“Autumn Glory”: A Review

Cover of "Autumn Glory"

Cover of “Autumn Glory”

Haven’t reviewed a book in a while, so it’s time to do so again. This time I want to look at Louis P. Masur’s Autumn Glory: Baseball’s First World Series.

As the title implies, this is a look at the 1903 World Series between the established National League’s Pittsburgh Pirates and the newly formed American League’s Boston team. Masur goes through each of the eight games (it was a best five of nine series) providing narrative of the game itself and giving us a copy of the box score. The chapters on the games are straightforward with little analysis and more narrative.

In between the chapters on each game are other chapters chronicling baseball in the era. There’s a chapter on the founding of the American League and the subsequent war between the two leagues, a chapter on the way the league’s gained peace, and chapters on each team’s (Pittsburgh and Boston) 1903 season. Again, the chapters are more narrative than analytic, but read well. There are some pictures including shots of ballparks, players, owners, executives, and fans.

All in all it’s a good book for what it does. Don’t expect anything like a deep academic tome. This is a book for fans, not historians. It’s generally well written and explores the 1903 World Series, not American society in the era. I point this out because Masur is a history professor who apparently loves baseball and can leave his academic world to write for the general reader.

The book was published in 2003, in time for a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first World Series and is available online from several places. Enjoy.

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7 Responses to ““Autumn Glory”: A Review”

  1. Glen Says:

    Sounds good, V. If it’s available in the library, I might just check it out.

    By the way, I recommend a book that you might enjoy. I recommended it to you before. This book IS academic. Well, it’s certainly objective, anyway, and written in a sober and non-sentimental way. I have no time to check the facts in the book, so I’m assuming that they’re true. It’s called ‘The Dodgers Move West’. Don’t pay attention to the Amazon.com reviewers who say that the author is a Walter O’Malley apologist, or something like that, because if he were, I wouldn’t have gotten through the book. I DESPISE Walter O’Malley, but as a New Yawka, I despise Robert Moses just as much as O’Malley. (Just ask my father. Robert Moses ruined the neighborhood he grew up in, as well as the ENTIRE Bronx, in general, by putting the Cross-Bronx Expressway right through it), and he’s one of the three villains of the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn, according to this book. The other villain, according to the author, is Mayor Wagner, who kind of slept through the whole thing and made no real effort to keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn.

    http://www.amazon.com/Dodgers-Move-West-Neil-Sullivan/dp/0195059220

    Glen Russell Slater

  2. Glen Says:

    Thanks, V, and also I’m glad you liked the book.

    Yeah, I started a new blog. Haven’t actually PUT anything in it yet, though!

    Glen

  3. Gary Trujillo Says:

    I would recommend “Seasons in hell: With Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog and the worst baseball team in history,” by Mike Shropshire.
    Shropshire actually travels with the 73-75 Texas Rangers and the writing sort of has a Hunter S. Thompson feel with a bit of Ball Four thrown in for good measure. Definitely one of my top 5 favorite baseball books.

  4. wkkortas Says:

    Since we’re talking about baseball books, some suggestions/musings:

    –Ball Four, if for no other reason than no one seems to be ambivalent about the book. Folks seem to either hate it or love it.
    –A False Spring, by Pat Jordan. A trip through Jordan’s journey from phenom to has-been.
    –The Suitors of Spring, also by Jordan. Not as good as its predecessor, but sitll awfully damn good.
    –If you can find any of Bill James annuals from the 80s in your local library, read ’em.
    –If you frequent this blog, and you haven’t read The Glory of Their Times, I’m going to hunt you down and smack you.
    — Eight Men Out, ditto.
    –American Baseball, Volume 1: From Gentleman’s Sport to Commissioner’s System. A great and greatly detailed look at the game pre-Landis.

  5. Precious Sanders Says:

    Another book for the list! Thanks for the review

  6. William Miller Says:

    A little late to the party here, but I have to agree with W.K. that The Glory of Their Times is a book every baseball fan needs to read at least twice in their lifetime.
    I also recommend Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound With a Minor League Misfit, by Matt McCarthy. Humorous, well-written, and just a damned good story.
    Take care,
    Bill

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