Customer Reviews


19 Reviews
5 star:
 (17)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connie Mack and the Early Years of baseball, November 11, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone interested in baseball history, May 1, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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. He avoids the pitfall of getting bogged down in too many details, and he tells the story in an easy-to-read manner.

Although Macht explains why his book doesn't have a bibliography or footnotes, their absence is disappointing, particularly since Macht is a baseball historian.

Macht plans a second volume which will cover 1915 through Mack's death.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tall Tactician and the Early Years of Baseball, September 26, 2008
By 
kayaky7 (Somewhere In Iowa) - See all my reviews
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Stars ARE for Norman Macht, March 4, 2008
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Expose on an early Baseball Star, February 1, 2008
By 
William a Bourne (Fort Wayne, IN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutly brillant, May 8, 2010
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "There are no A's in Phildelphi!", September 7, 2010
I saw that sentence that I used for the title of this review in a Philadelphia Bulletin cartoon shortly after the Athletics departed Philadelphia for Kansas City. I was under 10 at that time, so it really made no particular impression on me, as I was not particularly a baseball fan at that time. The first pro game I attended was at Connie Mack Stadium sometime in the later `50s, and I had the opportunity to see Robin Roberts pitch and Richie Ashburn play center field. That was probably about the time baseball at the pro level began to interest me, and I have lived and died with the Phillies ever since (talk about 1964, let's not!).

This book is an excellent source for the formative years of the American League and some of the baseball wars that took place at the end of the 19th century, and continued sporadically during the early 20th. Connie Mack was involved in all of them, sometimes as a player, often as a manager and owner. Other famous players appear in these pages, including Stanley Coveleski who was born and raised in Shamokin, where I now reside.

Connie Mack was a complicated man, taciturn to reporters when he wished to be, but seemingly always open to speak with ordinary fans. He also used much of his money to support a long list of relatives, and occasionally friends and former teammates, thus contradicting the general impression of him as a skinflint. He was a baseball man first and last, and it was his consuming passion.

The book only goes until the end of the 1914 World Series, but it does quickly give a short follow up on many of the main characters, especially Connie. I hope that this author is intending to continue Connie Mack's story, which will include the many lean years suffered by his team, and the triumph of the 1929 to 1931 team. We shall see.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Look at One of the Game's Founding Fathers, October 5, 2009
Norman L Macht's detailed and fascinating perspective of Connie Mack's contribution for the game of baseball is a definite home run for any fan of the game; particularly, for any baseball historian to digest.

Mack was a brilliant tactician of the game as well as one of its most influential forces, most notably in helping establish the American League in 1901. He also became the driving force behind one of the league's most dominant early dynasties, as Mack's Philadelphia Athletics were consistently loaded with superior talent, and won with remarkable consistency.

The book "only" covers the first 52 years of Connie Mack's long life (he lived well past 90 years of age), but that still gives the reader much historical information to digest. It also covers the most significant years of his life, since his later years were spent toiling in futility with a moribund organization. Part 2, if there is one, couldn't compare to this gem. Perhaps the author would be better served writing about a more interesting subject than the elder Connie Mack. The young one was a fascinating and most compelling subject.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Delight For the Serious Baseball Historian, March 28, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Mr. Macht has done a scholarly job. This biography is thoroughly researched and presented in a style that is organized and interesting. Mr. Macht probes not only the business and baseball facets of Connie Mack, but includes the portions of Mack's personal and private life that contribute to a greater understanding of the man and the time. For those who enjoy baseball within a cultural and historical context, this is a delight.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting to Know the Man, August 24, 2011
By 
Bill Emblom "Bill Emblom" (Ishpeming, Michigan USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Author Norman Macht has provided the reader with an in-depth biography of Connie Mack, The Tall Tactician, from his childhood years of growing up in Massachusetts through the 1914 season in which his "Athaletics" were swept by George Stallings and his Miracle Braves in the World Series. The book contains 673 pages of text, and it took me a week to pioneer my way through it.

Author Macht assures us that we get to know Mack the player with Hartford and Washington prior to moving on to Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. Mack feels that his move to Milwaukee was one of the best decisions he made regarding his baseball career. We also learn about baseball wars involving the Players' League and the Federal League each of which went about raiding the major leagues of their talent.

This is also the story of baseball nabobs such as American League President Ban Johnson and Ben Shibe, owner of the Philadelphia Athletics. We also learn about players such as Frank "Home Run" Baker, Stuffy McInnis, Eddie Plank, Chief Bender, Eddie Collins, and others who played a prominent role during this time period for the Mackmen.

We also are given a thorough understanding of Mr. Mack's personality in relation to his players and umpires. His temper could exhibit itself in a foul manner if the situation arose in regard to either one, but he generally had a reputation of treating both with respect. Mr. Mack did share one tidbit that has been illustrated by Branch Rickey as well. Both of them have said that, although the goal is to win the pennant in your league prior to going on to the World Series, ideally it is better financially to stay in contention and finish second because if you win the pennant you end up having to pay your players more money.

I did find one minor error in the book. On page 76 it is mentioned Buffalo, New York, is where the Niagara River flows into Lake Erie. Actually it is the reverse. It is at Buffalo, New York, where Lake Erie flows into the Niagara River. I know! Picky! Picky!

I hope author Macht is continuing with his in-depth study of Connie Mack, and we can look forward to Part Two in the ongoing-saga in the life of one of the true pioneers of baseball.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball
Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball by Norman L. Macht (Paperback - April 1, 2012)
$29.95 $24.03
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.