Shibe Park was demolished in 1976, and today its site is surrounded by the devastation of North Philadelphia. Kuklick, however, vividly evokes the feelings people had about the home of the Philadelphia Athletics and later the Phillies.
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"An exceptionally valuable contribution to the new genre of serious and adult baseball history. . . . As for those who say how important is a ball park really, I'd say this. In a way the Coliseum was a ball park. Look at how much it tells us about Imperial Rome."--Roger Kahn
Kuklick (humanities, Univ. of Pennsylvania, author of American Policy: The Division of Germany, LJ 6/1/72) has not written a standard baseball history. Rather, he has integrated two teams, a ballpark, and an urban area into a story that appeals at once to the baseball fan, historian, and sociologist. He examines the neighborhood in North Philadelphia that was the site of Shibe Park (later Connie Mack Stadium), home of the Philadelphia Athletics from 1909 until their departure for Kansas City in 1954, and the Phillies until their move to Veterans Stadium. Each chapter is packed with details concerning the eras, players, and impact of the stadium on its neighborhood. Of particular interest from a historical point of view are the depictions of changes in modes of transportation and the availability and types of jobs for residents. Sadly, most of these changes appear to have been for the worse. The A's are now in Oakland, the Phillies at Veterans Stadium, and Connie Mack has been dead since 1955, but the image of Shibe Park and its neighborhood lives on. Highly recommended for most sports collections as well as for social history collections.
- William O. Schee ren, Hempfield Area Senior H.S. Lib., Greensburg, Pa.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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