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Blackout Cover

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Blackout

The Untold Story of Jackie Robinson's First Spring Training

Chris Lamb

In the spring of 1946, following the defeat of Hitler’s Germany, America found itself still struggling with the subtler but no less insidious tyrannies of racism and segregation at home. In the midst of it all, Jackie Robinson, a full year away from breaking major league baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, was undergoing a harrowing dress rehearsal for integration—his first spring training as a minor league prospect with the Montreal Royals, Brooklyn’s AAA team. In Blackout, Chris Lamb tells what happened during these six weeks in segregated Florida—six weeks that would become a critical juncture for the national pastime and for an American society on the threshold of a civil rights revolution.

Blackout chronicles Robinson’s tremendous ordeal during that crucial spring training—how he struggled on the field and off. The restaurants and hotels that welcomed his white teammates were closed to him, and in one city after another he was prohibited from taking the field. Steeping his story in its complex cultural context, Lamb describes Robinson’s determination and anxiety, the reaction of the black and white communities to his appearance, and the unique and influential role of the press—mainstream reporting, the alternative black weeklies, and the Communist Daily Worker—in the integration of baseball. Told here in detail for the first time, this story brilliantly encapsulates the larger history of a man, a sport, and a nation on the verge of great and enduring change.

Brand NFL, Pbk Ed. Cover

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Brand NFL, Pbk Ed.

Paperback edition, With a new preface by the author — Making and Selling America's Favorite Sport

Michael Oriard

Professional football today is an $8 billion sports entertainment industry--and the most popular spectator sport in America, with designs on expansion across the globe. In this astute field-level view of the National Football League since 1960, Michael Oriard looks closely at the development of the sport and at the image of the NFL and its unique place in American life. New to the paperback edition is Oriard's analysis of the offseason labor negotiations and their potential effects on the future of the sport, and his account of how the NFL is dealing with the latest research on concussions and head injuries.

Breaking Through Cover

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Breaking Through

John B. McLendon, Basketball Legend and Civil Rights Pioneer

John B. McLendon was the last living protégé of basketball’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith, and one of the “top ten basketball coaches of the century” in Billy Packer’s opinion. McLendon’s amazing records in college and pro basketball earned him a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame (the first black coach to be inducted), and his coaching philosophy has had a huge influence on basketball coaches. Breaking Through is also a powerful and inspirational story about segregation and a champion’s struggle for equality in 1940s and 50s America.

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The Brooklyn Cyclones

Hardball Dreams and the New Coney Island

Ben Osborne

When professional baseball returned to Brooklyn in 2001, fans were jubilant and the media swarmed. After losing the Brooklyn Dodgers to California 44 years ago, Brooklyn baseball fans could once again claim a team of their own: the Cyclones, a Class A affiliate of the New York Mets.

The Brooklyn Cyclones: Hardball Dreams and the New Coney Island recounts that first season of the Cyclones. From the construction of the incredible Keyspan Park at Coney Island to their improbable successes on the field, Ben Osborne tells the story of the Cyclones' delicate first year of operation. We see the story up close and personal through the eyes of two very different young men. The first is Anthony Otero, who was raised in a Coney Island housing project and loves baseball, but has never seen a game in person until the Cyclones land in his neighborhood. The second is Brett Kay, a young man from California who has never been to New York, until he becomes the catcher for the Brooklyn Cyclones.

From the plans of politicians like Rudy Giuliani and Howard Golden, to the poverty of Coney Island's citizens, The Brooklyn Cyclones reveals the stories behind the headlines to show that the reality of creating a new sports team often involves broken promises and shattered dreams. Osborne includes chapters on the Cyclones' rivalry with the Staten Island Yankees, the Cyclones' chances of capturing the New York-Penn League title, and an epilogue updating Kay's, Otero's, and the Cyclones' progress through the 2003 season.

Ultimately, Ben Osborne shows how, for these two young men, the Brooklyn Cyclones created dreams the same way the Brooklyn Dodgers allowed the boys of Flatbush to dream about one day playing in the Big Leagues.

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The Brothers Hogan

A Fort Worth History

Jacqueline Hogan Towery

The Brothers Hogan: A Fort Worth History is a unique family portrait of one of golf’s greatest legends. Lavishly illustrated with never-before-seen family photos, The Brothers Hogan follows the lives of Ben Hogan, winner of sixty-eight tournaments and nine major championships, and his brother Royal, who climbed the ranks of top amateur golfers even as his brother Ben became one of golf’s most successful pros.

Narrated by Royal’s daughter Jacque, Ben’s niece, this revealing biography not only tells the story of Ben’s and Royal’s remarkable careers but also sets the record straight on the shocking suicide of the boys’ father, on Ben’s strained relationship with his wife Valerie, on the car crash that nearly ended Ben’s career, and on scores of details that have been misconstrued in earlier accounts.

The rise of Colonial Country Club and its legendary course—forever nicknamed “Hogan’s Alley”—and the rise of modern Fort Worth are part of the narrative as the Hogan boys and their city grew up together. Major Fort Worth leaders such as Tex Moncrief, Amon Carter, and  Marvin Leonard, the visionary who built both the Colonial and Shady Oaks courses, figure prominently in the book.

Champion of the Barrio Cover

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Champion of the Barrio

The Legacy of Coach Buryl Baty

R. Gaines Baty

Buryl Baty (1924–1954) was a winning athlete, coach, builder of men, and an early pioneer in the fight against bigotry. In 1950, Baty became head football coach at Bowie High School in El Paso and quickly inspired his athletes, all Mexican Americans from the Segundo Barrio, with his winning ways and his personal stand against the era’s extreme, deep-seated bigotry—to which they were subjected.

