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Ed Delahanty in the Emerald Age of Baseball Hardcover – February 28, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press (February 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0268022852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0268022853
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Long before the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees, Ed Delahanty was the 'King of Swatsville.' A player for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Senators who still holds the record for the fourth highest lifetime batting average, Delahanty “personified the flamboyant, exciting spectator-favorite, the Casey-at-the-bat, Irish slugger” writes Jerrold Casway in Ed Delahanty in the Emerald Age of Baseball. He was the “handsome masculine athlete who was expected to live as large as he played.” And he did: Gambling his way into a drinking problem, he turned up dead at the bottom of Niagara's Horseshoe Falls.” --The Washington Post, Book World Section, April 2, 2006


"Historians of Irish-American life and baseball fans will find much to admire in Jerrold Casway's approach to telling the story of Ed Delahanty, the 'Irish kid from Cleveland' who rubbed shoulders with and played against some of the greatest players of the late-nineteenth century dead-ball era. Ed Delahanty and the Emerald Age of Baseball is an informative and well-researched biography that gives readers an excellent portrait of the man and the age. Casway conveys the excitement and the intrigues that characterized Delahanty's life, and indeed, his era in the national pastime." --New Hibernia Review, Vol. 9, Number 3, Autumn 2005


“… Casway … provides a colorful study of the life and times of one of baseball’s earliest sluggers at a time when the game was the unchallenged national pastime. Casway has written a fascinating, carefully researched biography of a long-neglected baseball hero that will appeal to scholars as well as general readers. Ed Delahanty in the Emerald Age of Baseball is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the culture and evolution of the national pastime at the turn of the century.” —History: Reviews of New Books, Volume 33, No. 1, Fall 2004


". . . this is an estimable biography. If Ed Delahanty has been a neglected figure in baseball history, now, thanks to Jerrold Casway's dedication and perseverance, he has finally received the kind of thorough treatment he has long deserved." —Journal of Sport History (Fall 2004)


“ . . . A staggering work by historian Jerrold Casway from 2004 that may be the most overlooked great baseball book in recent years.” —Oakland Tribune, April 8, 2006
 


"Casway has written a fascinating, carefully researched biography of a long-neglected baseball hero that will appeal to scholars as well as general readers. Ed Delahanty in the Emerald Age of Baseball is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the culture and evolution of the national pastime at the turn of the century." —History (Fall 2004)

About the Author

Jerrold Casway is professor of history and chair of the Social Sciences/Teacher Education Division at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. He specializes in early modern Irish history and nineteenth-century baseball.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
This book is extremely well-documented.
Timothy J. Fitzgerald
Casway has written a fine book, one of the most detailed books about baseball ever written.
R. J. McNeal
This is one of the best baseball biographies I have read.
kayaky7

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on July 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jerrold Casway has provided us with an in-depth study of 19th century baseball star Ed Delahanty. Like so many other athletes in his time Delahanty lived for today rather than postpone immediate gratification for a greater future reward. The lure of the racetrack while wintering in New Orleans and later alcohol were contributing factors leading up to the decline of this once great superstar. "The Only Del" toiled for unheralded losing teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Senators. Baseball wars were on and Delahanty had the problem of not caring how many contracts he signed as long as he played with the team that offered him the most money. I felt the author did a good job of sorting through the possibilities regarding Delahanty's death on the International Bridge crossing the Niagara River between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York. Delahanty was removed from the train for abusive behavior, and from what information we have available it appears that he stumbled over railroad ties in an effort to elude the bridge watchman. His body was discovered below the Canadian Horseshoe Falls in the Niagara River one week later on July 9th. This was an era in which the owners had it all their way, and players had no financial benefits that today's players enjoy. Players usually reentered the regular workforce once their playing days were over. Delahanty, however, lived lavishly during his playing days without a thought to his post-playing days. Information is also provided on his baseball playing brothers in addition to his wife and daughter after Ed's death. If you enjoy 19th century baseball history I believe this is another book from that colorful age that you will find enjoyable to read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By kayaky7 on December 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best baseball biographies I have read. Unlike some that mainly take you on a timeline from one noteworthy game (with dutiful descriptions of achievements or failures) to the next, Casway does an excellent job of going behind the player to reveal the person, flaws and all. It is fascinating to see the 1890s version of the immature superstar with only one marketable skill (crushing a baseball) as he tries to cope with personal and family problems as that skill rapidly deteriorates. You know the outcome, but it is still a great read. I found the descriptions of the Phillies management very interesting, and learned a few new things about John McGraw. Clearly a lot of careful research went into this book. If you enjoy baseball biographies, you'll like this one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. J. McNeal on August 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
We all know of players like Cy Young and Ty Cobb, but for most of the baseball world, the late 1890's and Early 19th century is a forgotten period of baseball. Even Larry Anderson, one of the Philadelphia Phillies broadcasters, was unaware of how teh late Phils slugger Ed Delahanty died. (I'm not telling you, you'll find out easy enough, anyway.) He only found out recently during a blow out game, when a certain player had a chance for hitting 4 home runs in single game. A feat, which was accomplished by the Only Del.

