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Newly Published: Between the Ropes at Madison Square Garden

New on our bookshelf:

Between the Ropes at Madison Square Garden: The History of an Iconic Boxing Ring, 1925–2007
Mark Allen Baker

Inside Madison Square Garden, the City Ring was the altar of pugilism from 1925 until 2007. Hosting countless championship fights, historic main events and memorable undercards, it was center stage of boxing history.

The ring now rests at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York—its 132 assembled pieces memorializing a key facet of 20th century American life. While many books have been written about great fistic contests that took place at Madison Square Garden, this is the first to focus on its Holy Grail.

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Newly Published: Nittany Nightmare

New on our bookshelf:

Nittany Nightmare: The Sex Murders of 1938–1940 and the Panic at Penn State
Derek J. Sherwood

As the Great Depression hit, Penn State College was cash-strapped and dilapidated. Cuts to athletic scholarships left the football program a shambles and the school a last resort for many students. In 1937, underfunded state police, fighting a losing battle against striking miners and steel workers in Johnstown, called in the National Guard.

There were not enough police to cover the state, and it showed. Then someone started killing young women in the area. Between November 1938 and May 1940, Rachel Taylor, Margaret Martin and Faye Gates were abducted and sexually assaulted, their bodies dumped within 50 miles of the college.

As the school grew into Pennsylvania State University and the Nittany Lions became a world-class team, two demoralized police agencies were merged, forming the precursor of the Pennsylvania State Police. Gates’s murderer was captured and convicted. The killer(s) of Taylor and Martin, however, have gone unidentified to this day.

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Newly Published: Tip O’Neill and the St. Louis Browns of 1887

New on our bookshelf:

Tip O’Neill and the St. Louis Browns of 1887
Dennis Thiessen

In 1887, Tip O’Neill, left fielder for the St. Louis Browns, won the American Association batting championship with a .492 average—the highest ever for a single season in the Major Leagues.
Yet his record was set during a season when a base on balls counted as a hit and a time at bat. Over the next 130 years, the debate about O’Neill’s “correct” average diverted attention from the other batting feats of his record-breaking season, including numerous multi-hit games, streaks and long hits, as well as two cycles and the triple crown.

The Browns entered 1887 as the champions of St. Louis, the American Association and the world. Following the lead set by their manager, Charles Comiskey, the Browns did “anything to win,” combining skill with an aggressive style of play that included noisy coaching, incessant kicking, trickery and rough play. O’Neill did “everything to win” at the plate, leaving the no-holds-barred tactics to his rowdier teammates.

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Newly Published: Comiskey Park’s Last World Series

New on our bookshelf:

Comiskey Park’s Last World Series: A History of the 1959 Chicago White Sox
Charles N. Billington

Charter members of the American League and the country’s last “neighborhood” pro baseball franchise, the White Sox are one of the few teams of the power hitting–focused modern era to win a pennant with speed, pitching and defense. Covering the 1959 White Sox from a range of perspectives, the author examines the club’s historical importance to Chicago and the significance of the ’59 “South Side Series”—the first in 40 years. Many behind-the-scenes details are discussed, from the refined media markets of Golden Age baseball to the team’s ancillary sources of revenue to the bitter legal feud between Charles Comiskey and Bill Veeck.

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Newly Published: Understanding Sabermetrics

New on our bookshelf:

Understanding Sabermetrics: An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics, 2d ed.
Gabriel B. Costa, Michael R. Huber and John T. Saccoman

Interest in Sabermetrics has increased dramatically in recent years as the need to better compare baseball players has intensified among managers, agents and fans, and even other players. The authors explain how traditional measures—such as Earned Run Average, Slugging Percentage, and Fielding Percentage—along with new statistics—Wins Above Average, Fielding Independent Pitching, Wins Above Replacement, the Equivalence Coefficient and others—define the value of players. Actual player statistics are used in developing models, while examples and exercises are provided in each chapter. This book serves as a guide for both beginners and those who wish to be successful in fantasy leagues.

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Newly Published: George Foster and the 1977 Reds

New on our bookshelf:

George Foster and the 1977 Reds: The Rise of a Slugger and the End of an Era
Mike Shannon

The Cincinnati Reds are recognized as one of the great teams in baseball history. Left fielder George Foster—an integral part of the Reds’ back-to-back World Championships in 1975–1976—has never received proper credit for his contribution to their legacy.

In 1977, Foster became the most feared slugger in the National League, batting .320, with 52 home runs and 149 runs batted in to win the NL MVP Award, establishing a new single-season home run record for the Reds’ franchise that still stands. Yet Foster’s big year was not enough to stem the emergence of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who roared out of the gate and ran away with the NL West Division pennant.

This book tells the story of Foster’s record-setting season and puts his pre-steroid era achievements in proper perspective. The author chronicles the subsequent decline of the Big Red Machine and the rest of Foster’s big league career, including his disappointing tenure with the New York Mets.

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Newly Published: Playing on an Uneven Field

New on our bookshelf:

Playing on an Uneven Field: Essays on Exclusion and Inclusion in Sports
Edited by Yuya Kiuchi

We expect sports to be fair and equal—everyone who tries out has a chance to play and everyone who plays hard has a chance to win. But is that really true? In reality, female athletes are paid far less than their male counterparts. Youth sports often cost too much for many families to participate in. African American athletes continue to face discrimination both on and off the field. Adaptive sports are considered to be only for those with disabilities.

But there are signs of progress as sports organizations try to promote equality and fairness. This study explores the intricacies of inclusion and exclusion in sports.

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McFarland 40th Anniversary Sale

We’re turning 40, and we’re celebrating with a special fortieth anniversary sale! Through June 30, get a 25% discount on ALL books when you use the code ANN2019. And if you’ll be in our area (Ashe County, North Carolina, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains), we’d love to see you at our open house event on Friday, June 14. Thank you for supporting our first 40 years—we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you.

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McFarland Turns 40

On June 14, 2019, McFarland will celebrate its fortieth anniversary with an open house party. From noon to five, our campus at 960 Hwy 88 W, Jefferson, NC will be open to the public with finger food, conversation and tours available, and many of our authors will be in attendance. To stay up-t0-date with event information, follow our event page. Below is a brief company history, with personal thoughts, by founder and editor-in-chief Robert Franklin.

McFarland Publishers Now Forty Years Old
by Robert Franklin

McFarland’s history (founder, Robbie Franklin, me): My close friends Biff and Alicia Stickel were burned out special ed teachers in Connecticut, early 70’s.  What to do?  Back to the land!  They (and their little daughter Maranatha Shone Stickel) drove south till they loved the vibe and the scenery and wound up living on Peak Road from 1972 through part of 1978 (and birthing Micah Stickel).  Alicia played piano at the local Baptist church and they were cofounders of the Creston Co-op.  I visited them in ’72 (instantly fell for the land and people, the forefinger car salute, the almost drinkable river) and again every year after, and when wife Cheryl Roberts came into my life in 1975, we visited.  Soon I was bragging about Ashe County to everybody – “If your car breaks down, the very next person to come along will stop and ask if you need help.”  I hope a few readers can recognize the Stickels’ name (he goes by Richard now; they live in Toronto).  They are the reason McFarland was begun in Ashe County.  We present band of publishers, about fifty in number, owe them great honor.

I did not learn till after we moved here in 1979 that my Revolutionary War ancestor Lieutenant Robert McFarland, after whupping the king at Kings Mountain, lived up here in the 1790s.  He then went overmountain to become the first ever sheriff of Greene/Washington County, Tennessee.  (I was born in Memphis.)

McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers is our official name.  Founded in April 1979 right here.  I had been the executive editor of a smallish scholarly publisher in New Jersey; my mentor/boss/friend Eric Moon (a charismatic Brit) knew before I did it was time for me to go off on “my own” (very misleading words!).  The local Ashe County newspaper was failing by 1978 and at first I thought, o.k., I’m an editor type, maybe I can start up a new one.  Between summer and Christmas the local fellow David Desautels decided the same thing and very successfully started The Jefferson Times.  We became friends and McFarland’s earliest two or three books (including a biography of Soviet leader Brezhnev) were typeset using off-hours time on that new newspaper’s equipment.  Katy Zell Taylor was our first fulltime employee (Ashe Central H.S. yearbook editor!) and did a lot of typesetting and correcting.  Dental Care in Society was our first published book, in 1980 (ask me some day).

After deciding up in New Jersey to stay with book (versus newspaper) publishing, I phoned the Jefferson Post Office in February 1979 to set up a box number mailing address – they said people had to apply in person.  Whew!  So I flew from Newark to Tri-Cities, Tennessee (what did I know?), rented a car, drove to Jefferson (hours!), filled out a form, got back in the car, drove back to Tri-Cities, and got back home not long before day was done.

A couple of months later, on April 1, 1979, Cheryl and I packed our former life stuff (including hundreds of books—heavy!) in a small U-Haul, attached it to our VW bug, and  began to drive south, the Stickels’ Ashe County on our minds.

My ninth-grade homeroom friend (Toledo, Ohio), Mike Strand, had helped with some financial and emotional support and we stopped at his place in Maryland overnight.  Armed with an Ashe return address, I had written several hundred letters (yes!) on a yellow pad on my knees in the front seat while Cheryl drove, and Mike arranged for a nearby university used-to-weird-hours thesis typist to type them all overnight; we mailed them April 2 and drove on.  We were headed to my parents’ (retired librarians) house in Charlottesville, with me again writing several hundred short letters on my lap. We had arranged for a similar heroic overnight typing fest (the two days: 905 letters to all the authors I had addresses for, saying my former employer will take good care of you, they’re wonderful publishers—But if by any chance they turn you down for something, give us a shot!).

