New Jersey chauvinists will delight in this baseball history. The authors, employed respectively in publishing and public relations in New Jersey, begin by pooh-poohing the claims that Cooperstown, N.Y., is the game's point of origin--instead, they give the nod to Hoboken. Insofar as spotty records allow, DiClerico and Pavelec show that many professional teams played in New Jersey during the late 19th century, although these teams had only shaky local allegiances. The sole major league organization to play in the state was the Newark Peps of the short-lived Federal League. Minor league ball, on the other hand, was important until 1962, highlighted by the legendary Newark Bears of 1938, which sent every starting player to the majors. The Negro leagues loomed large, too. DiClerico and Pavelec do a fine job of telling their story. They even touch on amateur, collegiate and industrial ball, though that won't help the book sell outside the Garden State. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
After persuasively arguing Hoboken, New Jersey's claim as organized baseball's birthplace, two fans present the state's role in the sport. New Jersey's minor league story, the great 1937 Newark Bears, black teams, and the taste of big league play follow. A solid, judicious study written in a lively manner. New Jersey libraries will want this, while other large sports collections should consider.