About the Book
In the mid-1940s, the post-war United States was a prosperous country, and baseball had its own share of this prosperity. An expanding minor league led to
unprecedented competition for young baseball talent. The ill-conceived idea of a signing bonus quickly introduced an element of financial competition into the sport of baseball, much to the discomfort of many minor league teams. Unable to compete with major league teams, the minor leagues pressed for restrictions on the bonuses paid to players. Bonus rules--the first enacted in 1946 and the second implemented in 1953--attempted unsuccessfully to curb ever-rising bonuses and limit the damage this policy ultimately did to both teams and players.
Containing 24 interviews, this volume focuses on players signed under the strict bonus rule of 1953-1957, which required that players signed to a bonus of $4,000 or more remain on the big league roster for two full seasons before being sent to the minor leagues. Organized chronologically, these interviews explore the lives and careers of the bonus babies with emphasis on their early big-league experience and its effect on their careers. Players interviewed in this volume include Harmon Killebrew, Reno Bertoia, Tommy Qualters, Jim Pyburn, John DeMerit, Von McDaniel, Don Pavletich, Mel Roach, Steve Boros, Dick Schofield, Jim Derrington, Mike McCormick, Jim Pagliaroni, Paul Giel, Buddy Pritchard, Jerry Walker, Jim Brady, Wayne Causey, Lindy McDaniel, Jim Small, Don Kaiser, Tommy Carroll, Jerry Kindall and Frank Zupo. An appendix provides a complete chronological listing of players signed under the bonus rule of 1953-1957. The work is also indexed.
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