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Koppett's Concise History of Major League Baseball Paperback – March 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf; Revised edition (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786712864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786712861
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,138,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The why behind Hall of Fame sportswriter Leonard Koppett's Concise History is almost as impressive as the authoritative and fascinating volume itself. Given that baseball's best pitch is the richness of its lore, Koppett was appalled that upon their arrival in the majors, contemporary stars like Yankee first baseman Don Mattingly knew nothing of Lou Gehrig, and Ken Griffey Jr. had little more awareness of Jackie Robinson than his name. If the players themselves don't appreciate the legacy or importance of what they're part of, what chance do the rest of us have? Koppett's mission is to change that.

What makes the Concise History such a valuable addition to an already packed baseball bookshelf is that it's an original. First and foremost, its strong, narrative push spans the divide between statistical encyclopedias and the chronicles that generally focus on individual years or teams or issues. It's quite thorough--reaching back to the 1840s and covering the game up through the 1998 sale of the Dodgers--clearly linking the game of baseball to the business of baseball. It covers trends as well as players and events, and, in one of its most useful features, offers succinct seasonal recaps at the end of each chapter. Koppett's a fine writer with a well-established voice, which he uses to analyze as well as report; he's no fence straddler on the more complex questions like free agency, franchise moves, collusion, realignment, and the replacement of family ownership by conglomerates. Like a good home run race, it's a book unique to this particular game, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere. --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"No one knows, understands, and interprets the history of major-league baseball so well as Leonard Koppett. He is a student of the game, and of most other aspects of life, and he knows how the one fits into the other. He also knows how to research, how to report, and how to write. He is perfectly equipped to write a rich, readable and reasonable history of the game." --Dick Schaap, ABC News --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
It's a very good reference book.
Marc R
After reading, you'll be able to talk about the history of Major League baseball with anyone.
Marc Ranger
Overall, I found this to be one of the best baseball books I've ever read.
Todd Hawley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Todd Hawley on November 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
I used to always enjoy reading Leonard Koppett's columns. He would make a point, then be able to back it up by using stats or his own knowledge of baseball to prove his point. This updated edition in some ways is like reading a greatly extended column of his. And at 550 pages or so, it's a highly impressive piece of work. Not only does he take on the history of major league baseball, he does so with a flair for not only using stats to make numerous points, he also discusses what events were going on in the country with each specific era. He also takes great pains to debunk a few myths, such as "Judge Landis and Babe Ruth saving the game in the 1920s."

I was constantly impressed and amazed with Koppett's writings in the book, he takes certain situations and explains them almost the same way one of your friends might explain an event with you. I almost felt like I was sitting in a sports bar with him at times watching a game. One minor flaw with the book's updated edition that I found: statements like "Detroit still plays at Tiger Stadium," or "the NBA has never gone on strike" held true in 1998, but not in 2003. Koppett also mentions the story of Bill Veeck wanting to buy the Phillies in 1943 and populating it with Negro League players, only to have the Commissioner and the other league owners veto the sale. I have heard recent stories that cast doubt as to whether or not this actually almost happened.

Again, these are minor issues. Overall, I found this to be one of the best baseball books I've ever read. Any student of the game who has the interest and the time to read a comprehensive book about baseball history owes it to themselves to buy this book. It is a commitment of a good amount of time to read this all the way through, but it's well worth it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Leonard Koppett's book does not get a 5 star rating by me only because it is hard to rate a textbook as a 5. Still, this is a great book. It is along the lines of an SABR release, though the statistics are of a different type. I liked this book, but it will appeal only to those who want a deeper understanding of how the game has mirrored society and how the issues of today are not unlike those of the past. This is a history project, but a very good one. Read this with some of the histories by Harold Seymour and the game will appear much different come the spring. I would also recommend BASEBALL by Ken Burns and Geoffrey Ward.
I admire Koppett greatly for attempting such a project as this
CONCISE HISTORY OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Buck on December 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is easily the most comprehensive look at baseball history out there. And it's written with the Koppett edge, which lets you know that you're getting the whole truth and nothing but the truth. His genius was in being lucid and thorough in everything he wrote. BUY THIS BOOK if you love baseball history or know someone who does.
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