Cool Papas and Double Duties: The All-Time Greats of the Negro Leagues

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9780786422296: Cool Papas and Double Duties: The All-Time Greats of the Negro Leagues
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Many of the great ballplayers of the Negro League have been forgotten simply because baseball’s Hall of Fame would not recognize black players until Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige made their way into the Hall of Fame. For this book, more than 50 former Negro League players and baseball historians were asked to vote for players who they believe should have been included in the Hall of Fame, and to select an All-Time Negro League All-Star Team. In addition to presenting and discussing their choices, the book profiles the lives and careers of the players selected. Appendices include rosters of the players and historians who voted.

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About the Author:

William F. McNeil is a longtime baseball historian and the author of numerous books on the game. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), he is the recipient of five Robert Peterson awards for increasing the public’s awareness of the Negro Leagues. He lives in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

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These two volumes contribute a good deal to the ongoing examination of the Negro Leagues. Holway, one of the deans of black baseball history, provides the most complete statistical accounting yet of the game's segregated half. The obvious by-product of painstaking research, The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues presents a quick overview of African American participation from 1859 to 1882 and then an annual accounting through 1948, the year after Jackie Robinson entered the major leagues. Holway's contribution is noteworthy, covering won-loss records, batting records, and pitching performances. Textual commentary is sprinkled throughout, as are useful lists of lifetime batting and pitching leaders. But the story remains incomplete because of the paucity of written accounts, incomplete box scores, and a general failure on the part of black baseball management and journalists alike to provide a historical record for the most statistically conscious of all sports. McNeil's (The Dodgers Encyclopedia) undertaking is different, as he seeks to determine which Negro League participants should be included in the National Baseball Hall of Fame; at present, 17 have been admitted. Cool Papas and Double Duties calls on both former Negro Leaguers and black baseball historians to select those candidates, then offers a final selection and biographies of those chosen. Biz Mackey, Turkey Stearnes, Dick Lundy, Mules Suttle, and Hilton Smith received the greatest number of votes; Stearnes and Smith, in fact, have subsequently been elected to the hall. McNeil's work also presents all-time Negro League all-star teams, with corresponding biographies. Enjoyable to course through, this book frequently enlightens but will in no way stop baseball fans and scholars from debating the various merits of the top performers. Both books are recommended for general libraries. R.C. Cottrell, California State Univ., Chico
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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