The U-Haul was too much for the Bug and our left rear wheel came OFF 20 miles north of Charlottesville—but stayed in the wheel well (having nowhere else to go), behaving violently.  Definitely exciting (it was my stint at the wheel).  We lost two or three days; I split logs for my parents’ fireplace.

In Ashe County finally, we scooped up some reply mail from authors.  Already!  And we soon secured a sweet farmhouse in Dillard Holler (landlord Jesse Dillard; Mom-figure Clyde Dillard; horse-plus-himself quarter-acre-garden plower Jones Dillard).  The Dillard families taught us a great deal about what being “conservative” actually means.  (One day Jesse turned up with several hundred fence rails he stored near “our” (his) house; no immediate need, but “I got ’em for 25¢ each.”  They stayed stacked for years…)  The birth of our sons Charles (in ’81), Nicholas (’85) and William (’89) certainly emphasized the Dillards’ lessons.  (Jesse routinely tossed hay bales up into pickup trucks in his 80’s.  Lemme be him!)

McFarland itself started out next to the H & R Block office, near the florist, in Jefferson, a small space but enough for our first couple of years.  The Jefferson Post Office turned out, under our loyal friend Charles Caudill, to be one of our greatest early assets.  He was so supportive as McF struggled through ignorance of mass mailings, foreign registered packages (we learned together!), “library rate” book mailings, etc.  McFarland moved in 1981 or ’82 to the Mountain View shopping center between the towns and quickly expanded there.  In 1982 we lucked out by having Rhonda Herman agree to join the tiny staff, doing all the “business” stuff while I coddled authors, edited manuscripts and coached the typesetters.  High school senior Cynthia Campbell became a stalwart and sixteen year old Cherie Scott was a wow of a typesetter, along with Katy Taylor, on our new typesetting equipment.  Within three years we were producing 40 or so new books a year (in 2018 the total was nearly 400).

Meanwhile, the people of Ashe County all around us showed interest, great surprise (“A Publisher in Ashe County?” read one huge Jefferson Times headline), and affection.  Highly significant was Hal Colvard, repeatedly trusting us, at Northwestern bank, another wonderful early friend of McFar.  We warmly greeted each other on Saturday mornings at the post office for many years after he retired.

By 1984 we’d moved to our present location, which became five buildings on both sides of the road.  We’re technically inside Jefferson town limits.  We took Mackey McDonald’s trim brick ranch house, whacked walls left and right, pushed out here, there… Years later we added a second floor – my joke is, the main building now has more roof lines than an Italian hill village.

We are, or were, a library-oriented scholarly and reference book publisher.  (We’ve grown much more into a straight-to-people operation today but libraries are still a critical component of our efforts.)  Two of our earliest works were Library Display Ideas by my sister Linda Franklin and Free Magazines for Libraries, by Adeline Mercer Smith: they were terrific sales successes.  Another 1982 biggie was Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete by William M. Taylor, M.D.  We hit that topic just as it exploded nationwide.  One of the most memorable early works was Keep Watching the Skies! by Bill Warren (1982).  This huge book expertly, humorously covers in amazing depth every American science fiction movie of the 1950s and a lot of Hollywood Big Names spoke highly of it in print.  We were famous!  (Well, the author was…)

McFarland was an early strong supporter of the local arts scene.  (There are hundreds of paintings hanging in four of our buildings.)  Cheryl Roberts and I founded the publication ARTS/DATES for the Arts Council in 1980 or 1981, and for more than a decade paid all its expenses as it grew grander and ever more useful.  Loyal Jane Lonon (Arts Council head) wangled twice for us an N.C. Governor’s Business Award for the Arts and Humanities (go to Raleigh; shake hands; pose for photos; eat dinner).

I joined the strong, active Ashe County Little Theatre and played Dracula for them in 1981, sporting fangs crafted by the late Brett Summey, who became a good friend, now truly missed.  Jane Lonon and I wowed the crowd in The King and I and Tom Fowler and I rolled them in the aisles in Greater Tuna.  When I played Macbeth, the high school English teacher promised extra credit to student attendees.

McFarland’s output grew rapidly—by the 1990s we were producing hundreds of new titles each year and our staff had doubled, then tripled in size.  Margie Turnmire had arrived in the mid–’80s, a beautiful soul and a very smart lady:  director of finance and administration.  In 1995 the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce honored us with a Business of the Year award (I believe we were the third such) and in 1998 The Wall Street Journal ran a feature article on us, showing that we are a bit unusual in our range of offerings.  We have a commanding position in, for example, Vietnam combat memoirs, chess history, baseball (teams, eras, bios), automotive history and popular culture (film, TV, comics, literature…).  We’ve done many reference books (though with Wiki-Google etc. now such works are uneconomical to produce); a Library Journal book of the year was local John Stewart’s African States and Rulers in 1989.  Lots of Civil War, World War II, American/European/World history, literary criticism.  Authors from all over the world.  That part’s fun!  As I write this we have published 7,800 titles.

We had busted out of our onsite warehouse and used the old Ashe County Jail on Buffalo Road for several years in the 80s!  Ultimately we had to move our shipping operation into the building next to the Arts Council owned by Jim Reeves.  On its outer wall facing the Arts Center we had Jack Young do the town’s first mural (now painted over):  “Ashe County through the Ages.”  Finally, Mike Herman built us an entirely new warehouse across the road from our main building in about 1990.  Fourteen years later, then-vice-president Rhonda Herman (now president) moved the company onto firmer financial footing by arranging to install state-of-the-art printing equipment in that warehouse (we’d always used out-of-house printing firms).

Cheryl and I love Ashe County.  We love the people.  We love the trees, the river.  (We came in first in the Mixed Expert class canoe race four or five years ago!)  I even like the curves driving 23 miles to and fro our home to work (we live practically on the Tennessee line, up in the Flatwoods).  The finger salute still works and the tire zing helps me think through business challenges.  Our three boys, Charles, Nicky and William, also revere their place of birth.  McFarland has about 50 employees, all of whom are exceptionally talented.  When I got here to start the company, I truly had my pick of some of the best talent available anywhere, and I mean Anywhere.  Our typesetters know every Hungarian or Swedish accent mark there is!

The local merchants have become business partners.  Local artists have paintings hanging in our offices.  The restaurants are great for business lunches.  The weather—sublime (I learned to fell trees and the art of minimizing the lifting and stacking of logs our first year here); I like winter!  Mike Herman built our house and the numerous renovations of our current space—impossible to imagine a better job.  Stan Barker did some fabulous stone walls at our home.  I feel both cozy and exhilarated just getting up in the morning!  Ashe County, we’re for you!

McFarland is having an open house (snacks, drinks, tours) starting at noon on Friday, June 14th.  We want to show our thanks to a community that has nurtured us for 40 years.  Come one, come all!

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Newly Published: When the Heavyweight Title Mattered

New on our bookshelf:

When the Heavyweight Title Mattered: Five Championship Fights That Captivated the World, 1910–1971
John G. Robertson

The world heavyweight championship once transcended boxing and conferred global renown. This book gives detailed coverage to five legendary championship bouts that captivated audiences worldwide.

Coaxed out of retirement by the press, former champ James Jeffries challenged black titleholder Jack Johnson—universally despised by white audiences—in 1910, in hopes of returning the title to the white race. In 1921, dapper World War I hero and light-heavyweight champion Georges Carpentier hoped to upset heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey, widely considered a draft-dodger, in a fight that garnered the first “million dollar gate.” In perhaps the most politically charged bout ever, “Brown Bomber” Joe Louis, popular with both the white and black America, faced Nazi Germany’s Max Schmeling—the first ever to win the title by disqualification—at a sold-out Yankee stadium in 1936. A relentless brawler, undefeated Rocky Marciano in 1952 sought to bludgeon the title away from the stronger and savvier Joe Walcott, at 38 the oldest heavyweight champ in history. In a monumental clash of two undefeated world champions, Muhammad Ali—on the comeback trail after his title was stripped from him for refusing to be drafted during the Vietnam War—squared off with titleholder Joe Frazier in 1971.

 

 

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Three New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Infield Fly Rule Is in Effect: The History and Strategy of Baseball’s Most (In)Famous Rule
“This reviewer coached college baseball, and before reading this small treasure wrote down every conceivable argument for and against IFR. All of them and more are addressed here precisely, with wit, style, and evidence. One can ask for no more than that…highly recommended.”—Choice

The League That Didn’t Exist: A History of the All-American Football Conference, 1946–1949
“Thoroughly indexed…recommended.”—Choice

The Language of Popular Science: Analyzing the Communication of Advanced Ideas to Lay Readers
“Insightful analysis…this is a very readable and interesting book…recommended.”—Choice

 

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Newly Published: The New York Yankees in Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf:

The New York Yankees in Popular Culture: Critical Essays
Edited by David Krell

How did Reggie Jackson go from superstar to icon? Why did Joe DiMaggio’s nickname change from “Deadpan Joe” to “Joltin’ Joe”? How did Seinfeld affect public perception of George Steinbrenner?

The New York Yankees’ dominance on the baseball diamond has been lauded, analyzed and chronicled. Yet the team’s broader impact on popular culture has been largely overlooked—until now. From Ruth’s called shot to the Reggie! candy bar, this collection of new essays offers untold histories, new interpretations and fresh analyses of baseball’s most successful franchise. Contributors explore the Yankee mystique in film, television, theater, music and advertising.

