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Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story Hardcover – October 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803244487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803244481
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,734,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Among the great pleasures of the narrative is the authors’ ability to recreate the gritty atmosphere of early baseball. By contrast, today’s game seems sedate. Rivalries were intense and local (within the Three I League—Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, for example). Dangers lurked from mobsters, brawling opponents and teammates, and head-hunting pitchers. Umpiring was a high-risk profession.”—Steve Golos, Ohioana Quarterly
(Steve Golos Ohioana Quarterly 2008-03-25)

“An excellent window into a time when sport and society were wildly different from today, and it successfully reminds us of Mordecai Brown's rightful place in baseball’s collective memory.”—Tim Denevi, Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature
(Tim Denevi Aethlon 2007-10-15)

“Deadball aficionados, baseball fans in general, and those loving a well written story should read this great book.”—Mark Dugo, The Inside Game
(The Inside Game 2008-02-05) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Cindy Thomson is the author of a historical novel, Brigid of Ireland, and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

Scott Brown is a charter member of the Diamond Brotherhood, a SABR member, and the founder of the Mordecai Brown Legacy Foundation. For more information about Mordecai Brown please visit the Web site http://www.threefinger.com


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Brookner on November 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It took longer than it should have for a bio of this early twentieth century top pitcher to be written, considering some of the baseball bios that have been produced. Perhaps the greatest Cub pitcher ever, Mordecai Brown was also a kind, good man. This book provides good insight into his life, and some photos never before published. If anything, it could have used a bit more detail on his pitching, at least in regular season games. But we are treated to detail on some of the famous Mathewson-Brown match-ups (Brown won the career duel), and the World series appearances.

Brown is the hero, but his success and abilities are underplayed, if anything. That's a relief next to several current books about players whose authors are trying to get them into the Hall of Fame. A pleasurable, easy read. The baseball stats are reliable except in one instance where the authors must have had a petite mal seizure. Page 78 states that Brown's 213 innings pitched in 1908 were "more than any other single year in his career." The number is a typo for 312, but anyway, as the authors later note, Brown pitched 343 innings the following year. But not to worry, this is a unique lapse, and pointed out here only to help readers, or correct any future edition. Thanks for this book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Hundley VINE VOICE on May 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The thing that makes Mordecai Brown so interesting is that, really, he wasn't all that interesting. It is refreshing to read the story of a man who worked hard, mastered his craft, was very successful (on and off the field) while being, to all evidence, a good man, good husband, good friend and good teammate. Kind of shocking in his very decency. The book is well researched, but stiffly written and a rather wooden read. I recommend this as there is so little on Brown available and his is an interesting story. I only wish the authors has loosened up a bit and allowed some of the color and liveliness of his times come through.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on November 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Authors Cindy Thomson and Scott Brown pen an all-star book for the Hot Stove League that chronicles the life of one of the greatest pitchers in the "Dead Ball Era" of Major League Baseball, Mordecai "Three Fingered" of "Miner" Brown.

Sporting a lifetime MLB record of 239-130, with 1375 strikeouts and an amazing 2.06 ERA, Brown is oftentimes more known for his main nickname, which was due to a farm-machinery accident as a youth, losing parts of two fingers. His other nickname came from his work in the Indiana coal mines before baseball became his profession.

His is truly an American story, as Brown sparked the Chicago Cubs to victories over the Detroit Tigers in the 1907-1908 Fall Classics, turned away from threats by mobsters in 1908 to throw a game and attempted to end the MLB monopoly on the pro game by joining the "outlaw" Federal League.

But its in retirement where Brown gave back to the sport - and to the local fans who followed his pro career - that made him a household name. When back home again in (Terre Haute) Indiana, he played in the minors, participated in exhibition games and also coached. Brown also operated a gas station in Terre Haute.

Like home plate being dusted off after a long winter, the biography brings to life a legend who was buried under yellowed pages of newspapers that had been weathered by time and neglect.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. Crawley on February 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As a Deadball Era fan and researcher, I have been waiting for this biography for several years. Three Finger Brown was one of the main keys to the Cubs' success from 1906-1910, when they were the premier team of the National League. Cindy Thomson and Scott Brown have done their homework in the research that they did for this book, and they have also made it a highly enjoyable and easy read, despite the amount of research that backs up their writing.

This book is also good for general baseball readers who want to read about one of the greatest pitchers in the game. And of course, Cubs fans will enjoy it, as pointed out by the introduction by Ferguson Jenkins. Finally, it is a tribute to a man who overcame a disability with hard work, humility, and grace.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on February 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have hundreds of baseball books in my library including several biograhies. I found this book to be okay, but certainly not up to the standards of other five star books I have. Mordecai Brown is certainly worthy of a biography, but parts of the book didn't hold my interest the way I thought it would. I did find some interesting anecdotes such as Chicago Federal League owner Charles Weegham locating seats near the field (today's Wrigley Field) to be fan friendly, introducing concession stands so vendors wouldn't block the fans' view, and allowing fans to keep foul balls as souvenirs. Another interesting story is a conversation that baseball great George Sisler had with Brown following their retirement from the game regarding baseball when Sisler was in Terre Haute, Indiana, scouting for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and neither knew who the other was until somewhat into the conversation. Several of Brown's teammates died in the year 1947 and Brown, himself, passed away in 1948 the same year as the Babe. Incidentally, the name of former Brooklyn Dodger outfielder Pete Reiser is misspelled on page 206. The author has it spelled "Reecer". It is not a typo since it is spelled the same way in the index. The book was an okay read, and three stars is not bad. However, it certainly doesn't rate as a baseball classic by any means, and probably wasn't meant to be.
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