Contact Ron Kaplan

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If you have a question, suggestion, or a book you would like to be considered for review, send a e-mail to Ron. Please note that not all books get reviewed or there could be a considerable lag-time before a review appears.

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  • I noticed that you made passing reference to my book, “Bleeding Red: A Red Sox Fan’s Diary of the 2004 Season” in a post on “Blooks” and thought I’d share how it came into being in that way — it was never, in fact, intended to be a blook, or even part of a blog, though I always conceived of it as a book. I am a history professor who is mad about baseball, and for years I had been intending to keep a diary, a sort of fan’s memoir, of a Red Sox season in the hoped of understanding what it means to be a fan, why it means so much, and to chronicle the day-to-day, up-and-down nature of loyal fanhood in a long baseball season.

    I also write a blog, dcat, (http://dcatblog.blogspot.com) about politics, history, sports, and so forth. (I am also the writer and blogger on African issues for the Foreign Policy Association — http://southafrica.foreignpolicyblogs.com/) In the spring of 2004, after I had been keeping the diary for a few months (I wrote the first entries in February after beginning a fellowship at UVA’s Virginia Foundation for the Humanities where I was working on my “real” book but had more time and sdpace to write and think) I posted one of my entries on Pedro Martinez’s historical greatness at dcat. It engendered a lot of conversation and another blogger saw that post and asked if I would post all of my entries that way — having an audience proved good for the project.

    As the year started coming to a close, I began looking for publishers. Alas, I was preempted by books by Stephen King/Stewart Onan and Bill Simmons, so big publishers steered clear. I found a small academic publisher in DC that also has a trade imprint, and they accepted my book and published it in 2005. Sometime after the book was entered into a blog-derived book competition — the blloks you mentioned — though I had never heard of the concept before.

    My book has been very well reviewed, albeit not reviewed as often as I would have liked! But the “blook” aspect of it was incidental, truth be told, and I still would never consider it to be a “blook” despite the fact that a lot of the individual entires did appear on a blog at someone else’s behest.

    Cheers —
    Derek Catsam

  • I noticed that you made passing reference to my book, “Bleeding Red: A Red Sox Fan’s Diary of the 2004 Season” in a post on “Blooks” and thought I’d share how it came into being in that way — it was never, in fact, intended to be a blook, or even part of a blog, though I always conceived of it as a book. I am a history professor who is mad about baseball, and for years I had been intending to keep a diary, a sort of fan’s memoir, of a Red Sox season in the hoped of understanding what it means to be a fan, why it means so much, and to chronicle the day-to-day, up-and-down nature of loyal fanhood in a long baseball season.

    I also write a blog, dcat, (http://dcatblog.blogspot.com) about politics, history, sports, and so forth. (I am also the writer and blogger on African issues for the Foreign Policy Association — http://southafrica.foreignpolicyblogs.com/) In the spring of 2004, after I had been keeping the diary for a few months (I wrote the first entries in February after beginning a fellowship at UVA’s Virginia Foundation for the Humanities where I was working on my “real” book but had more time and sdpace to write and think) I posted one of my entries on Pedro Martinez’s historical greatness at dcat. It engendered a lot of conversation and another blogger saw that post and asked if I would post all of my entries that way — having an audience proved good for the project.

    As the year started coming to a close, I began looking for publishers. Alas, I was preempted by books by Stephen King/Stewart Onan and Bill Simmons, so big publishers steered clear. I found a small academic publisher in DC that also has a trade imprint, and they accepted my book and published it in 2005. Sometime after the book was entered into a blog-derived book competition — the blloks you mentioned — though I had never heard of the concept before.

    My book has been very well reviewed, albeit not reviewed as often as I would have liked! But the “blook” aspect of it was incidental, truth be told, and I still would never consider it to be a “blook” despite the fact that a lot of the individual entires did appear on a blog at someone else’s behest.

    Cheers —
    Derek Catsam

  • * bullpenbrian

    Ron,

    As an avid reader of baseball books, I was thrilled to come across your blog. Keep up the good work and I look forward to checking back in to see what baseball books I should purchase next!

    –Bullpen Brian–

  • * bullpenbrian

    Ron,

    As an avid reader of baseball books, I was thrilled to come across your blog. Keep up the good work and I look forward to checking back in to see what baseball books I should purchase next!