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Newly Published: Ernie Banks

New on our bookshelf:

Ernie Banks: The Life and Career of “Mr. Cub”
Lew Freedman

Ernie Banks is perhaps the most popular ballplayer in the history of the Chicago Cubs—a man as famous for his personality and trademark phrases as for his accomplishments on the field. Nicknamed “Mr. Cub,” Banks won two National League Most Valuable Player awards and slugged 512 home runs, all while battling discrimination and poverty. His conduct away from the field was so exemplary he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Based on extensive research and personal interviews conducted by the author, this biography details the life of the Texas-born shortstop and first baseman, from his childhood playing softball to his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame to his death in 2015.

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Newly Published: Marie Marvingt, Fiancée of Danger

New on our bookshelf:

Marie Marvingt, Fiancée of Danger: First Female Bomber Pilot, World-Class Athlete and Inventor of the Air Ambulance
Rosalie Maggio

Marie Marvingt (1875–1973) set the world’s first women’s aviation records, won the only gold medal for outstanding performance in all sports, invented the airplane ambulance, was the first female bomber pilot in history, fought in World War I disguised as a man, took part in the Resistance of World War II, was the first to survive crossing the English Channel in a balloon, worked all her life as a journalist, spent years in North Africa and invented metal skis. Her life story was so unusually rich in exploits and accomplishments that some dismissed it as a hoax.

This biography explores the life of “the most incredible woman since Joan of Arc” and investigates the reasons she has been forgotten. Known as the “fiancée of danger,” she was the model for the silent film series The Perils of Pauline.

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Newly Published: Black Baseball, 1858–1900

New on our bookshelf:

Black Baseball, 1858–1900: A Comprehensive Record of the Teams, Players, Managers, Owners and Umpires
James E. Brunson III

This is one of the most important baseball books to be published in a long time, taking a comprehensive look at black participation in the national pastime from 1858 through 1900. It provides team rosters and team histories, player biographies, a list of umpires and games they officiated and information on team managers and team secretaries. Well known organizations like the Washington’s Mutuals, Philadelphia Pythians, Chicago Uniques, St. Louis Black Stockings, Cuban Giants and Chicago Unions are documented, as well as lesser known teams like the Wilmington Mutuals, Newton Black Stockings, San Francisco Enterprise, Dallas Black Stockings, Galveston Flyaways, Louisville Brotherhoods and Helena Pastimes.

Player biographies trace their connections between teams across the country. Essays frame the biographies, discussing the social and cultural events that shaped black baseball. Waiters and barbers formed the earliest organized clubs and developed local, regional and national circuits. Some players belonged to both white and colored clubs, and some umpires officiated colored, white and interracial matches. High schools nurtured young players and transformed them into powerhouse teams, like Cincinnati’s Vigilant Base Ball Club. A special essay covers visual representations of black baseball and the artists who created them, including colored artists of color who were also baseballists.

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Newly Published: Early Baseball in New Orleans

New on our bookshelf:

Early Baseball in New Orleans: A History of 19th Century Play
S. Derby Gisclair

In the 1800s, New Orleans’ local economy evolved from rural-agrarian into urban-industrial. With this transformation came newfound leisure time, which birthed the concept of organized sport. Though first considered a game for children, baseball became New Orleans’ most popular pastime, and by 1859, numerous baseball clubs had been established in the city. This book traces the development of baseball in New Orleans from its earliest recorded games in 1859 through the end of the 19th century, with a particular focus on the New Orleans Pelicans.

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Newly Published: The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2017–2018

New on our bookshelf:

The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2017–2018
Edited by William M. Simons

Widely acknowledged as the preeminent gathering of baseball scholars, the annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture has made significant contributions to baseball research. This collection of 15 new essays selected from the 2017 and the 2018 symposia examines topics whose importance extend beyond the ballpark. Presented in six parts, the essays explore baseball’s cultural and social history and analyze the tools that encourage a more sophisticated understanding of baseball as a game and enterprise.

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Newly Published: Auto Racing in the Shadow of the Great War

New on our bookshelf:

Auto Racing in the Shadow of the Great War: Streamlined Specials and a New Generation of Drivers on American Speedways, 1915–1922
Robert Dick

From 1915 through the early 1920s, American auto racing experienced rapid and exciting change. Competition by European vehicles forced American car manufacturers to incorporate new features, resulting in legendary engineering triumphs (and, essentially, works of art). Some of the greatest drivers in racing history were active during this time—Ralph DePalma, Dario Resta, Eddie Rickenbacker, the Chevrolet brothers, Jimmy Murphy.

Presenting dozens of races in detail and a wealth of engineering specs, this history recalls the era’s cigar-shaped speedway specials and monumental board tracks, the heavy-footed drivers, fearless mechanics, gifted engineers and enthusiastic backers.

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Newly Published: Before They Were the Cubs

New on our bookshelf:

Before They Were the Cubs: The Early Years of Chicago’s First Professional Baseball Team
Jack Bales

Founded in 1869, the Chicago Cubs are a charter member of the National League and the last remaining of the eight original league clubs still playing in the city in which the franchise started. Drawing on newspaper articles, books and archival records, the author chronicles the team’s early years. He describes the club’s planning stages of 1868; covers the decades when the ballplayers were variously called White Stockings, Colts, and Orphans; and relates how a sportswriter first referred to the young players as Cubs in the March 27, 1902, issue of the Chicago Daily News.

Reprinted selections from firsthand accounts provide a colorful narrative of baseball in 19th-century America, as well as a documentary history of the Chicago team and its members before they were the Cubs.

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Newly Published: The Polo Grounds

New on our bookshelf:

The Polo Grounds: Essays and Memories of New York City’s Historic Ballpark, 1880–1963
Edited by Stew Thornley

In an era of unique baseball stadiums, the Polo Grounds in New York stood out from the rest. With its horseshoe shape, the Polo Grounds had extremely short distances down the foul lines and equally long distances up the alley and to center field. Some of baseball’s most historic moments—Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard Round the World, Willie Mays’ Catch, Fred Merkle’s infamous blunder—happened at the Polo Grounds.

This book offers descriptive text and photographs that give a sense of the glory of this classic ballpark. Additionally, it contains historical articles and memories submitted by more than 70 former players who played at the Polo Grounds.

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New in Softcover: The Greatest Minor League

Now available in softcover:

The Greatest Minor League: A History of the Pacific Coast League, 1903–1957
Dennis Snelling

In 1903, a small league in California defied Organized Baseball by adding teams in Portland and Seattle to become the strongest minor league of the twentieth century. Calling itself the Pacific Coast League, this outlaw association frequently outdrew its major league counterparts and continued to challenge the authority of Organized Baseball until the majors expanded into California in 1958.

The Pacific Coast League introduced the world to Joe, Vince and Dom DiMaggio, Paul and Lloyd Waner, Ted Williams, Tony Lazzeri, Lefty O’Doul, Mickey Cochrane, Bobby Doerr, and many other baseball stars, all of whom originally signed with PCL teams. This thorough history of the Pacific Coast League chronicles its foremost personalities, governance, and contentious relationship with the majors, proving that the history of the game involves far more than the happenings in the American and National leagues.

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Newly Published: Neil “Soapy” Castles

New on our bookshelf:

Neil “Soapy” Castles: Memoir of a Life in NASCAR and the Movies
Henry Neil “Soapy” Castles with Perry Allen Wood

Henry Neil “Soapy” Castles grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and became involved in its pioneering auto racing scene at an early age. Graduating from soapbox derby cars to midgets and sprints and finally to stock cars, he sometimes crashed, sometimes won, saw friends die horribly, and became a champion.

Eventually he left the racetrack for Hollywood where he became a stuntman working alongside such stars as Rory Calhoun, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Richard Pryor and Andy Griffith. In the 1990s, groundwater contamination at Castle’s truck repair business from an Exxon oil storage facility cost him an eye and most of his lungs. His decade-long class action lawsuit won him millions in compensation. Now in his mid-eighties, Castles is still going strong, procuring vehicles for movie and television projects.

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Biographies and Memoirs Catalog and Sale

McFarland’s biographies and memoirs cover the fascinating life stories of both iconic personalities and quiet heroes.  On sale now, browse hundreds of titles from history, sports, movies, music, science & technology, literature, military history, transportation and more. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code BIOGRAPHY, print editions of all biographies, autobiographies and memoirs are 20% off now through February 15.

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Newly Published: Leo Houck

New on our bookshelf:

Leo Houck: A Biography of Boxing’s Uncrowned Middleweight Champion
Randy L. Swope

While many of his peers began their careers as farmers and factory workers, Leo Florian Houck became a boxing sensation at age 14, enabling him to support his mother and six siblings after his father’s death. Houck’s career really took off in 1911 with a 20–round victory over world-class welterweight Harry Lewis in Paris. During 1913 Leo became the leading middleweight contender in America.
This biography details Houck’s early years in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, his long career in the ring—including 200 fights—and his 27 years as Penn State’s legendary boxing coach.

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Newly Published: Making the Cut

New on our bookshelf:

Making the Cut: Life Inside the PGA Tour System
John A. Fortunato

The success of the PGA TOUR lies in the compelling narratives of the golfers’ individual quests for achievement—making the tournament cut, qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, and the ultimate challenge of making it onto the TOUR, where victory is often determined by a single stroke. Based on interviews with more than twenty alumni, this book provides new insight into the TOUR system, the events affecting tournament outcomes, and the career-changing opportunities that result.

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Newly Published: Gene Kiniski

New on our bookshelf:

Gene Kiniski: Canadian Wrestling Legend
Steven Verrier

Gene Kiniski (1928–2010) was internationally known to a generation of wrestling fans and to Canadians everywhere as “Canada’s Greatest Athlete.” Older fans and wrestling historians remember him best for his accomplishments in the ring, his run-’em-over approach to the game, his growly demeanor, and his razor wit he could unleash at will. Drawing on recollections from fellow wrestlers, promoters, and friends, this first biography of Kiniski gives a full account of the life of a champion pro wrestler who won over fans throughout the U.S., Canada, and Japan in a career spanning more than three decades.

