either player, this lively volume offers great diversion for any baseball fan. B&w photos. Agent, Sterling Lord. (Apr.) Forecast: Heralded by GQ as 'the world's greatest sportswriter,' Deford is sure to get plenty of media attention at the start of the season." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

With his regular contributions to "Sports Illustrated and National Public Radio's "Morning Edition. Frank Deford is, in the words of "The Sporting News. "the most influential sports voice among members of the American print media." In "The Old Ball Game, America's most beloved sports-writer does a masterful job of chronicling the early days of America's most beloved pastime. At the turn of the twentieth century, every American man wanted to be Christy Mathewson. One of baseball's first superstars, he was over six feet tall, clean-cut, college educated (at a time when only 6 percent of Americans had finished high school), didn't pitch on the Sabbath, and rarely spoke a negative word about anyone. He also had one of the most devastating arms in all of baseball. New York Giants manager John McGraw, by contrast, was ferocious. Nicknamed "the Little Napoleon." the pugnacious tough guy had been a star baseball player who, with the Baltimore Orioles, helped develop the hit-and-run, the "Baltimore chop," and the squeeze play. When McGraw joined the Giants in 1902, the Giants were coming off their worst season ever. Yet within three years, Mathewson clinched New York City's first World Series title by throwing three straight shutouts over six days, an incredible feat that has never been surpassed by any pitcher since and is often called the greatest World Series performance ever. Both men came to the Giants at that moment when New York itself was becoming the first city of the world--a rambunctious metropolis second only to London in population. Baseball was, likewise, quickly becoming America's game. This was when the sport was still in its reckless infancy, when groundskeepers would doctorfoul lines and outfielders would hide baseballs in ankle-deep weeds in case they couldn't find the ball in play. Mathewson and McGraw helped bring baseball into the modern era by refining the sport's tactics. Because of their association, baseball had its first superstar, the Giants ascended into legend, and baseball as a national pastime bloomed.

Synopsis:

In The Old Ball Game, America's most beloved sportswriter, Frank Deford, masterfully chronicles how a friendship between two towering figures in baseball helped make the sport a national pastime. At the turn of the twentieth century, every American man wanted to be Christy Mathewson. One of baseball's first superstars, he was clean-cut, didn't pitch on the Sabbath, and rarely spoke a negative word about anyone. He also had one of the most devastating arms in all of baseball. New York Giants manager John McGraw, by contrast, was ferocious. Nicknamed "the Little Napoleon," the pugnacious tough guy had been a star baseball player who helped develop the hit-and-run. When McGraw joined the Giants in 1902, the team was coming off its worst season ever. Yet within three years, Mathewson clinched New York City's first World Series title by throwing three straight shutouts over six days, an incredible feat that is often called the greatest World Series performance ever. Frank Deford, a senior contributing writer at Sports Illustrated and weekly commentator on NPR's Morning Edition, recounts the rise of baseball's first superstar, the Giants' ascent into legend, and the sport's transformation into a national obsession.

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bookends, May 12, 2008 (view all comments by bookends)
Another great read from Mr. Deford. All youngsters should read about gentlemanly Christy Mathewson and his mark on the early years of professional baseball.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780871138859
Subtitle:
How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball
Author:
Deford, Frank
Publisher:
Atlantic Monthly Press
Subject:
History
Subject:
Baseball - History
Subject:
Baseball
Subject:
Baseball - Specific Teams
Subject:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Baseball / History
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20050224
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW illustrations throughout
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 18 oz

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Related Subjects

Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Baseball » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » General

The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Atlantic Monthly Press - English 9780871138859 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "At the turn of the 20th century, 'every American could want to be Christy Mathewson,' Deford writes, and 'every American could admire John J. McGraw.' For a generation of fans in the era before Babe Ruth, Giants pitcher Mathewson was the best baseball had to offer and the epitome of good sportsmanship. By contrast, McGraw was a hard-drinking player/manager frequently ejected from games for attacking the umps. When McGraw came to New York (after wearing out his welcome elsewhere), though, the two became so close that they moved in together along with their wives. Deford, expanding on an article he wrote for Sports Illustrated, provides an entertaining string of anecdotes peppered with his own observations, focusing on one player and then looping back to address the other. An NPR Morning Edition weekly commentator, Deford has a thoughtful eye for the details of a century past, but he also points out how much early 1900s baseball culture shares with today's, as when he compares early gambling scandals to the contemporary steroids controversy. Though not quite a full biography of either player, this lively volume offers great diversion for any baseball fan. B&w photos. Agent, Sterling Lord. (Apr.) Forecast: Heralded by GQ as 'the world's greatest sportswriter,' Deford is sure to get plenty of media attention at the start of the season." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , With his regular contributions to "Sports Illustrated and National Public Radio's "Morning Edition. Frank Deford is, in the words of "The Sporting News. "the most influential sports voice among members of the American print media." In "The Old Ball Game, America's most beloved sports-writer does a masterful job of chronicling the early days of America's most beloved pastime. At the turn of the twentieth century, every American man wanted to be Christy Mathewson. One of baseball's first superstars, he was over six feet tall, clean-cut, college educated (at a time when only 6 percent of Americans had finished high school), didn't pitch on the Sabbath, and rarely spoke a negative word about anyone. He also had one of the most devastating arms in all of baseball. New York Giants manager John McGraw, by contrast, was ferocious. Nicknamed "the Little Napoleon." the pugnacious tough guy had been a star baseball player who, with the Baltimore Orioles, helped develop the hit-and-run, the "Baltimore chop," and the squeeze play. When McGraw joined the Giants in 1902, the Giants were coming off their worst season ever. Yet within three years, Mathewson clinched New York City's first World Series title by throwing three straight shutouts over six days, an incredible feat that has never been surpassed by any pitcher since and is often called the greatest World Series performance ever. Both men came to the Giants at that moment when New York itself was becoming the first city of the world--a rambunctious metropolis second only to London in population. Baseball was, likewise, quickly becoming America's game. This was when the sport was still in its reckless infancy, when groundskeepers would doctorfoul lines and outfielders would hide baseballs in ankle-deep weeds in case they couldn't find the ball in play. Mathewson and McGraw helped bring baseball into the modern era by refining the sport's tactics. Because of their association, baseball had its first superstar, the Giants ascended into legend, and baseball as a national pastime bloomed.
"Synopsis" by , In The Old Ball Game, America's most beloved sportswriter, Frank Deford, masterfully chronicles how a friendship between two towering figures in baseball helped make the sport a national pastime. At the turn of the twentieth century, every American man wanted to be Christy Mathewson. One of baseball's first superstars, he was clean-cut, didn't pitch on the Sabbath, and rarely spoke a negative word about anyone. He also had one of the most devastating arms in all of baseball. New York Giants manager John McGraw, by contrast, was ferocious. Nicknamed "the Little Napoleon," the pugnacious tough guy had been a star baseball player who helped develop the hit-and-run. When McGraw joined the Giants in 1902, the team was coming off its worst season ever. Yet within three years, Mathewson clinched New York City's first World Series title by throwing three straight shutouts over six days, an incredible feat that is often called the greatest World Series performance ever. Frank Deford, a senior contributing writer at Sports Illustrated and weekly commentator on NPR's Morning Edition, recounts the rise of baseball's first superstar, the Giants' ascent into legend, and the sport's transformation into a national obsession.
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