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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.

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Newly Published: Professional Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest

New on our bookshelf today:

Professional Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest: A History, 1883 to the Present
Steven Verrier

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.

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Newly Published: Speedrunning

New on our bookshelf today:

Speedrunning: Interviews with the Quickest Gamers
David Snyder

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.

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Newly Published: The Marching Chiefs of Florida State University

New on our bookshelf today:

The Marching Chiefs of Florida State University: The Band That Never Lost a Halftime Show
Bill F. Faucett 

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.

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New Catalog and Huge Holiday Sale

It’s our biggest sale of the year! Through the holiday season, get 30% off your order of two or more books with the coupon code HOLIDAY17! Need inspiration? Check out our brand new holiday catalog!

HOLIDAY17 is valid through January 2, 2018, and applies to any book on McFarland’s website. Browse our entire online catalog here

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Newly Published: Fate’s Take-Out Slide

New on our bookshelf today:

Fate’s Take-Out Slide: A Baseball Scout Recalls Can’t-Miss Prospects Who Did
George Genovese with Dan Taylor

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.

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Newly Published: Responding to Call of Duty

New on our bookshelf today:

Responding to Call of Duty: Critical Essays on the Game Franchise
Edited by Nate Garrelts

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.

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Newly Published: Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston

New on our bookshelf today:

Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston: The Battle for Fans’ Hearts, 1901–1952
Charlie Bevis 

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.

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Newly Published: Baseball on the Brink

New on our bookshelf today:

Baseball on the Brink: The Crisis of 1968
William J. Ryczek 

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.

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Weekly Deal: Basketball

This week, get 20% off all books about basketball when you use the coupon code HOOPS!

Abe Saperstein and the American Basketball League, 1960–1963: The Upstarts Who Shot for Three and Lost to the NBA

Big Ten Basketball, 1943–1972

Maybe Next Year: Long-Suffering Sports Fans and the Teams That Never Deliver

Asian American Basketball: A Century of Sport, Community and Culture

The Los Angeles Lakers Encyclopedia

The Culture of Sports in the Harlem Renaissance

The National Basketball League: A History, 1935–1949

Ball Tales: A Study of Baseball, Basketball and Football Fiction of the 1930s through 1960s

Cougars of Any Color: The Integration of University of Houston Athletics, 1964–1968

Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball Games: A Complete Record, Fall 1979 through Spring 2006

University of Virginia Men’s Basketball Games: A Complete Record, Fall 1953 through Spring 2006

University of Maryland Men’s Basketball Games: A Complete Record, Fall 1953 through Spring 2006

Duke University Men’s Basketball Games: A Complete Record, Fall 1953 through Spring 2006

Wake Forest University Men’s Basketball Games: A Complete Record, Fall 1953 through Spring 2006

North Carolina State University Men’s Basketball Games: A Complete Record, Fall 1953 through Spring 2006

University of North Carolina Men’s Basketball Games: A Complete Record, Fall 1953 through Spring 2006

Clemson University Men’s Basketball Games: A Complete Record, Fall 1953 through Spring 2006

Hoop Lore: A History of the National Basketball Association

The Sporting Goods Industry: History, Practices and Products

The Southern Textile Basketball Tournament: A History, 1921–1997

Women College Basketball Coaches

 

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CALL FOR PAPERS: The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture

CALL FOR PAPERS

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

For further information, please contact Symposium Co-Directors: Jim Gates at [email protected] or Bill Simons at [email protected]

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Weekly Deal: The Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers

This week, get 20% off all books about the Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers with the coupon code DODGERS!

“Our Bums” The Brooklyn Dodgers in History, Memory and Popular Culture

“Tearin’ Up the Pea Patch” The Brooklyn Dodgers, 1953

Finding the Left Arm of God: Sandy Koufax and the Los Angeles Dodgers, 1960–1963

The Los Angeles Dodgers Encyclopedia

A Brooklyn Dodgers Reader

When the Dodgers Were Bridegrooms: Gunner McGunnigle and Brooklyn’s Back-to-Back Pennants of 1889 and 1890

New York Baseball in 1951: The Dodgers, the Giants, the Yankees and the Telescope

Carl Furillo, Brooklyn Dodgers All-Star

Bums No More: The 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers, World Champions of Baseball

Miracle in Chavez Ravine: The Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988

The Last Years of the Brooklyn Dodgers: A History, 1950–1957

Dazzy Vance: A Biography of the Brooklyn Dodger Hall of Famer

The Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s: How Robinson, MacPhail, Reiser and Rickey Changed Baseball

The Giants and the Dodgers: Four Cities, Two Teams, One Rivalry

Long Before the Dodgers: Baseball in Brooklyn, 1855–1884

Black Baseball in New York City: An Illustrated History, 1885–1959

Gib Bodet, Major League Scout: Twelve Thousand Baseball Games and Six Million Miles

John Tortes “Chief” Meyers: A Baseball Biography

Ebbets Field: Essays and Memories of Brooklyn’s Historic Ballpark, 1913–1960

Dixie Walker: A Life in Baseball

Branch Rickey: A Biography, rev. ed.

