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Historian's Corner

Baseball in the 1912 Olympics

After a disappointing showing in the 1908 Olympic Games in London, in which the host nation trounced the American contingent decidedly—winning 146 medals to only 47 for the US team—several US Olympic Committee officials accused British organizers of gross unfairness.

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Historian's Corner

1976

At the beginning of America’s bicentennial year, Major League Baseball paid homage of a sort—by following in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers—when it announced plans to expand once again: west to Seattle (if at first you don’t succeed) and north to Toronto.

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Historian's Corner

The Tao of Baseball, by Gō

 

The subgenres within baseball literature have been fairly static for generations. You have your biographies, your celebrations of major events such as World Series or landmark anniversaries, your anthologies compacting the best columns or excerpts from larger works. Over the last few years, there has been an explosion of Moneyball-type titles about the business of the game using Sabermetrics instead of the time-honored (and seemingly outmoded) methods of relying on scouts. Generally speaking: same book, different day.

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Historian's Corner

Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris

I first read Mark Harris’s classic baseball novel Bang the Drum Slowly in a mass-market paperback edition, packaged for $2.95 as Henry Wiggen’s Books with two other Harris works, The Southpaw and A Ticket for a Seamstitch. This was in the late 1970s, when the team I have followed for most of my life, the St. Louis Cardinals, was having a particularly bad season.

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Historian's Corner

My Favorite Player: Roy Sievers

Anytime I hear Judy Garland sing “Meet Me in St. Louis,” I think of the first Major League baseball game I saw. And I think of how the kindness of a St. Louis native who was one of the game’s brightest stars at the time made that game unforgettable.

It was April 1959. I was a third grader at Richfield School in Richfield, North Carolina, where all 12 grades and 320 or so students were housed in the same 1920s-vintage redbrick building.

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Historian's Corner

Women Can Be Baseball Stars, Too

When Americans speak of baseball stars, they are thinking only of men. But we have had women stars, too. And we’re still developing them.

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Historian's Corner

My Favorite Player: Ron Hunt

My childhood in a small upstate New York town in the early 1960s was a time of unsupervised innocence and the powerful appeal of baseball. “The Sandlot” wrapped into “the Wonder Years.”

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Historian's Corner

DeWolf and The Kid

Every professional baseball game, from the first-ever played to the one played yesterday, has included a crowd of spectators, once known as cranks in the nineteenth century, and who eventually earned the title of “Fan.” No game has excluded them, as far as historians can tell, and no game would be complete without them.

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Historian's Corner

My Favorite Player: George Case Jr.

The World War II era of major league baseball in Washington was a very special and unique time. Because I was the son of Senators outfielder and stolen base leader George Case Jr., it has great meaning for me.

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