Summer of Shadows: A Murder, A Pennant Race, and the Twilight of the Best Location in the Nation

Overview

Summer of Shadows is an intertwining narrative that tells the story of the 1954 Cleveland Indians (which would etch itself in history as one of the greatest baseball teams in MLB history) and the infamous murder of the wife of Dr. Sam Sheppard in their home along the shore of Lake Erie — which held both the city and the nation spellbound that summer. Both of these generation-defining stories take place in the final days of the "Best Location in the Nation," the nickname for the Cleveland of the 1950s, which truly...

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Summer of Shadows: A Murder, A Pennant Race, and the Twilight of the Best Location in the Nation

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Overview

Summer of Shadows is an intertwining narrative that tells the story of the 1954 Cleveland Indians (which would etch itself in history as one of the greatest baseball teams in MLB history) and the infamous murder of the wife of Dr. Sam Sheppard in their home along the shore of Lake Erie — which held both the city and the nation spellbound that summer. Both of these generation-defining stories take place in the final days of the "Best Location in the Nation," the nickname for the Cleveland of the 1950s, which truly was one of the great and most influential cities in America. These two parallel tragedies harbinger an onslaught of adversity that dragged Cleveland from its lofty standing as a leading American city to one with a bleak — even comic — reputation.

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Editorial Reviews

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Cleveland sportswriter and author Jonathan Knight (Classic Tribe; Sundays in the Pound) retrieves lost Indians history in this exciting new book.

From the Publisher
"Knight describes the on-and-off-field pennant race and Series action with breathless excitement that will thrill readers more than half-century later..."
Akron Beacon Journal

"Jonathan Knight has hammered a grand slam of a book in his account of the American League Champion Cleveland Indians, the Sam Sheppard trial, the City of Cleveland and our country in 1954. If you love the Tribe, Cleveland and history, this is a must-read."
—Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"As a Clevelander born and bred, and an autumn child of the star-crossed year of 1954, I emerged into the world just as the events described in Summer of Shadows were unfolding. An admirably researched and readable work, author Jonathan Knight has packed his book full of surprising revelations from the worlds of sports, media, and law enforcement. Readers are treated to a compelling chronicle that seamlessly intertwines Al Rosen's inspired performance in the All-Star game—played in front of hometown Tribe fans—to Larry Doby's trailblazing heroics to the horrific murder of Marilyn Sheppard to the Cleveland Press's Javert-like editor, Louis B. Seltzer, who never relented in his zeal to see Dr. Sam Sheppard punished for the crime. "Trial of the Century" is now a hackneyed term, but surely Seltzer broke the mold when he editorialized week after week against the doctor on his own front pages, elevating the poisoning of the jury pool to a refined art. If you've ever enjoyed watching David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble in "The Fugitive" get yourself a copy of Summer of Shadows, a book I will keep on my shelf along with such classics as David Halberstam's Summer of '49 and Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out."
—Philip Turner, co-founder Undercover Books, Cleveland Bookstore Chain, and publisher of Philip Turner Books

"I grew up in Cleveland, the west side, and if there is one thing I know about my home it is that the people there feed on love of misery, of near misses and tragedy. Summer of Shadows captures those moments in time that last forever in our collective imagination and reminds us that this often maligned town was once one of America's greatest. Captivating, engaging. You won't put it down."
—Craig J. Heimbuch, author Chasing Oliver Hazard Perry

"Knight’s Summer of Shadows gives us plenty of bright summer
and then patiently and respectfully shows us that the shadows
were there all along. He’s not a naysayer or a spoilsport. After all,
he’s just as much an optimistic Ohioan as the rest of us." —James Gorman review in Ohioana Quarterly Summer/Fall 2012

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578604678
  • Publisher: Clerisy Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 945,606
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Prelude: Summer 1969 1

Autumn Interlude-Game 1 8

Part 1 Before the Shadows 29

chapter 1 Now or Never 31

chapter 2 Empire of Freedom 41

chapter 3 A Saturday Night Town 50

chapter 4 Storm Clouds 64

chapter 5 The Chasm of Ridiculousness 78

chapter 6 A Triple into the Gravestones 94

chapter 7 Hard Luck 104

Autumn Interlude-Game 2 110

Part 2 The Best Location in the Nation 118

chapter 8 Bleed and Believe 120

chapter 9 Two Aging Aces 133

chapter 10 Seven Minutes of Silence 144

chapter 11 The Sphinx and the Howitzer 156

chapter 12 The Night Before 162

Autumn Interlude-Game 3 170

Part 3 Murder on the Lake 180

chapter 13 They've killed Marilyn 182

chapter 14 The Lost Weekend 202

chapter 15 The Strong Arm of the Law 206

chapter 16 The Cleveland Spectacle 218

chapter 17 Mr.Cleveland to the Rescue 228

chapter 18 Steamed Up 238

chapter 19 Get That Killer 243

chapter 20 Like a Hollywood Movie 258

chapter 21 Bring Him In 266

chapter 22 The Guns of August 288

chapter 23 A Ghoul's Paradise 295

chapter 24 Destiny 308

chapter 25 What Evidence Is There? 314

chapter 26 Not the Folding-Up Type 322

Autumn Interlude-Game 4 334

Part 4 Twilight of the Gods 347

chapter 27 Whammy Be Dammed 348

chapter 28 The Yankee Doubleheader, Act One 354

chapter 29 The Yankee Doubleheader, Act Two 365

chapter 30 we're In 377

chapter 31 One Hundred Eleven 388

Final Interlude-Winter 398

End Notes 447

About the Author 464

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