 

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Newly Published: A World of Chess

New on our bookshelf today:

A World of Chess: Its Development and Variations through Centuries and Civilizations
Jean-Louis Cazaux and Rick Knowlton 

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.

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Newly Published: Connie Mack’s First Dynasty

New on our bookshelf today:

Connie Mack’s First Dynasty: The Philadelphia Athletics, 1910–1914
Lew Freedman 

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.

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Newly Published: Black Baseball in New York City

New on our bookshelf today:

Black Baseball in New York City: An Illustrated History, 1885–1959
Larry Lester 

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.

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Newly Published: Player Won-Lost Records in Baseball

New on our bookshelf today:

Player Won-Lost Records in Baseball: Measuring Performance in Context
Tom Thress 

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.

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Newly Published: Bare-Knuckle Britons and Fighting Irish

New on our bookshelf today:

Bare-Knuckle Britons and Fighting Irish: Boxing, Race, Religion and Nationality in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Adam Chill 

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.

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Weekly Deal: Winston Churchill

This week, get 20% off all books about Winston Churchill when you use the coupon code CHURCHILL!

Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What He Actually Did and Said

Churchill in North America, 1929: A Three Month Tour of Canada and the United States

Nine Innings for the King: The Day Wartime London Stopped for Baseball, July 4, 1918

The Cairo Conference of 1943: Roosevelt, Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek and Madame Chiang

 

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Newly Published: The Ethics of Poker

New on our bookshelf today:

The Ethics of Poker
Todd M. Furman 

Is it morally permissible to plunder a drunken player at the poker table? In a game of bluffing, are all deceits acceptable? Is it wrong to play against a pathological gambler? Are there any real right and wrongs within poker other than violations of the rules?

The first of its kind, this book explores the moral dimensions of playing poker for money in a detailed discussion of applied ethics.

Topics include the moral standing of bluffing, collusion versus “soft play,” the problem of players staked by backers, and “Why Kant Kan’t Play Poker.”

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Newly Published: The Love of Baseball

New on our bookshelf today:

The Love of Baseball: Essays by Lifelong Fans
Edited by Chris Arvidson and Diana Nelson Jones 

Written by and for baseball fans (or those trying to live with one), this collection of essays joins a perennial conversation all fans have—“Why do we love baseball?” Thirty contributors share personal narratives of how they found an abiding passion for the sport and how their relationship to it changed over the years. Tracing the thematic arc of a typical season, the essays begin with stories of spring training optimism, followed by the guts and grind of the regular season, and ending with the glory (or heartbreak) of the playoffs.

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Newly Published: Kramer Williamson, Sprint Car Legend

New on our bookshelf today:

Kramer Williamson, Sprint Car Legend
Chad Wayne Culver 
Foreword by Ken Schrader

Sprint Car Hall of Famer Kramer Williamson began his 45–year professional career as a grassroots racer from Pennsylvania and became one of the most successful and beloved professional drivers of all time. Drawing on interviews with those who knew him best, this first ever biography of Williamson covers his life and career, from his humble beginnings racing the legendary #73 Pink Panther car in 1968 to his fatal crash during qualifying rounds at Lincoln Speedway in 2013.

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Weekly Deal: Golf

This week, get 20% off all books about golf when you use the coupon code BIRDIE!

Golf Links: Chay Burgess, Francis Ouimet and the Bringing of Golf to America, Revised Edition

Ralph Guldahl: The Rise and Fall of the World’s Greatest Golfer

American Golf in the Great Depression: The Pros Take to the Grapefruit Circuit

Eyes on the Sporting Scene, 1870–1930: Will and June Rankin, New York’s Sportswriting Brothers

The Tiger Woods Phenomenon: Essays on the Cultural Impact of Golf’s Fallible Superman

The Majors of Golf: Complete Results of The Open, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters, 1860–2008

Golfing Communities in the Southeast: Places to Live and Play in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas

 

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New in Softcover: The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball, 2d ed.

Now available in softcover:

The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball, 2d ed.
Jonathan Fraser Light 

More than any other sport, baseball has developed its own niche in America’s culture and psyche. Some researchers spend years on detailed statistical analyses of minute parts of the game, while others wax poetic about its players and plays. Many trace the beginnings of the civil rights movement in part to the Major Leagues’ decision to integrate, and the words and phrases of the game (for example, pinch-hitter and out in left field) have become common in our everyday language.

From AARON, HENRY onward, this book covers all of what might be called the cultural aspects of baseball (as opposed to the number-rich statistical information so widely available elsewhere). Biographical sketches of all Hall of Fame players, owners, executives and umpires, as well as many of the sportswriters and broadcasters who have won the Spink and Frick awards, join entries for teams, owners, commissioners and league presidents. Advertising, agents, drafts, illegal substances, minor leagues, oldest players, perfect games, retired uniform numbers, superstitions, tripleheaders, and youngest players are among the thousands of entries herein. Most entries open with a topical quote and conclude with a brief bibliography of sources for further research. The whole work is exhaustively indexed and includes 119 photographs.

