North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

Toronto Review of Books: A Look into Baseball’s Golden Age

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The Toronto Review of Books published a short essay of mine on one a very good baseball book: Lawrence Ritter’s The Glory of Their Times, a oral history of baseball in the first half of the 20th century.

In 26 chapters, each adapted from extensive interviews, Ritter’s book covers the first half of the last century, the golden age of baseball. Moving fom Tommy Leach, who started in the 19th century, to Hank Greenberg, who played until 1947, each chapter is like an informal conversation with an athlete looking back on their career. It’s a telling record of the growth of a major sport.

I didn’t have room for it in the essay, but one thing I found interesting in this book was the players talking about life after baseball. These were people who spent their youth playing pro sports in a age where you didn’t get a lot of money or respect for doing so. Some of them got mundane day jobs, others hung on the outer fringes of teams as scouts or the like. One guy went blind, another went to Japan to help introduce baseball. It’s fascinating stuff.

Anyway, click here to read the whole thing.

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Written by M.

February 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm

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