    –Bullpen Brian–

  • Ron Hi,

    Thought you might be interested in:
    http://www.dovabramson.com/field_of_life

  • Ron Hi,

    Thought you might be interested in:
    http://www.dovabramson.com/field_of_life

  • Thanks for the mention, Ron. For the record, Scott and I are not Mordecai Brown’s grandchildren. He never had any children, therefore, no grandchildren. My grandfather was Mordecai’s first cousin.

    A minor point. Thanks again, and I invite your readers to visit: http://www.threefinger.com

    Cindy

    RK: Seems I was misinformed. My apologies for any confusion.

  • Thanks for the mention, Ron. For the record, Scott and I are not Mordecai Brown’s grandchildren. He never had any children, therefore, no grandchildren. My grandfather was Mordecai’s first cousin.

    A minor point. Thanks again, and I invite your readers to visit: http://www.threefinger.com

    Cindy

    RK: Seems I was misinformed. My apologies for any confusion.

  • * William T. Harely

    Great site. Love it. Check out some of these really awesome baseball books.

    The End of Baseball
    The Legend of Mickey Tussler
    The Entitled
    Once Upon a Fastball

  • * William T. Harely

    Great site. Love it. Check out some of these really awesome baseball books.

    The End of Baseball
    The Legend of Mickey Tussler
    The Entitled
    Once Upon a Fastball

  • * Tom Little

    Ron, I read many years ago about Phil Linz hitting a foul ball in the stands and it hit his own Mother. I would like to have confirmation of this, if possible. Thanks, Tom.

  • Ron, I read many years ago about Phil Linz hitting a foul ball in the stands and it hit his own Mother. I would like to have confirmation of this, if possible. Thanks, Tom.

  • Ron, wonderful site… always a pleasure to visit.

    We just published a bilingual children’s baseball book that tells the story of the first foreign team to win the Little League Championship Series, a team from Monterrey Mexico back in 1957. The pitcher, Angel Macias, threw a perfect game during that championship game. It’s intriguing that this year’s Mexican team pitcher in the Little League playoffs also through a perfect game.

    The picture book is also based “The Perfect Game” novel which was also recently released. The movie of the same name is scheduled to be released soon by Lionsgate.

    Here’s a link to the book’s website with more info: http://www.MiracleOfMonterrey.com. We’ll have more content on it soon including photos of the original team, etc.

    Keep up the great work!

    Art

  • Ron, wonderful site… always a pleasure to visit.

    We just published a bilingual children’s baseball book that tells the story of the first foreign team to win the Little League Championship Series, a team from Monterrey Mexico back in 1957. The pitcher, Angel Macias, threw a perfect game during that championship game. It’s intriguing that this year’s Mexican team pitcher in the Little League playoffs also through a perfect game.

    The picture book is also based “The Perfect Game” novel which was also recently released. The movie of the same name is scheduled to be released soon by Lionsgate.

    Here’s a link to the book’s website with more info: http://www.MiracleOfMonterrey.com. We’ll have more content on it soon including photos of the original team, etc.

    Keep up the great work!

    Art

  • Good Morning Ron,

    I read your mention of Dell Bethel…Thank you. Dell was a good friend of mine.

    My first experience with Dell was in 1959-60 as my PE teacher and 8th grade basketball coach in Sunnyside Washington. Our basketball team was undefeated – we were in better condition than the high school team. At the end of that season with Dell Bethel, I believed that I could accomplish anything I wanted to. Our PE class was featured in the national magazine, Strength and Health in 1960 or 1961. (Speaking of national acclaim, in 1962-63, my wife’s high school journalism class won a national honor when they interviewed JFK – Dell was the advisor to that class) Dell blew the doors open to conditioning junior high school students. He took conditioning to a level our community thought achievable only by Olympic athletes and the elite forces of the military. My friend Mike Wolfe climbed “the rope” in a time equal to the national record. When I spoke with Dell last year, he asked about Mike and recalled his achievement. Five years ago while training for a triathlon I hit a curb and was thrown onto a gravel berm. The results were a scrape on the heel of my right hand and a small scrape on my right shoulder blade instead of the expected torn flesh and lacerations. Why? My automatic response was the “Ranger Roll” I learned in 8th grade PE from Dell. It has saved me injury on many occasions.

