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In 1958, after the Dodgers and Giants had both left New York for California, a group of investors sought to bring the city a new baseball franchise, and their proposal was a bold one. Led by former Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, they sought to create an entire new major league. Meanwhile, as the advocates for the would-be Continental League tried to make their case before the existing major league owners, New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel struggled to keep America's most popular team in championship form. Shapiro (The Last Good Season) parallels these two stories, arguing that they represent a hinge point when team owners could have taken radical steps to reclaim the sport's hold on the public imagination, but chose instead to cling tightly to their near-monopoly, paving the way for other sports, like football, to rise in popularity. The history, filled with colorful personalities, is told in a straightforward manner. While its two halves don't always fit together neatly, they offer a lively perspective on backstage dealings that almost changed the course of professional sports in America. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen byPW.(June)
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ISBN-10:  0805082476
ISBN-13:  978-0805082470
Author:  Michael Shapiro
Publisher:  Times Books
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review by . January 25, 2009
Shapiro hinges his tale of Major League baseball's gradual but seemingly unstoppable descent to second-rate fan-dom around the most momentous home run in baseball history.    I was 18 months old and a future Pittsburgh Pirate fan when Bill Mazeroski sent his home run out of Forbes Field and stunned the perennially-powerful New York Yankees in 1960. Baseball in my lifetime has been a tale of bitter strikes, backroom scheming, and drug-driven scandals, which have left the game …
review by . January 22, 2009
is a baseball fan's dream. The book is filled to the top with historical moments, lore, and characters that shaped America's national pastime. The books spans several years in one of baseball's defining moments in history.    This book is not for everyone, as it is loaded with players, managers, political figures, prominent city people, cities, states, and their little (or big) stories and motivations. With the sheer volume of stuff going on in this book it is hard to keep track, …
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Bottom of the Ninth: Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel,
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