From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up?As in his other titles, Elysian Fields: The Birth of Baseball, and Baseball and the Color Line (both Watts, 1995), Gilbert examines an era in baseball's storied history, giving accounts of its notable teams and stars. This book looks at major league baseball from 1900-1919, when pitchers' earned-run averages were often under 2.00 and hitters who reached double digits in round-trippers were among the league leaders. With home runs flying out of ballparks at record levels this season, young fans might be surprised to learn that there was a time when pitchers dominated the game. While the text is accurate and direct quotes are documented, the plethora of names, stats, and teams that ceased to exist years ago might overwhelm all but the staunchest fans. At the same time, a history of this depth will still be of interest long after formula biographies of today's stars have exhausted their shelf lives. A number of black-and-white photos and a few cartoons from the newspapers of the era serve as illustrations. Appendixes include a list of major league teams and cities from 1871?1957.?Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 8^-12. Professional baseball has its eras as well as seasons. Gilbert chronicles the first two decades of this century--the "dead-ball era," named for the less lively early ball, the dominance of such great pitchers as Cy Young and Walter Johnson, among others, and the low-scoring games that resulted. The American League made its debut at the beginning of these years; the World Series was established; and thousands of fans bought tickets for the many fine new ballparks that heralded baseball as a serious and respectable affair. This entry in the American Game series traces baseball's development in nine chapters, each opening with a thematic essay and moving to a year-by-year summary of important events, emerging stars, and pennant and World Series races. The text-heavy summaries wander, however, and overload on statistics, making the chapter-opening essays stand out as smoother. Lawrence Ritter's The Story of Baseball
(1990) is a more readable and general treatment, but this is a good book for ardent and knowledgeable baseball enthusiasts interested in the historical aspect of the game. Black-and-white photos; source notes; bibliography; appendixes of teams and cities. Anne O'Malley