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Other titles in the Memorable Teams in Baseball History series:
The Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers (Memorable Teams in Baseball History)by Lyle Spatz
Synopses & Reviews
Of all the teams in the annals of baseball, only a select few can lay claim to historic significance. One of those teams is the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, the first racially integrated Major League team of the twentieth century. The addition of Jackie Robinson to its roster changed not only baseball but also the nation. Yet Robinson was just one member of that memorable club, which included Carl Furillo, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, Pete Reiser, Duke Snider, Eddie Stanky, Arky Vaughan, and Dixie Walker. Also present was a quartet of baseballs most unforgettable characters: co-owners Branch Rickey and Walter OMalley, suspended manager Leo Durocher, and radio announcer Red Barber.
This book is the first to offer biographies of everyone on that incomparable team as well as accounts of the moments and events that marked the Dodgers 1947 season: Commissioner Happy Chandler suspending Durocher, Rickey luring his old friend Burt Shotton out of retirement to replace Durocher, and brilliant outfielder Reiser being sidelined after running into a fence. In spite of all this, the Dodgers went on to win the National League pennant over the heavily favored St. Louis Cardinals. And of course, there is the biggest story of the season, where history and biography coalesce: Jackie Robinson, who overcame widespread hostility to become Rookie of the Year—and to help the Dodgers set single-game attendance records in cities around the National League.
In November 1934 as the United States and Japan drifted toward war, a team of American League all-stars that included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, future secret agent Moe Berg, and Connie Mack barnstormed across the Land of the Rising Sun. Hundreds of thousands of fans, many waving Japanese and American flags, welcomed the team with shouts of and#8220;Banzai! Banzai, Babe Ruth!and#8221; The all-stars stayed for a month, playing 18 games, spawning professional baseball in Japan, and spreading goodwill.
Politicians on both sides of the Pacific hoped that the amity generated by the tourand#8212;and the two nationsand#8217; shared love of the gameand#8212;could help heal their growing political differences. But the Babe and baseball could not overcome Japanand#8217;s growing nationalism, as a bloody coup dand#8217;and#233;tat by young army officers and an assassination attempt by the ultranationalist War Gods Society jeopardized the tourand#8217;s success. A tale of international intrigue, espionage, attempted murder, and, of course, baseball, Banzai Babe Ruth is the first detailed account of the doomed attempt to reconcile the United States and Japan through the 1934 All American baseball tour. Robert K. Fitts provides a wonderful story about baseball, nationalism, and American and Japanese cultural history.
From the sandlots of San Francisco to the power centers of baseball, this book tells the story of Joe Cronin, one of twentieth-century baseballand#8217;s major players, both on the field and off.
For most of his playing career, Cronin (1906and#8211;84) was the best shortstop in baseball. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1956, he was a manager by the age of twenty-six and a general manager at forty-one. He was the youngest player-manager ever to play in the World Series, and he managed the Red Sox longer than any other man in history. As president of the American League, he oversaw two expansions, four franchise shifts, and the revolutionary and controversial introduction of the designated-hitter rule, which he wrote himself.
This book follows Cronin from his humble beginnings to his position as one of the most powerful figures in baseball. Mark Armour explores Croninand#8217;s time as a player as well as his role in some of the gameand#8217;s fiercest controversies, from the creation of the All-Star Game to the issue of integration. Bringing to life one of baseballand#8217;s definitive characters, this book supplies a crucial and fascinating chapter in the history of Americaand#8217;s pastime.
About the Author
Lyle Spatzs many books include Dixie Walker: A Life in Baseball and (with coauthor Steve Steinberg) 1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York, winner of the Seymour Medal (Nebraska, 2010).
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