A History of the Baseball Fan


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About the Book

From the genesis of baseball in the 1840s, when so-called “kranks” cheered the teams of their choice, fans have been an ever-present component of the sport. As the number of fans has increased over the years, their influence has increased proportionally. Following the evolution of the game and its fans over more than a century, this book examines the role fans have played in the formation of modern baseball and the part the sport has played in the lives of its devotees.
How have fans influenced, reacted to, or been affected by baseball’s changes through history? How do fans determine player popularity? Are there famous fans—and how do they manifest that interest? How has the evolution of baseball in the media, including newspapers, radio, and television, affected the fan base? The answers to these questions and more give a lively feel to this baseball history from a fan’s perspective. The final chapter sums up the fan’s importance to the sport of baseball.

About the Author(s)

The late Fred Stein was a retired federal official and environmental consultant and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research since 1976. He wrote written three books on the Giants and contributed articles to USA Today Baseball Weekly and the SABR publications. A native New Yorker, he lived in Springfield, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Fred Stein
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2148-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-7997-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

1. The Early Years      15

2. Coming of Age      26

3. Boom, Depression, War      40

4. Post-World War II Expansion      59

5. Since Then      73

6. The Writers      84

7. Radio      101

8. Television      114

9. Player Popularity      127

10. Gambling      141

11. Attendance      152

12. Famous and Infamous Fans      164

13. Fans’ Impact on Games      180

14. The Fan as a Participant      192

15. Summing Up      202

Chapter Notes      207

Bibliography      217

Index      221