The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America's Game

( 3 )

Overview


Chris von der Ahe knew next to nothing about base¬ball when he risked his life’s savings to found the franchise that would become the St. Louis Cardinals. Yet the German-born beer garden proprietor would become one of the most important—and funniest—figures in the game’s history.

Von der Ahe picked up the team for one reason—to sell more beer. Then he helped gather a group of ragtag professional clubs together to create a maverick new league that would fight the haughty ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$12.92
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$15.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $8.81   
  • New (14) from $8.81   
  • Used (3) from $12.56   
The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America's Game

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 34%)$15.99 List Price

Overview


Chris von der Ahe knew next to nothing about base¬ball when he risked his life’s savings to found the franchise that would become the St. Louis Cardinals. Yet the German-born beer garden proprietor would become one of the most important—and funniest—figures in the game’s history.

Von der Ahe picked up the team for one reason—to sell more beer. Then he helped gather a group of ragtag professional clubs together to create a maverick new league that would fight the haughty National League, reinventing big-league baseball to attract Americans of all classes. Sneered at as “The Beer and Whiskey Circuit” because it was backed by brewers, distillers, and saloon owners, their American Association brought Americans back to enjoying baseball by offering Sunday games, beer at the ballpark, and a dirt-cheap ticket price of 25 cents.

The womanizing, egocentric, wildly generous Von der Ahe and his fellow owners filled their teams’ rosters with drunks and renegades, and drew huge crowds of rowdy spectators who screamed at umpires and cheered like mad as the Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns fought to the bitter end for the 1883 pennant.

In The Summer of Beer and Whiskey, Edward Achorn re-creates this wondrous and hilarious world of cunning, competition, and boozing, set amidst a rapidly transforming America. It is a classic American story of people with big dreams, no shortage of chutzpah, and love for a brilliant game that they refused to let die.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Bill Littlefield, NPR's "Only a Game"
"The author makes a convincing case that it was an exceptionally entertaining time to be a baseball fan in St. Louis."

Providence Journal
"Edward Achorn ... favors us with a realistic and colorful look at early professional baseball."

The Daily Beast
"The time machine travels back to the 1880s as brewer Chris von der Ahe purchases the forerunner of the St. Louis Cardinals, with the singular purpose of selling more beer."

Los Angeles Times
"When it comes to baseball history, Edward Achorn has carved out his own territory, re-animating the 19th century game."

The New Yorker - The Sporting Scene blog
“Combining the narrative skills of a sportswriter with a historian’s depth of knowledge and stockpile of detail, Achorn has produced a book that is both entertaining and informative.”

The Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel
“The Summer of Beer and Whiskey” is full of great stories and interesting tidbits of history.”

Library Journal
“Achorn…takes us back to when baseball was expressed in two words and one league—until the American Association was founded in 1882.”

Publishers Weekly
“Achorn…turns his attention to old-time professional baseball, visiting the nascent days of the American Association, more notably, the American Association that turned baseball into a nationally beloved sport….[An] entertaining history of baseball’s overlooked early years.”

Kirkus Reviews
“A thoroughly enjoyable re-creation of the gusto, guts, glory and grime of the game’s early days.”

Tampa Tribune
The Summer of Beer and Whiskey strengthens the baseball fan’s understanding of that raw, unvarnished era of baseball 130 years ago that eventually evolved into the smooth product we see today. Achorn writes passionately and presents an excellent history lesson.”

St. Louis Post Dispatch
The Summer of Beer and Whiskey hinges on the hard-fought 1883 pennant race between Von der Ahe’s ascendant Browns and the Philadelphia Athletics. The book is rich in newspaper accounts of the race, along with accompanying caricatures of the players. But Achorn also includes insightful digressions on topics ranging from the sport’s persistent problems with racism and alcoholism to the peculiarities of 19th-century baseball, which featured barehanded fielders, one umpire per contest, and pitchers who could take a slight running start before each throw.”

Chicago Tribune
“For fans, each season's crop of baseball books is like a literary Christmas. [The Summer of Beer and Whiskey is one] of this year's treasures.”

Minneapolis Star-Tribune
”Achorn’s gift for storytelling shines in the climactic games of the season. Vivid scenes put the reader in the stands as pitchers pelt batters, fielders crash through fences and the forces of nature whip up a blinding ninth-inning dust ‘hurricane.’”

Oregonian
“A thoroughly researched and charmingly written account of a sensational pennant race populated by outsized characters.”

History News Network
"A wonderful, unsentimental history of the men who bequeathed the game to us."

