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Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame Paperback – May 25, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Chafets brings both a fan's affection and a social critic's eye to his examination of the Cooperstown, N.Y. institution...amusing, sardonic and convincing.” ―Kirkus
“Chafets briefly explores the history of how the Hall of Fame came to pass, but the real good stuff comes as he dives into the politics of the museum and how race has played a role in who has received election and who has received the shaft. He looks at the "monks" who oversee the hallowed halls, the writers who act as gatekeepers to the Hall of Fame, and explains how election can make what was once a player's worthless memorabilia into a gold mine. Much of Chafets's subject matter is sure to strike a chord with baseball fans… gives the reader a glimpse beyond what one might see at the exhibits.” ―Publishers Weekly
“The Baseball Hall of Fame has long been viewed as some sort of pristine baseball palace, a hardball Mecca where the ghosts of greats walk the corridors. In Cooperstown Confidential, Zev Chafets does not merely humanize the Hall and its inhabitants--he paints a fascinating, in-depth, occasionally outlandish portrait to be hung alongside the busts of the Babe and Hammerin' Hank. Chafets knocks this one over the Green Monster.” ―Jeff Pearlman, author of Boys Will Be Boys and The Bad Guys Won
“Put in a couple of dead bodies, an inquisitive professor who looks a lot like Tom Hanks and maybe a car chase or two and Zev Chafets would have sports' answer to The DaVinci Code. Oh well -- we'll have to settle for a literate and provocative climb through the cobwebs, misconceptions and flat-out prejudices that exist behind the shiny exhibits at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Nice work. Maybe Tom Hanks can play Zev Chafets in the movie.” ―Leigh Montville, author of The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth
“Red Smith suggested blowing up the Hall of Fame and starting over, and Zev Chafets has planted the bomb. This smart, tough, funny history uses the flawed temple of the game as a prism to examine the nation as well as its pastime - sex, steroids, stats, and all.” ―Robert Lipsyte, author of Heroes of Baseball
“The story of the Hall is baseball and politics, lust for fame and gain, ridiculous ballyhoo and deadly serious business. Somehow, Zev Chafets got it all -- and told it with toughness, humor, and grace.” ―Richard Ben Cramer, author of Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life
“Cooperstown Confidential is not the standard collection of rosy ancedotes about Hall of Fame baseball players. It is a fascinatingly hard-edged look inside the hallowed institution, and that makes it all the more delightful and revealing.” ―David Maraniss, author of Clemente and When Pride Still Mattered--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Chafets bases his argument on some of the characters already in the Hall who don't meet Rule Five standards. Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker conspired to fix a game and Judge Landis helped with the cover-up. Speaker was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Grover Cleveland Alexander pitched while drunk and there are several cocaine addicts in the Hall. Sports writer Red Smith recommended they blow the Hall up and start over again.
Perhaps the most entertaining part of the book is the first section, where Chafets is less belligerent. He shows how the Hall of Fame came to be. Cooperstown was supposed to be the place where Abner Doubleday originated the game. This proved to be a flight of the imagination of Al Spaulding one of the first great players in the National League and an owner of the Cubs. Cooperstown was also founded by James Fenimore Cooper's father and was home to the Clark family whose forefather was a lawyer for Isaac Singer, the inventor of the sewing machine. The Clarks still own most of Cooperstown and run the HOF.
While he's not ranting about steroids, Chafets talks to some of the members of the veterans of the women's baseball league who are sitting in the lobby signing autographs for five bucks a pop.Read more ›
One of the most important themes of this book is that there are many rogues in the HoF; of course we already knew that. Some great ballplayers that have been exposed as less than stellar human beings have been barred from entry. Chafets profiles Steve Garvey, who has been denied entry despite his comparable statistics to many already in the hallowed Hall. Others, such as former MLB Players Association executive director, Marvin Miller, were repeatedly denied election to the hall for no reason other than that his superb leadership of the players ticked off every owner for a quarter century. There is no doubt that Miller had a profound impact on the game, perhaps the greatest impact of anyone in the latter half of the twentieth century, yet he ended his life still outside the HoF.
Chavets, of course, covers all of the various ironies of the Hall.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent history of the Baseball Hall of Fame and the rogue gallery which it is. The author effectively weaves a tapestry of scandal drugs and corruption which permeates... Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by Anthony Buzzi
This was purchased for a gift, so I wanted to believe the seller when he said, very good condition...he was right. The book looks like new and it arrived in record time... Read morePublished on November 3, 2013 by Elsie M. Ashman
This is not a public relations work but a no nonsense analysis of the Baseball HOF. Like a good umpire, calling them like he sees them.Published on July 18, 2013 by Dr. GT
This book ought to be required reading for HoF-eligible voters. Author does not condone steroid use. Read morePublished on April 30, 2013 by Bill C. Helm
I love baseball history, so I was looking forward to a book which purportedly relates the "real" history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Read morePublished on April 21, 2013 by Mark Fornoff
Shows the Hall. Warts and all. Need a follow-up with steroids era explained to this day. Go get this bookPublished on February 27, 2013 by J. M. King
There should be only two measures as to whether a player 'belongs' in the Hall of Fame. 1) how do his stats compare to those of his generation of players, 2) did he pay-off any... Read morePublished on January 3, 2012 by Grey Wolffe