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Newly Published: Bobby Maduro and the Cuban Sugar Kings

New on our bookshelf:

Bobby Maduro and the Cuban Sugar Kings
Lou Hernández

Roberto “Bobby” Maduro (1916–1986) was a visionary baseball team owner and executive. His dedication to promoting the game internationally from the 1950s through the 1970s remains unrivaled. He headed Havana-based clubs in the Cuban Winter League and teams in the U.S. minor leagues, which helped brand Caribbean baseball in the eyes of North American fans. He co-built the first million-dollar ballpark in Latin America. His Havana stadium was confiscated by Castro’s revolution, along with all his accumulated wealth.

Maduro began a new life in exile in the U.S., first as a minor league owner, then as a front office executive. He founded the short-lived Inter-American League in 1979, composed of five Caribbean-basin teams and one U.S. entry from his adopted hometown of Miami. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn said of his many achievements, “No one was more dedicated, more knowledgeable or more concerned about the game than Bobby Maduro.”

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Newly Published: Infield Fly Rule Is in Effect

New on our bookshelf:

Infield Fly Rule Is in Effect: The History and Strategy of Baseball’s Most (In)Famous Rule
Howard M. Wasserman

The Infield Fly Rule is the most misunderstood rule in baseball and perhaps in all of sports. That also makes it the most infamous. Drawing on interviews with experts, legal arguments and a study of every infield fly play in eight Major League seasons, this book tells the complete story of the rule. The author covers the rule’s history from the 19th century to the modern game, its underlying logic and supporting arguments, recent criticisms and calls for repeal, the controversies and confusion it creates, and its effect on how the game is played.

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Newly Published: The Playing Grounds of College Football

New on our bookshelf:

The Playing Grounds of College Football: A Comprehensive Directory, 1869 to Today
Mark Pollak

College football teams today play for tens of thousands of fans in palatial stadiums that rival those of pro teams. But most started out in humbler venues, from baseball parks to fairgrounds to cow pastures. This comprehensive guide traces the long and diverse history of playing grounds for more than 1000 varsity football schools, including bowl-eligible teams, as well as those in other divisions (FCS, D2, D3, NAIA).

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Holiday 2018 Sale—Get 25% Off All Books!

The holidays are a special time at McFarland—in addition to publishing scholarship, many of us also participate in the tree harvest, as Ashe County produces more Christmas trees than any other county in the United States. If you live in the Southeast, you may have a little bit of McFarland in your living room right now! This season, please consider putting some McFarland under the tree for the readers in your life. To make your holiday shopping easier, we’re offering 25% off of ALL books through the end of the year! On our website, use coupon code HOLIDAY18, or call us at 800-253-2187. For inspiration, browse our new catalog of of gift ideas for readers. Happy holidays from your friends at McFarland!

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Newly Published: Charles Ebbets

New on our bookshelf:

Charles Ebbets: The Man Behind the Dodgers and Brooklyn’s Beloved Ballpark
John G. Zinn

Much has been written about the legendary players and managers of baseball’s Deadball Era (1901–1919). Far less attention has been given to the club owners, like Charles Ebbets. In 1898, after a 15 year apprenticeship, he became president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, taking over a chronic second division team in poor financial condition. Over the next 25 years, he organized four pennant-winning clubs and developed one of the most profitable franchises in the game—while building two state-of-the-art ballparks in Brooklyn.

Ebbets was also an effective steward of the national pastime, working tirelessly on innovations that would help all teams, not just his own. Despite his success, his personal weaknesses ultimately undermined much of what he had so painstakingly built.

This first full length biography provides an in-depth view of his life and career, filling a critical gap in the history of the Deadball Era and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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Newly Published: Phinally!

New on our bookshelf:

Phinally!: The Phillies, the Royals and the 1980 Baseball Season That Almost Wasn’t
J. Daniel

A lot happened in baseball in 1980. After being stabbed with a penknife in Mexico during spring training, the Indians’ “Super Joe” Charboneau captured Cleveland’s heart—and Rookie of the Year. Nolan Ryan became baseball’s first Million Dollar Man, Reggie Jackson twice found himself looking down the wrong end of a gun, and George Brett posted the highest single-season batting average since 1941. The Phillies and Expos battled up to the season’s final weekend while the Dodgers tilted against the Astros in a one-game playoff for the division title. In the American League, Brett led Kansas City past the mighty Yankees and into the Series, where slugger Mike Schmidt and the Phillies awaited. This book covers it all.

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Newly Published: Baseball and Softball Drills

New on our bookshelf:

Baseball and Softball Drills: More Than 200 Games and Activities for Preschool to College Players, 3d ed.
Dirk Baker

Written for coaches, this book—in its expanded third edition—presents more than 200 baseball and softball games and activities for preschoolers through college age, focusing on teaching, improvement of skills and enjoyment. Games emphasizing base running, bunting, catching, fielding, hitting, throwing and pitching are covered. Each section reviews fundamentals, introduces creative skills and drills for group practice, and details the age group, objective, equipment and rules for each activity.

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Four New Titles Reviewed in November Issue of Choice

Ultra-Large Aircraft, 1940–1970: The Development of Guppy and Expanded Fuselage Transports
“This work is an important contribution to the history of aviation and a fine treatment of these enormous, ungainly looking airplanes. A worthwhile read for all interested in transport aircraft and the history of aviation…recommended.”

Tiger Stadium: Essays and Memories of Detroit’s Historic Ballpark, 1912–2009
“The editors of this text do an excellent job…a richly informative and entertaining resource for sports history collection…recommended.”

Exploring Our Dreams: The Science and the Potential for Self-Discovery
“Written in an easy to read, conversational tone, this book is easily accessible to the general reader…recommended.”

Early Bicycles and the Quest for Speed: A History, 1868–1903, 2d ed.
“Highly detailed…richly illustrated…[illustrations] provide a fascinating view of the late 19th century.”

 

 

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Newly Published: Manager of Giants

New on our bookshelf today:

Manager of Giants: The Tactics, Temper and True Record of John McGraw
Lou Hernández

For decades prior to the rise of Babe Ruth, the most recognized name in baseball was John McGraw. An outstanding player in the 1890s, McGraw—nicknamed “Mugsy”—was molded in the rough and tumble pre–20th century game where sportsmanship and fair play took a back seat to competition. Later, he became the successful manager of the New York Giants, dominating the National League in New York City for more than 30 years.

McGraw led the Giants with authoritarian swagger—earning another moniker, “Little Napoleon”—from 1902 through 1932, before illness forced his retirement. In his 31 seasons in New York, his teams won three world championships and 10 pennants and rarely finished out of the first division. He was a trailblazer in the use of bullpen and position player substitutions, and pushed hit-and-run strategies over the then prevalent dictums of sacrifice bunting. An unconventional leader, McGraw missed considerable bench time during his reign on account of injury, illness and fiery temperament.

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Newly Published: Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs

New on our bookshelf today:

Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs: A Reference Guide, 2d ed.
Ron Keurajian

Richly illustrated with nearly 1,000 examples of both autographs and forgeries, this new and expanded edition includes signature studies of all Hall of Famers from the 19th century to the present. Collectors can compare signatures to the examples to determine the genuineness of autographs.
Shoeless Joe and the rest of the Black Sox are explored in depth, along with Roger Maris, Gil Hodges and the top 50 non–Hall of Fame autographs.
A new price guide examines values of various signed mediums. A market population grid lists rare and seldom seen signatures.

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Four New Titles Reviewed in October Issue of Choice

Freedom Narratives of African American Women: A Study of 19th Century Writings
“Compelling…crucially contributing to feminist recovery work and scholarship in African American studies, Freedom Narratives of African American Women is required reading for those interested in 19th-century America…essential.”

The Postmodern Joy of Role-Playing Games: Agency, Ritual and Meaning in the Medium
“Groundbreaking study…this volume is required reading for RPG and gaming scholars…essential.”

The American Soldier, 1866–1916: The Enlisted Man and the Transformation of the United States Army
“This is a rewarding study of enlisted men in the post–Civil War era…recommended.”

Organized Crime in the United States, 1865–1941
“Challenges widely accepted views…an interesting historical analysis…recommended.”

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Newly Published: Stardust International Raceway

New on our bookshelf today:

Stardust International Raceway: Motorsports Meets the Mob in Vegas, 1965–1971
Randall Cannon and Michael Gerry

Professional motorsports came to Las Vegas in the mid–1950s at a bankrupt horse track swarmed by gamblers—and soon became enmeshed with the government and organized crime. By 1965, the Vegas racing game moved from makeshift facilities to Stardust International Raceway, constructed with real grandstands, sanitary facilities and air-conditioned timing towers. Stardust would host the biggest racing names of the era—Mario Andretti, Parnelli Jones, John Surtees, Mark Donohue, Bobby Unser, Dan Gurney and Don Garlits among them.

Established by a notorious racketeer, the track stood at the confluence of shadowy elements—wiretaps, casino skimming, Howard Hughes, and the beginnings of Watergate. The author traces the Stardust’s colorful history through the auto racing monthlies, national newspapers, extensive interviews and the files of the FBI.

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Newly Published: The Olympic Club of New Orleans

New on our bookshelf today:

The Olympic Club of New Orleans: Epicenter of Professional Boxing, 1883–1897
S. Derby Gisclair

Established in 1883, the Olympic Club catered to a variety of pursuits from target shooting to billiards to boxing—the most popular sport in New Orleans, despite legal prohibitions.