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Weekly Deal: Youth Baseball

This week, get 20% off books about youth baseball with the coupon code TEEBALL!

The Catcher’s Handbook

Coaching Myths: Fifteen Wrong Ideas in Youth Sports

The Mental Road to the Major Leagues: A Guide for Rising Ballplayers

The Baseball Starter: A Handbook for Coaching Children and Teens

Perfect Game USA and the Future of Baseball: How the Remaking of Youth Scouting Affects the National Pastime

High School Baseball: How to Create and Run a Winning Program

Teaching Hitting: A Guide for Coaches

How to Become a Professional Baseball Player

 

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Newly Published: Appalachian State Silences the Big House

New on our bookshelf today:

Appalachian State Silences the Big House: Behind the Greatest Upset in College Football History
David J. Marmins and Steven K. Feit

They are known as “cupcake games”—lower division teams get paid to travel to college football Meccas where the hosts make a nice profit from an extra game. On September 1, 2007, the University of Michigan Wolverines, with more wins than any team in history, hosted the Appalachian State Mountaineers from Boone, North Carolina, in the first such game at Michigan Stadium, the largest stadium in the country.

App State was no cupcake. Coach Jerry Moore, in the spirit of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team and other memorable underdogs, assembled his team with two things in mind—speed and character—and conditioned them to the breaking point. “We’re fixin’ to shock ’em,” he shouted at practice, in the locker room, at the dinner table. This book tells the inside story of Moore’s legendary team and the Mountaineers’ historic win. 

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Newly Published: Player and Avatar

New on our bookshelf today: 

Player and Avatar: The Affective Potential of Videogames
David Owen

Do you make small leaps in your chair while attempting challenging jumps in Tomb Raider? Do you say “Ouch!” when a giant hits you with a club in Skyrim? Have you had dreams of being inside the underwater city of Rapture?

Videogames cast the player as protagonist in an unfolding narrative. Like actors in front of a camera, gamers’ proprioception, or body awareness, can extend to onscreen characters, thus placing them “physically” within the virtual world. Players may even identify with characters’ ideological motivations.

The author explores concepts central to the design and enjoyment of videogames—affect, immersion, liveness, presence, agency, narrative, ideology and the player’s virtual surrogate: the avatar. Gamer and avatar are analyzed as a cybernetic coupling that suggests fulfillment of Atonin Artaud’s vision of the “body without organs.”

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Weekly Deal: Numismatics

This week, through June 18, 2017, get 20% off all books about numismatics when you use the coupon code CASH!

The Greenback: Paper Money and American Culture

Kansas Paper Money: An Illustrated History, 1854–1935

The Monetary Imagination of Edgar Allan Poe: Banking, Currency and Politics in the Writings

Panic Scrip of 1893, 1907 and 1914: An Illustrated Catalog of Emergency Monetary Issues

Astronomical Symbols on Ancient and Medieval Coins

Florida Paper Money: An Illustrated History, 1817–1934

Alaska and Yukon Tokens: Private Coins of the Territories, 3d ed.

World Monetary Units: An Historical Dictionary, Country by Country

Coins and Currency: An Historical Encyclopedia

The Coins and Banknotes of Palestine Under the British Mandate, 1927–1947

 

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Weekly Deal: Emergency Services

This week, get 20% off all books about emergency services when you use the coupon code 911

Hot Zone: Memoir of a Professional Firefighter

Policewomen: A History, 2d ed.

The Ambulance: A History

The Flame Within: Memoir of a Firefighter

American Work-Sports: A History of Competitions for Cornhuskers, Lumberjacks, Firemen and Others

Cop Shows: A Critical History of Police Dramas on Television

American Military Police in Europe, 1945–1991: Unit Histories

Managing America’s Cities: A Handbook for Local Government Productivity

Police on Screen: Hollywood Cops, Detectives, Marshals and Rangers

Smokejumpers of the Civilian Public Service in World War II: Conscientious Objectors as Firefighters for the National Forest Service

The Up Stairs Lounge Arson: Thirty-Two Deaths in a New Orleans Gay Bar, June 24, 1973

The Great Chicago Fire and the Myth of Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow

The Privatization of Police in America: An Analysis and Case Study

 

 

 

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Newly Published: The Culture and Ethnicity of Nineteenth Century Baseball

New on our bookshelf today:

The Culture and Ethnicity of Nineteenth Century Baseball
Jerrold I. Casway

Evolving in an urban landscape, professional baseball attracted a dedicated fan base among the inhabitants of major cities, including ethnic and racial minorities, for whom the game was a vehicle for assimilation. But to what extent were these groups welcomed within the world of baseball, and what effect did their integration—or, as in the case of African Americans, their ultimate inability to integrate—have on the culture of a pastime that had recently become a national obsession? How did their mutual striving for acceptance affect relations between these minorities? (In deep and long-lasting ways, as it turns out.)

