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Golf in America

George B Kirsch

In this concise social history of golf in the United States from the 1880s to the present, George B. Kirsch tracks the surprising growth of golf as a popular, mainstream sport, in contrast to the stereotype of golf as a pastime enjoyed only by the rich elite. In addition to classic heroes such as Francis Ouiment, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, and Ben Hogan, the annals of golf's early history also include African American players--John Shippen Jr., Ted Rhodes, and Charlie Sifford--as well as both white and black female players such as Mildred Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Louise Suggs, Betsy Rawls, Ann Gregory, and former tennis champ Althea Gibson. Golf in America tells the stories of these and many other players from different social classes, ethnic backgrounds, races, and genders. Examining golf's recent history, Golf in America looks at the impact of television and the rivalry between Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, both of whom in 1996 were impressed by an upstart named Eldrick Tiger Woods. Kirsch also highlights the history of public golf courses in the United States, from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to Boston's Franklin Park, Chicago's Jackson Park, and other municipal and semiprivate courses that have gone relatively unnoticed in the sport's history. Illustrated with nearly two dozen photographs, this book shows that golf in America has always reflected a democratic spirit, evolving into a sport that now rivals baseball for the honor of being acclaimed America's national pastime.

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The Great Eight

The 1975 Cincinnati Reds

Mark Armour

The 1975 Cincinnati Reds, also known as the “Big Red Machine,” are not just one of the most memorable teams in baseball history—they are unforgettable. While the Reds dominated the National League from 1972 to 1976, it was the ’75 team that surpassed them all, winning 108 games and beating the Boston Red Sox in a thrilling 7-game World Series. Led by Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, the team’s roster included other legends such as Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Pérez, Ken Griffey Sr., and Dave Concepción. The 1975 Reds were notably disciplined and clean-cut, which distinguished them from the increasingly individualistic players of the day.
 
The Great Eight commemorates the people and events surrounding this outstanding baseball team with essays on team management and key aspects and highlights of the season, including Pete Rose’s famous position change. This volume gives Reds fans complete biographies of all the team’s players, relives the enthralling 1975 season, and celebrates a team that is consistently ranked as one of the best teams in baseball history.
 

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Greatness in the Shadows

Larry Doby and the Integration of the American League

Douglas M. Branson

Just weeks after Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, Larry Doby joined Robinson in breaking the color barrier in the major leagues when he became the first black player to integrate the American League, signing with the Cleveland Indians in July 1947. Doby went on to be a seven-time All-Star center fielder who led the Indians to two pennants. In many respects Robinson and Doby were equals in their baseball talent and experiences and had remarkably similar playing careers: both were well-educated, well-spoken World War II veterans and both had played spectacularly, albeit briefly, in the Negro Leagues. Like Robinson, Doby suffered brickbats, knock-down pitches, spit in his face, and other forms of abuse and discrimination. Doby was also a pioneering manager, becoming the second black manager after Frank Robinson.

Well into the 1950s Doby was the only African American All-Star in the American League during a period in which fifteen black players became National League All-Stars. Why is Doby largely forgotten as a central figure in baseball’s integration? Why has he not been accorded his rightful place in baseball history? Greatness in the Shadows attempts to answer these questions, bringing Doby’s story to life and sharing his achievements and firsts with a new generation.

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Greek Sport and Social Status

By Mark Golden

A noted authority on ancient sport discusses various ways in which the ancient Greeks, as well as people today, used sports to achieve social status.

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The Hidden History of Capoeira

A Collision of Cultures in the Brazilian Battle Dance

By Maya Talmon-Chvaicer

A richly researched historical and cultural study of capoeira, the Brazilian martial art/dance that is spreading around the world.

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Hillside Fields

A History of Sports in West Virginia

written by Bob Barnett

West Virginia’s championship teams at WVU and Marshall and athletic superstars like Jerry West and Mary Lou Retton are familiar to all, but few know the untold story of sports in the Mountain State. Hillside Fields: A History of Sports in West Virginia chronicles the famous athletic triumphs and heart-breaking losses of local heroes and legendary teams, recording the titanic struggles of a small state competing alongside larger rivals.
Hillside Fields
provides a broad view of the development of sports in West Virginia, from one of the first golf clubs in America at Oakhurst Links to the Greenbrier Classic; from the first girls basketball championship in 1919 to post Title IX; from racially segregated sports to integrated teams; and from the days when West Virginia Wesleyan and Davis & Elkins beat the big boys in football to the championship teams at WVU, Marshall, West Virginia State and West Liberty.
Hillside Fields
explains how major national trends and events, as well as West Virginia’s economic, political, and demographic conditions, influenced the development of sports in the state. The story of the growth of sports in West Virginia is also a story of the tribulations, hopes, values and triumphs of a proud people.

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Home Run

The Definitive History of Baseball's Ultimate Weapon

Vincent, David

The home run is indeed baseball's ultimate weapon. It can change a game in a heartbeat, making a tight game into a blowout or a seemingly easy win into a nail-biter. Homers are majestic, powerful, and awe inspiring. And sluggers are the sport's biggest stars, from the days of Babe Ruth through Barry Bonds.