A revised city ordinance and a vague state statute permitting boxing sponsored by chartered athletic clubs were frequently tested at the Olympic, the epicenter of boxing in America. Between 1890 and 1894, the club’s 10,000–seat arena hosted six world championship and seven national or regional title bouts. The 1892 Fistic Carnival featured three world title fights on three consecutive days, culminating in the World Heavyweight Championship between John L. Sullivan and James J. Corbett.

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Four Titles Reviewed in September Issue of Choice

Four new titles are reviewed in the September issue of Choice!

We Rise to Resist: Voices from a New Era in Women’s Political Action
“The volume serves not only as a springboard for classroom discussions but also as a unique documentary source for future generations. We Rise to Resist contextualizes third-wave feminism by highlighting the diversity of women’s experiences while offering a space for reflection and a call for political action…highly recommended.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers Encyclopedia
“Comprehensive…excellent…this is a well-conceived and concise compendium of all things related to this iconic baseball team and an invaluable reference for all libraries…highly recommended.”

Repeating and Multi-Fire Weapons: A History from the Zhuge Crossbow Through the AK-47
“Well illustrated with photographs and diagrams and including a glossary and brief bibliography, this is a thorough treatment the topic and useful for those interested in military history…recommended.”

World Epidemics: A Cultural Chronology of Disease from Prehistory to the Era of Zika, 2d ed.
“Engagingly written…this accessible volume is well suited for popular collections and public libraries…recommended.”

 

 

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Newly Published: New York Yankees Openers

New on our bookshelf today:

New York Yankees Openers: An Opening Day History of Baseball’s Most Famous Team, 1903–2017, 2d ed.
Lyle Spatz

The New York Yankees are baseball’s most storied team. They first played at Hilltop Park, then moved to the Polo Grounds, then Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, back to the renovated Yankee Stadium, and now in the new Yankee Stadium.

They also frequently opened the season in Boston’s historic Fenway Park, fondly remembered Shibe Park in Philadelphia, Griffith Stadium in Washington, and all around the expanded leagues after 1961.

This book details every opening-day celebration and game from 1903 to 2017, while noting how each was affected by war, the economy, political and social protest and population shifts. We see presidents and politicians, entertainers, celebrities, and fans, owners, managers, and most of all, the players.

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Newly Published: Punching from the Shadows

New on our bookshelf today:

Punching from the Shadows: Memoir of a Minor League Professional Boxer
Glen Sharp

Glen Sharp’s boxing career was a rise-and-fall story without so much rise in it. A sparring partner for light-heavyweight Hall of Famer Yaqui López, he “retired” with a record of one victory and two defeats. A decade later, having come to understand how and why he failed as a younger fighter, he attempted a comeback.

Told with heart and wit, his memoir is a treatise on boxing as both profession and purpose. Sharp uses economic theory to describe the sweet science as a case study in resource management while recounting his own struggle to win fistic glory and his father’s admiration.

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Newly Published: The Magnificent Max Baer

New on our bookshelf today:

The Magnificent Max Baer: The Life of the Heavyweight Champion and Film Star
Colleen Aycock with David W. Wallace

Boxing might not have survived the 1930s if not for Max Baer. A contender for every heavyweight championship 1932–1941, California’s “Glamour Boy” brought back the “million-dollar gate” not seen since the 1920s. His radio voice sold millions of Gillette razor blades; his leading-man appeal made him a heartthrob in The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933). The film was banned in Nazi Germany—Baer had worn a Star of David on his trunks when he TKOed German former champ Max Schmeling.

Baer defeated 275-pound Primo Carnera in 1934 for the championship, losing it to Jim Braddock the next year. Contrary to Cinderella Man, (2005), Baer—favored 10 to 1—was not a villain and the fight was more controversial than the film suggested. His battle with Joe Louis three months later drew the highest gate of the decade.

This first comprehensive biography covers Baer’s complete ring record, his early life, his career on radio, film, stage and television, and his World War II army service.

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Newly Published: A Hurdler’s Hurdler

New on our bookshelf today:

A Hurdler’s Hurdler: The Life of Rodney Milburn, Olympic Champion
Steven McGill

In September 1972, Rodney Milburn of Opelousas, Louisiana, won the Olympic gold medal in the men’s 110-meter high hurdles. Raised amid segregation and poverty in the 1950s and 60s, Milburn honed his skills on a grass track over wooden hurdles. In a career that spanned more than a decade, he established himself as the greatest hurdler of his era and one of the greatest athletes in track history.

This biography chronicles Milburn’s rise from poverty to international athletic stardom. Loved ones, as well as track legends Renaldo Nehemiah, Dwight Stones, Tonie Campbell, Brian Oldfield and Bill Collins, relate Milburn’s remarkable achievements and humble nature.

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Four New Titles Reviewed in August Issue of Choice

Four new titles are reviewed in the August issue of Choice!

The Mistaken History of the Korean War: What We Got Wrong Then and Now
“Few can challenge [Edwards’] passion in defense of the men he represents. Anyone wanting to comprehend the meaning of the Korean War for Americans cannot go wrong with this book. Essential.”

Motor City Champs: Mickey Cochrane and the 1934–1935 Detroit Tigers
“This book serves as an excellent introduction to the business and financial aspects of professional baseball teams in the 1930s…an engaging and informative read…recommended.”

Protecting the Home Front: Women in Civil Defense in the Early Cold War
“Recommended.”

The Californios: A History, 1769–1890
“Recommended.”

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Newly Published: Baseball in a Grain of Sand

New on our bookshelf today:

Baseball in a Grain of Sand: Seeing the Game through a Small Town Season
Bill Gruber

Part sports journalism, part history, part memoir, this many-sided narrative follows one season with the Blue Devils of Moscow, Idaho—a rural American Legion baseball team. Showcasing baseball’s enduring place in American life, the author draws on the lore of the game, and conversations with diverse fans and players—an outdoorsman juggling his son’s schedule of games with bear hunting; a bewildered German college student, holding a baseball for the first time; former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher & Yale baseball coach John Stuper; the proud owner of a Derek Jeter jersey in Hokendauqua, Pennsylvania, to name a few.

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July Transportation Sale: Get 25% off ALL Transportation Titles

Some of you may share a guilty failing of our editors.  When they receive proposals and manuscripts, while reading about almost any car–learning how it took shape, its quirks and qualities, how it changed over the production run–desire starts to sprout.  Previously ignored vehicles (and even disliked vehicles) show their hidden appeal.  On more than one occasion, an editor has looked at ads and undertaken calculations (financial, emotional, marital) for said cars.
 
If you’re the same, peruse our transportation catalog with caution!  In addition to a broad range of books about automobiles, you’ll find offerings about aircraft, locomotives, bicycles, ships, military vehicles and transportation-related topics.  When you order direct from our website using the coupon code TRANSPORT25, print editions of all transportation books are 25% off July 16 through July 31. Happy motoring and happy reading!
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Newly Published: Baseball Rowdies of the 19th Century

New on our bookshelf today:

Baseball Rowdies of the 19th Century: Brawlers, Drinkers, Pranksters and Cheats in the Early Days of the Major Leagues
Eddie Mitchell

During the 19th century, baseball was a game with few rules, many rowdy players and just one umpire. Dirty tricks were simply part of a winning strategy—spiking, body-blocking, cutting bases short or hiding an extra ball to be used when needed were all OK. Deliberately failing to catch a fly in order to have the game called due to darkness was also acceptable. And drinking before a game was perhaps expected. Providing brief bios of dozens of players, managers, umpires and owners, this book chronicles some of the flamboyant, unruly and occasionally criminal behavior of baseball’s early years.

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Newly Published: Base Ball 10

New on our bookshelf today:

Base Ball 10: New Research on the Early Game
Edited by Don Jensen

Offering the best in original research and analysis, Base Ball is an annually published book series that promotes the study of baseball’s early history, from its protoball roots to 1920, and its rise to prominence within American popular culture.

This volume, number 10, brings together 14 articles on a wide range of topics, including the role of physicians in spreading early baseball; the game’s financial revolution of 1866, when teams began charging a 25-cent admission price; the prejudice that greeted Japan’s Waseda University team during its American tour in 1905; the Addie Joss benefit game and its place in baseball lore; the 1867 western tour of the National Base Ball Club; and entrenched ideas about class and early baseball, with a focus on the supposedly blue-collar Pennsylvania Base Ball Club.

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Newly Published: Something Magic

New on our bookshelf today:

Something Magic: The Baltimore Orioles, 1979–1983
Charles Kupfer

“Orioles Magic” is a phrase fans still associate with the 1979–1983 seasons, Baltimore’s last championship era, when they played excellent, exciting ball with a penchant for late-inning heroics. This book analyzes the Orioles not just as a great team but as the team to be marked by the fabled “Oriole Way,” an organizational commitment to fundamentally sound baseball that guided them for nearly 30 years.

The Magic years are discussed in the context of Baltimore sports, fan culture and baseball history, recalling the thrills of a splendid squad that delighted fans and reminding us why Peter Gammons called the 1979–1983 Orioles one of the major league’s “last fun teams.”

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Four new titles are reviewed in the July issue of Choice!

Scenes from an Automotive Wonderland: Remarkable Cars Spotted in Postwar Europe
“Any car spotter will enjoy this book, and may find a 26 horsepower favorite. The book is presented in a pleasant, easily readable format and contains a useful index and excellent bibliography… recommended.”

Women in the American Revolution
“effective… enriches the breadth of scholarship published on this topic… Wike’s multicultural net captures the multifaceted roles of women… recommended.”

