George Altman

My Baseball Journey from the Negro Leagues to the Majors and Beyond


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About the Book

George Altman grew up in the segregated South but was able to participate in the sport at more levels of competition than perhaps anyone else who has ever played the game, from the 1940s to the 1970s.
Altman played baseball at all the kids’ levels, played college baseball at Tennessee State, played for the Kansas City Monarchs during the waning days of the Negro Leagues, played for the U.S. Army in service competition, played winter league ball in Cuba and Panama, spent nine years with the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets, a two-time All-Star outfielder—then played in Japan as a regular All-Star. Altman has seen it all and he offers illuminating observations about teams, fans and the game.

About the Author(s)

George Altman is retired from major league baseball.

Lew Freedman is a long-time, prize-winning journalist for such newspapers as the Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Anchorage Daily News and Wyoming’s Cody Enterprise. Specializing in sports and the outdoors, he has written more than 100 books. He lives in Columbus, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

George Altman with Lew Freedman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7103-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0291-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction by Lew Freedman  1
1. Growing Up in Goldsboro  7
2. Basketball at Tennessee State  17
3. Back to Baseball  27
4. The Kansas City Monarchs  33
5. The Minors, the Army and Making the Cubs  41
6. The Major Leagues  51
7. Winter Ball in Cuba  60
8. Getting Used to the Majors  68
9. Just Playing Big League Ball  75
10. Big Moments and Tough Moments  84
11. Cubs Life  91
12. Joining the Cardinals  97
13. On to the Mets  106
14. Back to the Cubs  115
15. Learning to Play Ball in a Different Language  124
16. “Pure Boru!” (Play Ball)  133
17. Being an American in Japan  141
18. Japanese Workouts and Meetings  149
19. Nearing the End in Tokyo  157
20. Health Scare and Retirement  165
21. Retirement  174
22. Quite a Life in Baseball  185
Epilogue by Lew Freedman  195
Notes  199
Index  201

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Altman has seen it all and he offers illuminating observations about teams, fans and the game”—The Courier