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Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball Hardcover – September 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 742 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803232632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803232631
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 2.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,219,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The tale Macht offers is often riveting.”—Library Journal
(Robert Cottrell Library Journal)

“[A] comprehensive and interesting portrait of one of baseball’s most successful managers. . . . A compelling look at a legend and an era.”—Kirkus Reviews
(Kirkus Reviews)

“A mother lode of data, stories, perceptions about one of the legendary figures in the history of the national pastime. . . . If you are into baseball, get into this tome.”—Harvey Frommer on Sports
(Harvey Frommer on Sports 2007-11-26)

“[Includes] many fascinating details of baseball from the 1880s to 1914.”—Boston Globe
(Katherine A. Powers Boston Globe)

“Richly enjoyable.”—Roanoke Times
(Bob Willis The Roanoke Times)

“Masterful. . . . A must read for all historians of the national pastime, particularly those with an interest in Philadelphia sports.”—Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
(Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 2008-08-18)

“No other baseball manager is going to win—or lose—as many games as Connie Mack did in his fifty years managing the Philadelphia Athletics. A biography of Mack cannot help but be a history of baseball in the first half of the twentieth century, and this biography is a feast of interesting facts and judgments.”—George F. Will, syndicated columnist and author of Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball
(George Will 2007-03-13)

“As a catcher and manager, Connie Mack deserves much of the credit for writing ‘The Book’ on baseball strategy and the managing of men. How he did it all is told here for the first time.”—Roland Hemond, three-time winner of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year award
(Roland Hemond 2006-08-21)

About the Author

Norman L. Macht is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research and the author of more than thirty books, including biographies of Rowdy Richard (with Dick Bartell) and Rex Barney's Thank Youuuu (with Rex Barney).

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This book is a must read for baseball historians.
Thomas Zocco
This is also the story of baseball nabobs such as American League President Ban Johnson and Ben Shibe, owner of the Philadelphia Athletics.
Bill Emblom
Mr Macht, the author is a witty, amusing writer and presents a detailed but very readable story.
Marshall C. Christy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Zocco on November 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a well researched, well written,
detailed book on the life of Connie Mack. The author states he spent twenty-two years working on this book. The book is interesting from the start. In the forward, former United States Senator Connie Mack III tells about being a youngster and helping take care of his grandfather. It begins with the birth of Connie Mack and ends seven hundred pages later with the 1914 season. Connie Mack was not only very intelligent as a manager but also as a player in the National and Players Leagues. Mack had a large hand in helping form the American League and this book gives an account of how the American League was formed. Mack sent scouts or scouted on his own as he built the Philadelphia Athletics dynasty. Players such as Eddie Plank and Rube Waddell are brought to life. Also, Mack was very kind and giving, supporting many members of his family and friends. Several long standing beliefs about Mack are debunked. This book is a must read for baseball historians. Here is hoping 1915- is in the works.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Barry Sparks VINE VOICE on May 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After researching Connie Mack for more than 20 years, author Norman Macht definitely knows his subject. Macht masterfully weaves the story of Mack and the early years of baseball in this 675-page biography, which covers the time from Mack's birth in 1862 through 1914.

Mack is the ideal subject to use to tell about baseball's early years because he was involved, in one way or another, in virtually every development. Macht chronicles Mack's childhood, his family, his days as a player and manager.

Macht spends much of the first part of the book dispelling myths about baseball's early years and Mack.

As a catcher, Mack was underrated. Writer Hugh Fullerton described him as a "better hitter than credited and dangerous in the pinch. He was a perfect backstop; cool, unhurried, deadly in throwing."

Wilbert Robinson called him "a little tin god behind the plate."

Macht writes that "It's difficult to reconcile the later image of Mack the public remembers--dignified, kind and soft-spoken--with the sharp-tongued, hot-headed manager of the 1890s, which he was."

Macht does an excellent job of capturing what the times were like, both on and off the field. A reader will learn a lot about the issues of the times and how the rules changed during baseball's early years.

Macht is extremely knowledgeable about the personalities of the players associated with Mack. He has a habit of adding little details, insight and color that bring the players to life. He does the same with Mack's family life. You truly feel you are in Mack's shoes.

While Macht is a noted baseball historian, he is also an excellent writer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tom Swift on March 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This trove of valuable information and entertaining stories is must-read material for those who want to know about the old Philadelphia Athletics and Connie Mack's pre-eminent role in baseball history. A salient and exhaustive examination of the teams he built and the dynasty he started, this book was written with an authority only Norman Macht could have brought to the task.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kayaky7 on September 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Norman Macht is among the very best baseball biography writers. This book, covering Connie Mack's life from birth through 1915, is the most thoroughly researched book on Mack ever written. While little information exists about Mack's childhood, Macht manages 17 pages on the topic, and weaves themes from childhood into characteristics encountered many times over in adulthood (e.g., providing financial support to family members). With respect to baseball, Macht covers many angles, such as Mack's evolution in managerial style, his early contributions to the art of managing pitchers, his dugout demeanor, and of course the world titles of 1910, 1911, and 1913. We also get some interesting nuggets on Christy Mathewson not often heard elsewhere. While there are few photos for a book of this size (18 in over 600 pages), the text flows easily and isn't stretched thin by excessive game details. If you enjoy this genre and the early years of baseball, this is an essential addition to your library, and a fun read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ranger on May 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Norman Macht's Connie Mack is absolutly brillant. It's a deep, fascinating story of Connie Mack, the A's and baseball in general from 1880 to 1915. Macht reveals many untold stories and gives a new, surprising look at Matty Christy Mathewson.

I just can't wait for an encore, covering the 1916-1953 period.

I cannnot recommend this book enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William a Bourne on February 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book brings to light of the early struggles of Baseball and maybe the basis for the future establishment of the current players union. In the early days the owners had all the control. Billy Beane of the Oakland A's is not the original trader of A's players, Connie Mack long ago started that tradition. The problem with this exhaustive book on the early years of this Baseball legend is that it begs for more. What interesting stories are there for those bad teams in his final years when he had very little talent and no superstars. This is a great book but remember it doesn't tell the whole story of the legend Connie Mack.
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