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Baseball: A History of America's Favorite Game (Modern Library Chronicles) Paperback – March 11, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Vecsey intertwines baseball with history. He embraces the game as a long-time fan as well as a sports columnist, but with a tinge of romanticism when he recounts his childhood memories of the game during baseball's "golden age" and Jackie Robinson and Stan Musial reigned. The book is a combination of the Ken Burns's documentary and HBO Sports', "When it was a Game." There are several historical references throughout the book, such as his discussion of the First and Second World Wars when team members heeded to the call of duty, and unfortunately, never to return. What is worth noting is that the game boosted morale during and after the war; in 1949 General MacArthur praised the game as a "piece of diplomacy," and decades later, Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Ryozo Kato, stated that the game "helped heal the memories of war" (115). In addition, with emergence of the Civil Rights Movement, baseball became integrated and progressed with the times.
Although BASEBALL is geared towards the general-reading public, this is by no means an introduction to the game.Read more ›
watched games on TV and went to them, and I also read everything
about the subject that I could.
For some reason, I lost interest in it sometime around my teenage
years . . . maybe it was when my mother threw out my collection
of baseball cards (including one signed by Sandy Koufax!) or perhaps
it's when I discovered that girls were frankly more interesting, but
I also forgot many of my childhood memories . . . that is, until I came
across BASEBALL: A HISTORY OF AMERICA'S FAVORITE GAME
by NEW YORK TIMES sports columnist George Vecsey.
What a joy it was to hear this book over the past several days as
I drove to and from work . . . it reminded me of the days when
I followed both the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers, but
it also gave me a mini-history lesson about the Black Sox 1919
scandal (and why it happened), along with an appreciation of
what it was like to have to play in the Negro Leagues.
I also liked hearing about how baseball became popular in the
United States . . . and learning that Abner Doubleday really had
little to do with the game's development.
It was fun hearing about Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, but
equally interesting to learn about the role of such executives
as Branch Rickey and my personal favorite, Bill Veeck.
And I got a kick learning why Ricky Henderson had so many
doubles in his career . . . it seems he could have stretched many
of them into triples, but held off on doing so in order to then
be able to steal third (and add to his all-time steals record).Read more ›
But the column method of writing does not translate well to a full volume, and is likely to frustrate most fans who pick up this book.
A more evenly-told chronological narrative would have been more effective.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a beautifully written, idiosyncratic history of baseball. For the knowledgeable fan (me), most of it is familiar: the origins in rounders and the fake origins attribute to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Avid Reader
For anyone who loves the game and also loves history in general this is an enjoyable read!Published 5 months ago by James TFunk
First half was great. Vecsey's knowledge of the early days is impressive and his language is fun, colorful, and flows well. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Joey Pruger
I GAVE IT AS A BIRTHDAY GIFT AND MY FRIEND SAID IT WAS THE BEST BASEBALL BOOK HE HAD EVER SEEN OR HEARD.Published 15 months ago by Harold Hubbell
Excellent, broad-sweep chronicle of the game's history for the new or casual fan. Gives informative insights into seemingly all the big stories and events that have brought us to... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Trevor J Marshallsea
Great historical narrative of the great old American past time. Excellent analysis of key topics that challenge the game while keeping it in the forefront of American pop culture.Published 18 months ago by renay
if you are a fan of baseball, read this book. Super book with wonderful information including some funny and pleasing stuff - its a keeper for sure!Published 20 months ago by Fish Creek "Roger"