they've said about this book:
Frommer has authored over 30 books on sports and I've read at least
20 of them. All have been extraordinary, but his newest effort entitled
"Old Time Baseball: America's Pastime In The Gilded Age"
may be my favorite of them all. Focusing specifically on the origins
of baseball, Frommer journeys back in time to before the Civil War
while introducing us to a cast of characters who were instrumental
in establishing the basis for the modern game that we recognize today.
The content of this book is priceless, as over the years, the birth
of our National Pastime has become a subject that is too often forgotten.
Therefore Frommer's efforts must be applauded for not only preserving
a fading part of sports history, but also more importantly, American
history. From purists to historians (and even novices,) "Old
Time Baseball" has something for everyone and will leave the
reader with an even greater appreciation for our National Pastime."
-- Michael Aubrecht,
of not just modern baseball but baseball history from bygone times
will welcome OLD-TIME BASEBALL: AMERICA'S PASTIME IN THE GILDED AGE:
it captures the heyday of early baseball, from its invention in 1842
by the descendant of a British sea captain to the first games played
on a vacant lot in Madison in New York. The idea is not to be a dry
survey so much as a timeline of high moments of the sport, so readers
receive both a survey of events and dates and a lively exploration
recapturing the excitement of a bygone era.
-- Diane C. Donovan, Editor, California Bookwatch.
Old Time Baseball: America's Pastime in the Gilded Age HARVEY FROMMER. Taylor
Trade, $22.95 (192p) ISBN 1-58979-254-8
Much has been made of the decline of the national pastime and all its modern
sins: overpaid players, bottom-line-obsessed owners, greedy agents and riotous
fans are just a few complaints. But as baseball historian Frommer illustrates
in this wonderful book, many of the elements of Major League Baseball as it's
now played can be traced to its 19th-century roots. For starters, Frommer
dispels the myth that American baseball was founded in Cooperstown, N.Y., by
Abner Doubteday and gives credit to 22-year-old Alexander Joy Cartwright Jr.,
who, along with friends, played what was perhaps the first game on a vacant
Manhattan lot in 1842. It wasn't until June 19, 1846, that the sport's first
"official" game was played between Cartwright's Knickerbockers Base Ball club
and the New York Nine (the Knickerbockers lost, 23-1). By 1865, the game was
big enough for a team to receive an invitation to visit President Andrew
Johnson. But perhaps more importantly, around the time of the Civil War,
baseball was a unifying force: after Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered, Union and
Confederate troops played a friendly game. Reading this book is a reminder of
how little baseball-and the pleasure derived from it-has changed.
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