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Cuban Star: How One Negro-League Owner Changed the Face of Baseball Hardcover – April 26, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“Once again, Adrian Burgos has written a fascinating book about the stories behind the stories of the game of baseball. If you are at all curious about why the most common names in the major leagues are Martinez and Rodriguez, this elegant volume is for you.” —Ken Burns
“When I came to the Giants organization in 1955, Alex Pompez went to bat for me in a way no one else ever did. He took me and the other young Latino players under his wing, teaching us English and guiding us through the racially charged terrain of the majors at the time. In this long-overdue book, Adrian Burgos vividly portrays Pompez as he was: a great, flawed man and a steadfast lover of the game.” —Orlando Cepeda, Hall of Fame First Baseman
“I know Adrian Burgos as a dedicated academic, historian, teacher, and true baseball fan. In Cuban Star, he's done a masterful job of casting light on a key Latin American baseball executive who has for too long gone unnoticed. A great read!” —Dave Winfield, Hall of Fame Outfielder
“The story of Alex Pompez gives readers a very different take on the integration of major league baseball from the feel good version that focuses on Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson. There were losers as well as winners, and Pompez and other black baseball entrepreneurs have been largely ignored until now.” —Roger Daniels, author of Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882
“One of the best baseball books of the new millennium . . . [Burgos] is a terrific writer and knows when he has a great subject.” —Allen Barra, San Francisco Chronicle
“A wonderfully detailed portrait . . . The research is impeccable. The context provided is nuanced and rich . . . This book is indispensable for anyone who wants to understand the Latinization of Major League Baseball.” —Luis Clemens,
“Highly recommended for those studying baseball and African American or Latino studies.” —Robert Cottrell, Library Journal (starred review)

About the Author

Adrian Burgos, Jr. teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Playing America’s Games: Baseball, Latinos and the Color Line. His work has been featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter, NPR, and other media outlets.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; First Edition, 1st Printing edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809094797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809094790
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,976,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Stern on October 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Adrian Burgos does a service to the life and times of Alex Pompez, one of the most influential and underrated baseball men of the 20th century. Burgos understood how to put Pompez in context in this book. Though he admires the subject, he is not afraid to discuss Pompez's career as a Harlem numbers king -- the very same fears that over time have helped Pompez slip into history. Burgos succeeds in placing Pompez in proper historial and contemporary perspective and he helps us understand why this Latin pioneer is every bit as important to Latin baseball history as is, say, Roberto Clemente.

Burgos does his homework in this book and you can't take that from him. His prose about very detailed baseball information is presented in an easy to read fashion that keeps the story without getting lost in academic speak. This is an important thing to do when trying to help baseball readers understand why this guy was so important.

I give Pompez credit for being much more brave and creative than many of the people he worked with. Likewise, I give Burgos credit for explaining him for the history books.
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