Teenager on First, Geezer at Bat, 4-F on Deck

Major League Baseball in 1945


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SKU: 9780786437948 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

The Second World War was in the bottom of the ninth inning in Germany and Japan, but back at home the bases were loaded with baseball players, many of them new to the big leagues. While the game’s stars traded their stockings and gloves for khaki and rifles, America’s leaders believed baseball would boost morale at home.
Teams filled out their rosters with retired stars such as Jimmie Foxx and Babe Herman; with players like Pete Gray and Dick Sipek, whose disabilities had kept them out of the majors; and with teenagers like 17-year-olds Putsy Caballero and Tommy Brown. But while the level of major league talent had reached its nadir, war-weary fans packed the ballparks, eagerly following pennant races as intense as any that preceded the war.

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: 334
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, statistical appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3794-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5335-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1. The 1945 Season Approaches      23

2. Jolly Cholly and His Over-the-Hill Gang Win the Pennant      31

3. The Defending World Champions      41

4. Controversy in Brooklyn      53

5. The Bucs Stop Here      61

6. The Giants Race to the Top of the Senior Circuit      67

7. The Braves Load Up and Fall Down      81

8. The Doleful Deacon and the Colorless Reds      91

9. Look Away: Ben Chapman and the Faltering Phils      102

10. The National League Campaign      113

11. Hammerin’ Hank and the World Champion Tigers      150

12. War Heroes, Knuckleballers, and a Spy      172

13. The Spirit of St. Louis      190

14. Marse Joe and the Bronx Bombers      202

15. The Boy Manager and the Holdout      213

16. Jimmy Dykes and the Pale Hose      223

17. Catfish, Boo, and Mr. Yawkey      234

18. Connie Mack, Bobo, and the No-Hit Wonder      242

19. The American League Campaign      253

20. The World Series      289

21. Return to Normalcy      293

Appendix A. The National League Teams      295

Appendix B. The American League Teams      301

Chapter Notes      307

Bibliography      315

Index      319

Book Reviews & Awards

“a valuable addition for any baseball fan’s library, particularly those interested in golden-age baseball…unique”—Nine.