A Whole New Game

Off the Field Changes in Baseball, 1946–1960

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About the Book

Bismarck once said that God looked after drunkards, children and the U.S. of A. Some say that baseball should be added to the list. It must have been divine intervention that led the sport through a series of transformative challenges from the end of World War II to the game’s first expansion in 1961.
During this period baseball was forced to make a number of painful choices. From 1949 to 1954, attendance dropped more than 30 percent, as once loyal fans turned to other activities, started going to see more football, and began watching television. Also, the sport had to wrestle with racial integration, franchise shifts and unionization while trying to keep a firm hold on the minds and emotions of the public.
This work chronicles how baseball, with imagination and some foresight, survived postwar challenges. Some of the solutions came about intelligently, some clumsily, but by 1960 baseball was a stronger, healthier and better balanced institution than ever before.

About the Author(s)

Philadelphia’s John P. Rossi, professor of history, LaSalle University, has written on baseball history for The International Journal of the History of Sport and The Phillies Report and periodically teaches a course on the relationship between baseball and American history. He is also the author of The 1964 Phillies: Off the Field Changes in Baseball, 1946–1960 (2005) and The National Game: Baseball and American Culture (2000).

Bibliographic Details

John P. Rossi
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 263
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 1999
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0651-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8156-9
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“much is made of the racial integration of baseball…. The descriptions and statistics are useful…accessible to general readers”—Choice; “here’s the story how the sport dealt with it all”—USA Today Sports Weekly; “Rossi explores the post World War II–preexpansion era in baseball looking at the baseball boom of 1947–48, the Yankees dynasty, franchise shifts and the forces that led to expansion”—The SABR Bulletin; “illuminating for those who wish to see how baseball evolved”—www.purebaseball.com.