Publishers Weekly
02/25/2013
Achorn (Fifty-nine in '84) turns his attention to old-time professional baseball, visiting the nascent days of the American Association, more notably, the American Association that turned baseball into a nationally beloved sport. While the National League packaged the game to the upper-middle-class, the teams of "the Beer and Whiskey Circuit" welcomed everyone. Parks featured alcohol, 25-cent admission, and Sunday games. And the masses loved it. In 1883, the year Achorn recounts, non-top drama accompanied a pennant race. St. Louis Browns owner Chris von der Ahe and manager Ted Sullivan butted heads like George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin. The Browns' competitor, the desperate Philadelphia Athletics, signed a pitcher who literally jumped as he threw. Achorn examines the wear and tear of baseball's early days while mixing in profiles of the rascals and renegades whose roles range from the historic (Fleet Walker, who in 1884 became the first African American to play professionally) to the colorful (slugger Pete Browning, who upon hearing that President Garfield had died asked, "What position did he play?"). Overall, this is a comprehensive and entertaining history of baseball's overlooked early years. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Achorn (Providence Journal; Fifty-Nine in ’84) takes us back to when base ball was expressed in two words and one league—until the American Association was founded in 1882. One of its founders was German immigrant Chris Von der Ahe, whose biography is woven through this narrative. Von der Ahe made his fortune in St. Louis catering to other German immigrants with his saloon and beer garden. To increase his beer profits, he purchased the St. Louis Brown Stockings in 1882 and revolutionized the presentation of professional baseball: Sunday games; beer sold at the stadium. The American Association folded in 1891, with four of its teams joining the National League. (The American League was not founded until 1901.) Achorn proposes Von der Ahe as the precursor to baseball entrepreneurs Charlie Finley and Bill Veeck, but Von der Ahe died broke, back in a saloon, tending bar.
VERDICT An enjoyable book that reinforces how baseball has evolved thanks to America’s immigrants. Recommended, although those owning J. Thomas Hetrick’s Chris Von der Ahe and the St. Louis Browns may consider it optional. —MH

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
An accomplished baseball historian reminds us when a go-ahead Western city and an upstart league turned the country "base ball mad!" Only 20 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, professional baseball had already been around long enough for corruption scandals to have almost killed it. To compete with the staid and stained National League, the newly formed American Association slashed ticket prices and offered beer sales and Sunday baseball to appeal to immigrants and the working class. These innovations, plus a rough-and-ready brand of ball, spiffy uniforms, and remodeled and well-regulated ballparks, all helped to set new attendance records and smooth baseball's entry into the 20th century as America's national pastime. Providence Journal deputy editorial pages editor Achorn (Fifty-Nine in '84: Old Hoss Radbourn, Barehanded Baseball, and the Greatest Season a Pitcher Ever Had, 2010, etc.) tracks the hard-fought 1883 pennant race, focusing particularly on the St. Louis Browns--the first iteration of today's Cardinals--and their mercurial, Steinbrenner-esque owner, Chris Von der Ahe. Among many colorful characters, the Browns featured the young Charlie Comiskey (who'd have his own brush with scandal as owner of the 1919 Black Sox), manager "Ted" Sullivan, who first used "fanatics" to describe the game's passionate supporters, and Arlie Latham, whose swift base running led his language-challenged owner to exclaim that he could run "like a cantelope." Achorn mixes in stories about other league standouts: the doughty pitcher for the eventual champion Philadelphia Athletics, Bobby Matthews; their minstrel performer turned owner, Lew Simmons; their Yale man, Jumping Jack Jones, whose unorthodox delivery baffled hitters; and Louisville's Pete "the Prince of Bourbon" Browning, whose bespoke bat made apprentice woodworker Bud Hillerich wealthy. Scheming owners, rampant racism, hard-drinking players, beleaguered umpires, crazed spectators and lurking gamblers--all these were also part of the league and of Achorn's unblinking but still admiring presentation. A thoroughly enjoyable re-creation of the gusto, guts, glory and grime of the game's early days.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610393775
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 265,664
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Edward Achorn, a journalist and Pulitzer prize finalist for distinguished commentary, is the deputy editorial pages editor of the Providence Journal and author of Fifty-Nine in '84: Old Hoss Radbourn, Barehanded Baseball, and the Greatest Season a Pitcher Ever Had. He has won numerous writing awards and his work appears in The Best Newspaper Writing, 2007-2008. His reviews of books on American history appear frequently in the Weekly Standard. He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    If you liked 59 in 84......you'll love this book. It puts you ba

    If you liked 59 in 84......you'll love this book. It puts you back in time to 1883 and a whole new look on the birth of the American league. Great reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    Very good book!

    Very good book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)