David Vincent, called The Sultan of Swat Stats by ESPN, delves into the long history of the home run with great detail and color. He starts when the rules of the game were highly unstable and sometimes the definition of a home run could change in a park from year to year; follows through the Deadball Era, when the home run was rare; explores the explosion Babe Ruth brought to baseball in the 1920s; discusses how both world wars affected homer statistics; looks at great home run races such as Maris versus Mantle in 1961; assesses the effects of the juiced ball, juiced players, thin air, and smaller ballparks; and so much more.

If there is something to know about home run history, look to David Vincent for the answer-Major League Baseball does. With Home Run: The Definitive History of Baseball's Ultimate Weapon, now you can know it too. A 1990s Nike commercial proclaimed that chicks dig the long ball. In this thorough and colorful look at baseball's ultimate weapon, David Vincent shows you why.

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Hounds in the Morning

Sundry Sports of Merry England

edited by Carl B. Cone

Across the rolling countryside of Regency England sound the call of the horn and the chorus of hounds, as huntsmen, hounds, and horses tear across fields and leap fencerows in ardent pursuit of Reynard.

In a field outside London, two brawny men strip to the waist and prepare to batter each other to a pulp for the pleasure of the Fancy -- the hundreds of boxing fans who have ridden from all over England to see and bet on the illegal match.

And through the streets of a country town, the lads rough-and-tumble in a wildly joyous game of football, while the populace cheers and the shopkeepers board up their windows.

Such were the sights and sounds of the sporting life of England a hundred and fifty years ago. This sparkling collection of articles from the Sporting Magazine, dating from 1792 to 1836, attests to the vigor and variety of English sports in that era. The equestrian sports of fox and stag hunting, thoroughbred racing, and coaching were largely the passion of the landed classes, while all ranks of the populace relished bloody contests that set man against man or animal against animal -- boxing, cock fighting, bull baiting, rat killing. Throughout the land, team sports such as football and cricket, along with such individual activities as pedestrianism, shooting, archery, and skating, allowed men and women of all walks of life to test their muscles, their endurance, and their nerve.

All these people and events filled the pages of the Sporting Magazine, the first periodical devoted exclusively to sports. Carl Cone provides a historical framework for these lively accounts by the first sport journalists. In addition, more than fifty engravings from the heyday of sporting art illustrate the exuberance of the time.

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Houston Cougars in the 1960s

Death Threats, the Veer Offense, and the Game of the Century

Robert D. Jacobus

On January 20, 1968, the University of Houston Cougars upset the UCLA Bruins, ending a 47-game winning streak. Billed as the “Game of the Century,” the defeat of the UCLA hoopsters was witnessed by 52,693 fans and a national television audience—the first-ever regular-season game broadcast nationally.
But the game would never have happened if Houston coach Guy Lewis had not recruited two young black men from Louisiana in 1964: Don Chaney and Elvin Hayes. Despite facing hostility both at home and on the road, Chaney and Hayes led the Cougars basketball team to 32 straight victories.
Similarly in Cougar football, coach Bill Yeoman recruited Warren McVea in 1964, and by 1967 McVea had helped the Houston gridiron program lead the nation in total offense.
Houston Cougars in the 1960s features the first-person accounts of the players, the coaches, and others involved in the integration of collegiate athletics in Houston, telling the gripping story of the visionary coaches, the courageous athletes, and the committed supporters who blazed a trail not only for athletic success but also for racial equality in 1960s Houston.

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"If You Were Only White"

The Life of Leroy "Satchel" Paige

Donald Spivey

       
               “If You Were Only White” explores the legacy of one of the most exceptional athletes ever—an entertainer extraordinaire, a daring showman and crowd-pleaser, a wizard with a baseball whose artistry and antics on the mound brought fans out in the thousands to ballparks across the country. Leroy “Satchel” Paige was arguably one of the world’s greatest pitchers and a premier star of Negro Leagues Baseball. But in this biography Donald Spivey reveals Paige to have been much more than just a blazing fastball pitcher.

 

            Spivey follows Paige from his birth in Alabama in 1906 to his death in Kansas City in 1982, detailing the challenges Paige faced battling the color line in America and recounting his tests and triumphs in baseball. He also opens up Paige’s private life during and after his playing days, introducing readers to the man who extended his social, cultural, and political reach beyond the limitations associated with his humble background and upbringing. This other Paige was a gifted public speaker, a talented musician and singer, an excellent cook, and a passionate outdoorsman, among other things.  

 

            Paige’s life intertwined with many of the most important issues of the times in U.S. and AfricanAmerican history, including the continuation of the New Negro Movement and the struggle for civil rights. Spivey incorporates interviews with former teammates conducted over twelve years, as well as exclusive interviews with Paige’s son Robert, daughter Pamela, Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe, and John “Buck” O’Neil to tell the story of a pioneer who helped transform America through the nation’s favorite pastime.  

 

            Maintaining an image somewhere between Joe Louis’s public humility and the flamboyant aggression of Jack Johnson, Paige pushed the boundaries of segregation and bridged the racial divide with stellar pitching packaged with slapstick humor. He entertained as he played to win and saw no contradiction in doing so. Game after game, his performance refuted the lie that black baseball was inferior to white baseball. His was a contribution to civil rights of a different kind—his speeches and demonstrations expressed through his performance on the mound.

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