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Superstars and Screwballs: 100 Years of Brooklyn Baseball (Plume) Paperback – March 1, 1992

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Yet another reminder that the Brooklyn Dodgers still live,though not in Brooklyn, this carefully researched history of the teamby a New York Times sports editor is one of the best. Books aroundabout the "Daffiness Boys" of the 1920s, "Dem Bums" of the 1930s andthe 1950s' "Boys of Summer"--and Goldstein ably surveys the stories ofthose teams. Where he excels, however, is in recounting the earlyyears of the diamond sport in the City of Churches, and all thefranchises born and done in during pre-Dodger days--the Eckfords, theExcelsiors, the Atlantics, the Mutuals, the Mets, the Brooklyns andthe Bridegrooms, among them. This should be required reading for allfans still cursing Walter O'Malley for moving the beloved team west in1957. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

From 1857, when Brooklyn was an independent city, baseball thrived until the Dodgers and Giants fled West in 1957. Goldstein, a New York Times sports editor, provides a nostalgic story of glory and pathos. Beginning with the deeds of Brooklyn's pre-major league teams, he chronicles Brooklyn baseball from the Trolley Dodgers, Bridegrooms, and Robins to the Daffiness Boys and latter-day Dodgers. He repeats oft-told tales of Wilbert "Uncle Robby" Robinson, Casey Stengel, Babe Herman, Roger Kahn's Boys of Summer ( LJ 2/15/72), Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson, and even the still hated Walter O'Malley. This fond memorial gives fuller coverage to the Brooklyn years than Stanley Cohen's The Dodgers: The First 100 Years ( LJ 4/15/90) and is recommended. It will be especially popular with New York area fans.--Morey Berger, formerly with Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N . J. up at bat, Morey Berger: Watch for LJ' s spring lineup of baseball books, reviewed by longtime LJ reviewer Berger, in the Sports section this February 15.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Plume
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (March 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452267706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452267701
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,214,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robert A. Byrne on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Richard Goldstein's Superstars and Screwballs is an outstanding look at, as the subtitle proclaims, 100 years of Brooklyn Baseball. You will be hard pressed to find a better start to finish history of the Brooklyn Dodgers that also goes back beyond that franchise's nascent beginnings. Goldstein begins with the flourishing of the not-yet national pastime in the CITY (not borough) of Brooklyn. The Atlantics, the Eckfords, the Excelsiors, the Mutuals and more competed in the city's parks.

Brooklyn teams were at the heart of the National Association of Base Ball Players (9 of 11 championships went to Brooklyn squads), the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (it wasn't an amateur game anymore), the American Association, the one-year Player's League (which resulted in construction of The Polo Grounds) and the Federal League. While `Dem Bums' still cast their long shadow over baseball history, the sport was deeply enmeshed in Brooklyn culture and played by a myriad of teams.

But it is the Dodgers that are the enduring image of Brooklyn baseball and Goldstein gives us a great look at the franchise from their first season in 1883 (as a the minor league `Grays') through the final 1957 pennant race. The Dodgers joined the American Association and then the National League, going through several name changes before settling on the Dodgers, abbreviated from `Trolley Dodgers.' The first World Series was played in 1903, and in the days before divisions, the best team in each league played for the ultimate title: there were no playoffs. From 1903 to 1940, the Dodgers managed only two National League pennants, coming up short both times against their AL counterparts.
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