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Joe Cronin: A Life in Baseball Hardcover – April 1, 2010

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Joe Cronin: A Life in Baseball + The Sizzler: George Sisler, Baseball's Forgotten Great + Jimmie Foxx: The Pride of Sudlersville (American Sports History Series)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080322530X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803225305
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,140,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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).

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel P. Fradl on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ohioan on June 14, 2011
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Larry Underwood on June 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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