Pastime in Turbulence: Interviews with Baseball Players of the 1940s

Overview

The 1940s were years of change in the world of baseball. Minor league free agents were introduced to the game in 1940 by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis; Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 and player after player left to join the war effort with players both below and well above draft age completing the rosters; 1946 marked the first time that two National League teams, the St. Louis Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers, were tied for first place, forcing a best two-out-of three series; 1947 brought racial ...
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About the Book The 1940s were years of change in the world of baseball. Minor league free agents were introduced to the game in 1940 by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis; ... Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 and player after player left to join the war effort with players both below and well above draft age completing the rosters; 1946 marked the first time that two National League teams, the St. Louis Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers, were tied for first place, forcing a best two-out-of three series; 1947 brought racial integration, with Jackie Robinson taking the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers; and the American League saw its own tie for first place in 1948 between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, which was played out in a one-game playoff. This work focuses on 27 players of the 1940s, guys--like Gene Thompson, Elmer Valo, Damon Phillips, Joe Cleary, and Cliff Chambers--who witnessed these changes and firsts personally. The players interviewed for this work had different experiences in the major leagues--some experienced long careers and benefited from the changes while others did not--and they come from diverse backgrounds as well. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The 1940s were years of change in the world of baseball. Minor league free agents were introduced to the game in 1940 by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis; Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 and player after player left to join the war effort with players both below and well above draft age completing the rosters; 1946 marked the first time that two National League teams, the St. Louis Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers, were tied for first place, forcing a best two-out-of three series; 1947 brought racial integration, with Jackie Robinson taking the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers; and the American League saw its own tie for first place in 1948 between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, which was played out in a one-game playoff. This work focuses on 27 players of the 1940s, guys—like Gene Thompson, Elmer Valo, Damon Phillips, Joe Cleary, and Cliff Chambers—who witnessed these changes and firsts personally. The players interviewed for this work had different experiences in the major leagues—some experienced long careers and benefited from the changes while others did not—and they come from diverse backgrounds as well.

Author Biography: Brent Kelley, a retired equine veterinarian from Paris, Kentucky, is the author of numerous McFarland baseball books, including In the Shadow of the Babe (1995, $26.50), The Early All-Stars (1997, $26.50), They Too Wore Pinstripes (1998, $28.50), Voices from the Negro Leagues (1998, $45) and The Negro Leagues Revisited (2000, $45).

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Rather than celebrate stars of the time, Kelley (Negro Leagues Revisited, McFarland, 2000) relates the stories of John Berardino, Adrian Zabela, and 25 other baseball journeymen of the 1940s. Most of them had careers shortened by World War II, and several have since died. Notable interview subjects include a TV star, a minor league president, and an Irish-born pitcher with a mammoth earned run average. Veterinarian Kelley gives a sympathetic account of lesser players who pay generous tribute to the stars they knew. All clearly loved the game and often find fault with today's changes. This will appeal to nostalgic readers and larger public libraries serving them. Morey Berger, St. Joseph's Hosp. Lib., Tucson, AZ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786409754
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/31/2001
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Brent Kelley, a retired equine veterinarian from Lexington, Kentucky, is the author of numerous McFarland baseball books.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Gene Thompson: A Missing Piece (1939-1947) 9
John Berardino: Aka Dr. Steve Hardy (1939-1952) 20
Johnny Welaj: Cobb Said He Could Fly (1939-1943) 29
Floyd Giebell: King for a Day (1939-1941) 41
Elmer Valo: Hustle (1940-1961) 51
Paul Campbell: Name It and He Did It (1941-1950) 60
Billy Hitchcock: Mr. President (1942-1953) 67
Johnny Lipon: Builder of Ballplayers (1942-1954) 84
Pete Center: Everything Is Relative (1942-1946) 95
Damon "Dee" Phillips: Double or Nothing (1942-1946) 108
Bill "Lefty" LeFebvre: First Pitch (1938-1944) 124
Carl Scheib: A Major League Minor (1943-1954) 133
Roy Partee: If Only the Throw Had Been Good (1943-1948) 145
Whitey Lockman: Breaking in with a Bang (1945-1960) 163
Ed Wright: 50 Years Too Soon (1945-1952) 182
Don Lund: Baseball Over Football (1945-1954) 192
Al Libke: Versatile (1945-1946) 202
Red Hayworth: Rookie Series Catcher (1945-1946) 211
Adrian Zabala: Done In by Durocher (1945-1949) 226
Joe Cleary: The Last Irishman (1945) 237
Lou Kretlow: 100 MPH? (1946-1956) 248
Frank Baumholtz: A Good Man in a Pinch (1947-1957) 255
Chuck Diering: Team MVP (1947-1956) 266
Cliff Chambers: Pirates' Ace (1948-1953) 277
Clint Conatser: Spahn, Sain and a Whole Bunch of Others (1948-1949) 288
Wayne Terwilliger: 40 Years to the Top (1949-1960) 307
Bibliography 317
Index 319
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