American Baseball From Gentleman's Sport to the Commissioner System

ISBN-10: 0271003340
ISBN-13: 9780271003344
Edition: 2nd 1983
List price: $35.95 Buy it from $8.75
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Description: The National Pastime has made big news and big money since its Silver Age (1900-1920), but what old-timer would have dreamed of TV networks bidding tens of millions for camera time, of baseballers getting paid like movie stars, or of all concerned -  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 1983
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Publication date: 10/12/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 396
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

The National Pastime has made big news and big money since its Silver Age (1900-1920), but what old-timer would have dreamed of TV networks bidding tens of millions for camera time, of baseballers getting paid like movie stars, or of all concerned - players, managers, owners, even umpires - having their lives exposed in intimate detail by keyhole journalists? So far the great American game has survived media hype, as this book shows, with the same vitality that brought it through the doldrums of World Wars I and II and the Great Depression and that withstood the shocks of racial integration and union organization.Voigt's overview of American baseball at mid-century shows both major and minor league attendance reaching peaks in 1950, then declining under competition from pro football, basketball, and hockey. Although the minors have steadily lost ground, the majors have held on to profitable turf thanks to westward expansion, night games, TV franchises, and new sources of talent. Black players numbered 100 by 1960 after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, while Hispanic baseballers from the Caribbean and Central America became almost as numerous. About half the big leaguers now hail from university and college teams, and platoons of scouts spot the best talent in high schools and on sandlots. Many of the post-World War II players have become baseball sters, and many have become media superstars.New owners took charge in the expansion era, men described by the author as "individualistic, competitive, and mercenary - qualities sometimes gentled by altruism." Walter O'Malley of the Dodgers is presented as a representative expansionist, a "throwback to the robber barons," a glory-seeker intent on erasing Branch Rickey's fame, and yet a modern Barnum devoted to giving fans their money's worth. A showdown between owners of this stripe and the players' hard-bargaining Marvin Miller seemed a no-win game for the fans.Yet, as America enters the 1980s, this book reports, its "vast enthusiasm for major league baseball remains awesome." Despite the modern world's threats to the stability of the National Pastime, the diamond's mythic power justifies cautious optimism.

Allan Nevins, 1890 - 1971 Educator, historian and biographer Allan Nevins was born in Camp Point, Illinois. He was educated at the University of Illinois. From 1913-1931, he was on the editorial staff of various newspapers and periodicals in New York City. From 1931 until his retirement in 1958, he was the professor of American history at Columbia University. He died in Menlo Park, California, in 1971. His historical and biographical writings were thoroughly researched and two of his books, "Grover Cleveland" (1932) and "Hamilton Fish" (1936), won Pulitzer Prizes. Other titles include "The Ordeal of the Union" (8 vol. 1947-1971) and "The Emergence of Lincoln" (2 vol. 1950). He also edited letters and diaries, which included "The Diary of John Quincy Adams" (1928).

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