Archive for ‘Sports’

October 28th, 2015

The Betrayal: How the 1919 Black Sox Scandal Changed Baseball

by Gwen

The Betrayal

Baseball. History. Scandal. Crime. Chicago. That’s like Christmas, my birthday, and everything good wrapped into one for me and just in time to watch my team duke it out with the Royals in the World Series.

Charles Fountain takes a big swing at separating the fact from gossip, what little can be known for sure and what has passed into legend, and while I don’t think that anyone is ever going to be able to put this game to bed, he makes a great slide into home.

Too many baseball metaphors? I’ve got more….many, many more.

Rumors were rampant that the fix was in even before Eddie Cicotte took the mound in 1919 for the White Sox against the Cincinnati Reds. However, the bigwigs of organized baseball didn’t want to hear it, it would have made America’s Pastime look bad to even check out the rumors. Journalists talked about it amongst themselves, but their editors squashed any actual mention of the idea in print, too controversial and this is baseball, it was too clean and fix something as big as the Series? That’s not possible.

What made it even harder to figure is that the boys played well, really well. They just lost. There were very few questionable plays and the bats were still active, balls were caught, runners were thrown out, etc.

It all fell apart a year later and just got more complicated from there with a myriad of complicated motivations to keep it hidden, get the truth out there, personal squabbles, ambitious lawyers, bitter players and the list is honestly endless, everyone had an oar in. Very few people walked away looking pure as snow, but this is baseball and America…we always bounce back.

You’re going to want to be a baseball fan if you pick up The Betrayal. It isn’t a book for everyone, more a book for every fan.

Now you’ll have to excuse me, the World Series is on and I’ve made some bets.

The Betrayal: How the 1919 Black Sox Scandal Changed Baseball by Charles Fountain

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 15, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199795134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199795130


Sort of Like Gwen's Signature








June 8th, 2009

Did you hear the one about the three-fingered pitcher? Crazy ’08- a review

by Gwen

Okay, I admit it, I don’t have a punch line for that one. Cait Murphy’s book, Crazy ’08, will keep you entertained and then some though. Yes, it centers on the turbulent and see saw baseball season of 1908, but it gives you so much more. The early 1900’s weren’t just baseball’s coming of age, it was also when America was coming of age as well.

Think about it, in 1908 ……
*Henry Ford produces his first Model T automobile.
*There was no radio, at least not in the sense that you could listen to ballgames
*The first year that the ball was dropped from Times Square, signaling the New Year.
*Frenchman Henri Farman pilots the first passenger flight.
*Teddy Roosevelt is President.
*Robert Perry Arrives at The North Pole
*First True Skyscraper Built

A lot was going on, yet half of the country was glued to newspapers, ticker tapes and just plain word of mouth to see how their team was doing. Boy, were they in for a ride. With spitballs still legal, metal cleats being used as weapons, tool sheds out in the in fields, players that spent the off season working as miners, dentists, bar owners and more, baseball is nothing like the sport that we know now. It was still sewing it’s oats, trying to entice women fans and just plain trying to become respectable. The players give it their all, playing multiple games a day, battling hoodoo curses, getting to know their equipment and themselves.

Crazy ’08 brings you ringside…..make that baseline side. You will find yourself rooting for the game, the shenanigans, the future and more. You don’t have to be a fan of baseball, just a fan of history and America to enjoy it. I found myself glued to it, rooting them on. It was gripping non fiction, two terms that seldom go together!

And just in case you were wondering…..There was actually a pitcher with three fingers. He was Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown and he was a good pitcher and entertaining philosopher.

Crazy ’08
Cait Murphy

* ISBN-10: 0060889381
* ISBN-13: 978-0060889388

400 pages
$14.95 List