100 YEARS OF BASEBALL by Lee Allen


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This comprehensive and careful account of organized baseball should be a welcome antidote to the misty, nostalgic memoirs of managers, players and sportswriters. Taking the ""front office"" point of view, the author traces the development of organized baseball from the forming of the first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, by Harry Wright in 1869 through the fat and lean years of competing organization which contributed to the eventual establishment of the National and American Leagues. No holds barred was the keynote as stealing players, jumping contracts, and even gambling were elements to contend with in these chaotic days despite the efforts of men like Hulbert, Lucas and ""Ban"" Johnson to create strong organizations. The now forgotten National, American Union and Federal Associations flourished and died offering through competition a stimulus to changes in the game itself, betterment of the position of the players and building of parks all to satisfy the insatiable demand of the American public for baseball. Although the author is primarily concerned with the institutional aspect of the game, he does include sketches of a few personalities and touches upon controversial matters dear to the ""hot stove league"":- the Yankee powerhouse, the stern and unusual edicts of Judge Landis, the heart warming Jackie Robinson story, the farm system, the Macphail-Durocher-Rickey performances, a debunking of the Cooperatown-Doubleday legend, a spirited discussion of Happy Chandlar and a commissioner system. All in all this is a valuable addition to a baseball library.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1950
Publisher: Bartholomew House