Baseball Barnstorming and Exhibition Games, 1901–1962

A History of Off-Season Major League Play


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SKU: 9780786428113 Categories: ,

About the Book

Until 1947, professional ball players were paid only from opening day to season’s end. Even during the season, a lot of their expenses came out of their own pockets. Even the best-paid players had trouble making ends meet. One answer to their money woes was barnstorming—tours out of season. Cities lacking their own major league teams were happy to host big-league players for such events, as well as for special exhibition games whose proceeds sometimes went to local charities.
Here is a history of barnstorming and exhibition games from 1901 (when both of the two current major leagues began operating) through 1962 (when a team led by Willie Mays was unsuccessful in its attempt at a tour, signaling an end to true barnstorming). Decade by decade, it covers the teams, the games, and the players for a detailed look at how barnstorming and exhibition brought big-league baseball to the backyard ballparks of America.

About the Author(s)

Thomas Barthel is Professor Emeritus from the State University of New York, and has written seven books. He lives in Clinton, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Thomas Barthel
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 283
Bibliographic Info: 22 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2811-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0664-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

Introduction: The 200 Days      3

Prologue      13

1. Barnstorming Tours and Exhibition Games, 1901–1909      21

2. Barnstorming Tours and Exhibition Games, 1910–1919      55

3. Barnstorming Tours and Exhibition Games, 1920–1929      89

4. Barnstorming Tours and Exhibition Games, 1930–1939      117

5. Barnstorming Tours and Exhibition Games, 1940–1949      143

6. Barnstorming Tours and Exhibition Games, 1950–1962      164

Afterword      201

Appendix A: Major Leaguers Appearing in Exhibition Games      203

Appendix B: Exhibition Games, 1901–1962      209

Appendix C: Major Leaguers Appearing in Barnstorming Games      213

Appendix D: Barnstorming Games, 1901–1962      229

Appendix E: Letter from the Commissioner      251

Bibliography      253

Index      259

Book Reviews & Awards

“informative…fills huge voids in baseball information…a terrific research job”—Sports Collectors Digest.