Branch Rickey: Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman

Branch Rickey: Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman

by Lee Lowenfish
     
 


He was not much of a player and not much more of a manager, but by the time Branch Rickey (1881–1965) finished with baseball, he had revolutionized the sport—not just once but three times. In this definitive biography of Rickey—the man sportswriters dubbed “The Brain,” “The Mahatma,” and, on occasion, “El… See more details below

Overview


He was not much of a player and not much more of a manager, but by the time Branch Rickey (1881–1965) finished with baseball, he had revolutionized the sport—not just once but three times. In this definitive biography of Rickey—the man sportswriters dubbed “The Brain,” “The Mahatma,” and, on occasion, “El Cheapo”—Lee Lowenfish tells the full, colorful story of a life that forever changed the face of America’s game.

From 1917 to 1942, Rickey was the mastermind behind the Saint Louis Cardinals who enabled small-market clubs to compete with the rich and powerful by creating the farm system . Under his direction in the 1940s, the Brooklyn Dodgers became the first true “America’s team.” By signing Jackie Robinson and other black players, he single-handedly thrust baseball into the forefront of the civil rights movement. Lowenfish evokes the peculiarly American complex of God, family, and baseball that informed Rickey’s actions and his accomplishments. His book offers an intriguing, richly detailed portrait of a man whose life is itself a crucial chapter in the history of American business, sport, and society.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803224537
Publisher:
UNP - Bison Books
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
728
Sales rank:
900,951
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.60(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction v

List of Illustrations xv

Acknowledgments xvii

List of Abbreviations xxiii

Prologue 1

Part I The Making of a Baseball Brain, 1899-1918 11

1 Diamond in the Rough 13

2 From Catcher to Coach 38

3 Branch Rickey and the St. Louis Browns 61

4 "War Overshadows Everything" 88

Part II The St. Louis Prime of Branch Rickey, 1919-1942 107

5 Necessity Is the Mother of Invention 109

6 Years of Contention and Frustration 129

7 That Championship Season 155

8 The Near-dynastic Years and a Place in Who's Who 176

9 Another Championship Season and Then Decline 203

10 Prelude to the Gashouse Gang 224

11 The Triumph of the Gashouse Gang 239

12 Years of Frustration 264

13 More Years of Loss, and Farewells to Dizzy Dean and Charley Barrett 284

14 Going Out on Top 300

Part III The Birth of the Mahatma, 1943-1950 321

15 A Branch Grows in Brooklyn 323

16 The Secret Path to the "Young Man from the West" 349

17 An Historic Meeting in Brooklyn 371

18 Prelude to a Pennant 385

19 When All Hell Almost Broke Loose 407

20 When Most of Heaven Rejoiced 427

21 A Year of Disappointment, Odd Choices, and an Adieu to Leo 446

22 A Branch Bends in Brooklyn 464

23 A Branch Is Chopped in Brooklyn 482

Part IV "My Greatest Thrill in Baseball Hasn't Happened Yet," 1951-1965 503

24 A Branch Doesn't Grow Fast Enough in Pittsburgh 505

25 Mr. Rickey Prepares to Do the Continental 533

26 The Continental Dance Card Goes Blank 557

27 Meet Me in St. Louis, Final Chorus 580

Notes 599

Bibliography 643

Index 655

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