From Publishers Weekly
Morris (But Didn't We Have Fun?
) offers a thorough look at the evolution of the catcher from the 1870s—when the position became the ultimate example of the American ideal of the rugged individualist—to the early 1900s. Indeed, the position was not for the timid. Early catchers dealt with pitches and foul tips without the benefit of today's fancy protection, just a pair of gnarled hands and tons of grit. However, as baseball's rules changed and equipment such as chest protectors and mitts became part of the catcher's uniform, public opinion plummeted. Additional changes in the game saw the catcher valued again in the early 20th century, this time for his intelligence as he didn't need to endure pain to become a hero. Morris's superlative research and keen observation never leads to dry or academic writing. He has produced a fascinating merger of social and baseball history, taking an almost irrelevant subject and filling it with color—thanks to the generous use of old newspaper accounts—and stirring profiles of long-forgotten players who were daring, deranged or both. (Apr.)
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[Morris] gives us a sense of how changes on the baseball field reflected changes in America. (Christianity Today
Nobody is better at recapturing how and why Americans played baseball. (History News Network