    In 1961, I was 14-15 years old. I sat on the bench with the Lower Yakima Valley American Legion team coached by Dell. It was on this team that Mel Stottlemeyer began his climb into the Major Leagues, and 4 other team members eventually achieved some sort of professional baseball status. The next year, Dell was my high school baseball coach at Sunnyside, Washington for the next 3 years. He made an opportunity available to me, as he did for many of his young protégés, when he had the Yankee scout, Eddie Taylor contact me. It was the highlight of my baseball career.

    When my son was attending Sunnyside High School, I contacted Dell and he came to Sunnyside from Ohio to put on a baseball clinic. He sent a list of requirements that rattled the brains of the local baseball association that was to sponsor Dell’s Clinic. We had official Major League baseballs, video cameras, multiple fields, golf carts and the list goes on. Several ex-professional ball players and a host of his baseball alumni were on hand to assist with instruction. Some of the professionals played for Dell on that Legion team and others knew of him and wanted to be a part of Dell’s contribution to igniting the flame of excitement in our young aspiring players. The participants traveled from a hundred mile radius. At the conclusion of the clinic, I was exhausted – Dell had given his usual 110% and – showing a bit of wear and tear from the two-day marathon – was headed for the showers when he was turned around to oblige an infield full of eager students with shots from a fungo wrapped with rubber bands and then followed by a nite-capper of his infamous “Burma Road”. At the 7:00 PM conclusion, the kids were tired and Dell was looking forward to next year’s clinic. My son went on to play for Pacific Lutheran University and, once again, Dell lined up a number of tryouts for him with several major league scouts.

    Years later I visited Dell and his wife, Polly, at their home in North Ridgeville OH. Their hospitality was unparalleled and Dell gave me a royal tour of Jacobson Field with introductions and photos with many of the players – including, then manager, Mike Hargrove. The photos hang prominently in our dental office today.

    In later years, Dell was mentoring my Grandsons through our telephone conversations and inspiring the thrill of baseball to them. Three generations…it is difficult to imagine that it all started 48 years ago in Sunnyside. The stories I have of Dell, his determination, generosity, graciousness, and inspiration far exceed the format for which this comment section is intended. Dell Bethel is a Hall of Fame personality for baseball…he emulated the Spirit a game and the quality of character that we would like to associate with being a great American.

    Respectfully,
    Jim Stevens

  • Good Morning Ron,

    I read your mention of Dell Bethel…Thank you. Dell was a good friend of mine.

    My first experience with Dell was in 1959-60 as my PE teacher and 8th grade basketball coach in Sunnyside Washington. Our basketball team was undefeated – we were in better condition than the high school team. At the end of that season with Dell Bethel, I believed that I could accomplish anything I wanted to. Our PE class was featured in the national magazine, Strength and Health in 1960 or 1961. (Speaking of national acclaim, in 1962-63, my wife’s high school journalism class won a national honor when they interviewed JFK – Dell was the advisor to that class) Dell blew the doors open to conditioning junior high school students. He took conditioning to a level our community thought achievable only by Olympic athletes and the elite forces of the military. My friend Mike Wolfe climbed “the rope” in a time equal to the national record. When I spoke with Dell last year, he asked about Mike and recalled his achievement. Five years ago while training for a triathlon I hit a curb and was thrown onto a gravel berm. The results were a scrape on the heel of my right hand and a small scrape on my right shoulder blade instead of the expected torn flesh and lacerations. Why? My automatic response was the “Ranger Roll” I learned in 8th grade PE from Dell. It has saved me injury on many occasions.

    In 1961, I was 14-15 years old. I sat on the bench with the Lower Yakima Valley American Legion team coached by Dell. It was on this team that Mel Stottlemeyer began his climb into the Major Leagues, and 4 other team members eventually achieved some sort of professional baseball status. The next year, Dell was my high school baseball coach at Sunnyside, Washington for the next 3 years. He made an opportunity available to me, as he did for many of his young protégés, when he had the Yankee scout, Eddie Taylor contact me. It was the highlight of my baseball career.