This book provides a carefully considered portrait of baseball as both a sporting profession—one with quick-changing rules and roles—and as an institution that reinforced popular ideas about cultural identity, masculinity and American exceptionalism.

 

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Newly Published: Rowdy Patsy Tebeau and the Cleveland Spiders

New on our bookshelf today:

Rowdy Patsy Tebeau and the Cleveland Spiders: Fighting to the Bottom of Baseball, 1887–1899
David L. Fleitz

In an era of rowdy teams, the Cleveland Spiders (1887–1899) were baseball’s rowdiest. Managed by Oliver “Patsy” Tebeau, a quick-tempered infielder, the Spiders seemed to heap abuse of one kind or another on everyone—umpires, opposing teams, even the fans. Their aggression never brought home the pennant, but Cleveland’s battles with the league’s top clubs, including an 1895 Temple Cup victory over the Baltimore Orioles, are now legendary.

Yet the story of the Spiders amounts to more than a 12 year free-for-all. There were top-flight players like Ed McKean, George Davis, Jesse Burkett, and Cy Young. There was the racially progressive signing of Holy Cross star Louis Sockalexis, the first American Indian in the major leagues. And then there was the team’s final season, 1899, when a club ravaged by syndicalism set the standard for baseball futility.

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Newly Published: They Wore Red Socks and Pinstripes

New on our bookshelf today:

They Wore Red Socks and Pinstripes: Players Who Went to the Enemy
Todd Stanley

More than 300 ballplayers have spent time with both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, opposing teams in one of the most intense rivalries ever in sports. This book examines the century long antagonism between the two clubs, their storied pasts and their evolution during the 20th century. Several what-ifs are considered: what if Babe Ruth had never been traded from the Red Sox to the Yankees? What if the clubs had swapped Joe DiMaggio for Ted Williams, as was proposed by the owners of both teams? What if Alex Rodriguez had gone to Boston, as was originally intended, rather than to New York? The debate as to which team has made out better with shared players is explored.

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Newly Published: Golf Links

New on our bookshelf today:

Golf Links: Chay Burgess, Francis Ouimet and the Bringing of Golf to America, Revised Edition
Charles D. Burgess

This book tells the story of the Scottish golf professionals who came to America in 1888 and struggled to earn a living and the respect of the wealthy amateur golf establishment and the United States Golf Association who controlled the sport. Charles “Chay” Burgess—founder of the New England PGA, teacher of three American national champions, and the savior of the Ryder cup—learned the game on ancient seaside links and competed against British greats. His arrival in the U.S. dramatically influenced the growth of golf and the reconciliation of differences between amateurs and professionals.

In 1913, the American Francis Ouimet—a working-class unknown under Burgess’ tutelage—won the U.S. Open against British celebrities Ted Ray and Harry Vardon. His triumph brought the game to mainstream America.

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Weekly Deal: Soccer

This week, get 20% off all books about soccer when you use the coupon code GOAL!

American Soccer: History, Culture, Class

Soccer Culture in America: Essays on the World’s Sport in Red, White and Blue

Football/Soccer: History and Tactics

The Soccer Starter: Your Guide to Coaching Young Players

Coaching Youth Soccer: The European Model

Soccer Drills: Skill-Builders for Field Control

The Soccer Handbook for Players, Coaches and Parents

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Newly Published: The 1933 New York Giants

New on our bookshelf today:

The 1933 New York Giants: Bill Terry’s Unexpected World Champions
Lou Hernández

Bill Terry had some big shoes to fill in midseason 1932, when he took over managing the second division New York Giants for the iconic John McGraw. The next year, his first full season as player-manager, “Memphis Bill” guided the Polo Grounders to the pennant and a World Series victory over a strong Washington Senators team.

This is the complete story of how Terry reshaped the club he inherited, molding them into world champions at the height of the Great Depression. The author provides a game-by-game season narrative, with detailed depictions of each Fall Classic contest.

Biographical overviews of the Giants’ primary players and an analysis of the first All-Star Game are included.

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Newly Published: The United States Football League, 1982–1986

New on our bookshelf today:

The United States Football League, 1982–1986
Paul Reeths
Foreword by Steve Ehrhart

One of the most ambitious (and short-lived) endeavors in professional sports history, the United States Football League was founded in 1982. Premiering with a spring schedule and an abundance of talent that included top rookies and National Football League veterans, the USFL gained national attention with broadcast and cable television contracts, controversial player signings, ownership battles and an unsuccessful billion-dollar lawsuit against the NFL. The USFL folded after four years yet represented the last major challenge to America’s big four sports leagues—the NFL, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball. Based upon extensive research and interviews with owners, coaches, players and administrators, this book chronicles the league’s formation, its three seasons of play and its long-term effects on pro sports.

