The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball

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Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005 - 241 Seiten
With his regular contributions to "Sports Illustrated and National Public Radio's "Morning Edition. Frank Deford is, in the words of "The Sporting News. "the most influential sports voice among members of the American print media." In "The Old Ball Game, America's most beloved sports-writer does a masterful job of chronicling the early days of America's most beloved pastime. At the turn of the twentieth century, every American man wanted to be Christy Mathewson. One of baseball's first superstars, he was over six feet tall, clean-cut, college educated (at a time when only 6 percent of Americans had finished high school), didn't pitch on the Sabbath, and rarely spoke a negative word about anyone. He also had one of the most devastating arms in all of baseball. New York Giants manager John McGraw, by contrast, was ferocious. Nicknamed "the Little Napoleon." the pugnacious tough guy had been a star baseball player who, with the Baltimore Orioles, helped develop the hit-and-run, the "Baltimore chop," and the squeeze play. When McGraw joined the Giants in 1902, the Giants were coming off their worst season ever. Yet within three years, Mathewson clinched New York City's first World Series title by throwing three straight shutouts over six days, an incredible feat that has never been surpassed by any pitcher since and is often called the greatest World Series performance ever. Both men came to the Giants at that moment when New York itself was becoming the first city of the world--a rambunctious metropolis second only to London in population. Baseball was, likewise, quickly becoming America's game. This was when the sport was still in its reckless infancy, when groundskeepers would doctorfoul lines and outfielders would hide baseballs in ankle-deep weeds in case they couldn't find the ball in play. Mathewson and McGraw helped bring baseball into the modern era by refining the sport's tactics. Because of their association, baseball had its first superstar, the Giants ascended into legend, and baseball as a national pastime bloomed.

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LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - BooksForDinner - LibraryThing

Deford tries a bit hard to cop the vibe of the early 1900's at some points, writing a bit too much in that style, but an overall solid effort. Vollständige Rezension lesen

THE OLD BALL GAME: How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball

Nutzerbericht  - Kirkus

One of our more melodious sportswriters details the importance of Mathewson and McGraw in raising baseball to the status of a national pastime.As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, baseball was ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Über den Autor (2005)

Benjamin Franklin Deford III was born in Baltimore, Maryland on December 16, 1938. He graduated from Princeton University in 1962. He began his career at Sports Illustrated as a researcher. He wrote for Sports Illustrated for more than 30 years, appeared on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel for 22 years, and gave 1,656 weekly commentaries for NPR's Morning Edition. He was a six-time Sportswriter of the Year, a National Magazine Award recipient, a member of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame, and the first sportswriter to be given a National Humanities Medal. He wrote both fiction and nonfiction books including two memoirs entitled Alex: The Life of a Child and Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter. He died on May 28, 2017 at the age of 78.

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