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Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball Hardcover – March 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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"With interviews conducted by the author over the past decade and references to first-person accounts of the play and personalities of the older subjects, Baldassaro unearths colorful details such as the origin of Oscar 'Spinach' Melillo's nickname and Sal Maglie's run-ins with his Mexican League pitching coach, former Big Leaguer Dolf Luque, which even included some gunplay."—Jerry Milani, Baseball Digest (Jerry Milani Baseball Digest 2011-03-02)
Top Customer Reviews
But this is by no means an "academic" book. Baldassaro's writing is a pleasure to read, crisp, economical, free of jargon, and enlivened by flashes of humor. The author did plenty of digging in the newspaper files and sports periodicals of each era he covers, but he also uses the extensive personal interviews he conducted with Italian American ballplayers and former ballplayers, as well as with others of Italian background connected to baseball. The fact that the interviews were conducted over several decades suggests that this is a long-nurtured project, a labor of love that's at last come to fruition. Many of those interviewed have since died, so the record of their words now has even greater value. The way the author interweaves the larger historical picture with the lives and specific, vivid personalities of Italian American ballplayers is a particular strength of the book.
Baldassaro's book shows how strong anti-Italian prejudice was in the not too distant past.Read more ›
"Beyond DiMaggio" is well researched, well written, and well edited. The author's crisp, clear, engaging writing style made it a joy to read. The book may best be described as a series of vignettes of notable Italian-American ballplayers. Each is an interesting summation of the player's life and contribution to the game. The format allows the reader to "pick-and-choose" through the vignettes, reading the ones that strike his interest first; or he can read the book from cover to cover, as I did.
Students of American history will find this book interesting, as it covers in exacting detail the history of the Italian immigration experience in the early 20th century. What motivation could possibly have compelled these hard-working, family-oriented people to leave their beloved homeland and embark on a hazardous journey to a foreign land without money, without knowledge of the native language, and without any guarantees of success? They would be starting life over in a land in which they would be regarded as foreigners, and where they would be subjected to vicious ethnic slurs, slander, and outright discrimination.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book. As a writer who is working a few books on Italians and Italian Americans, I find this book to be a valuable source of information and addition to any library,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by John Conte
The stories about the DiMaggio family never get out of focus. This took another look at the Italian/American approach to life and baseball.Published 23 months ago by John McCarthy
I found this book very enjoyable and a fast read. Being of Italian decent I grew up knowing of or following many of these ball players. Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by S. A. Bertone
Particularly interesting to those of us of Italian heritage. However it. It also gives insight to the difficulties all immigrants experienced. Read morePublished on November 15, 2013 by James J Capron