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cloth 1-56639-638-7 $36.95, Sep 98, Out of Stock Unavailable
521 pp 7x10 26 tables
Nominee, Seymour Medal, 1999
"No one knows, understands, and interprets the history of major-league baseball so well as Leonard Koppett. He is a student of the game, and of most other aspects of life, and he knows how the one fits into the other. He also knows how to research, how to report, and how to write. He is perfectly equipped to write a rich, readable and reasonable history of the game."
Dick Schaap, ABC News
Koppett's Concise History provides an overview and explanation of all the major events and personalities that made baseball America's national game.
As early as the 1880s, many basic baseball strategies-pitching high and tight or low and away; first basemen lining up well wide of the base they were "covering"; throwing breaking balls and change-ups; bunting as well as swinging away-were already in use. But the history of the game is a story of changes that have been controversial for fans and players.
Leonard Koppett takes the reader through the long-standing back-and-forth over the balance between offense and defense-dead balls versus lively balls, changes in the strike zone and mound height, and arguments about competitive balance among teams in different eras. He explores the controversies over the introduction of night baseball, radio and TV broadcasting, the farm system, domed stadiums, the expansion draft to create ten-team leagues, divisional play-offs, franchise moves to new cities, and interleague play.
How baseball as business affects the nature of the game is an issue throughout the book. Whether he's talking about free agency, strike actions, or the policies of different commissioners and owners, Koppett is never afraid to say whose interests are being served.
A major portion of each chapter is devoted to Koppett's lively narratives of the shape and significance of each season from 1892 through 1995. On each point, Koppett has the facts, the stories, and an opinion
about what works for the game and what doesn't.
Introduction: The Premise
Part I: Origins
2. The National Association
Part II: The League
4. Two Leagues
The Union Association
5. The Revolt of the Players
The Brotherhood Seasons 1890-91
6. The Monopoly
Part III: The Majors
The World Series Ball Parks Gambling The Doubleday Myth Outlaw Leagues and Player Relations Seasons 1903-12
9. The Feds
10. Real War
11. The Blowup
Part IV: The Golden Age
12. Lively Ball Baseball
Selling the Offense New Owners Seasons 1922-25
13. The Commissioner
14. Boom and Bust
Hard Times The Farm System Yankees and A’s Seasons 1929-33
15. An Age of Glory
The New Stars Radio Lights The Hall of Fame Farm Systems and Administration "Break Up the Yankees!" Seasons 1934-41
Part V: A Changing World
16. Wartime Baseball
17. The Stars Are Back-and on TV!
Integration Commissioner Chandler The Mexican League Antitrust Unionization Ford Frick Attendance Television and Radio Farm Systems Veeck as in Wreck The Pacific Coast League Radio and the Minors A New Yankee Dynasty Boston to Milwaukee Bonus Players Seasons 1946-52
The Moves The Frick Administration The New New Stars The Minors Seasons 1953-57
The Continental League The Alternative Seasons 1958-60
Part VI: Expansion
20. Ten-Team Leagues
Demographics The New Teams The New Parks The New Commissioners The New Schedule The New Rules The New Players Association Seasons 1961-68
21. Divisions and Play-Offs
An Active Commissioner An Active Union The Flood Case An Active Scene Seasons 1969-72
Part VII: The New Age
22. Free Agency
The Designated Hitter Arbitration More Teams The New Reserve System Finley versus Kuhn Progress Seasons 1973-80
23. Strike Two
The Rest of the 1981 Season
24. Rolling in Money
Commissioner Turnover The Labor Front Drugs Ownership Turnover Seasons 1982-92
25. Strike Three
1993: Averting Disaster 1994: Disaster 1995: Picking Up the Pieces Denouement
Afterword: The Summation
A. Commissioners and League Presidents
C. Club Sales
E. Competitive Balance
F. Offensive Eras
H. The Designated Hitter
I. Ball Parks
J. Player Awards
K. Why "Pitching Is the Name of the Game"
Leonard Koppett has been writing about baseball since the 1940s (his earliest memories include seeing Babe Ruth hit and John McGraw manage) for the New York City newspapers, the San Francisco Bay Area newspapers, and the Sporting News. He is the author of half a dozen baseball books, including The Man in the Dugout (Temple). Koppett is the only sportswriter named to the writers' wing of both the baseball and basketball Halls of Fame.
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