*Starred Review* Histories of baseball's Negro Leagues abound, beginning with Robert Peterson's 1970 classic, Only the Ball Was White,
but few offer the scope of this volume, which explores the entire spectrum of African American baseball. In July 2000, major-league baseball granted $250,000 to the Hall of Fame for a comprehensive history of African American involvement in the game from 1860 to 1960. The result, a cooperative work by teams of historians and baseball experts, was an 800-page manuscript entitled Out of the Shadows.
This book is a distillation of that work. Hogan himself was a part of the research team and is an expert on the Negro Leagues. There are a number of player profiles and photos from the 1920s, '30s, and '40s as well as an examination of the entrepreneurial business climate that kept the leagues going even as it exploited the players. It's interesting to note that, of the hundreds of all-star games played in the off-season between teams of the top black players versus the best of the major leagues', the black teams won more than 60 percent of the time. Along with on-the-field reportage, Hogan also provides valuable historical context, placing the Negro Leagues in the socioeconomic fabric of the time. This is an important, informative, and entertaining contribution to sports history. Wes LukowskyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Lawrence D. Hogan is a senior professor of history at Union County College in New Jersey. He is an expert on the history of black baseball and his touring exhibit on the subject has traveled nationwide.
Jules Tygiel, a history professor at San Francisco State University, is the author of Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy,
and Past Time: Baseball as History,
a New York Times
Notable Book of the Year.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was founded in 1939 and has become an American institution. Dedicated to chronicling and preserving baseball history and honoring the sport's foremost figures, it annually attracts more than 350,000 visitors to its home in Cooperstown, New York.