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African American Pioneers of Baseball: A Biographical Encyclopedia
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African American Pioneers of Baseball: A Biographical Encyclopedia

by Lew H. Freedman
 

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When Jackie Robinson became the first African American player in major league baseball in 1947, elbowing aside the league's policies of segregation that had been inviolate for 60 years, he became a symbol of opportunity and acceptance for African American players everywhere. Robinson withstood discrimination to establish himself as a Hall of Fame player, and to

Overview

When Jackie Robinson became the first African American player in major league baseball in 1947, elbowing aside the league's policies of segregation that had been inviolate for 60 years, he became a symbol of opportunity and acceptance for African American players everywhere. Robinson withstood discrimination to establish himself as a Hall of Fame player, and to lead future generations of black players into the previously all-white world of Major League Baseball. Written for students and general readers alike, this biographical encyclopedia chronicles the history of African American baseball through the life stories of the game's greatest players, the legends who played a significant role in the integration of the major league.

From Negro League stars Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson, to color line shatterer Jackie Robinson, and those who followed them in the limelight, such as Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, readers will learn how the inclusion of African American players in Major League Baseball improved the sport and race relations in the United States during this critical period in history.

Providing detailed accounts of each player's amazing professional achievements, this insightful reference describes how the spectacular talents of African American players elevated Major League Baseball forever. Features include a timeline of important events, numerous photographs, and a bibliography of print and electronic sources for further reading.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The careers of 20 athletes, inlcuding Ray Campanella, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron, are highlighted with reference to their contributions to the Negro Leagues and/or major league baseball mid-century, when their impact on the sport was most dramatic. The author's anecdotal style is especially affecting in describing his subjects, their struggles with racism, and their travails." - Curriculum Connections

"Freedman's approach, which includes plenty of quotations and fascinating anecdotes, such as Don Newcombe's daring to get into a public argument with a white man during spring training in Florida, makes the book both an excellent source and a compelling sports history." - American Reference Books Annual

"This excellent and readable book tells the stories of 20 African-American baseball players, both old-timers excluded from the major leagues by segregation….and relatively newer players such as Ernie Banks, Bob, Gibson, and Hank Aaron. The book works at two levels—first, as an account of what it meant to be an African-American baseball player in the United States, and second, as a great read about very good players….There are pictures throughout, and an index, both of which add to the book's quality….This book is both educational and enjoyable, and is highly recommended." - MultiCultural Review

"Together, these players reflect nearly ninety years of baseball history. Freedman uses their careers to illuminate changes in both baseball and American society. His detailed accounts describe the early life, professional career and later efforts of each player. The author uses interviews, biographies, and game reports to demonstrate the character and achievements of each man. The narratives are heavily sprinkled with contemporary accounts and anecdotes, but are fully documented. As stories of success, tragedy, pain, perserverance, sports and history, this collection of biographies will prove entertaining and informative reading in both public and academic libraries." - Lawrence Looks at Books

"Crafting a readable and informative history, Freedman reminds readers of the struggles of Hank Aaron and his brethren. The articles are arranged neither alpahbetically nor strictly chronologically. Instead, the order of subject coverage is chosen to best weave individual stories into a cohesive account of African Americans in baseball in the 20th century. Each lengthy selection provides details of the players' personal and professional lives as well as the abuses they suffered. Since Freedman was able to interview a few of the players, such as Buck O'Neil and Minnie Minoso, the anecdotes and reminiscences make these men seem real, and the racism they encountered that much more painful." - School Library Journal

"Chicago Tribune sportswriter Freedman explains his arrangement of the 20 biographies found here as neither chronological nor alphabetical, but laid out in a manner that best illustrates the African American baseball experience through the Negro Leagues and the barrier-breaking period in the major leagues. The lives and careers of players including Buck O'Neil, Cool Papa Bell, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron are offered in entries averaging eight pages each, and accompanied by a few B&W photographs. A timeline of births, deaths, and major events is provided, along with suggestions for further reading." - Reference & Research Book News

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Crafting a readable and informative history, Freedman reminds readers of the struggles of Hank Aaron and his brethren. The articles are arranged neither alphabetically nor strictly chronologically. Instead, the order of subject coverage is chosen to best weave individual stories into a cohesive account of African Americans in baseball in the 20th century. Each lengthy selection provides details of the players' personal and professional lives as well as the abuses they suffered. Since Freedman was able to interview a few of the players, such as Buck O'Neill and Minnie Minoso, the anecdotes and reminiscences make these men seem real, and the racism they encountered that much more painful. The bibliography, index, and chapter notes are extensive, but the black-and-white photos are a bit scarce. This book, with its greater focus on players, will complement Patricia C. and Frederick L. McKissack's Black Diamond(Scholastic, 1994), which devotes more space to the formation of the Negro Leagues.-Carol Fazioli, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Gwynedd Valley, PA

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313338519
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/28/2007
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author

Lew Freedman is a sportswriter with the Chicago Tribune. He has worked as an award-winning journalist with the Anchorage Daily News and is the author of over 21 books.

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