    When my son was attending Sunnyside High School, I contacted Dell and he came to Sunnyside from Ohio to put on a baseball clinic. He sent a list of requirements that rattled the brains of the local baseball association that was to sponsor Dell’s Clinic. We had official Major League baseballs, video cameras, multiple fields, golf carts and the list goes on. Several ex-professional ball players and a host of his baseball alumni were on hand to assist with instruction. Some of the professionals played for Dell on that Legion team and others knew of him and wanted to be a part of Dell’s contribution to igniting the flame of excitement in our young aspiring players. The participants traveled from a hundred mile radius. At the conclusion of the clinic, I was exhausted – Dell had given his usual 110% and – showing a bit of wear and tear from the two-day marathon – was headed for the showers when he was turned around to oblige an infield full of eager students with shots from a fungo wrapped with rubber bands and then followed by a nite-capper of his infamous “Burma Road”. At the 7:00 PM conclusion, the kids were tired and Dell was looking forward to next year’s clinic. My son went on to play for Pacific Lutheran University and, once again, Dell lined up a number of tryouts for him with several major league scouts.

    Years later I visited Dell and his wife, Polly, at their home in North Ridgeville OH. Their hospitality was unparalleled and Dell gave me a royal tour of Jacobson Field with introductions and photos with many of the players – including, then manager, Mike Hargrove. The photos hang prominently in our dental office today.

    In later years, Dell was mentoring my Grandsons through our telephone conversations and inspiring the thrill of baseball to them. Three generations…it is difficult to imagine that it all started 48 years ago in Sunnyside. The stories I have of Dell, his determination, generosity, graciousness, and inspiration far exceed the format for which this comment section is intended. Dell Bethel is a Hall of Fame personality for baseball…he emulated the Spirit a game and the quality of character that we would like to associate with being a great American.

    Respectfully,
    Jim Stevens

  • Your work makes enjoyable reading. What do you think about the so-called decline in the number of people who read–do you think that applies to the reading of baseball books? I get the impression that baseball publishing remains about the same as it has in the last ten years or so. I’d like to say so in my next book, but I’d love your opinion first. I’ll acknowledge you, of course. My next book, for McFarland, bears the working title Pursuing Baseball: Our National Obsession with Our National Game, and is due to be published in 2010. I hope you’ll review it. By the way, you may not be able to open my web sites; SABR has just taken them over and hasn’t informed me yet that they’re up.

  • Your work makes enjoyable reading. What do you think about the so-called decline in the number of people who read–do you think that applies to the reading of baseball books? I get the impression that baseball publishing remains about the same as it has in the last ten years or so. I’d like to say so in my next book, but I’d love your opinion first. I’ll acknowledge you, of course. My next book, for McFarland, bears the working title Pursuing Baseball: Our National Obsession with Our National Game, and is due to be published in 2010. I hope you’ll review it. By the way, you may not be able to open my web sites; SABR has just taken them over and hasn’t informed me yet that they’re up.

  • * Ralph Zig Tyko

    Great job, terrific site!!

  • * Ralph Zig Tyko

    Great job, terrific site!!

  • Ron,

    Great site. I came across it while researching Charlie Ebbets. You might be interested in “Uncle Sam’s League,” my new blog about baseball during World War I. Lots of items on Christy Mathewson, Ty Cobb, Hank Gowdy and many others, plus some nice feature pieces from overseas — imagine the French watching their first ballgame!

    Best,
    jrl

  • Ron,

    Great site. I came across it while researching Charlie Ebbets. You might be interested in “Uncle Sam’s League,” my new blog about baseball during World War I. Lots of items on Christy Mathewson, Ty Cobb, Hank Gowdy and many others, plus some nice feature pieces from overseas — imagine the French watching their first ballgame!

    Best,
    jrl

  • Seems very slow going for the baseball book industry so far this spring. Will there be fewer titles?

  • Seems very slow going for the baseball book industry so far this spring. Will there be fewer titles?

  • David Hollis

    It’s Frank Deford, not Dan

  • David Hollis

    It’s Frank Deford, not Dan

  • Right you are. Thanks for the catch.

  • Right you are. Thanks for the catch.

  • Ron,

    Here are a few more articles and reviews about my book “Chasing Moonlight: The True Story of Field of Dreams’ Doc Graham.”

    http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=324213
    http://www.thestate.com/gogamecocks/story/761649.html
    http://artandliterature.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/sportswriter-brett-friedlander-discusses-the-true-story-of-field-of-dreams-doc-graham/

    If you’re a baseball fan, love the movie Field of Dreams or are just a sucker for feel-good stories about genuinely good people, you’re definitely going to want to read this one. You can get it at any major book chain or on amazon.com.

