Blackball, the Black Sox, and the Babe

Baseball’s Crucial 1920 Season


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About the Book

Nineteen-twenty was a crucial year not just for the Chicago White Sox but for the game of baseball, in the aftermath of the 1919 World Series scandal. This work is both a collective biography of four individuals whose careers in baseball were forever altered in 1920 and an examination of the 1920 baseball season as a whole. It highlights four legendary personalities—Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the longtime commissioner of Major League Baseball; Babe Ruth, the great pitcher and slugger who changed the game forever; Buck Weaver, the true lone innocent among the Black Sox players who threw the 1919 World Series; and Rube Foster, the fine pitcher, imaginative manager, and great administrator of blackball who founded the Negro National League. Key events that affected the season and the history of baseball are discussed.
Nineteen-twenty was the year that Ruth shattered his own home run record and began a hitting spree that brought in record numbers of fans to the ballparks. It was the year that Rube found a way for large numbers of African-Americans to play the game meaningfully, before loyal crowds, despite Jim Crow laws that kept them out of the majors and minors.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

A professor emeritus of history and American studies at California State University, Chico, Robert C. Cottrell is the author of more than twenty books, including studies of the counterculture, the year 1968, American radicalism, black baseball and the World War II smokejumpers.

Bibliographic Details

Robert C. Cottrell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 331
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2002
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1164-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Introduction      1

1. America’s Greatest Game      5

2. The People’s Judge      15

3. The Old Roman’s Club      29

4. The Biggest Man in Baseball      44

5. Jim Crow Baseball      59

6. Postwar America and the National Pastime      73

7. In the Eye of the Storm      96

8. The National Commission and Baseball’s Achilles’ Heel      120

9. The Sale of Babe      132

10. A Season of Courage: Rube Foster and a League of His Own      141

11. A Season of Grace: Babe in Pinstripes      154

12. A Season of Fortitude: Tris’s and Robbie’s Men of Summer      181

13. A Season of Infamy: Gambling and the Chicago White Sox      195

14. The Scandal Unveiled and One Innocent Amid the Black Sox      214

15. Savior of the Game: Baseball’s Great Dictator      233

15. Savior of the Game: Baseball’s Great Dictator      73

16. The Season After      250

17. Legacies      268

Notes      279

Bibliography      317

Index      323

Book Reviews & Awards

“meticulous…recommended”—Library Journal; “he skillfully weaves his four biographies to chronicle a crucial season that changed baseball”—Sports Collectors Digest; “a collective biography of some of the biggest figures in 1920 baseball”—The SABR Bulletin.