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African American Athletes and Cold War Politics
Throughout the Cold War, the Soviet Union deplored the treatment of African Americans by the U.S. government as proof of hypocrisy in the American promises of freedom and equality. This probing history examines government attempts to manipulate international perceptions of U.S. race relations during the Cold War by sending African American athletes abroad on goodwill tours and in international competitions as cultural ambassadors and visible symbols of American values._x000B__x000B_Damion L. Thomas follows the State Department's efforts from 1945 to 1968 to showcase prosperous African American athletes including Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens, and the Harlem Globetrotters as the preeminent citizens of the African Diaspora rather than as victims of racial oppression. With athletes in baseball, track and field, and basketball, the government relied on figures whose fame carried the desired message to countries where English was little understood. However, eventually African American athletes began to provide counter-narratives to State Department claims of American exceptionalism, most notably with Tommie Smith and John Carlos's famous black power salute at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics._x000B_
In the three decades between 1920 and 1950, the Detroit Tigers won four American League pennants, the first world championship in team history in 1935, and a second world crown ten years later. Star players of this era—including Ty Cobb, Harry Heilmann, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Mickey Cochrane, George Kell, and Hal Newhouser—represent the majority of Tigers players inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sports writers followed the team feverishly, and fans packed Navin Field (later Briggs Stadium) to cheer on the high-flying Tigers, with the first record season attendance of one million recorded in 1924 and surpassed eight more times before 1950. In The Glory Years of the Detroit Tigers: 1920–1950, author William M. Anderson combines historical narrative and photographs of these years to argue that these years were the greatest in the history of the franchise. Anderson presents over 350 unique and lively images, mostly culled from the remarkable Detroit News archive, that showcase players’ personalities as well as their exploits on the field. For their meticulous coverage and colorful style, Anderson consults Tigers reporting from the three daily Detroit newspapers of the era (the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, and Detroit Times) and the Sporting News, which was known then as the “Baseball Bible.” Some especially compelling columns are reproduced intact to give readers a feel for the exciting and careful reporting of these years. Anderson combines historical text with photos in six topical chapters: “Spring Training: When Dreams are Entertained,” “Franchise Stars,” “The Supporting Cast,” “Moments of Glory and Notable Games,” “The War Years,” and “The Old Ballpark: Where Legends and Memories Were Made.” Anderson presents sketches of many fine players who have been overlooked in other histories and visits characters who often acted in strange ways: Dizzy Trout, Gee Walker, Elwood “Boots” “The Baron” Poffenbeger, and Louis “Bobo” “Buck” Newsom. Tigers fans and anyone interested in local sports culture will enjoy this comprehensive and compelling look into the glory years of Tigers history.
The Irish Olympic Journey, 1896-1924
The book focuses on the Irish and Irish diasporal involvement in the Olympic Games. It discusses in detail the sporting involvement but, even more so, the political and national battles which accompanied the Irish Olympic journey prior to independence. It challenges our traditional perceptions of sporting nationalism and places the Irish story in a quite unique international context, showing how decisions made in London, Lausanne and New York had a profound impact on the Irish sporting, and national, destiny.
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.
The 1975 Cincinnati Reds
Larry Doby and the Integration of the American League
A History of Sports in West Virginia
The Definitive History of Baseball's Ultimate Weapon
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.