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The Great Eight Cover

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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.
 

Greek Sport and Social Status Cover

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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.

The Hidden History of Capoeira Cover

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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.

Hillside Fields Cover

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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.

Home Run Cover

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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.

Hounds in the Morning Cover

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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.

Houston Cougars in the 1960s Cover

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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.

In Rare Form Cover

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In Rare Form

A Pictorial History of Baseball Evangelist Billy Sunday

From 1896 to 1935, the flamboyant and controversial Billy Sunday preached his version of the gospel to millions of people across the nation. In this nontraditional biography of the man regarded by his enthralled fans as God's unconventional messenger to a sinful world, the curator of the Billy Sunday Historic Site Museum recreates Sunday's life through a material culture lens. W. A. Firstenberger views the photographic record and the print record as well as the landscape, structure, and contents of the Sunday home in Winona Lake, Indiana, to give us an intimate view of Sunday and his family. Through an organizational scheme that incorporates memorabilia from childhood (samplers, Civil War badges), baseball (Billy's 1891 Philadelphia contract, scorecards), evangelism (cartoons, books such as Monkeys and Missing Links), social issues (KKK ads endorsing Sunday, his Women's Christian Temperance life membership certificate), life style (Arts and Crafts decorative pieces, extensive photos of the family's Mount Hood bungalow), and family relations (his personal possessions and those of his wife, Nell, and their children), In Rare Form brings together the inconsistencies between Sunday's material world and his spiritual world. Since Sunday might have objected to a materialistic analysis of his life, Firstenberger has allowed him a say: each section of the book begins with an apt quote from Sunday's sermons and writings. Firstenberger also includes appendixes providing detailed information on Sunday's revivals and speaking appearances, his 870,075 documented converts, the members of his evangelistic team, the overall structure of his family, and an extensive bibliography. Acknowledging Sunday's faults and contradictions alongside his heroic accomplishments, the author presents a wryly insightful and innovative perspective on this larger-than-life figure.

Integrating the Gridiron Cover

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Integrating the Gridiron

Black Civil Rights and American College Football

Lane Demas

Integrating the Gridiron, devoted to exploring the racial politics of college athletics, examines the history of African Americans on predominantly white college football teams from the nineteenth century through today. Lane Demas compares the acceptance and treatment of black student athletes by presenting compelling case studies of those who integrated teams nationwide, and illuminates race relations in a number of regions, including the South, Midwest, West Coast, and Northeast.

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