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Articles by Bill Felber

Bill Felber, executive editor of the Manhattan (KS) Mercury and a baseball historian, is the author of The Book on the Book, published by St. Martin’s Press, and A Game of Brawl, a colorful account of the 1897 National League pennant race, published by the University of Nebraska Press/Bison Books. His most recent book, Under Pallor, Under Shadow, about the watershed American League pennant race of 1920, was published by Bison Books in 2011.  

Historian's Corner

Dodger Don Sutton's Nightmare on Addison Street

Don Sutton once declared that he would rather sell cars than pitch at Wrigley Field.[1] Sutton may have been a Hall of Famer, an ERA champion, a four-time All-Star, and a career 324-game winner, but he had good reason to recoil at the thought of facing the Cubs.

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Historian's Corner

Brian Sabean: GM Genius

Ask any culturally alert fan to identify the best general manager of recent vintage and 10 out of 10 will point knowingly to Oakland’s Billy Beane. Their one-word rationale—Hollywood—will be as simple to grasp as it will be erroneous.

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Historian's Corner

Second-Guessers’ Paradise:
Dissecting the Ninth Inning of the Seventh Game of the 1962 World Series

If the ninth inning of the seventh game of the 1962 World Series unfolded today, it would be the most widely second-guessed amalgam of decisions in sports history. The fascinating aspect of that decisive inning is that at the time it was played, it generated little public second-guessing at all.

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Historian's Corner

The Death of Miller Huggins

Miller Huggins is widely regarded as one of baseball’s greatest managers. A 1964 Hall of Fame inductee, he managed the Yankees to six American League pennants and to the 1923, 1927, and 1928 World Series championships. During his 12-season tenure in New York, Huggins-led Yankees teams won nearly 60 percent of their games, and only once finished out of the first division. A lifelong bachelor and tireless worker, Huggins’s great advantage was the single-mindedness with which he prepared both himself and his team.

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Historian's Corner

Tragedy at the Ball Yard

The single greatest tragedy in the history of American sports is largely forgotten.

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Historian's Corner

Carl Hubbell, Jake Arrieta, Rube Marquard, Tim Keefe, and the Longest Pitching Streaks in Major League Baseball

Early in 2016, when Jake Arrieta stretched his string of consecutive victories to 20, the feat stirred memories of Carl Hubbell’s record of 24 straight wins set during the 1936–37 seasons. The odd thing was that even as Hubbell rolled through opponents that summer, experts debated whether his performance merited inclusion among the game’s records at all.

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Historian's Corner

The Chicago Whales

Imagine a Major League pennant race coming down to a final scheduled series between the contenders. Now imagine that series coming down to the final game. Now imagine that final game being halted early by natural elements, throwing the pennant to whichever team happened to be leading when those natural elements intervened.

Finally, imagine that many of the most knowledgeable baseball historians—and almost all regular fans—are unaware any of the above ever occurred.

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Historian's Corner

The Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Spiders

From a baseball standpoint, there was nothing gay about the 1890s. Stylistically, it was a rough-and-tumble decade producing teams famed as much for their willingness to brawl as for their superiority. Nowhere was this more true than in Baltimore and Cleveland.

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Historian's Corner

Providence Grays

Major League Baseball has crowned 139 “champions” since 1876, of which 137 represented cities that still have a big league franchise. The sole exceptions thrilled fans of Providence, Rhode Island, more than 130 years ago.

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