Long Before the Dodgers

Baseball in Brooklyn, 1855–1884

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SKU: 9780786412297 Categories: ,

About the Book

Exactly one hundred years before the Brooklyn Dodgers won the 1955 World Series, the Brooklyn Excelsiors were playing on the same grounds where the Dodgers would begin their long history. Brooklyn and its teams played a prominent role in the early history of the game and reigned as champions of baseball’s first organized league through most of the 1860s.
The early years of organized baseball (1855–1884) in Brooklyn when it was the center of the baseball universe is the focus of this book. In addition to discussing the early clubs and players, this work examines the transformation of baseball from a recreational pursuit of gentlemen’s clubs to a professional spectator sport. It also reveals much about the social norms, gender and race relations, and the role of the media in the early game and covers the many firsts that are attributed to early Brooklyn teams, such as having the first paid player, tragic hero and curveball pitcher, and being the first team to take road trips, play in enclosed ball parks and charge admission. Notably, they were heralded by the most famed sports journalist of the nineteenth century.

About the Author(s)

James L. Terry is currently a Social Science Librarian at New York University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Bibliographic Details

James L. Terry
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2002
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1229-7
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“illuminates both urban and baseball history”—Choice; “a well-researched study”—Library Journal; “another in the long line of top-flight McFarland histories…well-researched”—Sports Collectors Digest; “unique vantage point for baseball’s transformation from a recreational pursuit of gentlemen to a professional spectator sport”—The SABR Bulletin.