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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.
Sundry Sports of Merry England
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.
Death Threats, the Veer Offense, and the Game of the Century
The Life of Leroy "Satchel" Paige
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.
Black Civil Rights and American College Football
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.
In this first synthetic, comprehensive survey of Japanese sports in English, the authors are attentive to the complex and fascinating interaction of traditional and modern elements. In the course of tracing the emergence and development of sumo, the martial arts, and other traditional sports from their origins to the present, they demonstrate that some cherished "ancient" traditions were, in fact, invented less than a century ago. They also register their skepticism about the use of the samurai tradition to explain Japan's success in sports. Special attention is given to Meiji-era Japan's frequently ambivalent adoption and adaptation of European and American sports--a particularly telling example of Japan's love-hate relationship with the West. The book goes on the describe the history of physical education in the school system, the emergence of amateur and professional leagues, the involvement of business and the media in sports promotion, and Japan's participation in the Olympics.
Judaism, Sports, and Athletics -SJC Vol. 23
For some, the connection between Jews and athletics might seem far-fetched. But in fact, as is highlighted by the fourteen chapters in this collection, Jews have been participating in—and thinking about—sports for more than two thousand years. The articles in this volume scan a wide chronological range: from the Hellenistic period (first century BCE) to the most recent basketball season. The range of athletes covered is equally broad: from participants in Roman-style games to wrestlers, boxers, fencers, baseball players, and basketball stars. The authors of these essays, many of whom actively participate in athletics themselves, raise a number of intriguing questions, such as: What differing attitudes toward sports have Jews exhibited across periods and cultures? Is it possible to be a “good Jew” and a “great athlete”? In what sports have Jews excelled, and why? How have Jews overcome prejudices on the part of the general populace against a Jewish presence on the field or in the ring? In what ways has Jewish participation in sports aided, or failed to aid, the perception of Jews as “good Germans,” “good Hungarians,” “good Americans,” and so forth? This volume, which features a number of illustrations (many of them quite rare), is not only accessible to the general reader, but also contains much information of interest to the scholar in Jewish studies, American studies, and sports history.
The Most Successful Coach in NCAA History
When John McDonnell began his coaching career in 1972 at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville—choosing it over Norman, Oklahoma, because Fayetteville reminded him of his native Ireland—he could hardly have imagined that he would become the most successful coach in the history of American collegiate athletics. But, in thirty-six years at the university, he amassed a staggering resume of accomplishments, including forty national championships (eleven cross country, nineteen indoor track, and ten outdoor track), the most by any coach in any sport in NCAA history. His teams at Arkansas won the triple crown (a championship in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track in a single school year) five times. The Razorbacks also won eighty-four conference championships (thirty-eight in the Southwest Conference and forty-six in the Southeastern Conference), including thirty-four consecutive conference championships in cross country from 1974 to 2008. McDonnell coached 185 All Americans, fifty-four individual national champions, and twenty-three Olympians. And from 1984 to 1995, his Razorback teams won twelve consecutive NCAA Indoor Track Championships, the longest streak of national titles by any school in any sport in NCAA history. This new biography tells the story of the great coach’s life and legacy, from his childhood growing up on a farm in 1940s County Mayo, Ireland, to his own running career, to the beginnings of his life as a coach, to all the great athletes he mentored along the way.