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Death at the Ballpark: A Comprehensive Study of Game-Related Fatalities of Players, Other Personnel and Spectators in Amateur and Professional Baseball, 1862-2007 Hardcover – November 10, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (November 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078643435X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786434350
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #833,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fascinating account." --Charlotte Observer<br /><br />"Recommended." --Library Journal

"The definitive account of baseball fatalities." --S.L. Price, Sports Illustrated

From the Publisher

Winner, Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. R. Mitlin on February 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The care taken in this ground-breaking work is obvious. The authors scoured newspaper accounts of every baseball fatality they could identify since the earliest days of the sport. Their research did not stop with the pros but went all the way to the youth leagues and sandlots. Especially valuable is how they double-checked every incident, finding that many nationally-reported deaths did not actually occur.

Their findings demonstrate the value of protective equipment. For example, deaths by pitched ball have almost disappeared.

While not the kind of book to be read cover-to-cover at one sitting, the baseball fan will find himself picking it up again and again. I highly recommend it. (I bought three copies--one for myself and two to give as gifts.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Timothy J. Wiles on December 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Gorman and Weeks have created an excellent baseball research book. They document thousands of fatalities related to the game--deaths of players, personnel, umpires, and fans. The subject matter is treated respectfully and in fact the book is dedicated to the victims and their families. Extensively footnoted and indexed, this book tells the stories of all those who have died at the ball park. The index includes names and places, so you can find out if anyone died in a baseball related death in your hometown. ALL sources are listed. An excellent reference book and a triumph of difficult research.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bekki on June 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book couldn't be more perfect for me since I am both passionate about baseball and I'm a librarian. While the baseball part is self-explanatory, you might wonder what being a librarian has to do with my appreciation of this text. First of all, this book was written by two librarians and, second of all, it is structured and researched exhaustively in a uniquely librarian fashion.

After a couple of interesting sections explaining the idea behind the book, why it was written, and how it was researched, Death at the Ballpark begins systematically going from period to period and listing all known deaths in bulleted lists with small blurbs attached when possible. There is a small discussion at the beginning of each chapter, but what you're essentially getting are the raw facts minus any embellishment. There is a complete absence of narrative interpretation on the part of the authors. This is beneficial in one regard, as it frees the reader to come to their own opinions and emotionally process some of these grim stories themselves. Unfortunately, it also becomes overwhelming to read page after page of death after death with nothing to soften the tragedy of each ease. They all just start blending together in the end.

In short, this is more a book to examine or explore than one that to actually sit and read. The authors have completed all the research possible, structured this data it into an easy-to-navigate format, and with minimal commentary on their part present you, the reader, with their findings. After all, it's not a librarians job to interpret the data they are researching; it's their job to present the data found and provide to others for interpretation. If you are a baseball fanatic or someone who is interested in morbid facts and research, this is definitely a book you'd find interesting. Be prepared, though, because it's more reference material than a page-turner.
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More About the Author

Robert M. Gorman is head of the reference department at the Ida Jane Dacus Library, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC. He holds advanced degrees in both librarianship and history. Bob has published numerous articles on baseball history, including "Foul Play: Fan Fatalities in Twentieth-Century Organized Baseball" appearing in Nine: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture (Fall 2003), which was co-authored with David Weeks. This article received the 2003 McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award. His book, Death at the Ballpark, won the 2009 Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award. Bob is also co-author of the book, The South Bend Blue Sox: A History of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Team and Its Players: 1943-1954. He maintains a website (http://deathattheballpark.com/index.html) and a blog (http://deathattheballpark.wordpress.com/). Bob can be contacted at gormanr@winthrop.edu.

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Death at the Ballpark: A Comprehensive Study of Game-Related Fatalities of Players, Other Personnel and Spectators in Amateur and Professional Baseball, 1862-2007
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