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The Emerald Diamond Paperback – February 28, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062089889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062089885
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,400,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The history of the Irish in baseball is much richer than anyone realizes. From early discrimination to later domination, from Mike Kelly, a society star in the 1880s, to the managerial fame of Connie Mack (né McGillicuddy), early Irish players and managers helped shape the game of baseball in every way. From the first curveball to the first players' unions, Irishmen took America's national pastime and made it their own, turning it into the glorious game we know today, as more recent players have kept alive the Irish tradition of setting records.

A wild, fun, fact-filled celebration of the Irish in baseball, The Emerald Diamond intersperses interviews with current players with tales of such players as Dan Brouthers, who at 6'2" and well over 200 pounds, was the game's home-run king until Babe Ruth came along; and includes lively anecdotes about such colorfully nicknamed ballplayers as Tony "the Count" Mullane, Mike "King" Kelly, James "Pud" Galvin, Hugh "One-Arm" Daily, Frank "Silk" O'Loughlin, and "Iron Man" Joe McGinnity. Just a few of the great Irish athletes featured as well are Mickey Cochrane (for whom Mickey Mantle was named); Charles Comiskey; Ed Walsh, the last pitcher to win 40 games in a single season; and Ed Delahanty, whose prodigious life and mysterious death continue to be a source of intrigue. With decade-by-decade profiles of exciting Irish figures on the field and off, The Emerald Diamond also offers important discussion on cultural and political themes relevant to their times.

About the Author

Charley Rosen is the coauthor with Phil Jackson of the New York Times bestseller More Than Just a Game. He is the author of Bullpen Diaries and fifteen other sports books, and has written more than a hundred articles for publications such as the New York Times Book Review, Sport, Inside Sports, M, and Men's Journal.


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Customer Reviews

And....an Irish woman who player in one major league game.
Retro Guy
There may be others, but those were the ones that kind of jumped off the page at me.
Greg Langlois
There are some interesting tidbits in there, but they are few and far between.
A. McNeil

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Moylagh Man on May 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have been reading and collecting works on the Irish and the diaspora fro thirty years; and been a baseball player for decades. This is one of the worst researched and written books on Irish OR American history. Do not buy this book! He puts Dublin in the west of Ireland, and cannot spell even recent Irish-American players names correctly. He points out that Boston was the major point of entry when writing about 19th century arrivals, which is inaccurate. He says partially that a bat was an advantage the Irish had over other races because it resembled an "ancient Irish war club." It is awful.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Greg Langlois on April 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
Charley Rosen's (a Jewish guy writing on the history of the Irish?) book on the history and influence of the Irish on our national pastime is for the most part an entertaining and breezy read. If you're an amateur baseball historian and have read numerous books on the cultural and general history of baseball, you've heard most of the anecdotes before although some are expressed here in greater detail and how they evolved. The one criticism I suppose I have are some of the factual errors committed. For instance, on page 213 he writes of how Casey Stengel, recently dealt to the Giants, "always had a taste for alcohol, and in his new teammate, "Irish" Bob Meusel (who wasn't Irish), he found a willing partner." The willing partner was Emil Meusel, not his brother Bob, who was then playing for the Yankees. On page 237 he writes of Joe Collins being an important member of the Yankees, which he was, but his real name was Joseph Kollonige which at least doesn't LOOK Irish. On page 262 he writes of the A's franchise having relocated from Baltimore in 1955 when it was of course Philadelphia (the Orioles had come from St.Louis the year prior). On page 269 he has Dale Murphy being "honored in Cooperstown." Did I miss something? There may be others, but those were the ones that kind of jumped off the page at me.

I don't mean to necessarily discourage anyone form reading this book because I did found it entertaining, insightful, and educational in some instances. I just think Mr. Rosen could have been a little more attentive to some of the details and facts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Riis VINE VOICE on March 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a fan of 19th century baseball I looked forward to this book, especially since I have marvelled for so long about the preponderance of Irish-American players in the 1880s-1910s. The book collects some anecdotal stories of those players and others, but fails utterly to deliver on the promise of the subtitle by offering no real analysis of how they transformed the game and never addresses the underlying question of why the Irish were drawn to baseball in such numbers. Adding to my chagrin was an entire chapter in which Denny McLain's name is misspelled over and over as "McClain". There's just no excuse for sloppiness like that.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Diane VINE VOICE on March 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Saturday is St. Patrick's Day, and since spring training is well underway, it's a good time to review Charley Rosen's book The Emerald Diamond: How The Irish Transformed America's Greatest Pastime.

I'm proudly Irish and have been a big baseball fan since childhood, so this book held great appeal for me. I had never really considered the Irish contribution to baseball, and Rosen's book is comprehensive in his thesis.

As the Irish wave of immigration exploded during the potato famine in the 1840s, the author states that
"only four paths of advancement were readily available to young Irish males: politics, police work, the priesthood and sports."
Many sports were out of reach for immigrants- golf, tennis, football, track and field were the purview of the wealthy and college educated. Boxing and baseball appealed to the Irish immigrants. Baseball was their game
"because the basics of the sport involved manipulating a bat (which strongly resembled the ancient Irish war club known as the shillelagh), running fast, and throwing a ball hard and accurately- all skills familiar to traditional sporting pastimes in Ireland. "
Rosen's intertwined history of baseball in America and the Irish immigrants who played the game utterly fascinated me. In the late 1880s, Irish players became valued for their contributions to the game. The Sporting News wrote that the Irish were "distinguished by their ability to quickly devise plans and schemes." The American Press Association said it was due to their "love of a scrap and proficiency in the use of a club."

The schemes that some of the Irish players devised are recounted with great humor and admiration here.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
wonderful, colorful celebration of how the Irish helped form the modern game. Rosen knows baseball as well as he knows basketball.
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