Synopses & Reviews
This is a grand book--vehement, scholarly, funny, exuberant, and artfully evocative of the man and his time. Bryan Di Salvatore is one of the finest writers of nonfiction in America.--Ian Frazier
One of baseball's earliest stars, John Montgomery Ward (1860-1925) was a formidable talent. Today, he stands alone as the only player with more than 100 wins as a pitcher and 2,000 hits as a batter. Ward played at a time when baseball was evolving from a pastime into a business, and his most important legacy may have been his role in establishing modern organized baseball (as his plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame reads). He organized the sport's first union, the Brotherhood of Professional Ball Players, and in 1890 led a revolt against National League owners by creating a third major league--The Players' League--presaging a century of bitter conflict between players and owners. In this engaging biography, Bryan Di Salvatore captures the brash energy of this larger-than-life sports figure and offers a keenly observed narrative about baseball's often troubled coming of age.