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Marvin Miller, Baseball Revolutionary Cover

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Marvin Miller, Baseball Revolutionary

Robert F. Burk

Marvin Miller changed major league baseball and the business of sports. Drawing on research and interviews with Miller and others, Marvin Miller, Baseball Revolutionary offers the first biography covering the pivotal labor leader's entire life and career. Baseball historian Robert F. Burk follows Miller's formative encounters with Depression-era hard times, racial and religious bigotry, and bare-knuckle Washington politics to a successful career in labor that prepared Miller for his biggest professional challenge--running the moribund Major League Baseball Players Association. Educating and uniting the players as a workforce, Miller embarked on a long campaign to win the concessions that defined his legacy: decent workplace conditions, a pension system, outside mediation of player grievances and salary disputes, a system of profit sharing, and the long-sought dismantling of the reserve clause that opened the door to free agency. Through it all, allies and adversaries alike praised Miller's hardnosed attitude, work ethic, and honesty. Comprehensive and illuminating, Marvin Miller, Baseball Revolutionary tells the inside story of a time of change in sports and labor relations, and of the contentious process that gave athletes in baseball and across the sporting world a powerful voice in their own games.

Mexican Americans and Sports Cover

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Mexican Americans and Sports

A Reader on Athletics and Barrio Life

Edited by Jorge Iber and Samuel O. Regalado

For at least a century, across the United States, Mexican American athletes have actively participated in community-based, interscholastic, and professional sports. The people of the ranchos and the barrios have used sport for recreation, leisure, and community bonding. Until now, though, relatively few historians have focused on the sports participation of Latinos, including the numerically preponderant Mexican Americans. This volume gathers an important collection of such studies, arranged in rough chronological order, spanning the period from the late 1920s through the present. They survey and analyze sporting experiences and organizations, as well as their impact on communal and individual lives. Contributions spotlight diverse fields of athletic endeavor: baseball, football, soccer, boxing, track, and softball. Mexican Americans and Sports contributes to the emerging understanding of the value of sport to minority populations in communities throughout the United States. Those interested in sports history will benefit from the book’s focus on under-studied Mexican American participation, and those interested in Mexican American history will welcome the insight into this aspect of the group’s social history.

Moonfixer Cover

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The Basketball Journey of Earl Lloyd

Earl Lloyd and Sean Kirst

In 1950, future Hall of Famer Earl Lloyd became the first African American to play in a National Basketball Association game. A warm and gracious man, widely loved and respected, Lloyd has lived what he describes as an "incredible journey" and has spent eighty years gathering passionate lessons from that experience. He was born in Virginia, a state he describes as "the cradle of segregation," only sixty-two years after the end of the Civil War. Nicknamed "Moonfixer" in college, Lloyd led West Virginia State to two CIAA Conference and Tournament Championships and was named All-American twice. One of three African Americans to enter the NBA at that time, Lloyd played seven games for the Washington Capitals before the team folded. He joined the Syracuse Nationals for six seasons and later played for the Detroit Pistons before he retired in 1961. Throughout his career, he quietly endured the overwhelming slights and exclusions that went with being black in America. Yet he has also lived to see basketball—a demonstration of art, power, and pride—become the black national pastime and to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama. In a series of extraordinary conversations with Sean Kirst, Lloyd reveals his fierce determination to succeed, his frustration with the plight of many young black men, and his sincere desire for the nation to achieve true equality among its citizens.

Muhammad Ali Cover

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Muhammad Ali

The Making of an Icon

Michael Ezra

Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) has always engendered an emotional reaction from the public. From his appearance as an Olympic champion to his iconic status as a national hero, his carefully constructed image and controversial persona has always been intensely scrutinized. In Muhammad Ali, Michael Ezra considers the boxer who calls himself “The Greatest” from a new perspective. He writes about Ali’s pre-championship bouts, the management of his career and his current legacy, exploring the promotional aspects of Ali and how they were wrapped up in political, economic, and cultural “ownership.”

Ezra’s incisive study examines the relationships between Ali’s cultural appeal and its commercial manifestations. Citing examples of the boxer’s relationship to the Vietnam War and the Nation of Islam—which serve as barometers of his “public moral authority”—Muhammad Ali analyzes the difficulties of creating and maintaining these cultural images, as well as the impact these themes have on Ali’s meaning to the public.

My Los Angeles in Black and (Almost) White Cover

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My Los Angeles in Black and (Almost) White

Andrew Furman

Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1970s and 1980s, roughly half of Furman’s high school basketball teammates lived in the largely Anglo, and increasingly Jewish, San Fernando Valley, while the other half were African Americans bused in from the inner city. Los Angeles was embroiled in efforts to desegregate its public school district, one of the largest and most segregated in the country. Tensions came to a head as the state implemented its forced busing plan, a radical desegregation program that was hotly contested among Los Angeles residents—particularly among Valley residents—and at all levels of the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. In My Los Angeles in Black and (Almost) White, the high school’s basketball team serves as the entry point for a trenchant exploration of the judicial, legislative, and neighborhood battles over school desegregation that gripped the city in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education and that continue to plague our "post-racial" nation.

