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The Life and Times of Baseball’s Sal Maglie


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About the Book

Sal Maglie was a feared and hated pitcher perhaps best known for his vicious knockdown pitches that made batters tremble. Yet he was also respected as a ferocious competitor, one who pitched with his arm and his head, one who could be depended upon when his team needed a victory, and one who refused to quit, even when faced with a blacklisting, crippling injuries, and advanced age. Off the field, he was an amiable man.
This work chronicles the life and career of the man and the player: his unspectacular minor league career, his 1945 debut with Mel Ott’s New York Giants, his blacklisting by organized baseball for playing in Jorge Pasquel’s Mexican League, and his rejoining the Giants in 1950 at the age of 33.
He thereupon established himself as a bona fide big league pitcher, and went on to have a stellar career in the majors that included stints with the Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees, and St. Louis Cardinals. Game-by-game analyses of Maglie’s professional career, intimate portraits of the men Maglie played with and against—Mel Ott, Eddie Stanky, Monte Irvin, Jackie Robinson, Carl Furillo, Willie Mays, among others—and a look at baseball as it was played in the 1940s and 1950s are features of the book.

About the Author(s)

Writer and researcher James D. Szalontai is the author of books about pitcher Sal Maglie, and baseball and World War II. He is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research and lives in North Port, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

James D. Szalontai
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 408
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2002
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1189-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface     1

1 Trials and Triumphs of a Bush League Pitcher     3

2 Return to the International League     26

3 Wartime Ball, “Wartime” Pitcher?     37

4 The Baseball War, the Black List, and the Mexican Jumping Beans     50

5 Back With the Giants     74

6 The American Aristocracy and the Miracle Finish     116

7 Pitching in Pain     182

8 A Season to Forget     218

9 Return to Glory     243

10 Banished to Cleveland     281

11 The Barber Joins the Enemy     303

12 From Dodger Blue to Yankee Pinstripes     336

13 The End Is Near     349

14 The Old Warrior Fades Away     364

Chapter Notes     373

Bibliography     385

Index     391

Book Reviews & Awards

“a comprehensive, well-crafted view of baseball in the ’40s and ’50s”—Sports Collectors Digest; “one of the finest books I’ve ever read…remarkable research”—Brooklyn Spectator; “a truly great book”—Staten Island Register; “an eye-opener…exhaustive detail…intelligent”—North Buffalo Rocket; “intelligent and effective”—Tonawanda News; “notable for its thought examination of the baseball context of the pitcher’s life, revealing the dark side of 1950s baseball”—SABR Bibliography Committee Newsletter.