In the 1890's, the Phillies had one of the best teams ever to be featured on a baseball diamond. None the less, they were never able to put together a champion. Most of the blame should go to the Phillies owners, who insisted on paying their players far below their worth, and the hiring of string after string of bad managers, not to mention constant inteferance with said managers by the Front Office.

Of Course, the players didn't have much say in any of these things. They could do what they did on the playing field, but a pay raise was hard to come by. In fact, many players saw their salaries go the other way during the 1890's. The reserve clause bound you to your team, and the others in the league weren't allowed to sign you. This set of circumstances led to the creation of the short lived Player's League in the early part of the 1890's and later the formation of the American League in 1901. (At least in part.)

Ed was one of the many great Irish players in baseball at the time. The Irish far outnumbered any other minority in baseball during this period. Irish Ed was one of the greatest players of his (or any other) time, and other teams repeatedly offered the Phillies rather large sums of money in exchange for Big Ed. Ed batted over .
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Forget the sour grapes of that other review, this is a superb baseball history. It is extemely well researched with an incredible amount of information in a very readable package. Anyone who is truly into baseball history will want this book and will want to know and understand the 19th Century and the players. The sociology of baseball has been the sociology of this country and the early players are the heroes and pioneers who gave us the perfect game of baseball. Buy the book!
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Format: Hardcover
As a lifelong Phillies fan, I have always been fascinated by Delahanty. Before discovering Jerrold Casway's book, my Ed Delahanty knowledge consisted mostly of the basic facts -- batting .400 three times, the second man to ever hit four home runs in one game and, of course, the fall to his death. Casway's book extensively covers Delahanty's death, but the book is so much more than that. Just the final chapter and the epilogue focus on Delahanty's bizarre death.

The book is meticulously researched and annotated, with most chapters devoted to a season or a couple of seasons in Delahanty's career. Prior to reading this book, I never knew much about Delahanty beyond the stats. Casway's book delves into Delahanty's personality, revealing details such as the player was bad at making speeches, could be self-centered at times, inmature at other times and had great difficulty making decisions. Conversly, Delahanty was also explained to be highly approachable by fans and greatly wanted people to like him.

As a lifelong Phillies fan, I also found the book to be a treasure trove of details regarding the autocratic Phillies ownership of the 1890s and overlooked Phillies Hall of Famers of the era like Sam Thompson and "Sliding" Billy Hamilton. Who knew that both Thompson and Hamilton were frugal men who saved their money and were ready for a life after baseball?

Today, Delahanty's career is largely overshadowed by his bizarre death. The other fascinating details in the book aside, it is the information on Delahanty's fall that truly captivated me. I had no idea that Delahanty appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown in the days immediately prior to his death, a plight that was only worsened when large quantities of alcohol were added to the situation.
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