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The Gambler and the Bug Boy: 1939 Los Angeles and the Untold Story of a Horse Racing Fixby John Christgau
Synopses & Reviews
“Scandal on the Turf!” the Los Angeles Times proclaimed. It was October 1940, a mere few months after Seabiscuit had won the Santa Anita Derby, and now this bombshell: “Six Jockeys Admit Horse Races Fixed.”
The Gambler and the Bug Boy recounts this dark chapter in horse racing history. At its center is Bernard “Big” Mooney, a flashy LA bookmaker who began his seedy career by threatening young jockeys with death if they didnt “pull” their horses. His unwilling partner is Albert Siler, a callow eighteen-year-old apprentice rider (a so-called bug boy) from eastern Oregon. Big Mooney manipulates this promising rider, while Siler tries to escape the gamblers criminal grip without ruining his career. The harrowing details of the unraveling plot and the botched court case that followed riveted the attention of the nation. Told in full for the first time, this story brings to light a little-known but fascinating horse racing scandal.
Before the jump shot, basketball was an earth-bound game. In fact, inventor James Naismith did not originally intend for players to move with the ball. The inspired invention of the dribble first put the ball handler in motion. The jump shot then took the action upward. But where, when, and how did the jump shot originate?
Everybody interested in basketball knows the answer to that question. Unfortunately, everybody knows a different answer. John Christgau delves into basketballand#8217;s evolution, following the supposed inventors of the jump shot to the games in which they first took to the air. He discovers that a number of pioneer players, independently but from the same inspired possibility, can each claim credit for inventing the jump shot.
About the Author
John Christgau is the author of numerous books, including Michael and the Whiz Kids and The Origins of the Jump Shot: Eight Men Who Shook the World of Basketball, both available in Bison Books editions.
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