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Weekly Deal: New Orleans

We spent the weekend in New Orleans for another great meeting of the Organization of American Historians. This week, get 20% off all books about New Orleans with the coupon code OAH!

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

The Up Stairs Lounge Arson: Thirty-Two Deaths in a New Orleans Gay Bar, June 24, 1973

A Civil War Correspondent in New Orleans: The Journals and Reports of Albert Gaius Hills of the Boston Journal

Do Not Open: The Discarded Refrigerators of Post-Katrina New Orleans

Dark Bayou: Infamous Louisiana Homicides

The Mississippi River Campaign, 1861–1863: The Struggle for Control of the Western Waters

The Great American Steamboat Race: The Natchez and the Robert E. Lee and the Climax of an Era 

James Lee Burke and the Soul of Dave Robicheaux: A Critical Study of the Crime Fiction Series

Absinthe—The Cocaine of the Nineteenth Century: A History of the Hallucinogenic Drug and Its Effect on Artists and Writers in Europe and the United States

Gravesites of Southern Musicians: A Guide to Over 300 Jazz, Blues, Country and Rock Performers’ Burial Places

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Newly Published: The United States Football League, 1982–1986

New on our bookshelf today:

The United States Football League, 1982–1986
Paul Reeths
Foreword by Steve Ehrhart

One of the most ambitious (and short-lived) endeavors in professional sports history, the United States Football League was founded in 1982. Premiering with a spring schedule and an abundance of talent that included top rookies and National Football League veterans, the USFL gained national attention with broadcast and cable television contracts, controversial player signings, ownership battles and an unsuccessful billion-dollar lawsuit against the NFL. The USFL folded after four years yet represented the last major challenge to America’s big four sports leagues—the NFL, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball. Based upon extensive research and interviews with owners, coaches, players and administrators, this book chronicles the league’s formation, its three seasons of play and its long-term effects on pro sports.

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Newly Published: The Culture of Sports in the Harlem Renaissance

New on our bookshelf today:

The Culture of Sports in the Harlem Renaissance
Daniel Anderson

During the African American cultural resurgence of the 1920s and 1930s, professional athletes shared the spotlight with artists and intellectuals. Negro League baseball teams played in New York City’s major-league stadiums and basketball clubs shared the bill with jazz bands at late night casinos. Yet sports rarely appear in the literature on the Harlem Renaissance.

Although the black intelligentsia largely dismissed the popularity of sports, the press celebrated athletics as a means to participate in the debates of the day. A few prominent writers, such as Claude McKay and James Weldon Johnson, used sports in distinctive ways to communicate their vision of the Renaissance. Meanwhile, the writers of the Harlem press promoted sports with community consciousness, insightful analysis and a playful love of language, and argued for their importance in the fight for racial equality.

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Weekly Deal: Umpires

This week, we’re celebrating opening day with books about baseball’s masked men! Through April 9, get 20% off all books about umpires with the coupon code UMP!

Everything Happens in Chillicothe: A Summer in the Frontier League with Max McLeary, the One-Eyed Umpire

Major League Umpires’ Performance, 2007–2010: A Comprehensive Statistical Review

Dean of Umpires: A Biography of Bill McGowan, 1896–1954

Umpires: Classic Baseball Stories from the Men Who Made the Calls

The Complete New York Clipper Baseball Biographies: More Than 800 Sketches of Players, Managers, Owners, Umpires, Reporters and Others, 1859–1903

Diamonds in the Coalfields: 21 Remarkable Baseball Players, Managers, and Umpires from Northeast Pennsylvania

Forfeits and Successfully Protested Games in Major League Baseball: A Complete Record, 1871–2013

 

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Newly Published: The All-American Girls After the AAGPBL

New on our bookshelf today:

The All-American Girls After the AAGPBL: How Playing Pro Ball Shaped Their Lives
Kat D. Williams

The hit 1992 film A League of Their Own made the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League famous. But the players’ stories remain largely untold. The 600 women who played for the AAGPBL through the 1940s and 1950s enjoyed a rare opportunity to lead independent lives as well-paid professional athletes. Their experiences in the league led many to education and careers they never imagined.

As teachers, coaches and role models, they strove to broaden the horizons of girls and young women. Many continued to be involved in athletics, supporting the efforts leading to Title IX and the women’s sports revolution. Today, they are dedicated to preserving the history of women in baseball and creating opportunities for girls to play.

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Newly Published: The Post–9/11 Video Game

New on our bookshelf today:

The Post–9/11 Video Game: A Critical Examination
Marc A. Ouellette and Jason C. Thompson

This critical study of video games since 9/11 shows how a distinct genre emerged following the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. Comparisons of pre and post–9/11 titles of popular game franchises—Call of Duty, Battlefield, Medal of Honor, Grand Theft Auto and Syphon Filter—reveal reshaped notions of identity, urban and suburban spaces and the citizen’s role as both a producer and consumer of culture: New York represents America; the mall embodies American values; zombies symbolize foreign invasion. By revisiting a national trauma, these games offer a therapeutic solution to the geopolitical upheaval of 9/11 and, along with film and television, help redefine American identity and masculinity in a time of conflict.

