A Game of Brawl: The Orioles, the Beaneaters and the Battle for the 1897 Pennant [NOOK Book]

Overview

It was probably the most cutthroat pennant race in baseball history. And it was a struggle to define how baseball would be played. This book recreates the rowdy, season-long 1897 battle between the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Beaneaters. The Orioles had acquired a reputation as the dirtiest team in baseball. Future Hall of Famers John McGraw, Wee Willie Keeler, and “Foxy” Ned Hanlon were proven winners—but their nasty tactics met with widespread disapproval among fans. So it was that their pennant race with ...

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A Game of Brawl: The Orioles, the Beaneaters and the Battle for the 1897 Pennant

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Overview

It was probably the most cutthroat pennant race in baseball history. And it was a struggle to define how baseball would be played. This book recreates the rowdy, season-long 1897 battle between the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Beaneaters. The Orioles had acquired a reputation as the dirtiest team in baseball. Future Hall of Famers John McGraw, Wee Willie Keeler, and “Foxy” Ned Hanlon were proven winners—but their nasty tactics met with widespread disapproval among fans. So it was that their pennant race with the comparatively saintly Beaneaters took on a decidedly moralistic air.

 

Bill Felber brings to life the most intensely watched team sporting event in the country’s history to that time. His book captures the drama of the final week, as the race came down to a three-game series. And finally, it conveys the madness of the third and decisive game, when thirty thousand fans literally knocked down the gates and walls of a facility designed to hold ten thousand to watch the Beaneaters grind out a win and bring down baseball’s first and most notorious evil empire.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Labor disputes, prolonged contract holdouts and widespread suggestions of cheating-Felber's account of the national pastime isn't a telling of current events but of the 1897 pennant race between the Boston Beaneaters and Baltimore Orioles. Stark contrasts in philosophy and team makeup create the best rivalries, and Felber, executive editor of the Manhattan Mercuryin Kansas, excels at demonstrating the dissimilarities between these two evenly matched opponents. As Felber points out, Boston's team had ruled the early part of the decade with clean play that "mirrored the city's puritanical approach to life," while the Orioles, representing less genteel Baltimore, had won the last three league championships thanks in part to their "ungentlemanly methods" and "roughhouse tactics." As the two teams battle for the pennant up until the last week of the season, Felber gives a spirited retelling of the season, giving life to greedy owners, rabid fans, drunken ballplayers and terrorized umpires, all the while bringing to life an era of baseball when home runs were a rarity, players fielded with no gloves and starting pitchers threw almost 400 innings a season. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803239579
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,143,523
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Bill Felber, executive editor of the Manhattan Mercury, is the author of The Book on the Book: An Inquiry into Which Strategies in the Modern Game Actually Work.

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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     viii
Foreword   Senator Edward M. Kennedy     ix
Sources and Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction     xix
Baseball's Original Evil Empire     1
The Royal Rooters     26
Spring Thunderbolts     47
Parade of Champions     64
Suspected Criminals     84
Streaks of June     105
Sunday Misdemeanors     125
The Rise and Fall of Louis Sockalexis     142
Day Jobs for Garroters     165
Don't They Keep Warm?     190
Fall in Baltimore     217
Afterword     247
Appendix     267
Notes     277
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