Before the Curse

The Glory Days of New England Baseball, 1858–1918, rev. ed.


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SKU: 9780786426256 Categories: ,

About the Book

In this revised and updated version of his highly regarded book, author Troy Soos covers the history of baseball in New England from 1791 through 1918, the year in which the Red Sox won their final World Series of the 20th century. Beginning with the recently discovered Pittsfield, Massachusetts, document, the history of early New England baseball and its folk predecessors is briefly discussed, followed by the advent of pay for play, when the Boston Red Stockings dominated baseball’s first major league. Turning next to the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s, decades that saw pro baseball establish itself in especially the larger cities of the Northeast, Soos demonstrates that the amateur game became a fixture of the towns, schools, and even the factories. Success at the game’s highest level followed, as Boston won five NL championships in the 1890s before taking the first modern World Series in 1903.When five more world championships came during the 1910s, New Englanders could justifiably argue that the country’s oldest region sat atop the baseball world.
By the close of 1918, New England was baseball mad, and the 86 years of collapses, near-misses, and outright struggles that lay ahead would do nothing to diminish the game’s high place in the regional culture.

About the Author(s)

Writer, historian and physicist Troy Soos has published ten critically acclaimed novels of historical fiction, including six in the baseball-themed Mickey Rawlings series. He lives in Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Troy Soos
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 226
Bibliographic Info: 84 photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2625-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Preface to the 2006 Edition      1
Preface to the 1997 Edition      5

1. The Early Years: From Children’s Game to Gentlemen’s Pastime      9
2. 1870–1879: Playing for Pay      24
3. 1880–1889: Every City and Town, School and Factory      51
4. 1890–1899: Playing Hardball      82
5. 1900–1909: A New Era      105
6. 1910–1918: Miracle Braves and World Champion Red Sox      128

Appendix: Accounts of Historic Games      163
Bibliography      209
Index      213

Book Reviews & Awards

“absolutely fascinating”—The Inside Game; “an engaging history full of little-known material. You don’t have to be from New England to enjoy this book. You just have to like baseball”—Sports Illustrated; “Both an engrossing read and an excellent single-volume history…among the half dozen best books about pre-modern baseball written. It’s a good read but it’s also excellent scholarship.”—Red Sox Journal; “Soos has compiled a satisfying book that will add another layer to the rich history and tradition of New England baseball.”—Patriot Ledger.