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Newly Published: Baseball Meets the Law

New on our bookshelf today:

Baseball Meets the Law: A Chronology of Decisions, Statutes and Other Legal Events
Ed Edmonds and Frank G. Houdek

Baseball and law have intersected since the primordial days. In 1791, a Pittsfield, Massachusetts, ordinance prohibited ball playing near the town’s meeting house. Ball games on Sundays were barred by a Pennsylvania statute in 1794.

In 2015, a federal court held that baseball’s exemption from antitrust laws applied to franchise relocations. Another court overturned the conviction of Barry Bonds for obstruction of justice. A third denied a request by rooftop entrepreneurs to enjoin the construction of a massive video screen at Wrigley Field.

This exhaustive chronology traces the effects the law has had on the national pastime, both pro and con, on and off the field, from the use of copyright to protect not only equipment but also “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” to frequent litigation between players and owners over contracts and the reserve clause. The stories of lawyers like Kenesaw Mountain Landis and Branch Rickey are entertainingly instructive.

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Newly Published: The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2015–2016

New on our bookshelf today:

The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2015–2016
Edited by William M. Simons

Widely acknowledged as the preëminent 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 2015 and the 2016 symposia examines topics whose importance extend beyond the ballpark. Presented in six parts, the essays explore Biography: From Mythology to Authenticity, Gender and Generations, Race and Ethnicity on the Base Paths, Ballparks Abandoned and Envisioned, Baseball Cinema, and Business, Law and the Game.

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Newly Published: The Olympics and the Cold War, 1948–1968

New on our bookshelf today:

The Olympics and the Cold War, 1948–1968: Sport as Battleground in the U.S.–Soviet Rivalry
Erin Elizabeth Redihan

For Olympic athletes, fans and the media alike, the games bring out the best sport has to offer—unity, patriotism, friendly competition and the potential for stunning upsets. Yet wherever international competition occurs, politics are never far removed.

Early in the Cold War, when all U.S.–Soviet interactions were treated as potential matters of life and death, each side tried to manipulate the International Olympic Committee. Despite the IOC’s efforts to keep the games apolitical, they were quickly drawn into the superpowers’ global struggle for supremacy, with medal counts the ultimate prize. Based on IOC, U.S. government and contemporary media sources, this book looks at six consecutive Olympiads to show how high the stakes became once the Soviets began competing in 1952, threatening America’s athletic supremacy.

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Women's Studies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing for Equality: Oral Histories of Women Leaders in the Early Years of Title IX
Diane LeBlanc and Allys Swanson

Mammography and Early Breast Cancer Detection: How Screening Saves Lives
Alan B. Hollingsworth, M.D.

The Beyoncé Effect: Essays on Sexuality, Race and Feminism
Edited by Adrienne Trier-Bieniek

Click here to browse McFarland’s complete line of women’s studies titles. 

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Newly Published: Hal Trosky

New on our bookshelf today:

Hal Trosky: A Baseball Biography
William H. Johnson

Hal Trosky played first base for the Cleveland Indians during the Great Depression. His career stretched from the heyday of Babe Ruth through the end of World War II. It was a time when the American League had perhaps the three greatest ever first basemen—Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg—whose feats consigned Trosky to the footnotes of history. Yet at his peak he played comparably to other pros, leading the American League in RBIs in 1936. He left baseball at 34, his career cut short by migraine headaches, and was elected to the Indians’ All-Time team in 1969. Drawing on family archives and exhaustive research, this first ever biography of Trosky covers his early years in Iowa, his Major League career and his post-baseball life.

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Newly Published: Ken Williams

New on our bookshelf today:

Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow
Dave Heller

Perhaps familiar today as an answer to sports trivia questions, Ken Williams (1890–1959) was once a celebrity who helped bring about a new kind of power baseball in the 1920s. One of the great sluggers of his era (and of all time), he beat Babe Ruth for the home run title in 1922, and became the first to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season that year. Later recognized for his accomplishments, he was considered for but not inducted into the Hall of Fame. This first-ever biography of Williams covers his life and career, from his small town upbringing, to his unlikely foray into pro baseball, to his retirement years, when he served as a police officer and ran a pool hall in his hometown.

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Weekly Deal: Role-Playing Games

This week, through February 12, 2017, get 20% off all books about role-playing games with the coupon code LARP!

The Role-Playing Society: Essays on the Cultural Influence of RPGs

Game Love: Essays on Play and Affection

The Arts of LARP: Design, Literacy, Learning and Community in Live-Action Role Play

Immersive Gameplay: Essays on Participatory Media and Role-Playing

The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games

The Functions of Role-Playing Games: How Participants Create Community, Solve Problems and Explore Identity

Role-Playing Game and Collectible Card Game Artists: A Biographical Dictionary

The Creation of Narrative in Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Gaming as Culture: Essays on Reality, Identity and Experience in Fantasy Games

Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games: The People, the Addiction and the Playing Experience

The Fantasy Role-Playing Game: A New Performing Art

Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns: Supernatural and Science Fiction Elements in Novels, Pulps, Comics, Films, Television and Games, 2d ed.

