Synopses & Reviews
In 1937, when local beer baron Emil Sick stepped in, the Seattle Indians were a struggling minor-league baseball team teetering on collapse. Moved to mix baseball and beer by his good friend and fellow brewer, New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, Sick built a new stadium and turned the team into a civic treasure. The Rainiers (newly named after the beer) set attendance records and won Pacific Coast League titles in 1939, 40, 41, 51, and 55. The story of the Rainiers spans the end of the Great Depression, World War II, the rise of the airline industry, and the incursion of Major League Baseball into the West Coast (which ultimately spelled doom for the club). It features well-known personalities such as Babe Ruth, who made an unsuccessful bid to manage the team; Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, who did manage the Rainiers; and Ron Santo, a batboy who went on to a storied career with the Chicago Cubs. Mixing traditional baseball lore with tales of mischief, Pitchers of Beer relates the twenty-seven-year history of the Rainiers, a history that captures the timeless appeal of baseball, along with the local moments and minutiae that bring the game home to each and every one of us. Pitchers of Beer showcases fifty-two photographs of players and memorabilia from noted Northwest baseball collector David Eskenazi.
In Baseball Weeklyand#8217;s list of things that most affected baseball in the twentieth century, television ranked secondand#8212;behind only the signing of Jackie Robinson. The new medium of television exposed baseball to a genuinely national audience; altered the financial picture for teams, owners, and players; and changed the way Americans followed the game. Center Field Shot explores these changesand#8212;all even more prominent in the first few years of the twenty-first centuryand#8212;and makes sense of their meaning for Americaand#8217;s pastime.and#160;Center Field Shot traces a sometimes contentious but mutually beneficial relationship from the first televised game in 1939 to the new era of Internet broadcasts, satellite radio, and high-definition TV, considered from the perspective of businessmen collecting merchandising fees and advertising rights, franchise owners with ever more money to spend on talent, and broadcasters trying to present a game long considered and#8220;unfriendlyand#8221; to television. Ultimately the association of baseball with television emerges as a reflection ofand#8212;perhaps even a central feature ofand#8212;American culture at large.
About the Author
Dan Raley is an editor with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Previously a sportswriter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for nearly three decades, he has won over fifty national and regional writing awards. He is also the author of Tideflats to Tomorrow: The History of Seattles SoDo.