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Autumn Glory: Baseball's First World Series Hardcover – June 3, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the heart of this book by Masur (1831: Year of Eclipse) are eight in-depth, almost play-by-play, retellings of the games of the 1903 World Series between the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Though the accounts of 100-year-old games can become tedious ("In the second inning, both teams went down easily"), for the most part Masur's storytelling skills ("He walked slowly, but not because of age. Pitchers always had a deliberate way about them") keep the book moving. Interspersed among the game recaps is a closely considered, detailed account of how the World Series was invented. Punctuated by chapters with titles like "War," "Peace," "Winter" and "Spring," Masur's presentation of the violent birth of the fall classic as the result of a bitter war between the established National League and upstart American League takes on a decidedly Yeatsian tone. Thankfully, the dense, political nature of these chapters is balanced by more colorful tales of the era, like Pittsburgh manager Fred Clarke being "pummeled" black and blue by an opposing player and the New York Giants' Christy Mathewson winning three games of a four-game regular season series versus the Pirates that demonstrate how much and how little the game has changed over the years. Despite a summer release in honor of the Series's centennial, Masur's work is a prime example of a winter baseball book: a story to stoke the fire of baseball lovers whose hope of a World Series title has become every fan's entitlement for the past century. Illus.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In October 1903, the Boston Americans and the Pittsburg (no h in those days) Pirates played the first World Series of baseball, a five-of-nine game contest that Boston won in eight. With the one-hundredth anniversary of that landmark event on the horizon, a valuable new book tells the story. Masur, with a historian's meticulous eye and a fan's open heart, alternates chapters that detail each game of that series and some of the history and the season that preceded it. The game chapters, based on contemporary accounts from a century ago, read as freshly as a report from yesterday: it is astonishing how familiar it all is. The Bostons had the Royal Rooters, an assemblage of raucous fans who traveled between Philadelphia and Boston. The Pirates had Deacon Phillippe, an indefatigable and almost unbeatable pitcher. The war between the established National League and the upstart American League, the players' league hopping, the ubiquitous importance of betting, and the immense popularity of "base ball" across class lines are carefully documented. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; 1st edition (June 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809027631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809027637
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,235,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Frank J. Konopka VINE VOICE on August 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It is appropriate, in this 100th anniversary of the first baseball World Series, that there is a book telling all about it. It's especially appropriate that this book is extremely well-written, interesting and informative. We readers are treated to a history of the rivalry between the established National League, and the upstart American League. We are given thumbnail biographies of many of the personalities of that era, both club owners and players. There is a concise recitation of the "Peace Conference" that effectively ended the rivalry, and we also get to review the respective seasons of the eventual Leagues champions. Each of the eight Series games is then covered out by out, but it's not boring in the least. Along the way we also learn a lot about the way some of the baseball rules we take for granted were established, including the umpire's hand signals, and the foul/strike rule. The fans played a major part in the game, particularly the Royal Rooters from Boston, whose antics would amaze today's somewhat rowdy supporters. This is a book well worth reading, not only for baseball fans, but for lovers of the unusual aspects of American history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on June 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Highly acclaimed author Louis P. Masur has nothing to worry about. His new book, AUTUMN GLORY: Baseball's First World Series, hammers Bob Ryan's tome about the 100th anniversary of the 1903 championship between the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates out of the proverbial ballpark.
While Ryan is one of the most renowned sports columnists in the country working for the Boston Globe, his book doesn't even come close to unearthing the full story of professional baseball in America during its infancy at the turn of the 20th-century. Ryan's work largely centers on the relationship between Globe baseball writer Tim Murnane and Boston player-manager and Hall of Famer Jimmy Collins. But there was much, much more to the story of this inaugural World Series than just a friendship between a pro ballplayer and a sportswriter.
Masur's scholarly work, complete with numerous photos, box scores and statistics, tells the story of the breathtaking series, but also examines the off-field doings among legendary baseball men at the time like Charles Comiskey, Ban Johnson, and Henry Killilea.
Even before the first World Series pitch was thrown by immortal hurler Cy Young at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, professional baseball was coming apart at the seams. That is until a Peace Conference in January involving several highly controversial owners at the time realized that the ongoing "war" between the fledgling American League and National League had to come to an end if America's pastime was to continue.
Masur also does a great job of illustrating how controversial Cincinnati Reds owner John T. Brush did all he could to squash the peace negotiations that the owners reached until he realized that doing so would bankrupt his ball club.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on August 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The title of the book suggests a complete book on the 1903 World Series. Author Louis Masur does an admirable job of bringing the reader back in time to the way it was 100 years ago. The book is 236 pages long, and I initially wondered how he was going to elaborate on an eight game Series over that many pages. What the author did was alternate a chapter on each of the eight games in this best five out of nine games with goings on in the baseball world during the year of 1903. I especially enjoyed the chapters on the games itself as the author does a great job of telling us what baseball and its fans in America were like 100 years ago. The author refers to the Boston American League team as the "Americans" while I have always heard them referred to as the "Pilgrims." This was the Series in which Boston's Royal Rooters became famous for their fan support with their band and singing of various songs including the popular song "Tessie" in which they adapted words to apply to Pirates' shortstop Honus Wagner. It is not mentioned in the book, but JFK's grandfather was a member of the Royal Rooters. The book is an easy read and one that tells us what it was like to be a ballplayer and fan 100 years ago. You will also see that baseball's present day problems are not anything new.
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