Small Ball in the Big Leagues

A History of Stealing, Bunting, Walking and Otherwise Scratching for Runs


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SKU: 9780786437931 Categories: ,

About the Book

The typical baseball fan yearns for one of two things: a strikeout or a home run.
But most of the game takes place in between these electrifying moments, and this book discusses the importance of “small ball” to baseball. It examines the multitude of times small ball activities have secured victories through aggressive base running, sacrifice hits, squeeze bunts, stolen bases, productive outs and hit-and-run plays, as well as games in which aggressive small ball activity led to defeat. The book covers the most important small ball players, managers and teams.

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 (7 x 10)
Pages: 311
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3793-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5833-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. The Nineteenth Century      3

2. The Deadball Era      20

3. The Decline of Small Ball: 1920–1961      85

4. The Resurgence of Small Ball: 1962–2009      165

Appendix A: Stolen Base and Sacrifice Hit Totals

(Per League, Per Season, 1886–2009)

Appendix B: Teams That Have Led Their League

(Stolen Bases and Sacrifice Hits in a Season)

Chapter Notes      287

Bibliography      291

Index      295

Book Reviews & Awards

“comprehensive…insightful…recommended…for hard-core baseball fans who like the statistical approach”—Library Journal; “this carefully researched volume will be a hit with fans”—Booklist.