When the Red Sox Ruled: Baseball's First Dynasty, 1912-1918

When the Red Sox Ruled: Baseball's First Dynasty, 1912-1918

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by Thomas J. Whalen
     
 

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In the years before the Curse of the Bambino descended on New England, the Boston Red Sox rode major league baseball like a colossus, capturing four World Series titles in seven seasons. Blessed with legendary players like Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper, and Smokey Joe Wood, and a brand new, thoroughly modern stadium, the Red Sox reigned as kings of the

Overview

In the years before the Curse of the Bambino descended on New England, the Boston Red Sox rode major league baseball like a colossus, capturing four World Series titles in seven seasons. Blessed with legendary players like Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper, and Smokey Joe Wood, and a brand new, thoroughly modern stadium, the Red Sox reigned as kings of the Deadball Era. Just in time for the centenary of baseball's hallowed Fenway Park and the dawn of the Red Sox dynasty, Thomas J. Whalen gracefully recounts the rise and fall of one of baseball's greatest teams.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The 2011 Boston Red Sox may have gotten off to the worst start in team history—leaving memories of the 2004 World Series championship far behind—but Boston University professor Whalen now recounts the Sox's original rise and fall. Between 1912 and 1918, this American League charter franchise captured four World Series titles, an accomplishment matched only by the New York Yankees. Loaded with legendary players such as Babe Ruth, Harry Hooper, and Smoky Joe Wood, the Red Sox played in newly christened Fenway Park and reigned as kings of the dead-ball era. Whalen (Dynasty's End: Bill Russell and the 1968-69 World Champion Boston Celtics) chronicles those World Series games in great detail, but more insightful are his explorations of the business of baseball in the early 1900s, including a player walkout that occurred hours before Game 5 of the 1918 World Series. He documents the first, apparently spontaneous singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at a professional baseball game, the inaugural presidential first pitch, and the role baseball played during WWI. In 1919 Ruth was traded to the Yankees in a move that became known as the "Curse of the Bambino" and began an 86-year World Series drought. Whalen relies on old, previously published material and fails to find the life in his narrative, but patient readers will appreciate his effort. (Apr.)
Bu Today
Whalen here brings to vivid life the years when now-forgotten players like Duffy Lewis, Smokey Joe Wood, Tris Speaker, and Bill “Rough” Carrigan made the Red Sox the undisputed stars of baseball.
The Past In Review
One can argue baseball's first dynasty 'till the cows come home but Thomas Whalen has made a case for the Deadball Era Boston Red Sox who, between 1912 and 1918 won four World Series (1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918) and finished second twice in between. They soundly defeated four different National League teams during their run and for almost the last decade of the era were baseball's number one team. Whalen begins by retelling Boston's baseball history from 1871, quickly setting the stage for the 1912 season and the heart of the book. He presents the material in a pleasant, rolling narrative, with very few statistics and no play by play but with plenty of behind the scenes snippets which makes for an enjoyable read.
Dan Shaughnessy
History, culture, infield fly rules? It's all here as Thomas Whalen traces the glory of the early days of Boston baseball supremacy. This book rightfully could have been titled "Birth of a Nation.'' Enjoy.
Fay Vincent
This is as fine a baseball book as I have ever read. Professor Whalen sets out to tell the story of the superb Red Sox teams of 1912 to 1918 that won four World Series in seven seasons and he combines the historians eye for detail and context with the fan's delight in such luminous players as Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, Harry Hopper and Smokey Joe Wood, among many others. Those of us who rejoice in the richness of baseball history will cherish this exceptional book.
Bill Littlefield
Fans of the Red Sox of yesteryear will be delighted by Thomas Whalen’s account of the team’s good and REALLY old days. The beginning of the book will also appeal to devotees of art history and classical music, since it opens with an image of Isabella Stewart Gardner wearing a Red Sox head band to a concert at Symphony Hall.
BU Today
Whalen here brings to vivid life the years when now-forgotten players like Duffy Lewis, Smokey Joe Wood, Tris Speaker, and Bill “Rough” Carrigan made the Red Sox the undisputed stars of baseball.
Library Journal
There is no denying that few teams in baseball have a history as dramatic and storied as the Boston Red Sox, love them or hate them. Whalen (Dynasty's End: Bill Russell and the1968–69 World Champion Boston Celtics) explores the birth of baseball in America and analyzes why the early Red Sox teams were so dominant. His book features larger-than-life and all-too-real characters, introducing readers to everyone from legendary players and rabid fans to shrewd team owners and baseball-crazed politicians. Full of photos and anecdotes that bring the players and their stories to life, this book is rich in detail and lively descriptions. Contemporary accounts of key games and insights into players' personalities at the time lend color and authenticity. Whalen sets the story of Boston baseball within the context of American politics, labor disputes, and business, making for a thoroughly compelling read. VERDICT Books about the Red Sox are not lacking, but Whalen's stands out for its meticulous research. Written with a true passion for the game and respect for its history, his work will have appeal well beyond the borders of Red Sox Nation. It should have a place on any baseball fan's shelves, regardless of team allegiance.—Michele Martin, Sonoma Acad., Santa Rosa, CA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566637459
Publisher:
Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date:
04/16/2011
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,229,227
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Thomas J. Whalen is an associate professor of social science at Boston University and author of Kennedy versus Lodge, A Higher Purpose, and Dynasty's End. An expert in modern American politics, American foreign policy, and the American presidency, Whalen's commentary has appeared in the New York Times, ABCNews.com, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on several national broadcast outlets including CNN, NPR, and Reuters TV.

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When the Red Sox Ruled: Baseball's First Dynasty, 1912-1918 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading about all the twists and turns that happened in this decade. It reminds me that what we see now is nothing new under the sun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago