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Where They Ain't: The Fabled Life and Untimely Death of the Original Baltimore Orioles, the Team That Gave Birth to Modern Baseball Paperback – March 14, 2000
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A fine reporter and writer, Solomon does a remarkable job of bringing the past into the present, exploring how little has changed in terms of baseball business and organizational stupidity through the years. With its marvelous cast of real--and fully realized--characters, Where They Ain't reads as much like a novel as it does like history, and though we know how it ends, it remains an important story worth telling, learning from, and certainly remembering. --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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"Where They Ain't", however, is one of the better baseball books I've read. Ostensibly about the old Baltimore Orioles of the National League in the 1890s, this book is really a micro-history of early baseball, tracing the game forward -- both on and off the field -- through the advent of Babe Ruth. Burt Solomon paints a very convincing picture of those Orioles as the team that had the singlemost impact on the way the game is played today. He chronicles the playing and early mangerial days of John McGraw, Ned Hanlon, Wilbert Robinson and Willie Keeler, and shows how they introduced the aggressive style of play -- the hit-and-run, the double-steal, the drag bunt, the Baltimore chop -- that still wins pennants today.
But more than profiling that now-defunct team, Solomon paints a vivid picture of the economics of the game at large. Playing in ornate wood stadiums, a team would be lucky to draw 5,000 fans (or "cranks", in the parlace of the time) to the grandstands and "bleacheries". The owners fiddled mercilessly with cost-cutting ideas such as contraction, team syndicates, and collusion. Indeed, that these ideas all failed so miserably (forging the birth of the rival American League, a revolution which swallowed its own children so rapidly that within three years you couldn't tell one league from the other) that your eyebrows will leap off your head when you see that today's owners are still using them!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There were no clear breaks between different threads of the story. It didn't lend itself to an easy read. AveragePublished on November 26, 2013 by ddnewsom
This is one of the best books about the history of baseball that I have ever read. Not only does it discuss the Orioles of the 1890s, but also how that team truly led the way in... Read morePublished on September 3, 2013 by Steve E. Habay
This book is a surprise as it is much more than a simple history of the first Oriole franchise (the first went off to NY and emerged as the NY Yankees while the second came in 1954... Read morePublished on October 21, 2011 by Ted Ricks
I've read this book twice and both times I couldn't put it down. Mr. Solomon spins a tale worthy of any novel and it's all true. Read morePublished on June 25, 2010 by Mr. Terry L. Hartzell
My favorite era in baseball is the Deadball
Era, with the years from 1903-1919, but another wild time was the 1890s, highlighted by the amazing Baltimore Orioles. Read more
"Where They Ain't," as baseball fans know, is part of the phrase used by Willie Keeler as an explanation of where he hit the ball. Read morePublished on April 16, 2007 by Winslow Bunny
Where They Ain't: The Fabled Life and Untimely Death of the Original Baltimore Orioles.
After avoiding 19th century baseball like the plague, I'm suddenly highly... Read more