No Minor Accomplishment: The Revival of New Jersey Professional Baseball

Overview


America's pastime has roots in New Jersey dating back to 1846 when the first baseball game using modern rules was played on Elysian Fields in Hoboken. The sport thrived throughout the state until the 1950s when fans began to turn away from local competition, preferring to watch games broadcast on television, to take a trip to see a major league team in New York, or to frequent newly air-conditioned movie theaters or bowling alleys. By the early 1990s, however, a growing disenchantment with the high ticket prices...
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No Minor Accomplishment: The Revival of New Jersey Professional Baseball

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Overview


America's pastime has roots in New Jersey dating back to 1846 when the first baseball game using modern rules was played on Elysian Fields in Hoboken. The sport thrived throughout the state until the 1950s when fans began to turn away from local competition, preferring to watch games broadcast on television, to take a trip to see a major league team in New York, or to frequent newly air-conditioned movie theaters or bowling alleys. By the early 1990s, however, a growing disenchantment with the high ticket prices and corporate atmosphere of Major League Baseball led to the revival of a purer form of the sport in the Garden State.

In No Minor Accomplishment, sports historian and New Jersey native Bob Golon tells the story of the state's baseball scene since the Trenton Thunder arrived in 1994. Drawing on interviews with team owners and employees, industry executives and fans, Golon goes behind the scenes to show how maintaining a minor league ball club can be a risky business venture. Stadiums cost millions to build, and a team full of talented players does not immediately guarantee success. Instead, each of the eight minor league and independent professional teams in the state must tailor themselves to the communities in which they are situated. Shrewd marketing is necessary to attract fans, but Golon also explains how, unlike Major League Baseball, the business aspect of the minor and independent leagues is not something the average spectator notices.  For the fans, baseball in New Jersey is wholesome, exciting family entertainment.

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Editorial Reviews

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Baseball as we know it has a distinct Jersey flavor. In fact, the first baseball game under modern rules was played on Elysian Fields in Hoboken. But as the diamond sport became the national pastime, interest in local minor league teams slowly waned. By the 1950s, the advent of television and proximity of New York stadiums made New Jersey baseball a vestige of what it had once been. Matters brightened in 1994 with the arrival of the Trenton Thunder, a Double-A Eastern League franchise. The team, now sponsored by the Yankees, has thrived between the foul lines, but staying financially solvent remains a challenge. Bob Golon's No Minor Accomplishment recounts the heroic ongoing battle to spark hometown interest and investors. An inspiring book for anyone who loves baseball and values community spirit.
Independent Baseball Insider columnist - Bob Wirz

No Minor Accomplishmentprovides great insight into the workings of independent and minor league baseball in New Jersey.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813542744
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Series: Rivergate
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Chronology     xiii
Introduction     1
Baseball's Early Roots in New Jersey     5
The Decline and Reinvention of the Minor Leagues, Post-1950     25
Baseball Returns to New Jersey in 1994     39
The Trenton Thunder: The Capital of New Jersey Baseball     55
A League of His Own: Frank Boulton and the Atlantic League     74
The Somerset Patriots: Location, Location, Location!     88
Newark and the Bears: Combining the Past and the Present     105
Discovering Camden with the Riversharks     123
The Atlantic City Surf: Searching for a Niche     137
Youth Must Be Served: The Can-Am League in New Jersey     153
Nine Innings with the Lakewood BlueClaws     169
Conclusion: The Community of New Jersey Baseball     185
Notes     189
Index     199
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