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Baseball: A History of America's Favorite Gameby George Vecsey
Synopses & Reviews
“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.
A sports columnist and author of Year in the Sun blends intriguing insights and anecdotes into a detailed history of baseball, capturing the iconic events, players, and games, as well as the sport's integral role in American history, culture, and society, from the Civil War era to the big business and drug scandals of the present day. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
One of the great bards of America's Grand Old Game gives a rousing account of baseball, from its pre-Republic roots to the present day. Vecsey casts a fresh eye on the sport, illuminates its foibles and triumphs, and makes a classic story seem refreshingl
About the Author
George Vecsey, a sports columnist for The New York Times, has written about such events as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics but considers baseball, the sport he’s covered since 1960, his favorite game. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner’s Daughter (with Loretta Lynn), which was made into an Academy Award—winning film. He has also served as a national and religion reporter for The New York Times, interviewing the Dalai Lama, Tony Blair, Billy Graham, and a host of other noteworthy figures. He lives in New York with his wife, an artist.
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
I. Six degrees — II. berbers with bats — III. The first entrepreneur — IV. Columbus, Pocahontas, and doubleday — V. Growing pains — VI. The black sox — VII. The babe — VIII. Mr. Rickey — IX. The negro leagues — X. Radio days — XI. War — XII. Jackie Robinson — XIII. Baseball hits the interstate — XIV. Free agency arrives — XV. Why the Yankees exist — XVI. The world catches up — XVII. Same game, yuppified — XVIII. Who's in charge — XIX. Four scandals — XX. October exorcisms.
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