Worth Reading

I do a lot of reading. Sometimes it’s baseball related, sometimes it isn’t. Got a book that you should find worthwhile: Deadball Stars of the National League. The book is edited by Tom Simon and is a SABR production. The publisher is Brassey’s Inc. and the publication date is 2004. 

This book is a series of baseball biographies of various National League players in the period 1900-1920. Most bios are only a couple of pages long and concentrate on the baseball aspects of the individual’s career. The book is sorted by team in order of winning percentage for the era. That alone is a wonderful step. When you look at the quality of the players discussed you begin to see why the Giants are first and the Cardinals last.

That’s one of the great virtues of the book. A sceond is the depth of players rviewed. Despite the title, they’re not all “stars”, at least not to the contemporary mind. There’s Mathewson, McGraw, McGinnity, Chance, and Brown. There’s also Ivy Olson, Bill Sweeney, and Mike Mowrey. So you get a sense of the types of men who populated the deadball era of baseball. Additionally, most of the team owners are detailed and the first section of biographies is a set of National League executives and umpires, giving the reader even more feel for the men (and one woman in St. Louis owner Helene Robison Britton) of the age.

None of the bios is hard to read, so take some time and read this book. (A disclaimer–I get no funds from the book). Think you’ll enjoy it.

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One Response to “Worth Reading”

  1. William Miller Says:

    Thanks for the tip. I definitely want to take a look at this book. It boggles the mind (well, my mind, anyway) to think that baseball already had a long, colorful and extremely interesting history going back about fifty years before Babe Ruth started hitting buckets of homers out of Yankee Stadium in 1920. Thanks again for the quality of your contributions. Bill

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