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Upcoming Booksigning Events for Frick*: Baseball's Third Commissioner

Baseball fans and historians in the Atlanta area, meet John P. Carvalho at SABR Magnolia Chapter‘s Hot Stove Meeting on February 4 at Kennesaw State University.  Carvalho (professor of journalism, Auburn University) will discuss and sign copies of his new book, Frick*: Baseball’s Third Commissioner.

On February 21, Carvalho will be a featured speaker as part of of the Discover Auburn Lecture Series. This event takes place at the Ralph Brown Draughon Library at 3 p.m., and books will be available from the Auburn University Bookstore. 

 

 

 

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Newly Published: The Cinema of Hockey

New on our bookshelf today:

The Cinema of Hockey: Four Decades of the Game on Screen
Iri Cermak

Ice hockey has featured in North American films since the early days. Hockey’s sizable cinematic repertoire explores different views of the sport, including the role of aggression, the business of sports, race and gender, and the role of women in the game. This critical study focuses on hockey themes in more than 50 films and television movies from the U.S. and Canada spanning several decades. Depictions of historical games are discussed, including the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” and the 1972 Summit Series. The national myths about hockey players are examined. Production techniques that enhance hockey as on-screen spectacle are covered.

 

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Newly Published: The Life and Trials of Roger Clemens

New on our bookshelf today:

The Life and Trials of Roger Clemens: Baseball’s Rocket Man and the Questionable Case Against Him
Hansen Alexander

At six feet, four inches and more than 220 pounds, Roger Clemens (1962– ) was a major figure in baseball for nearly a quarter century. The best pitcher of his generation, his 4,672 strikeouts rank third all-time. He dominates modern statistical analysis.

High strung and temperamental, Clemens got into a barroom brawl during his first semester at University of Texas and once was jailed for punching out a Houston police officer. He endured sports writers heckling his inarticulate English and hostile fans decrying his aggressive pitching style.

He retired in 2007 at 45 amid allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. Questioned by a Congressional committee about his alleged use of steroids, Clemens was accused of perjury but later acquitted. This book covers his life and his sensational but controversial career, with anecdotes from such baseball legends as Ted Williams, Casey Stengel and David Ortiz.

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Newly Published: Ed Bolden and Black Baseball in Philadelphia

New on our bookshelf today:

Ed Bolden and Black Baseball in Philadelphia
Courtney Michelle Smith

For nearly 40 years, Ed Bolden dominated black baseball in Philadelphia. He owned two teams, the Darby-based Hilldale Club and the Philadelphia Stars, and briefly led the Eastern Colored League, which he founded. Winner of two championships—one with each team—he experienced the highs and lows of the Negro Leagues. He remained with the Stars until his death in 1950, which foreshadowed the dissolution of the Negro Leagues in the face of Major League Baseball’s integration. This book examines Bolden’s leadership of both teams through economic downturns, racial discrimination and two world wars.

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Weekly Deal: Early Professional Football

This week, through January 15, 2016, get 20% off all books about professional football before the Super Bowl era with the coupon code TOUCHDOWN!

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

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

Duke Slater: Pioneering Black NFL Player and Judge

NFL Head Coaches: A Biographical Dictionary, 1920–2011

Jim Thorpe: A Biography

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

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.

Ball Tales: A Study of Baseball, Basketball and Football Fiction of the 1930s through 1960s

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 Bowling Chronicles

New on our bookshelf today:

The Bowling Chronicles: Collected Writings of Dr. Jake
J.R. Schmidt

Millions of people bowl yet few know much about bowling’s rich history. For more than 25 years, J.R. “Dr. Jake” Schmidt has been recounting that history in Bowlers Journal International with vitality and detail. This collection of 90 of his classic articles presents portraits of Dick Weber, Don Carter, Marion Ladewig and other tenpin immortals. Great matches and tournaments are recalled, along with little-known and forgotten stories—the bowling ball that went around the world, the 300 game that took a week to complete, the symphony concert that featured a bowler rolling against pins on stage, the traveling hustler who passed himself off as a German nobleman, the baseball Hall of Famer who won a national bowling championship, and much more.

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Newly Published: Baseball’s Funnymen

New on our bookshelf today:

Baseball’s Funnymen: Twenty-Four Jokers, Screwballs, Pranksters and Storytellers
Lew Freedman

From Nick Altrock to Casey Stengel, Dizzy Dean to Satchel Paige, Bill Veeck to Bob Uecker, baseball has always admired the clever. This book tells the stories of some of the players, coaches, managers and broadcasters who had the most fun in the Major Leagues and made fans laugh out loud (or shake their heads in disbelief). The author recounts tales both famous and little known that capture the character of unusual and offbeat players, unique and engaging personalities and the succession of eccentrics who were officially dubbed “Clown Prince of Baseball.”

