Jews and Baseball, Volume 1: Entering the American Mainstream, 1871-1948

Overview

Long before Hank Greenberg earned recognition as baseball's greatest Jewish player, Jews had developed a unique, and very close, relationship with the American pastime. In the late nineteenth century, as both the American Jewish population and baseball's popularity grew rapidly, baseball became an avenue by which Jewish immigrants could assimilate into American culture. Beyond the men (and, later, women) on the field, in the dugout, and at the front office, the Jewish community ...
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Overview

Long before Hank Greenberg earned recognition as baseball's greatest Jewish player, Jews had developed a unique, and very close, relationship with the American pastime. In the late nineteenth century, as both the American Jewish population and baseball's popularity grew rapidly, baseball became an avenue by which Jewish immigrants could assimilate into American culture. Beyond the men (and, later, women) on the field, in the dugout, and at the front office, the Jewish community produced a huge base of fans and students of the game.

This important book examines the interrelated histories of baseball and American Jews to 1948-the year Israel was established, the first full season that both major leagues were integrated, and the summer that Hank Greenberg retired. Covered are the many players, from Pike to Greenberg, as well as the managers, owners, executives, writers, statisticians, manufacturers and others who helped forge a bond between baseball and an emerging Jewish culture in America. Key reasons for baseball's early appeal to Jews are examined, including cultural assimilation, rebellion against perceived Old World sensibilities, and intellectual and philosophical ties to existing Jewish traditions. The authors also clearly demonstrate how both Jews and baseball have benefited from their relationship.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

From the time when immigrant families saw baseball as a means of becoming recognizably American, the Jewish love affair with the game has never really abated. In thematic chapters with a continuing narative flow, the authors cover both the brilliant stars (e.g., Hank Greenberg) and the obscure players. Just as important, they tell the stories of sports writers, coaches, executives and team owners, manufacturers, etc. The first of two projected volumes and a good addition to large baseball collections.


—Bob Cottrell, Margaret Heilbrun, Paul Kaplan, Gilles Renaud Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786428281
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/27/2006
  • Series: Jews and Baseball Series
  • Pages: 237
  • Sales rank: 1,345,087
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

A member of the Society for American Baseball Research, Burton A. Boxerman taught history for thirty years and contributes to numerous historical journals. A longtime baseball fan, he lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Writer and researcher Benita W. Boxerman is retired from one of the largest public relations firms in the United States. She is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research and lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
Foreword   Martin Abramowitz, Ph.D.     1
Prologue     3
From the Beginnings     5
The Earliest Jewish Professional Players     8
The Cincinnati Connection     13
Baseball's Most Detested Owner     19
Reshaping the Game     27
Baseball and Eastern European Jews     37
A Cohen by Any Other Name     40
Keepers of the Stats     55
Baseball's National Anthem     61
From the Press Box     64
The Last of the Pseudonyms     75
McGraw's Mission     83
The Unsung Star     94
The Clown and the Spy     99
The Revolutionary Umpire     111
Jewish Owners-The Next Generation     116
The Golden Age Begins     132
The Brooklyn Dodgers     153
The War Years     165
The First Jewish Superstar     176
Epilogue     185
Notes     187
Bibliography     209
Index     217
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