* Reviews: Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert: The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball Before Jackie Robinson

April 6, 2010

In addition to my mini-review on Timothy Gay’s latest baseball title in the baseball , here is a sampling of others:

  • Steve Penn, Kansas City Star: “There’s nothing like a good baseball story. And the era of barnstorming, when black players competed against white players despite the color ban, is full of good baseball stories.”
  • Wil Haygood in The Washington Post:  “Gay has written a workmanlike book. It has limitations, some of which are not really the author’s fault. The records of these games, even when they can be tracked down, are not always dependable. The games seem to have been not so much “wild,” as Gay implies in his subtitle, as slapstick. And some of the stories here sound apocryphal: Negro leaguers taking on the Klan and living to tell about it? Gay’s repeated use of “according to legend” doesn’t help, either. Another drawback is that these were exhibition games, played in a relaxed environment. Pride was doubtless at stake, but not the kind of feverish athletic fervor that might have been displayed in a Negro leagues championship game.”
  • Steven Hahn in The New Republic: “Thanks to Timothy Gay’s interesting book, this story should soon command the attention it deserves.”
  • Dan Moore in The Wall Street Journal: “[The book] is hampered by the limits of Mr. Gay’s source material. When he recounts individual games, you can almost see the box score like a scaffold behind the descriptive verbs. Balls are “cracked” and “tagged” and “rapped” but little more can be divined from the slim newspaper coverage these games received.”
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