The First 50 Super Bowls: How Football’s Championships Were Won
“This readable book will no doubt be enjoyed by his intended audience of football and sports fans… recommended.”

Henry Green: Havoc in the House of Fiction
“Nuanced… one leaves this study with a thorough knowledge of Green’s oeuvre and full insight into his mastery of high modernism… recommended.”

 

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Weekly Deal: Martial Arts

This week, get 20% off all books about martial arts with the coupon code MARTIAL!

Now with Kung Fu Grip!: How Bodybuilders, Soldiers and a Hairdresser Reinvented Martial Arts for America

Mixed Martial Arts and the Quest for Legitimacy: The Sport vs. Spectacle Divide

Classic Movie Fight Scenes: 75 Years of Bare Knuckle Brawls, 1914–1989

Game of Thrones and the Medieval Art of War

The American Martial Arts Film

The Hong Kong Filmography, 1977–1997: A Reference Guide to 1,100 Films Produced by British Hong Kong Studios

Sword Fighting in the Star Wars Universe: Historical Origins, Style and Philosophy

The Asian Influence on Hollywood Action Films

 

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Newly Published: “The game’s afoot”

New on our bookshelf today:

“The game’s afoot”: A Sports Lover’s Introduction to Shakespeare
Cynthia Lewis

Like the age-old feud between the Montagues and Capulets in Romeo and Juliet, the enduring rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers makes for great drama. Macbeth’s career began with promise but ended in ruin—not unlike Pete Rose’s. Twelfth Night’s Viola’s disguise as a boy to enter into a man’s world is echoed in Babe Didrikson Zaharias’ challenge to the pro golf patriarchy when she competed in the Los Angeles Open.

Exploring parallels between Shakespeare’s plays and famous events in the world of sports, this book introduces seven of the best-known plays to the sports enthusiast and offers a fresh perspective to Shakespeare devotees.

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Newly Published: The 1958 Baltimore Colts

New on our bookshelf today:

The 1958 Baltimore Colts: Profiles of the NFL’s First Sudden Death Champions
Edited by George Bozeka

The 1958 Baltimore Colts were one of the greatest teams ever in professional football. Owned by the controversial Carroll Rosenbloom and led by head coach Weeb Ewbank and six future Hall of Fame players—Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, Lenny Moore, Jim Parker, Art Donovan and Gino Marchetti—they won the NFL title that season, defeating the New York Giants in the first sudden death championship game in NFL history. The Colts laid the foundation for the ultra-popular spectacle football would become with the American public.

They were a talented group of players. Many had been rejected or underappreciated at various points in their careers though they were loved and respected by the blue collar fans of Baltimore. This book tells the complete story of the ‘58 Colts and the city’s love affair with the team.

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Newly Published: A Game of Moments

New on our bookshelf today:

A Game of Moments: Baseball Greats Remember Highlights of Their Careers
Ron Gerrard

This collection of new interviews—conducted by the author—recounts some of the pivotal moments in the careers of professional baseball players and in American history.

Negro League players Leon Day, Buck O’Neil, Monte Irvin, Wilmer Fields and Joe Black speak about their experiences on the other side of the color line. Hank Aaron relates how the challenge of breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record was not only on the diamond. Bob Feller, Cecil Travis, Tommy Henrich and Jerry Coleman describe the effects of World War II on their careers. Bobby Thompson and Ralph Branca address the “Shot Heard Round the World” in the Giants vs. Dodgers playoff of 1951.

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Newly Published: Teach Like a Gamer

New on our bookshelf today:

Teach Like a Gamer: Adapting the Instructional Design of Digital Role-Playing Games
Carly Finseth

Digital role-playing games such as Rift, Diablo III, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning help players develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving, digital literacy, and lifelong learning. The author examines both the benefits and the drawbacks of role-playing games and their application to real-world teaching techniques. Readers will learn how to incorporate games-based instruction into their own classes and workplace training, as well as approaches to redesigning curriculum and programs.

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Newly Published: The 1967 American League Pennant Race

New on our bookshelf today:

The 1967 American League Pennant Race: Four Teams, Six Weeks, One Winner
Cameron Bright

In 1967, in the midst of a nail-biting six-week pennant race, the Red Sox, Tigers, Twins and White Sox stood deadlocked atop the American League. Never before or since have four teams tied for the lead in baseball’s final month. The stakes were high—there were no playoffs, the pennant winner went directly to the World Series.

Here, for the first time, all four teams are treated as equals. The author describes their contrasting skill sets, leadership and temperament. The stress of such stiff and sustained competition was constant, and there were overt psychological and physical intimidations playing a major role throughout the season. The standings were volatile and so were emotions. The players and managers varied: some wilted or broke, others responded heroically.

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Two Books Reviewed in May Issue of Choice

Bare-Knuckle Britons and Fighting Irish: Boxing, Race, Religion and Nationality in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Adam Chill
“Compelling…captures the mise-en-scène of the sport, from the pubs and gambling halls to the action in the ring…recommended.”

The Caribbean Story Finder: A Guide to 438 Tales from 24 Nations and Territories, Listing Subjects and Sources
Sharon Barcan Elswit
“Fills a gap…well-constructed…the bibliography is excellent…A valuable resource for folk life, world literature, children’s literature, and intercultural studies…recommended.”

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Newly Published: The Page Fence Giants

New on our bookshelf today:

The Page Fence Giants: A History of Black Baseball’s Pioneering Champions
Mitch Lutzke

The Page Fence Giants, an all-star black baseball club sponsored by a woven-wire fence company in Adrian, Michigan, graced the diamond in the 1890s. Formed through a partnership between black and white boosters, the team’s respectable four-year run was an early integration success—before integration was phased out decades ahead of Jackie Robinson’s 1947 debut, and the growing Jim Crow sentiment blocked the Page Fence Giant’s best talent from the major leagues. This book tells the the story of a long-ignored team at the close of the 19th century, whose Hall of Famer second baseman Sol White was but one of their best players.

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Newly Published: Glenn Killinger, All-American

New on our bookshelf today:

Glenn Killinger, All-American: Penn State’s World War I Era Sports Hero
Todd M. Mealy

This first biography of W. Glenn Killinger highlights his tenure as a nine-time varsity letterman at Penn State, where he emerged as one of the best football, basketball and baseball players in the U.S. Situating Killinger in his time and place, the author explores the ways in which home-front culture during World War I—focused on heroism, masculinity and sporting culture—created the demand for sports and sports icons and drove the ascent college athletics in the first quarter of the 20th century.

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Newly Published: Koufax Throws a Curve

New on our bookshelf today:

Koufax Throws a Curve: The Los Angeles Dodgers at the End of an Era, 1964–1966
Brian M. Endsley

The conclusion of the Sandy Koufax Era was a roller coaster ride for the LA Dodgers. Overly dependent on the fragile left arm of their Hall of Fame left-hander, they played dismally in 1964—their worst season since World War II—after losing Koufax to an injury. The next year, his shutout performance on short rest won them the World Series. He single-handedly saved the Dodger’s 1966 regular season in the final game, only to fail ignominiously during the Series.

In the last two seasons of his career, Koufax averaged an impressive 27 complete games, 27 wins and 350 strikeouts. Sixteen days after winning his second consecutive Cy Young Award, he shocked Major League Baseball by announcing his retirement. Like a supernova that had lit up the sports for six years, he burned out and was gone by age 30.

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Newly Published: The Minds Behind the Games

New on our bookshelf today:

The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers
Patrick Hickey, Jr.

Featuring interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games—including Deus Ex, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam—this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming’s classic titles.

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Newly Published: British Chess Literature to 1914

New on our bookshelf today:

British Chess Literature to 1914: A Handbook for Historians
Tim Harding

A huge amount was published about chess in the United Kingdom before the First World War. The growing popularity of chess in Victorian Britain was reflected in an increasingly competitive market of books and periodicals aimed at players from beginner to expert. The author combines new information about the early history of the game with advice for researchers into chess history and traces the further development of chess literature well into the 20th century.

Topics include today’s leading chess libraries and the use of digitized chess texts and research on the Web. Special attention is given to the columns that appeared in newspapers (national and provincial) and magazines from 1813 onwards. These articles, usually weekly, provide a wealth of information on early chess, much of which is not to be found elsewhere. The lengthy first appendix, an A to Z of almost 600 chess columns, constitutes a detailed research aid. Other appendices include corrections and supplements to standard works of reference on chess.

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Newly Published: Tiger Stadium

New on our bookshelf today:

Tiger Stadium: Essays and Memories of Detroit’s Historic Ballpark, 1912–2009
Edited by Michael Betzold, John Davids, Bill Dow, John Pastier and Frank Rashid

Built in 1911, Detroit’s Tiger Stadium provided unmatched access for generations of baseball fans. Based on a classic grandstand design, its development through the 20th century reflected the booming industrial city around it. Emphasizing utility over adornment and offering more fans affordable seats near the field, it was in every sense a working class ballpark that made the game the central focus.

Drawing on the perspectives of historians, architects, fans and players, the author describes how Tiger Stadium grew, adapted and thrived, and how it was demolished in 2008—a casualty of racism and corporate welfare. Chronological diagrams illustrate the evolution of the playing field.

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Opening Day Baseball Sale

We have all caught spring fever here at McFarland, and we’re certain that’s the case with many of our readers, as well!  We’re offering a surprise sale coinciding with Opening Day. When you order direct from our website with the coupon code OpeningDay40, print editions of all baseball
books are 40% off beginning Opening Day, March 29 through Easter Monday April 2.

