A Brand New Ballgame

Branch Rickey, Bill Veeck, Walter O’Malley and the Transformation of Baseball, 1945–1962

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SKU: 9781476686561 Categories: , ,

About the Book

America grew rapidly after World War II, and the national pastime followed suit. Baseball dramatically changed from a 19th century pastoral relic to a continental modern sport. Six Major League clubs relocated to new cities, capped by the coast-to-coast moves of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. Four expansion teams were created from thin air. Dozens of black stars emerged after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. The players formed a union—higher salaries materialized.
This book tells the story of baseball’s metamorphosis 1945–1962, driven by larger-than-life personalities like the bombastic Larry MacPhail, the sage Branch Rickey, the kindly Connie Mack, the quick-witted Bill Veeck and the wily Walter O’Malley—Hall of Famers all. The upheaval they sparked—and sometimes failed to control—would broaden the sport’s appeal, setting the stage for tremendous growth in the half-century to come.

About the Author(s)

G. Scott Thomas has been a journalist for more than 40 years, specializing in coverage of business, demographics, politics, and sports. His blog, Baseball’s Best (and Worst), can be read at bestworst.substack.com. He lives in Tonawanda, New York.

Bibliographic Details

G. Scott Thomas
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 334
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8656-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4426-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Prologue: Inertia 5
Part One: 1945–1952
1. MacPhail 17
Headlines: 1945 24
2. Rickey 25
3. Labor 33
Headlines: 1946 42
4. Pacific 44
Headlines: 1947 51
5. Veeck 53
Headlines: 1948 60
6. Clouds 61
Headlines: 1949 69
7. Freefall 70
Headlines: 1950 77
8. O’Malley 79
9. Unhappy 87
Headlines: 1951 94
10. Celler 95
11. Shrinking 104
Headlines: 1952 111
Part Two: 1953–1957
12. Milwaukee 113
Headlines: 1953 121
13. Disruption 122
14. Toolson 129
Headlines: 1954 135
15. Philadelphia 137
16. Wrigley 144
Headlines: 1955 150
17. Moses 152
18. Stoneham 161
Headlines: 1956 168
19. Griffith 169
20. Showdown 177
Headlines: 1957 184
Part Three: 1958–1962
21. California 187
22. Shea 196
23. Kefauver 202
Headlines: 1958 209
24. Chavez 211
25. Continental 218
26. Comeback 226
Headlines: 1959 231
27. Outlaws 233
Headlines: 1960 240
28. Uncertainty 242
29. Expansion 249
Headlines: 1961 256
30. Twilight 258
Headlines: 1962 264
Epilogue: Beyond 267
Chapter Notes 279
Bibliography 313
Index 321