However, just as the team was in a position to win a third district title in 1954, they were jolted by an unthinkable tragedy that turned their world upside down. Later, as mature adults, these players realized that Coach Baty had helped mold them into honorable and successful men, and forty-four years after the coach’s death, they dedicated their high school stadium in his name.

In 2013, Baty was inducted posthumously into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame.

In this poignant memoir, R. Gaines Baty also describes his own journey to get to know his father. Coach Baty’s life story is portrayed from the perspectives of nearly one hundred individuals who knew him, in addition to many documented facts and news reports.

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Cheating the Spread

Gamblers, Point Shavers, and Game Fixers in College Football and Basketball

Albert J. Figone

Delving into the history of gambling and corruption in intercollegiate sports, Cheating the Spread recounts all of the major gambling scandals in college football and basketball. Digging through court records, newspapers, government documents, and university archives and conducting private interviews, Albert J. Figone finds that game rigging has been pervasive and nationwide throughout most of the sports' history._x000B__x000B_Naming the players, coaches, gamblers, and go-betweens involved, Figone discusses numerous college basketball and football games reported to have been fixed and describes the various methods used to gain unfair advantage, inside information, or undue profit. His survey of college football includes early years of gambling on games between established schools such as Yale, Princeton, and Harvard; Notre Dame's All-American halfback and skilled gambler George Gipp; and the 1962 allegations of insider information between Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and former Georgia coach James Wallace "Wally" Butts; and many other recent incidents. Notable events in basketball include the 1951 scandal involving City College of New York and six other schools throughout the East Coast and the Midwest; the 1961 point-shaving incident that put a permanent end to the Dixie Classic tournament; the 1994-95 Northwestern scandal in which players bet against their own team; and other recent examples of compromised gameplay and gambling. _x000B_

Chuck Taylor, All Star Cover

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Chuck Taylor, All Star

The True Story of the Man behind the Most Famous Athletic Shoe in History

Abraham Aamidor. Foreword by Dean Smith

His is the name on the label of the legendary Converse All-Star basketball shoe. Though the shoe has been worn by hundreds of millions, few, if any, know a thing about the man behind the name. Some even believe that there is no such person, that he is a marketer's fabrication like Betty Crocker. But "Chuck Taylor" was more than a rubber-soled, double-wall canvas-body shoe with a circular ankle patch, with a bright blue star in the middle and a signature across it. He may not have been a Michael Jordan, but Chuck Taylor did earn the right to be the face behind the most popular shoe in basketball.

For this first-ever biography, Abraham Aamidor went on a three-year quest to learn the true story of Chuck Taylor. The search took him across the country, tracking down leads, and separating truth from legend -- discovering that the truth, warts and all, was much more interesting than the myth. He found Chuck involved with "industrial league" basketball in the 1920s, working as a wartime coach with the Army Air Force, and organizing clinic after clinic. He was a true "ambassador of basketball" in Europe and South America as well as all over the United States. And he was, to be sure, a consummate marketing genius. He was elected to the Sporting Goods Hall of Fame before his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. This biography makes it clear that he belongs in both.

Citizens and Sportsmen Cover

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Citizens and Sportsmen

Fútbol and Politics in Twentieth-Century Chile

By Brenda Elsey

This pioneering study of amateur fútbol (soccer) clubs in Chile reveals how the world’s most popular sport has served to engage citizens in local and national politics and support democratic practices.

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College Rodeo

From Show to Sport

By Sylvia Gann Mahoney; Foreword by Tuff Hedeman

Guts and glory, bulls and barrel racing, spurs and scars are all part of rodeo, a sport of epic legends. Cowboys and cowgirls use brain and brawn to contend for prizes and placement, but more often than not, it is the prestige of honorable competition that spurs them on. College Rodeo covers the history of the sport on college campuses from the first organized contest in 1920 to the national championship of 2003. In the early years of the twentieth century, a growing number of kids from farms and ranches attended college, many choosing the land grant institutions that allowed them to prepare for agricultural careers back home. They brought with them a love for the skills, challenges, and competition they had known—a taste for rodeo. The first-ever college rodeo was held at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. It offered bronco busting, goat roping, saddle racing, polo, a greased pig contest, and country ballads from a quartet. The rodeo was a fund-raising effort that grew enormously popular; by its third year, the rodeo at Texas A&M drew some fifteen hundred people. The idea spread to other campuses, and nineteen years later, the first intercollegiate rodeo with eleven colleges and universities competing was held in 1939 at the ranch arena of an entrepreneur near Victorville, California. Seldom does a college sport exist for eighty years without having a book written about it, but college rodeo has. Sylvia Gann Mahoney has written the first history of the sport, tracing its growth parallel to the development of professional rodeo and the growth of the organizational structure that governs college rodeo. Mahoney draws on personal interviews as well as the archives of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and newspaper accounts from participating schools and their hometowns. Mahoney chronicles the events, profiles winners, and analyzes the organizational efforts that have contributed to the colorful history of college rodeo. She traces the changing role of women, noting their victories that were ignored by much of the contemporary press in the early days of the sport. College Rodeo highlights outstanding individuals through extensive interviews, giving credit to the pioneers of college rodeo. This book includes rare photographs of rodeo teams, champions, and rodeo queens, blended with the true life details of sweat and tears that make intercollegiate rodeo such a popular sport.

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