NFL Football Cover

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NFL Football

A History of America's New National Pastime

Richard C. Crepeau

This wide-ranging history synthesizes scholarship and media sources to give the reader an inside view of the television contracts, labor issues, and other off-the-field forces that shaped the National Football League. Historian Richard Crepeau shows how Commissioner Pete Rozelle's steady leadership guided the league's explosive growth during the era of Monday Night Football and the Super Bowl's transformation into a mid-winter spectacle. Crepeau also delves into the league's masterful exploitation of media from radio to the internet, its ability to get taxpayers to subsidize team stadiums, and its success in delivering an outlet for experiencing vicarious violence to a public uneasy over the changing rules of masculinity. Probing and learned, NFL Football tells an epic American success story peopled by larger-than-life figures and driven by ambition, money, sweat, and dizzying social and technological changes.

Nikkei Baseball Cover

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Nikkei Baseball

Japanese American Players from Immigration and Internment to the Major Leagues

Samuel O. Regalado

Nikkei Baseball examines baseball's evolving importance to the Japanese American community and the construction of Japanese American identity. Originally introduced in Japan in the late 1800s, baseball was played in the United States by Japanese immigrants first in Hawaii, then San Francisco and northern California, then in amateur leagues up and down the Pacific Coast. For Japanese American players, baseball was seen as a sport that encouraged healthy competition by imposing rules and standards of ethical behavior for both players and fans. The value of baseball as exercise and amusement quickly expanded into something even more important, a means for strengthening social ties within Japanese American communities and for linking their aspirations to America's pastimes and America's promise._x000B__x000B_Drawing from archival research, prior scholarship, and personal interviews, Samuel O. Regalado explores key historical factors such as Meji-era modernization policies in Japan, American anti-Asian sentiments, internment during World War II, the postwar transition, economic and educational opportunities in the 1960s, the developing concept of a distinct "Asian American" identity, and Japanese Americans' rise to the major leagues with star players including Lenn Sakata and Kurt Suzuki and even managers such as the Seattle Mariners' Don Wakamatsu._x000B_

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NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture

Vol. 9 (2000/01) through current issue

NINE studies all historical aspects of baseball, centering on the societal and cultural implications of the game wherever in the world it is played. The journal features articles, essays, book reviews, biographies, oral history, and short fiction pieces.

No Minor Accomplishment Cover

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No Minor Accomplishment

The Revival of New Jersey Professional Baseball

Bob Golon

America's pastime has roots in New Jersey dating back to 1846 when the first baseball game using modern rules was played on Elysian Fields in Hoboken. The sport thrived throughout the state until the 1950s when fans began to turn away from local competition, preferring to watch games broadcast on television, to take a trip to see a major league team in New York, or to frequent newly air-conditioned movie theaters or bowling alleys. By the early 1990s, however, a growing disenchantment with the high ticket prices and corporate atmosphere of Major League Baseball led to the revival of a purer form of the sport in the Garden State.
    In No Minor Accomplishment, sports historian and New Jersey native Bob Golon tells the story of the state's baseball scene since the Trenton Thunder arrived in 1994. Drawing on interviews with team owners and employees, industry executives and fans, Golon goes behind the scenes to show how maintaining a minor league ball club can be a risky business venture. Stadiums cost millions to build, and a team full of talented players does not immediately guarantee success. Instead, each of the eight minor league and independent professional teams in the state must tailor themselves to the communities in which they are situated. Shrewd marketing is necessary to attract fans, but Golon also explains how, unlike Major League Baseball, the business aspect of the minor and independent leagues is not something the average spectator notices.  For the fans, baseball in New Jersey is wholesome, exciting family entertainment.

On Any Given Sunday: A Life of Bert Bell Cover

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On Any Given Sunday: A Life of Bert Bell

Bert Bell, a native of Philadelphia, has been called the most powerful executive figure in the history of professional football. He was responsible for helping to transform the game from a circus sideshow into what has become the most popular spectator sport in America. In On Any Given Sunday, the first biography of this important sports figure, historian Robert Lyons recounts the remarkable story of how de Benneville “Bert” Bell rejected the gentility of a high society lifestyle in favor of the tougher gridiron, and rose to become the founder of the Philadelphia Eagles and Commissioner of the National Football League.

Bell, who arguably saved the league from bankruptcy by conceiving the idea for the annual player draft, later made the historic decision to introduce “sudden death” overtime—a move that propelled professional football into the national consciousness. He coined the phrase “on any given sunday” and negotiated the league’s first national TV contract. Lyons also describes in fascinating detail Bell’s relationships with leading figures ranging from such Philadelphia icons as Walter Annenberg and John B. Kelly to national celebrities and U.S. Presidents. He also provides insight into Bell’s colorful personal life—including his hell-raising early years and his secret marriage to Frances Upton, a golden name in show business.

On Any Given Sunday is being published on the 50th anniversary of Bell’s death.

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