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Newly Published: Mixed Martial Arts and the Quest for Legitimacy

New on our bookshelf today:

Mixed Martial Arts and the Quest for Legitimacy: The Sport vs. Spectacle Divide
Mark S. Williams

Mixed martial arts or MMA is widely regarded as the fastest growing sport. Events fill stadiums around the world and draw vast television audiences, earning strong revenue through pay-per-view at a time when other sports have abandoned it. In 2016, the Ultimate Fighting Championship was bought by the massive talent agency WME-IMG for $4 billion. Despite this success, much of the public remains uneasy with the sport, which critics have denounced as “human cockfighting.”

Through an exploration of violence, class, gender, race and nationalism, the author finds that MMA is both an expression of the positive values of martial arts and a spectacle defined by narcissism, hate and patriarchy. The long-term success of MMA will depend on the ability of promoters and athletes to resist indulging in spectacle at the expense of sport.

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J.L. Wilkinson and the Kansas City Monarchs Wins 2018 SABR Baseball Research Award

William A. Young’s J.L. Wilkinson and the Kansas City Monarchs has been named a 2018 SABR Baseball Research Award winner.  The judges praised the book for providing “new insights into the relationship between the Negro Leagues and Judge Landis and the leagues’ role in Jackie Robinson’s ascension,” as well as for its focus on “the central role played by Wilkinson in maintaining the institution of Negro League baseball.”  Read the announcement here.

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Newly Published: Identity in Professional Wrestling

New on our bookshelf today:

Identity in Professional Wrestling: Essays on Nationality, Race and Gender
Edited by Aaron D. Horton

Part sport, part performance art, professional wrestling’s appeal crosses national, racial and gender boundaries—in large part by playing to national, racial and gender stereotypes that resonate with audiences. Scholars who study competitive sports tend to dismiss wrestling, with its scripted outcomes, as “fake,” yet fail to recognize a key similarity: both present athletic displays for maximized profit through live events, television viewership and merchandise sales.

This collection of new essays contributes to the literature on pro wrestling with a broad exploration of identity in the sport. Topics include cultural appropriation in the ring, gender non-comformity, national stereotypes, and wrestling as transmission of cultural values.

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Newly Published: Fumbled Call

New on our bookshelf today:

Fumbled Call: The Bear Bryant–Wally Butts Football Scandal That Split the Supreme Court and Changed American Libel Law
David E. Sumner

Atlanta insurance salesman George Burnett found himself at the center of a football scandal when he overheard a phone conversation between University of Georgia athletic director Wally Butts and University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Butts seemed to be giving Bryant play formations that would help Alabama defeat Georgia 35-0 in the 1962 season opener.

When the Saturday Evening Post published Burnett’s story months later, Butts and Bryant successfully sued the magazine for libel. The case went to the Supreme Court where it was upheld in a landmark 5–4 decision that expanded the legal definition of “public figures.”

Referencing more than 3,000 pages of letters, depositions and trial transcripts, the author reveals new information about this scandal and its resulting trial.

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Newly Published: Baseball Greatness

New on our bookshelf today:

Baseball Greatness: Top Players and Teams According to Wins Above Average, 1901–2017
David Kaiser

Recent advances in baseball statistical analysis have made it possible to assess the totality of contribution each player makes to team success or failure. Using the metric Wins Above Average (WAA)—the number of wins that the 2016 Red Sox, for example, added because they had Mookie Betts in right field, instead of an average player—the author undertakes a fascinating review of major league baseball from 1901 through 2017. The great teams are analyzed, underscoring why they were successful. The great players of each generation are identified using simple, reliable metrics—from Ty Cobb through Mike Trout, and pitchers from Christy Mathewson to Clayton Kershaw.

Surprises abound. The importance of pitching is found to be vastly exaggerated. Many Hall of Fame pitchers (and some hitters) achieved immortality almost entirely on the backs of their teammates, while a few over-qualified players still await induction. Focusing on today’s rosters, the WAA assessment shows that the game is threatened by an unprecedented shortage of great players.

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Newly Published: Motor City Champs

New on our bookshelf today:

Motor City Champs: Mickey Cochrane and the 1934–1935 Detroit Tigers
Scott Ferkovich

In the early 1930s, the Motor City was sputtering from the Great Depression. Then came a talented Detroit Tigers team, steered by player-manager Mickey Cochrane, to inject new pride into the Detroit psyche. It was a cast of colorful characters, with such nicknames as Schoolboy, Goose, Hammerin’ Hank and Little Tommy. Over two seasons in 1934 and 1935, the team powered its way to the top of the baseball world, becoming a symbol of a resurgent metropolis and winning the first-ever Tigers championship. This exhaustively researched account provides an in-depth look into a remarkable period in baseball history.

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Newly Published: Whitey Herzog Builds a Winner

New on our bookshelf today:

Whitey Herzog Builds a Winner: The St. Louis Cardinals, 1979–1982
Doug Feldmann

As Lou Brock was chasing 3000 career hits late in the 1979 season—his last after 18 years in the majors—the St. Louis Cardinals were looking for a new identity. Brock’s departure represented the final link to the team’s glory years of the 1960s, and a parade of new players now came in from the minor leagues. With the Cardinals mired in last place by the following June, owner August A. Busch, Jr., hired Whitey Herzog as field manager, and shortly handed him the general manager’s position, too.

Herzog was given free rein to rebuild the club to embrace the new running game trend in the majors. With an aggressive style of play and an unconventional approach to personnel moves, he catapulted the Cardinals back into prominence and defined a new age of baseball in St. Louis.

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Weekly Deal: Philadelphia

This week, celebrate the Eagles’ first Super Bowl win with 20% off all books about Philadelphia—use coupon code PHILLY at checkout!

Connie Mack’s First DynastyThe Philadelphia Athletics, 1910–1914

Philadelphia Quakers and the Antislavery Movement

Ed Bolden and Black Baseball in Philadelphia

A’s Bad as It Gets: Connie Mack’s Pathetic Athletics of 1916

The A’s: A Baseball History

Lefty Grove and the 1931 Philadelphia Athletics

Timothy Matlack, Scribe of the Declaration of Independence

Walter Penn Shipley: Philadelphia’s Friend of Chess

Occasional Glory: The History of the Philadelphia Phillies, 2d ed.

Steve Carlton and the 1972 Phillies

The Fairmount Park Motor Races, 1908–1911

Yuengling: A History of America’s Oldest Brewery

Mack, McGraw and the 1913 Baseball Season

The Fall of the 1977 Phillies: How a Baseball Team’s Collapse Sank a City’s Spirit

Base Ball in Philadelphia: A History of the Early Game, 1831–1900

Connie Mack’s ’29 Triumph: The Rise and Fall of the Philadelphia Athletics Dynasty

The 1964 Phillies: The Story of Baseball’s Most Memorable Collapse

Jimmie Foxx: The Life and Times of a Baseball Hall of Famer, 1907–1967

Charles Brockden Brown and the Literary Magazine: Cultural Journalism in the Early American Republic

The Integration of Baseball in Philadelphia

The Summer of ’64: A Pennant Lost

Mike Schmidt: Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame Third Baseman

The Athletics of Philadelphia: Connie Mack’s White Elephants, 1901–1954

 

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Pro Football Sale

Through Super Bowl Sunday (February 4, 2018), get 20% off all books about professional football with the coupon code SUPERBOWL!

The First 50 Super Bowls: How Football’s Championships Were Won

The All-America Football Conference: Players, Coaches, Records, Games and Awards, 1946–1949

The United States Football League, 1982–1986

Saints in the Broken City: Football, Fandom and Urban Renewal in Post-Katrina New Orleans

The 1966 Green Bay Packers: Profiles of Vince Lombardi’s Super Bowl I Champions

The Cleveland Rams: The NFL Champs Who Left Too Soon, 1936–1945

Pass Receiving in Early Pro Football: A History to the 1960s

Just Too Good: The Undefeated 1948 Cleveland Browns

The NFL in the 1970s: Pro Football’s Most Important Decade

Kicking Off the Week: A History of Monday Night Football on ABC Television, 1970–2005

Connecticut Gridiron: Football Minor Leaguers of the 1960s and 1970s

Pro Football Schedules: A Complete Historical Guide from 1933 to the Present

Joe Namath, Game by Game: The Complete Professional Football Career

Duke Slater: Pioneering Black NFL Player and Judge

NFL Head Coaches: A Biographical Dictionary, 1920–2011

Hugh Culverhouse and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: How a Skinflint Genius with a Losing Team Made the Modern NFL

Jim Thorpe: A Biography

The Raiders Encyclopedia: All Players, Coaches, Games and More through 2009-2010

Pro Football Championships Before the Super Bowl: A Year-by-Year History, 1926–1965

Football Fortunes: The Business, Organization and Strategy of the NFL

The Original Buffalo Bills: A History of the All-America Football Conference Team, 1946–1949

Football’s New York Giants: A History

Crash of the Titans: The Early Years of the New York Jets and the AFL, rev. ed.

Cash and Carry: The Spectacular Rise and Hard Fall of C.C. Pyle, America’s First Sports Agent

Strong Arm Tactics: A History and Statistical Analysis of the Professional Quarterback

Uniform Numbers of the NFL: All-Time Rosters, Facts and Figures

Tackling Jim Crow: Racial Segregation in Professional Football

The American Football League: A Year-by-Year History, 1960–1969

 

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Newly Published: The All-America Football Conference

New on our bookshelf today:

The All-America Football Conference: Players, Coaches, Records, Games and Awards, 1946–1949
Edited by Kenneth R. Crippen and Matt Reaser

The All-America Football Conference and the National Football League battled for supremacy from 1946 through 1949. In the end, the players from the AAFC, as well as three teams, were brought into the NFL, including many future members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Through extensive research, the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA) has corrected the statistics and coaching records, selected All-Pro Teams for all four seasons and an All-Conference team, and provided brief biographies and scouting reports for the members of the All-Conference Team. Unlike All-Pro teams selected at the time, in which offense and defense were merged into a single position, the PFRA has selected individual offensive and defensive All-Pro teams.

