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Blackout: The Untold Story of Jackie Robinson's First Spring Training Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 1, 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Jackie Robinson's integration of major-league baseball in 1947 has been well chronicled, but often overlooked in the Robinson hagiographies is the fact that he had done it all once before, in 1946, prior to playing minor-league ball with the Montreal Expos. Montreal was relatively free of the institutionalized bigotry Robinson would later face, but Florida, where he spent spring training in '46, certainly was not. Crowds were often verbally abusive, and Robinson and three other black men trying out for Montreal were forced to live in a rooming house while their teammates lived in an all-white hotel. Unlike Robinson's first year with Brooklyn, which played on a national stage in the established press, the indignities of his first spring training had to be endured in relative isolation, covered only by black journalists. Lamb's detailed and annotated research provides an in-depth examination of an important step in the integration of baseball, a step that, up until now, has not received the coverage it deserves. Of interest both to baseball fans and social historians. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Lamb''s detailed and annotated research provides an in-depth examination of an important step in the integration of baseball, a step that, up until now, has not received the coverage it deserves. Of interest both to baseball fans and social historians."—Booklist
(Booklist )

Lamb tells what Robinson faced in 1946 in segregated Florida—six weeks that would become a critical juncture for the national pastime and for an American society on the threshold of a civil rights revolution."—Dermot McEvoy, Publishers Weekly
(Dermot McEvoy Publishers Weekly )

"[A]n important contribution to American Studies."—Choice
(Choice )

"In his richly sourced examination of Robinson''s first spring training, Lamb puts readers on the back of a hot Greyhound bus as it makes its way through the Jim Crow South of the mid-1940s. . . . Throughout the book Lamb carefully documents who wrote what, analyzing the black press, mainstream dailies, the Daily Worker, a national newspaper for communists, and even southern newspapers. This comprehensiveness in sources is unprecedented in examinations of press coverage of Robinson''s life or career, making it a good investment for researchers in the field based on its footnotes alone. The book also deserves credit for turning attention to the black sportswriters who, as the author writes, ''faced their own color line.''"—American Journalism
(American Journalism )

“Lamb does an excellent job of setting this pivotal episode in baseball history in the larger context of race relations of the South, providing a number of graphic examples of violence against blacks in order to emphasize the dangerous world that Robinson and Wright were entering when they arrived in Florida as new members of the Montreal Royals, Brooklyn’s main minor league team.”—Michael Cocchiarale, Aethlon
(Michael Cocchiarale Aethlon )

"Blackout is the most complete analysis of Robinson''s first spring training available as Lamb has probed the press reports to new depths and in the process revealed another facet of the two America''s divided along racial lines. Blackout is also a volume that is essential to any understanding of the events of sixty years ago in Florida and their significance for baseball, for Florida, and for America."—Richard Crepeau, Sports Literature Association
(Richard Crepeau Sports Literature Association )

"Blackout is well written, engaging, and analytically sound. It is a work that belongs in all baseball libraries as well as those on American social history."—Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
(William Marshall Register of the Kentucky Historical Society )
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 233 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press; annotated edition edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803229569
  • ASIN: B005Q7O3QO
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,309,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
An excellently researched and written book. One would think that there isn't much new to be said about Jackie Robinson, who is among the two or three most written-about men in the history of baseball, but Lamb tells a story that has previously received little attention, mainly because the mainstream news media didn't think it was worth covering.

Lamb points out that black newspapers covered Robinson from the moment he began spring training with the Montreal Royals in 1946, and he uses many of those papers as his sources. In retelling the story of Branch Rickey's historic decision to sign Robinson and break baseball's color line, he refuses to treat Rickey as a lone, saintly hero; he points out that, for decades before Rickey joined the fray, black newspapers, socialists, and Communists had been agitating for the inclusion of blacks in organized baseball. Lamb shows that Lester Rodney, sportswriter for The Daily Worker, was also instrumental in the struggle to bring integration to the game. His is a name that seems to have been dropped from the record when other authors retell Robinson's story.

The most powerful aspect of the book is the way Lamb portrays the gagging outrageousness of the racial prejudice and discrimination Robinson faced in the Jim Crow-era American south. The vicious, buck-naked bigotry he and other blacks encountered ought to make every white American ashamed.
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Format: Paperback
There have been many books written about Jackie Robinson's major league career and a scattering of articles about his season with the 1945 Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues, but few scholars tackle the challenges of Robinson's passage to integrating baseball with the 1946 Montreal Royals.

Chris Lamb's "Blackout: the Untold Story of Jackie Robinson's First Spring Training" fills the gap between the Negro Leagues and the Major Leagues. Although baseball was one of the first institutions in postwar America to integrate; we find in 1946 that the waterfront gateway community of Sanford, Florida, was this nation's symbol of segregated sanctions.

Decades before the tragic Trayvon Martin incident, the town of Sanford was the battleground for Robinson's tryout with the Montreal Royals, a Brooklyn Dodger minor league club. In early March, after two days of practice in Sanford, Robinson was adamantly requested by town officials to leave the boarding house at 612 Sanford Avenue, by sundown, leaving his white teammates behind.

The following month, the Montreal club, with Robinson in tow, played an exhibition game in Sanford. This time, the police chief ordered Robinson to sit out the game due to a city ordinance that forbade social contact between blacks and whites, and barred them from competing in any games of chance, be it checkers, dominoes, dice, cards or baseball games. Robinson's second visit to the sundown town was as dehumanizing as his first.

Much like in the racial massacre depicted in the movie "
...Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Didn't know a lot of this stuff about Jackie's first spring training. Very telling story about baseball and America in the 1940s.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great Book perfect for the class room & anyone who wants to know the Jackie Robinson story!!!
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Format: Hardcover
Many books and articles with much better research on this subject were published previous to this book. This is not an untold story, but a retold story of previously published information. Parts of this book are not historically accurate. Much better research and more accurate information can be found in other books about this subject, which is an important part of United States history.
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