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Joe Cronin: A Life in Baseball [Kindle Edition]

Mark Armour
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From the sandlots of San Francisco to the power centers of baseball, this book tells the story of Joe Cronin, one of twentieth-century baseball’s major players, both on the field and off.
For most of his playing career, Cronin (1906–84) was the best shortstop in baseball. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1956, he was a manager by the age of twenty-six and a general manager at forty-one. He was the youngest player-manager ever to play in the World Series, and he managed the Red Sox longer than any other man in history. As president of the American League, he oversaw two expansions, four franchise shifts, and the revolutionary and controversial introduction of the designated-hitter rule, which he wrote himself.
This book follows Cronin from his humble beginnings to his position as one of the most powerful figures in baseball. Mark Armour explores Cronin’s time as a player as well as his role in some of the game’s fiercest controversies, from the creation of the All-Star Game to the issue of integration. Bringing to life one of baseball’s definitive characters, this book supplies a crucial and fascinating chapter in the history of America’s pastime.

Editorial Reviews


"This is a rich account of one of the 20th century's great player-managers, his rise from modest beginnings all the way to Cooperstown, and presidency of the American League."—Margaret Heilbrun and Gilles Renaud, Library Journal
(Margaret Heilbrun and Gilles Renaud Library Journal 2010-02-01)

"Mark Armour has produced a grand and deep biography of one of the sport's central figures. I approached it with very high expectations, and came away fully satisfied."—Steve Treder, Hardball Times
(Steve Treder Hardball Times 2010-03-05)

"Well written and well worth owning."—
( 2010-04-19)

"In writing this biography, Mark Armour has done a great service not only to those interested in Joe Cronin, but also to future researchers interested in any of the multitude of facets of baseball that Joe Cronin impacted."—Richard Puerzer, NINE
(Richard Puerzer NINE)

"Cronin emerges as a larger-than-life figure, and Armour's biography is a fitting tribute."—D. R. Danbom, Time Out for Entertainment
(D. R. Danbom Time Out for Entertainment)

"This readable, well-documented biography of Cronin, who became an elder statesman of the national pastime, is candid, honest, and reverential."—S. Gittleman, Choice
(S. Gittleman Choice 2010-07-01)

About the Author

Mark Armour is the editor The Great Eight: The 1975 Cincinnati Reds (Nebraska, 2014) and a coeditor of Pitching, Defense, and Three-Run Homers: The 1970 Baltimore Orioles (Nebraska, 2012).

Product Details

  • File Size: 5091 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (April 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ZDNO84
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,387,272 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Reading June 14, 2011
By Ohioan
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I knew little about the Boston Red Sox in the first half of the 20th century, even up to 1960, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. While learning about Joe Cronin, I learned more about the Red Sox, about Ted Williams, about the Washington Senators, the minor league system, train travel, contract negotiations, expansion, and the big changes to baseball that Cronin helped shape, including the DH rule. Well worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great read about a forgotten legend April 1, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is not just for Red Sox fans or baseball historians; it's an entertaining and enlightening look into, as the title implies, one man's life in baseball. It rolls from the post-'black sox' era of the 20s to the glory days of the 30s, late 40s, through the legendary 50s, and into the tumultuous 60s. As a player, it's odd that Joe Cronin is not better known; he was a perennial all-star through the 30s while at the same time managing the team. And as a leader, he was made manager at just 26 yrs old (!) and continued as a player-manager and then manager until moving into baseball management positions at a team and then league level. The reader is taken on not just a journey through Cronin's life, but also through the life of the great american pastime, which was changing (and stubbornly not changing!) in a rapidly changing world. A well-written, enjoyable read for anyone that likes history, sports, or both. It reminded me of David Maraniss' Lombardi bio, another great book covering two of my favorite subjects: sports and history.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He Did It All (Practically) June 4, 2010
For most major league baseball players, their careers generally end when their playing days are over. Some may go on to become a coach or manage a team at the big league level. For Hall of Famer Joe Cronin, his retirement as an active player allowed him to move up the ranks; as a full-time field manager, then as a general manager, and then finally, as the President of the American League.

The author, Mark Armour chronicles Cronin's long and fruitful relationship with the game, which always seemed to place him as the right guy for the job, whenever a new opportunity popped up.

Growing up in post-earthquake San Francisco, Cronin very quickly established himself as a top-notch player, following in the footsteps of his idol, Tony Lazzeri; another local San Francisco boy who certainly made a name for himself on that remarkable Murderer's Row New York Yankees team of the '20s, featuring guys like Ruth and Gehrig. It didn't take long for Cronin's playing ability to surpass Lazzeri's; in fact, it didn't take long for Cronin's skills to overshadow the vast majority of players in all of baseball. He was simply one of the greatest players in the history of the game, performing his craft with remarkable skill at shortstop; probably the most crucial position for any team.

Additionally, Cronin's leadership skills and knowledge of the game afforded him the opportunity to become a player-manager, at the tender age of 26; first with the Washington Senators, then with the Boston Red Sox. Those Red Sox teams of the '30s and '40s featured some big-name players (Williams, Foxx & Grove), but they never really did much until 1946, when they finally reached the World Series (losing in seven games to the Cardinals).
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