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Newly Published: Playing for a Winner

New on our bookshelf today:

Playing for a Winner: How Baseball Teams’ Success Raises Players’ Reputations
Brandon Isleib

“He never felt like a Hall of Famer.” “You can’t argue with championships.” “If he was so good, why were his teams so bad?”

On talk shows and in sports bars, statements like these are often made about both underrated and overrated players. It’s generally accepted that being in a bigger market or on a winning team can cause a player to be overrated, while the opposite can leave them underrated. Examining pennant races to show how much attention a team receives and which teams are getting the most attention provides a context to this familiar commentary. This book studies the effects of the sports media spotlight (and its absence) on the fortunes of teams in pennant races and Hall of Fame inductees. Along the way, the author brings to light accomplished players most non-fans have probably never heard of.

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Newly Published: Jess Willard

New on our bookshelf today:

Jess Willard: Heavyweight Champion of the World (1915–1919)
Arly Allen with the assistance of James Willard Mace
Foreword by Tracy Callis

Jess Willard, the “Pottawatomie Giant,” won the heavyweight title in 1915 with his defeat of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion. At 6 feet, 6 inches and 240 pounds, Willard was considered unbeatable in his day. He nonetheless lost to Jack Dempsey in 1919 in one of the most brutally one-sided contests in fistic history. Willard later made an initially successful comeback but was defeated by Luis Firpo in 1923 and retired from the ring. He died in 1968, largely forgotten by the boxing public. Featuring photographs from the Willard family archives, this first full-length biography provides a detailed portrait of one of America’s boxing greats.

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Newly Published: Big Ten Basketball, 1943–1972

New on our bookshelf today:

Big Ten Basketball, 1943–1972
Murry R. Nelson

From the time conference play began in 1905, the Big Ten was the Western force in collegiate basketball. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue were the first powers in the league, with a combined 23 titles by 1930. Purdue was dominant in the ’30s, with seven titles under Coach Piggy Lambert, including a national title in 1935 led by player of the year John Wooden. The creation of a national tournament in 1939 showed the league’s early dominance, as a different Big Ten team went to the Final Four in each of the first three years, with two wins.

Over the next 30 years, the league produced some of the top teams in the country, led by Hall of Fame coaches like Branch McCracken, Walter Meanwell, Dutch Lonborg, Harold Olsen and Fred Taylor. Top players emerged from the conference, like Jerry Lucas, Cazzie Russell, John Havlicek, Terry Dischinger, Walt Bellamy, Johnny Green, Lou Hudson, Archie Clark and a host of others. This book provides the first-ever basketball history of the Big Ten.

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Jeremy Lehrman on Baseball by the Book Podcast

Jeremy Lehrman, author of Baseball’s Most Baffling MVP Ballots, was recently interviewed by former Sporting News editor Justin McGuire for the Baseball by the Book podcast.  In an entertaining discussion that ranges across the decades, they talk about some of the most memorable (but also some of the least discussed) MVP selections, lament snubbed candidates, explain seemingly inexplicable results, and even offer up (as if dangled between thumb and index finger, with their noses pinched shut) what might be the worst vote any writer ever cast.  You can find the podcast here.

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Newly Published: The Tobacco State League

New on our bookshelf today:

The Tobacco State League: A North Carolina Baseball History, 1946–1950
Chris Holaday
Foreword by Charlie Daniels

The Tobacco State League played an important role in eastern North Carolina for five summers (1946–1950), giving small-town communities a chance to be a part of professional baseball and offering a return to normalcy after World War II. Years later, the players’ names were spoken with reverence, their exploits the subject of impassioned discussion.

This book tells the story of the short-lived league and the clubs who entertained fans on dusty ball fields under dim lights, including the Lumberton Auctioneers, Rockingham Eagles, Warsaw Red Sox, Sanford Spinners and Wilmington Pirates.

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Newly Published: Trammell

New on our bookshelf today:

Trammell: Detroit’s Iconic Shortstop
Todd Masters

For nearly two decades Alan Trammell displayed an all-around game as a fielder, hitter, and base runner that was rare for shortstops of his era. With second baseman Lou Whitaker, he formed one-half of arguably the greatest double-play combination in baseball history and was an integral piece of one of the signature teams of the 1980’s. Trammell was a World Series hero and a central figure in one of the greatest pennant races in American League history.

From his early days as a multi-sport prep star in the talent-rich San Diego area, through a meteoric ascension up the minor league ladder and into the big leagues, Trammell won over doubters and overcame setbacks to become one of the top players in the Detroit Tigers’ history. He joined Ty Cobb and Al Kaline as the only players to spend 20 seasons in Detroit, and later served an ill-fated managerial stint with the franchise. This exhaustively researched biography provides the first book-length account of the life and career of one of the most well-known figures in Detroit sports history.