Walter Johnson: Baseball's Big Train and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $29.95
  • Save: $5.13 (17%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Walter Johnson: Baseball'... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Guaranteed Happiness! Very Good: This book is in excellent shape and has very minor wear, may contain an inscription on the inside cover but minimal writing or highlighting inside the book.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Walter Johnson: Baseball's Big Train Paperback – April 1, 1998

32 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$24.82
$15.93 $5.46

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$24.82 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Walter Johnson: Baseball's Big Train + Tris Speaker: The Rough-And-Tumble Life Of A Baseball Legend + The Player: Christy Mathewson, Baseball, and the American Century
Price for all three: $50.01

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

How good a pitcher was Washington Senator ace Walter Johnson? Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Joe Jackson considered him the best ever. His career strikeout record lasted for half a century, and no one's ever come close to his mark of 110 shutouts; some of his Senator teams were so bad, the only way Johnson could win was literally to keep opponents from scoring. Of course, the numbers alone don't tell the story. Johnson was a towering figure in the first quarter of the baseball century. One of the most respected--and liked--men in the game, he was something of an anti-Cobb: straight, honest, and clean, with a life off the field as content as it was accomplished on it. This is an excellent, exhaustive biography, showing clear affection for Johnson from the first pitch: Thomas is Johnson's grandson. Despite the blood tie, Thomas doesn't just go straight down the middle; he is willing to work the corners of his grandfather's life, which actually allows his relationship to his subject to add to the work's significant depth. --Jeff Silverman

From Booklist

Walter "Big Train" Johnson won 417 games as a pitcher in his early-twentieth-century baseball career, and when the inevitable "greatest ever" arguments arise, even diehard modernists will grudgingly include him in the mix. This detailed, carefully researched and annotated biography certainly does justice to Johnson's extraordinary on-field accomplishments, and it also emphasizes his decency, humility, and self-effacing humor. Now, one might question the objectivity of author Thomas, who just happens to be Johnson's grandson. Don't bother. Even today's tabloids would have trouble digging up dirt on Walter Johnson. The text is too heavy with play-by-play game accounts, but Thomas strives to emphasize aspects of Johnson's character that provide context beyond the score. An excellent chapter deals with Johnson's 1915 signing with the rival Federal League and his subsequent reversal and resigning with the Washington Senators. Johnson publicly acknowledged that he had treated both sides badly and had put himself in a "humiliating position." It's not the sort of honesty we're going to see from today's athlete. A much-needed, comprehensive biography of a baseball legend. Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803294336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803294332
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Brookner on June 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
Simply stated, this is the most detailed as well as accurate baseball bio, at least of a player from pre-WWII years, we have. Yet Thomas keeps the story moving, and we get the full picture of the man and his family life as well. Jack Kavanaugh's "Ol' Pete" (Grover Alexander), and Reed Browning's "Cy Young" make excellent relievers, but here's your starting pitcher, and Big Train didn't need bailing out very often.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mark Kratina on February 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
One of the best baseball books I have ever read- easily on my top ten list and maybe even in my top five. I was not aware that the book was written by Johnson's great grandson until I began reading; this certainly gave the material a lot of credibility.
Walter Johnson was, without question, the greatest pitcher in baseball history. Along with Al Stump's work on Ty Cobb, Robert Creamer's work on Casey Stengel, and the recently published Cy Young biography (author's name escapes me), this book establishes a lasting legacy of Johnson on and off the field.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
Henry Thomas seems to have inherited the Big Train's genes. One gentleman does a big service to another (his grandfather)as Walter johnson is depicted in this well researched and written biography. If you are an avid fan of great pitchers, dead-ball era ballplayers, or just enjoy a heartwarming story of a well respected gentleman baseball player, this book will not disappoint. Walter "Barney" Johnson was more than just the second winningest major league pitcher of all time with a blazing fastball. First and foremost he was the sports main ambassador of goodwill as well as the idol of Washington Senator fans and the entire baseball community. The only matter that the book did not clear up with me was how he derived the nickname "Big Train." In other aspects, the book was extremely well done.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 1996
Format: Hardcover
If you have some time, and enjoy reading about one of
baseball's best eras, then I strongly recommend this book.
Henry Thomas has written a meticulously researched, 400 page
account of the life of Walter Johnson. Not only does it
expound upon his on-field brilliance, but it demonstrates
the love and respect that everyone associated with baseball
had for Walter. The foreword is written by longtime
Washington sportswriter, Shirley Povich, and the book
contains many fine photos. If you are not a baseball fan,
the wordy and intricate game descriptions may be tiresome.
But if you enjoy the game, you will enjoy this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Grissum C. Smackerson on February 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Written from the heart, and it shows. Truly a magnificent piece of work from Henry Thomas. I loved this book from beginning to end. Follow Walter Johnson from beginning to end through the eyes of someone that actually cares about Walter Johnson, his grandson. I cannot say enough great things about this book. Such a teriffic treat about a wonderful character in the history of baseball.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Hundley VINE VOICE on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a rule, I tend to be pretty dubious of biographies written by relatives (or close friends, etc.) of the subject. They tend to be whitewashes at best and, at worst, badly written whitewashes. Big Train is a happy exception to the rule.

In one sense, this is easy - there seems to be little to no evidence that Walter Johnson had anything TO whitewash. Not a hint of scandal, boorishness, distasteful personal habit or significant vice has ever been attached to the man or his legacy. In fact, it is hard to think of another public figure who was so widely admired and respected by both his peers and his audience. Johnson was thoughtful, soft spoken, straightforward, hard working, modest and unassuming. The man was, in a sense, pretty dull. As such, he could have easily made a pretty dull subject. That he is not is a tribute to the facts and circumstances of his career, and a serious nod to his grandson, the biographer.

Exhaustively researched and noted, the book is filled with contemporary accounts that serve to illuminate Johnson's career and times. Thomas quotes his primary sources at length, but prudently, allowing us to see Johnson as his teammates, the press, opponents and other commentators saw him. If there is a tone of adulation here, it comes from those who knew and watched him, not from the author himself directly. He does a fine job of detailing The Big Train's times, on and off the field. But mostly on the field.

Perhaps the most moving chapters in the book are those detailing Johnson's World Series seasons, coming late in his career, after toiling so long and hard for mediocre (at best) teams. It is hard, even knowing the outcomes going in, not to be moved and rooting for him.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 29, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is a very enjoyable book for anyone wanting to know about baseball's golden age and a different American age.The author's research and attention to detail are superb.His writing style is also quite enjoyable.A minor criticism: the number of footnotes is a little distracting(usually 60 or so per 20 page chapter).It is,after all,a book about baseball,not an academic text.On the positive side again-the "play-by-play" of the World Series games are riveting
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Walter Johnson: Baseball's Big Train
This item: Walter Johnson: Baseball's Big Train
Price: $24.82
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: a's big three pitchers?