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Major League Baseball in Gilded Age Connecticut: The Rise and Fall of the Middletown, New Haven and Hartford Clubs Paperback – June 13, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (June 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786436778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786436774
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,031,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


At Home Plate
"An exceptional book that truly earns a walk straight to the local book store to get a copy."

Sporting News

"An excellent addition to the growing catalog of regional baseball history..."

From the Author

Major League baseball in Connecticut may seem impossible, as Connecticut appears forever destined to root for the neighboring Red Sox or Yankees.  Believe me, I know since I live in East Hampton, Connecticut, which was once dubbed by the Hartford Courant as the exact mid-point between Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium.  But during the 1870s, Connecticut was home to three major league clubs.  In fact, at that time, the biggest rivalry in baseball was not Boston-New York but Boston-Hartford!

My favorite of the three Connecticut teams is probably the Hartford Dark Blues.  They were truly a pioneering team - from Hartford's Morgan Bulkeley being the first National League president, to the first no-hitter, triple play, curveball pitcher and the dubious distinction as the country's first professional sport franchise to move to another city.  In 2008 I was instrumental in helping to erect a historical marker at the site of the Dark Blues' field.  Alas, the marker (support post and all) were stolen and never recovered.

More About the Author

Born, raised and still living in Connecticut, David Arcidiacono is a 20-year member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), specializing in 19th century baseball research. David's historical baseball writings have been featured in numerous SABR and Vintage Base Ball Association publications as well as Elysian Fields Quarterly and Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game. His 19th century research has also appeared in recently-released books such as Base Ball Pioneers, 1850-1870, Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century, and Game of Inches: The Stories Behind the Innovations That Shaped Baseball. David has presented his extensive study on the evolution of fielding gloves at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. His research was also featured in a New York Times article titled "The Hartford Dark Blues - The Forgoten Home Team." He is a life-long Detroit Tigers fan and Mark Fidrych is his all-time favorite player.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
With a rich tradition in amateur baseball, it seemed like a natural for the entrepreneurial spirit to take hold in Connecticut at the birth of the professional game. And a trio of cities played money ball from 1872 to 1876, but ended up as footnotes on this new diamond, with one franchise relocating to another state in 1877 before ceasing operations.

Society for American Baseball Research member David Arcidiacono brushes off the dust from this era in Major League Baseball in Gilded Age Connecticut: The Rise and Fall of the Middletown, New Haven and Hartford Clubs, an excellent addition to the growing catalog of regional baseball history from McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. The 193 pages of text and photographs is bolstered by 36 additional pages of player biographies and game logs from the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, National League of Professional Baseball Clubs and non-league contests.

From the beginnings of the modern game in the 1840s with the Knickerbocker Club in New York City, baseball began to forge a trail that included the workshops of inventors. In 1866, George Hill of Connecticut was issued a federal patent for a new type of bat.

"The device consisted of a regular baseball bat with slits cut in the upper end. When striking the ball, the slits were intended to produce a spring effect `in order that the ball may be sent a greater distance when hit.' This may have been the earliest patent granted for an invention relating to the rapidly growing game of baseball," writes Arcidiacono. "Formally organized baseball clubs began to appear in Connecticut, first in western counties near New York, then spreading to the east and south.
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