Baseball's Pivotal Era, 1945-1951

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9780813120416: Baseball's Pivotal Era, 1945-1951
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With personal interviews of players and owners and with over two decades of research in newspapers and archives, Bill Marshall tells of the players, the pennant races, and the officials who shaped one of the most memorable eras in sports and American history.

At the end of World War II, soldiers returning from overseas hungered to resume their love affair with baseball. Spectators still identified with players, whose salaries and off-season employment as postmen, plumbers, farmers, and insurance salesmen resembled their own. It was a time when kids played baseball on sandlots and in pastures, fans followed the game on the radio, and tickets were affordable. The outstanding play of Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Don Newcombe, Warren Spahn, and many others dominated the field. But perhaps no performance was more important than that of Jackie Robinson, whose entrance into the game broke the color barrier, won him the respect of millions of Americans, and helped set the stage for the civil rights movement.

Baseball's Pivotal Era, 1945-1951 also records the attempt to organize the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Mexican League's success in luring players south of the border that led to a series of lawsuits that almost undermined baseball's reserve clause and antitrust exemption. The result was spring training pay, uniform contracts, minimum salary levels, player representation, and a pension plan―the very issues that would divide players and owners almost fifty years later.

During these years, the game was led by A.B. "Happy" Chandler, a hand-shaking, speech-making, singing Kentucky politician. Most owners thought he would be easily manipulated, unlike baseball's first commissioner, the autocratic Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis. Instead, Chandler's style led one owner to complain that he was the "player's commissioner, the fan's commissioner, the press and radio commissioner, everybody's commissioner but the men who pay him."

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About the Author:

William Marshall is director of Special Collections and Archives at the University of Kentucky Libraries.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Marshall delivers a thoughtful and detailed picture of the crucial postwar years when baseball rallied to win. Pro baseball was largely bush league in the slumping years of WWII, and it emerged facing a lineup of new adversaries like labor unrest, competing leagues, and a nascent desegregation movement. One of the wars noncombat fatalities was Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (brought in after the Black Sox gambling scandal), leaving the new baseball commissioner, Senator A.B. ``Happy'' Chandler, with the task of defending baseballs antitrust exemption. Too much of the book, like too much sports news, involves contractual and salary disputes and other such economic intrigues, while Marshall is at his best analyzing the people and strategies of the game. For example, when flamboyant Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck wanted to fire his manager Lou Boudreau, who often settled for one run at a time in situations where other managers would play for the big inning, he relented after a firestorm of fan anger. (In the good old days, fans mattered.) Marshall also has a good eye for significant quotes, like Branch Rickeys, There is not a single Negro player in this country who could qualify for the American or National League. Jackie Robinsons entrance is rightly seen as one of the most pivotal in this era, enlivened by the likes of Campanella, Berra, and DiMaggio. The pivotal hit in this period was the dramatic home run by Bobby Thompson to put the Giants in the World Series in 1951the year that saw the advent of a couple of kids named Mantle and Mays. Marshall, who is director of Special Collections and Archives at the University of Kentucky Libraries, concludes with the gloomy prospect that, with its aging fan base, baseball will never catch up to the popularity of football or basketball. Nonetheless, the Baby Boomers should keep baseball the sports readers national pastime with brave and broad books like this. (83 b&w photos) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description The University Press of Kentucky, United States, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. With personal interviews of players and owners and with over two decades of research in newspapers and archives, Bill Marshall tells of the players, the pennant races, and the officials who shaped one of the most memorable eras in sports and American history. At the end of World War II, soldiers returning from overseas hungered to resume their love affair with baseball. Spectators still identified with players, whose salaries and off-season employment as postmen, plumbers, farmers, and insurance salesmen resembled their own. It was a time when kids played baseball on sandlots and in pastures, fans followed the game on the radio, and tickets were affordable. The outstanding play of Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Don Newcombe, Warren Spahn, and many others dominated the field. But perhaps no performance was more important than that of Jackie Robinson, whose entrance into the game broke the color barrier, won him the respect of millions of Americans, and helped set the stage for the civil rights movement. Baseball s Pivotal Era, 1945-1951 also records the attempt to organize the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Mexican League s success in luring players south of the border that led to a series of lawsuits that almost undermined baseball s reserve clause and antitrust exemption. The result was spring training pay, uniform contracts, minimum salary levels, player representation, and a pension plan--the very issues that would divide players and owners almost fifty years later. During these years, the game was led by A.B. Happy Chandler, a hand-shaking, speech-making, singing Kentucky politician. Most owners thought he would be easily manipulated, unlike baseball s first commissioner, the autocratic Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis. Instead, Chandler s style led one owner to complain that he was the player s commissioner, the fan s commissioner, the press and radio commissioner, everybody s commissioner but the men who pay him. Seller Inventory # BTE9780813120416