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Newly Published: The Call to the Hall

New on our bookshelf today:

The Call to the Hall: When Baseball’s Highest Honor Came to 31 Legends of the Sport
Kevin Warneke and David C. Ogden

The names on the cast-bronze plaques hanging in the National Baseball Hall of Fame embody the history and drama of the sport—they are the royalty of baseball. Yet many inductees believed their entry into the Hall was anything but guaranteed, and even some who waited by the phone for the fateful “call to the Hall” were stunned to hear the news. Reactions to the call varied from stoicism to overwhelming emotion, but for most of the 31 inductees interviewed in this book, it was a moment of reflection and gratitude. In other cases, the call came years too late and family members received the posthumous honor.

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New today—The Half-Game Pennant of 1908

New on our bookshelf today:

The Half-Game Pennant of 1908: Four Teams Chase Victory in the American League
Charles C. Alexander

The 1908 American League pennant race was described as a “a fierce and fluctuating fight.” With five games left in the season, each of the league’s four westernmost teams still had a shot at the championship. It was the height of the Deadball Era, noted for its spectacular pitching, low scoring, quickly played games, and memorable characters. It was also a time when professional baseball truly came into its own as America’s national pastime. This lively account details a neglected chapter in the game’s history.

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Newly Published: The Great Sports Documentaries

The Great Sports DocumentariesNew on our bookshelf today:

The Great Sports Documentaries: 100+ Award Winning Films
Michael Peters

Sports and competition have been film subjects since the dawn of the medium. Olympic sports documentaries have been around nearly as long as the games themselves; films about surfing, boxing, roller derby, motorcycle racing and bodybuilding were theatrical successes during the 1960s and 1970s.

The author surveys the history of the sports documentary subgenre, covering more than 100 award-winning films of 40+ different competitions, from traditional team sports to dogsled racing to ballroom dancing.

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Newly Published: The First 50 Super Bowls

New on our bookshelf today:

The First 50 Super Bowls: How Football’s Championships Were Won
Ed Benkin
Foreword by Mike Curtis

The Super Bowl redefined American sports. Over the past half century, the NFL’s championship game has grown from humble beginnings to the biggest sporting event of the calendar year—an event that creates legendary stories, from Len Dawson’s conversation with the president to Jim O’Brien’s game-winning kick and Randy White’s post-game duet with Willie Nelson. Covering 50 Super Bowls, from 1966 through 2016, this book gives an insider’s view of each game, with recollections from the people who participated, many told for the first time.

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Newly Published: Goon

GoonNew on our bookshelf today:

Goon: Memoir of a Minor League Hockey Enforcer, 2d ed.
Doug Smith with Adam Frattasio

Directionless yet driven by a fervent desire to make something of himself, Doug “The Thug” Smith took his only marketable job skill—amateur boxing—and followed an unlikely career path to become a hockey enforcer, a.k.a. “goon.” Entrusted with aggressively protecting his teammates from tough guys on the opposing team, he punched, elbowed and cross-checked his way up the ranks of minor league hockey to win a championship ring and the respect of his community. His entertaining underdog story is the subject of the cult-classic motion picture Goon (2011) and its sequel Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017).

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Newly Published: When Baseball Met Big Bill Haywood

When Baseball Met Big Bill HaywoodNew on our bookshelf today:

When Baseball Met Big Bill Haywood: The Battle for Manchester, New Hampshire, 1912–1916
Scott C. Roper and Stephanie Abbot Roper

In the early 20th century, immigration, labor unrest, social reforms and government regulations threatened the power of the country’s largest employers. The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company of Manchester, New Hampshire, remained successful by controlling its workforce, the local media, and local and state government. When a 1912 strike in nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts, threatened to bring the Industrial Workers of the World union to Manchester, the company sought to reassert its influence. Amoskeag worked to promote company pride and to Americanize its many foreign-born workers through benevolence programs, including a baseball club.

Textile Field, the most advanced stadium in New England outside of Boston when it was built in 1913, was the centerpiece of this effort. Results were mixed—the company found itself at odds with social movements and new media outlets, and Textile Field became a magnet for conflict with all of professional baseball.

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Newly Published: The Detroit Wolverines

The Detroit WolverinesNew on our bookshelf today:

The Detroit Wolverines: The Rise and Wreck of a National League Champion, 1881–1888
Brian Martin

The Detroit Tigers were founding members of the American League and have been the Motor City’s team for more than a century. But the Wolverines were the city’s first major league club, playing in the National League beginning in 1881 and capturing the pennant in 1887. Playing in what was then one of the best ballparks in America, during an era when Detroit was known as the “Paris of the West,” the team battled hostile National League owners and struggled with a fickle fan base to become world champions, before financial woes led to their being disbanded in 1888. This first-ever history of the Wolverines covers the team’s rise and abrupt fall and the powerful men behind it.

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Newly Published: Tom Gamboa

Tom GamboaNew on our bookshelf today:

Tom Gamboa: My Life in Baseball
Tom Gamboa with David Russell
Foreword by Doug Glanville

Tom Gamboa played baseball professionally, coached, scouted, managed in the minors and in Puerto Rico and coached in the majors with the Cubs and Royals. Scouring the country for talent, he discovered Jesse Orosco and helped develop Doug Glanville and Jose Hernandez in Puerto Rico and in the Cubs organization. Before Jim “The Rookie” Morris made it to the majors, Gamboa coached him on a title team in the Brewers organization. Sammy Sosa promised him a fist-bump for each home run Sosa hit—Tom didn’t suspect he was due 60 of them over each of the next two seasons. With a lot of humor, Gamboa takes his readers well inside the dugouts and clubhouses.

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Newly Published: The Fighting Times of Abe Attell

New on our bookshelf today:

The Fighting Times of Abe Attell
Mark Allen Baker

Abraham Washington Attell (1883–1970) was among the cleverest, most scientific professional boxers ever to enter the ring. The native San Franciscan fought 172 times—with 127 wins, 51 by knockout—and successfully defended his World Featherweight Champion title 18 times between 1906 and 1912, defeating challengers who included Johnny Kilbane and Battling Nelson. Abe’s success inspired his brothers Caesar and Monte to take up the sport—Abe and Monte both held simultaneous world titles for a time.

This first ever biography covers Attell’s life and career. Growing up poor and Jewish in an predominantly Irish neighborhood, he faced his share of adversity and anti–Semitism. He was charged for alleged involvement in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal. The charges were dropped but Attell was branded for the remainder of his life.

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Newly Published: Roy Sievers

New on our bookshelf today:

Roy Sievers: “The Sweetest Right Handed Swing” in 1950s Baseball
Paul Scimonelli
Foreword by Bob Wolff

Few players in the history of baseball suffered as many professional setbacks as Roy Sievers (1926–2017). After an award winning rookie season in 1949, he endured a year and a half–long slump, a nearly career-ending injury and a major position change—all from 1950 through 1953.

Traded in 1954, he prevailed and became one of the most feared hitters of the decade, the Washington Senators’ home run leader and the biggest gate attraction since Walter Johnson.

Drawing on original interviews with Sievers and teammates, this first full-length biography covers the life and career of a first baseman who overcame adversity to restore a dispirited franchise.

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Newly Published: Chess International Titleholders, 1950–2016

New on our bookshelf today:

Chess International Titleholders, 1950–2016
Gino Di Felice

The International Chess Federation or FIDE (from the French Fédération Internationale des Échecs) was founded in Paris in 1924 but only from 1950 began to award international titles. This book lists more than 18,000 players who received titles from 1950 through 2016.

Entries include (where available) the player’s full name, federation, date of birth, place of birth, date of death, place of death, title and year of award and peak rating (month and year), with references provided.

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Four Books Reviewed in December Issue of Choice

The December issue of Choice features reviews of four new McFarland books!

Major General Israel Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution
Robert Ernest Hubbard
“This masterfully researched account is a solid contribution to American Revolutionary historiography as well as to the histories of Connecticut, New England, and the French and Indian War…highly recommended.”

Joseph Brown and His Civil War Ironclads: The USS Chillicothe, Indianola and Tuscumbia
Myron J. Smith, Jr.
“Excellent…thorough…a plethora of maps, illustrations, and charts…recommended.”

LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction: A Critical Survey, 1970s–2010s
Caren J. Town
“Important…deftly balances several elements to serve a variety of readers…recommended.”

The Culture and Ethnicity of Nineteenth Century Baseball
Jerrold I. Casway
“Excellent…This scholarly, informative, yet easy-to-read volume includes an excellent bibliography and will be a fine addition to academic library collections…recommended.”

 

 

 

 

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Newly Published: The Los Angeles Dodgers Encyclopedia

New on our bookshelf today:

The Los Angeles Dodgers Encyclopedia
Richard J. Shmelter

Over the past 60 seasons, the Los Angeles Dodgers have risen to the pinnacle of Major League Baseball, winning 21 National League pennants and 6 World Series titles. Amid the backdrop of Hollywood glitz and glamor, the iconic franchise owes its consistent success to the talents and efforts of many. This encyclopedia provides stats and biographical details for all of them. Sections cover the 1958–2016 seasons, influential players and executives, Dodgers traditions, and season and career records. An all-time player roster and list of all-time managers are included.