Blackball, the Black Sox, and the Babe: Baseball's Crucial 1920 Season

Overview

Nineteen-twenty was a crucial year not just for the Chicago White Sox but for the game of baseball, in the aftermath of the 1919 World Series scandal. This work is both a collective biography of four individuals whose careers in baseball were forever altered in 1920 and an examination of the 1920 baseball season as a whole. It highlights four legendary personalities—Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the longtime commissioner of Major League Baseball; Babe Ruth, the great pitcher and slugger who changed the game ...
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Overview

Nineteen-twenty was a crucial year not just for the Chicago White Sox but for the game of baseball, in the aftermath of the 1919 World Series scandal. This work is both a collective biography of four individuals whose careers in baseball were forever altered in 1920 and an examination of the 1920 baseball season as a whole. It highlights four legendary personalities—Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the longtime commissioner of Major League Baseball; Babe Ruth, the great pitcher and slugger who changed the game forever; Buck Weaver, the true lone innocent among the Black Sox players who threw the 1919 World Series; and Rube Foster, the fine pitcher, imaginative manager, and great administrator of blackball who founded the Negro National League. Key events that affected the season and the history of baseball are discussed.

Nineteen-twenty was the year that Ruth shattered his own home run record and began a hitting spree that brought in record numbers of fans to the ballparks. It was the year that Rube found a way for large numbers of African-Americans to play the game meaningfully, before loyal crowds, despite Jim Crow laws that kept them out of the majors and minors.

Author Biography: Robert C. Cottrell is a professor of history and American studies at California State University, Chico. He lives in Chico.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This study of professional baseball in 1920 stresses the pivotal nature of the revelations regarding the crooked 1919 World Series. In particular, Cottrell (history and American studies, California State Univ., Chico), the author of a biography of Rube Foster and an LJ reviewer, tells the story by focusing on four prominent figures: Buck Weaver, the one member of the Black Sox punished only for guilty knowledge; Kennesaw Mountain Landis, the flamboyant and morally righteous federal judge who would become baseball's first commissioner; Babe Ruth, who ushered in a new era and style of baseball; and Rube Foster, who founded the first black professional baseball league that same year. Cottrell's approach is scholarly and meticulous, but the writing is very readable. At times, the Foster sections seem artificially inserted, but that reflects the ostracized state of blacks in professional baseball at the time. Cottrell's emphasis on American hero mythology and racial realities works well, though his invocation of class considerations falls a little flat. Recommended for any library where baseball books circulate well. John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ.Lib., Camden, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786411641
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/4/2001
  • Pages: 331
  • Sales rank: 1,283,698
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert C. Cottrell is a professor of history and American studies at California State University, Chico. He lives in Chico.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 America's Greatest Game 5
2 The People's Judge 15
3 The Old Roman's Club 29
4 The Biggest Man in Baseball 44
5 Jim Crow Baseball 59
6 Postwar America and the National Pastime 73
7 In the Eye of the Storm 96
8 The National Commission and Baseball's Achilles' Heel 120
9 The Sale of Babe 132
10 A Season of Courage: Rube Foster and a League of His Own 141
11 A Season of Grace: Babe in Pinstripes 154
12 A Season of Fortitude: Tris's and Robbie's Men of Summer 181
13 A Season of Infamy: Gambling and the Chicago White Sox 195
14 The Scandal Unveiled and One Innocent Amid the Black Sox 214
15 Savior of the Game: Baseball's Great Dictator 233
16 The Season After 250
17 Legacies 268
Notes 279
Bibliography 317
Index 323
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