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Baseball: A History of America's Favorite Game (Modern Library Chronicles Series) [Kindle Edition]

George Vecsey
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“Football is force and fanatics, basketball is beauty and bounce. Baseball is everything: action, grace, the seasons of our lives. George Vecsey’s book proves it, without wasting a word.”
–Lee Eisenberg, author of The Number

In Baseball, one of the great bards of America’s Grand Old Game gives a rousing account of the sport, from its pre-Republic roots to the present day. George Vecsey casts a fresh eye on the game, illuminates its foibles and triumphs, and performs a marvelous feat: making a classic story seem refreshingly new.
Baseball is a narrative of America’s can-do spirit, in which stalwart immigrants such as Henry Chadwick could transplant cricket and rounders into the fertile American culture and in which die-hard unionist baseballers such as Charles Comiskey and Connie Mack could eventually become the tightfisted avatars of the game’s big-money establishment. It’s a celebration of such underdogs as a rag-armed catcher turned owner named Branch Rickey and a sure-handed fielder named Curt Flood, both of whom flourished as true great men of history. But most of all, Baseball is a testament to the unbreakable bond between our nation’s pastime and the fans, who’ve remained loyal through the fifty-year-long interdict on black athletes, the Black Sox scandal, franchise relocation, and the use of performance-enhancing drugs by some major stars.

Reverent, playful, and filled with Vecsey’s charm, Baseball begs to be read in the span of a rain-delayed doubleheader, and so enjoyable that, like a favorite team’s championship run, one hopes it never ends.

“Vecsey possesses a journalist’s eye for detail and a historian’s feel for the sweep of action. His research is scrupulous and his writing crisp. This book is an instant classic—— a highly readable guide to America’s great enduring pastime.” — The Louisville Courier Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Description


Football is force and fanatics, basketball is beauty and bounce. Baseball is everything: action, grace, the seasons of our lives. George Vecsey s book proves it, without wasting a word. --Lee Eisenberg, author of The Number

Recommended especially for smaller sports collections in need of a general history of America's pastime. --Alan Moores

About the Author

George Vecsey, a sports columnist for The New York Times, has written about such events as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics but considers baseball, the sport he s covered since 1960, his favorite game. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner s Daughter (with Loretta Lynn), which was made into an Academy Award winning film. He has also served as a national and religion reporter for The New York Times, interviewing the Dalai Lama, Tony Blair, Billy Graham, and a host of other noteworthy figures. He lives in New York with his wife, an artist.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and intriguing 14 Mar. 2012
As a relative newcomer to the game of baseball I bought this book with the aim of understanding the sport better through learning its history. The book certainly provides valuable insight into the origins of the game and the political wrangling that plagued the early years of baseball which in turn influenced the organisation of the Major Leagues today. The author writes with an affection for his sport that will allow any sports fan to empathise with him, even if baseball isn't their first love and this in turn makes the book something of a page turner and a great read for anybody who desires a greater knowledge of this superb game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise history of baseball for beginners 5 Nov. 2012
This book has a pretty limited audience, especially here in the UK. It probably doesn't go into enough depth for baseball fans who want to find out the detail about the sport, while it is a little too technical and terms are not explained for a complete newbie to the sport. However, for those who are still fairly new to the game and want to find out a little more, this is perfect. Ranging from the earliest days of the sport to the drugs allegations of the mid-2000s, we hear about the stories that have made baseball an American institution: the Doubleday creation myth, the Chicago Black Sox match-fixing of 1919, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, the list goes on... The author has a knack of pitching it just right, with little asides and witty comments that keep the tome light. This is a great little overview of baseball and recommended to all who have a new or passing interest in the sport.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You don't need to be a fan 1 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You don't need to know a lot about Baseball to enjoy this book, I'm English so we don't grow up knowing everything about the sport and it's history. I love watching baseball both on TV and in the flesh when I get the chance. This is a fascinating read especially on the early years of the game, some of the scandals that have rocked the game and the characters playing and running the sport. Excellent
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable and rightly regarded as a classic. 26 Jan. 2015
By Niall
A really well-written book that takes a look at a dozen or so events, people or scandals that shaped America's game. For anyone unfamiliar to the sport, reading a 10 page chapter on the White Sox 1919 match-fixing scandal; The 'Negro Leagues'; Branch Rickey or the development of the game globally really is a great introduction.

Each chapter is perfectly paced and beautifully written and acts as a spur for the reader to go away and read more (which is what I've already done with regards to Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth and Marvin Miller).

As Vecsey puts it: 'Baseball is all about stories, many of which are even true.'
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