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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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).
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 McFarlandunder 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We have all caught springfever 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Introduced in the Pacific Northwest in 1883, professional wrestling has a long and storied history in the region and has contributed significantly to Northwest culture. This entertaining account of the wrestling industry in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia provides a detailed look at more than 130 years of events in the ring and behind the scenes. The author draws connections between developments in wrestling and the changing identity of the Pacific Northwest.
More than 30 years after its 1985 release on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Mario Bros. continues to be one of the best-selling video games of all time. For many, completing the classic side-scrolling platformer remains challenging enough to provide many hours of entertainment.
In late 2016 an American gamer known online as “darbian” completed the game in record time, rescuing Princess Peach in 4 minutes, 56 seconds. darbian practices speedrunning, a method of play in which quick reflexes and intimate familiarity with games are used to complete them in the fastest possible time.
Through 10 interviews with darbian and other elite speedrunners, this book explores the history and techniques of this intense and competitive type of gaming.
The history of Florida State University’s Marching Chiefs is chronicled, from early efforts to found a band before the program’s 1939 establishment at Florida State College for Women, to the Chiefs’ attainment of “world renowned” status. The band’s leaders, shows, and music are discussed, along with the origins of some of their venerable traditions, game-day rituals, and school songs. This story of the Chiefs takes into account the growth of FSU and its School of Music, the rise of “Big Football” in Tallahassee, and the transformations on campus and in American society that affected them.
Few would dispute the pitching greatness of Sandy Koufax—but was Paul Pettit better? Jim Baxes was once compared to the great Pie Traynor yet few baseball fans have ever heard of him. John Elway was undeniably one of the greatest quarterbacks in pro football history but could he have been an even better baseball player?
For most fans greatness is measured in trophies and awards and confirmed by consistency over time. During his 70 years in baseball, renowned scout George Genovese witnessed some of the most talented players ever to play the game—some of them unknown to fans. He recalls the careers of unsung greats like Nestor Chavez, Matt Harrington and Derek Tatsuno, who never gained lasting fame despite unrivaled talent.
Call of Duty is one of the most culturally significant video game franchises of the 21st century. Since the first game was released for PC in 2003, the first-person shooter has sold over 250 million copies across a range of platforms, along with merchandise ranging from toys and comic books to a special edition Jeep Wrangler. Top players can compete for millions in prize money in tournaments sanctioned by the Call of Duty World League.
While the gaming community has reported on and debated each development, Call of Duty has received little scholarly attention. This collection of new essays examines the ideologically charged campaign mode of major franchise releases, with a special focus on militarism, realism and gender.
For 52 years, Boston was a two-team Major League city, home to both the Red Sox and the Braves. This book focuses on the two teams’ period of coexistence and competition for fans. The author analyzes the Boston fan base through trends in transportation, communication, geography, population and employment. Tracing the pendulum of fan preference between the two teams over five distinct time periods, a deeper understanding emerges of why the Red Sox remained in Boston and the Braves moved to Milwaukee.
Major League Baseball was in crisis in 1968. The commissioner was inept, professional football was challenging the sport’s popularity and the game on the field was boring, with pitchers dominating hitters in a succession of dull, low-scoring games. The major league expanded for the 1969 season but the muddled process by which new franchises were selected highlighted the ineffective management of the sport.
This book describes how baseball reached its nadir in the late 1960s and how it survived and began its slow comeback. The lack of offense in the game is examined, taking in the great pitching performances of Denny McLain, Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale and others. Colorful characters like Charley Finley and Ken Harrelson are covered, along with the effects that dramatic changes in American society and the war in Vietnam had on the game.
30th COOPERSTOWN SYMPOSIUM ON BASEBALL AND AMERICAN CULTURE
May 30 to June 1, 2018
Cooperstown, New York
The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, co-sponsored by SUNY Oneonta and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, examines the impact of baseball on American culture from interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives.
Proposals for papers are invited from all disciplines and on all topics. Papers on baseball as baseball are not encouraged. Submission is by abstract and one-page vitae (be sure to include complete contact information). Abstracts should be narrative, limited to three type-written pages. Presentations should be designed to fit into a 20-minute panel segment. The deadline for submission is December 15, 2017. Proposals can be sent via US mail or email to:
Jim Gates, Librarian
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326
With more than 400 illustrations, and detailed maps, this immense and deeply researched account of the history of chess covers not only the modern international game, derived from Persian and Arab roots, but a broad spectrum of variants going back 1500 years, some of which are still played in various parts of the world. The evolution of strategic board games, especially in India, China and Japan, is discussed in detail. Many more recent chess variants (board sizes, new pieces, 3-D, etc.) are fully covered. Instructions for play are provided, with historical context, for every game presented.
More than a century ago, the Philadelphia Athletics enjoyed a glorious five-season run under legendary manager Connie Mack, winning three World Series and four pennants from 1910 through 1914. A’s stars such as Hall of Famers Eddie Plank, Eddie Collins, Albert “Chief” Bender and Frank “Home Run” Baker are well known among baseball aficionados—and this book reveals more about their lives and careers. Mack’s pivotal role in founding the team and building it into a successful franchise—before he shocked the sports world by dismantling it—is covered, along with the advent of the all-but-forgotten Federal League.
Covering the post–Civil War period through the 1950s, this richly illustrated—300 photographs!—history examines black baseball in and around New York City, focusing on its economic impact and cultural legacy. The author documents such famed teams as the Cuban Giants, Lincoln Stars/Giants, Black Yankees, Newark Eagles, and Brooklyn Royal Giants, along with a number of other historically important clubs, as well as the integration of Major League Baseball’s Dodgers, Yankees and Giants.
The photos include rare images of Willie Wells, Smokey Joe Williams, Satchel Paige, Minnie Minoso, Monte Irvin, Martin Dihigo, Pete Hill, Rap Dixon and Cannonball Redding, among many others.
Baseball analysts often criticize pitcher win-loss records as a poor measure of pitcher performance, as wins are the product of team performance. Fans criticize WAR (Wins Above Replacement) because it takes in theoretical rather than actual wins.
Player won-lost records bridge the gap between these two schools of thought, giving credit to all players for what they do—without credit or blame for teammates’ performance—and measuring contributions to actual team wins and losses. The result is a statistic of player value that quantifies all aspects of individual performance, allowing for robust comparisons between players across different positions and different seasons. Using play-by-play data, this book examines players’ won-lost records in Major League Baseball from 1930 through 2015.
Boxing was phenomenally popular in 18th and 19th century Britain. Aristocrats attended matches and patronized boxers, and the most important fights drew tens of thousands of spectators. Promoters of the sport claimed that it showcased the timeless and authentic ideal of English manhood—a rock of stability in changing times. Yet many of the best fighters of the era were Irish, Jewish or black.
This history focuses on how boxers, journalists, politicians, pub owners and others used national, religious and racial identities to promote pugilism and its pure English pedigree, even as ethnic minorities won distinction in the sport, putting the diversity of the Empire on display.