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Book Description University Press of Kentucky 2/25/1999, 1999. Hardback or Cased Book. Condition: New. Baseball's Pivotal Era, 1945-1951. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9780813120416

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Book Description The University Press of Kentucky, United States, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. With personal interviews of players and owners and with over two decades of research in newspapers and archives, Bill Marshall tells of the players, the pennant races, and the officials who shaped one of the most memorable eras in sports and American history. At the end of World War II, soldiers returning from overseas hungered to resume their love affair with baseball. Spectators still identified with players, whose salaries and off-season employment as postmen, plumbers, farmers, and insurance salesmen resembled their own. It was a time when kids played baseball on sandlots and in pastures, fans followed the game on the radio, and tickets were affordable. The outstanding play of Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Don Newcombe, Warren Spahn, and many others dominated the field. But perhaps no performance was more important than that of Jackie Robinson, whose entrance into the game broke the color barrier, won him the respect of millions of Americans, and helped set the stage for the civil rights movement. Baseball s Pivotal Era, 1945-1951 also records the attempt to organize the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Mexican League s success in luring players south of the border that led to a series of lawsuits that almost undermined baseball s reserve clause and antitrust exemption. The result was spring training pay, uniform contracts, minimum salary levels, player representation, and a pension plan--the very issues that would divide players and owners almost fifty years later. During these years, the game was led by A.B. Happy Chandler, a hand-shaking, speech-making, singing Kentucky politician. Most owners thought he would be easily manipulated, unlike baseball s first commissioner, the autocratic Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis. Instead, Chandler s style led one owner to complain that he was the player s commissioner, the fan s commissioner, the press and radio commissioner, everybody s commissioner but the men who pay him. Seller Inventory # AAN9780813120416

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Book Description The University Press of Kentucky, United States, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. With personal interviews of players and owners and with over two decades of research in newspapers and archives, Bill Marshall tells of the players, the pennant races, and the officials who shaped one of the most memorable eras in sports and American history. At the end of World War II, soldiers returning from overseas hungered to resume their love affair with baseball. Spectators still identified with players, whose salaries and off-season employment as postmen, plumbers, farmers, and insurance salesmen resembled their own. It was a time when kids played baseball on sandlots and in pastures, fans followed the game on the radio, and tickets were affordable. The outstanding play of Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Don Newcombe, Warren Spahn, and many others dominated the field. But perhaps no performance was more important than that of Jackie Robinson, whose entrance into the game broke the color barrier, won him the respect of millions of Americans, and helped set the stage for the civil rights movement. Baseball s Pivotal Era, 1945-1951 also records the attempt to organize the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Mexican League s success in luring players south of the border that led to a series of lawsuits that almost undermined baseball s reserve clause and antitrust exemption. The result was spring training pay, uniform contracts, minimum salary levels, player representation, and a pension plan--the very issues that would divide players and owners almost fifty years later. During these years, the game was led by A.B. Happy Chandler, a hand-shaking, speech-making, singing Kentucky politician. Most owners thought he would be easily manipulated, unlike baseball s first commissioner, the autocratic Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis. Instead, Chandler s style led one owner to complain that he was the player s commissioner, the fan s commissioner, the press and radio commissioner, everybody s commissioner but the men who pay him. Seller Inventory # AAN9780813120416

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