  • Ron,

    Here are a few more articles and reviews about my book “Chasing Moonlight: The True Story of Field of Dreams’ Doc Graham.”

    http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=324213
    http://www.thestate.com/gogamecocks/story/761649.html
    http://artandliterature.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/sportswriter-brett-friedlander-discusses-the-true-story-of-field-of-dreams-doc-graham/

    If you’re a baseball fan, love the movie Field of Dreams or are just a sucker for feel-good stories about genuinely good people, you’re definitely going to want to read this one. You can get it at any major book chain or on amazon.com.

  • Dear Ron:

    Thanks so much for mentioning my book, “Root for the Cubs: Charlie Root and the 1929 Chicago Cubs.”

    Root won 201 games, the most of any pitcher for the Cubs. But he was haunted by just one pitch, Babe Ruth’s “called shot” in the 1932 World Series.

    Daughter Della, 90, tells a “baseball love story” full of her humor, emotion and never-reported details of life with Charlie, including how he opened the 1929 season believing that his career was over.

    The web site has a rare film of Root warming up before the 1929 Series, and a number of news and reviews.

    Thanks again for the mention.

    Roger Snell
    Author

  • Dear Ron:

    Thanks so much for mentioning my book, “Root for the Cubs: Charlie Root and the 1929 Chicago Cubs.”

    Root won 201 games, the most of any pitcher for the Cubs. But he was haunted by just one pitch, Babe Ruth’s “called shot” in the 1932 World Series.

    Daughter Della, 90, tells a “baseball love story” full of her humor, emotion and never-reported details of life with Charlie, including how he opened the 1929 season believing that his career was over.

    The web site has a rare film of Root warming up before the 1929 Series, and a number of news and reviews.

    Thanks again for the mention.

    Roger Snell
    Author

  • Harvey Poris

    Ron,
    Several other books about the Mets miracle that were published at the time:

    Amazing by Joe Durso
    Joy in Mudville by George Vecsey
    The Amazin Mets by Jerry Mitchell
    Last to First by Larry Fox
    Cleon by Cleon Jones

    Harvey Poris

  • Harvey Poris

    Ron,
    Several other books about the Mets miracle that were published at the time:

    Amazing by Joe Durso
    Joy in Mudville by George Vecsey
    The Amazin Mets by Jerry Mitchell
    Last to First by Larry Fox
    Cleon by Cleon Jones

    Harvey Poris

  • You are correct (although I believe Durso’s book came out a few years earlier). But I was referring only to books about the ’69 Mets that I actually own. There was also a book about Jones and Agee; I believe it was titled The Mets from Mobile.

  • You are correct (although I believe Durso’s book came out a few years earlier). But I was referring only to books about the ’69 Mets that I actually own. There was also a book about Jones and Agee; I believe it was titled The Mets from Mobile.

  • Harvey Poris

    Ron,
    The Durso book was released in 1970, as was the Mets from Mobile by A.S. “Doc” Young.

    Harvey Poris

  • Harvey Poris

    Ron,
    The Durso book was released in 1970, as was the Mets from Mobile by A.S. “Doc” Young.

    Harvey Poris

  • Glen

    Anyone know anything about the book, My Brother Morris Berg: The Real Moe? I have the copy presented to Miss Ethel Berg by the New York Public Library on June 15, 1973. I understand that these special presentation books are extremely rare. Can anyone give some idea what this book is worth and help me find a good home for it. Glen

  • Glen

    Anyone know anything about the book, My Brother Morris Berg: The Real Moe? I have the copy presented to Miss Ethel Berg by the New York Public Library on June 15, 1973. I understand that these special presentation books are extremely rare. Can anyone give some idea what this book is worth and help me find a good home for it. Glen

  • Wow. That’s a real coup. Been looking to read that one myself, but have no idea what it’s worth. Good luck.

  • Wow. That’s a real coup. Been looking to read that one myself, but have no idea what it’s worth. Good luck.

  • mikec

    “Public Bonehead, Private Hero: The Real Legacy of Baseball’s Fred Merkle”

    http://www.sportingchancepress.com

    Available in February.

    This was a labor of love for me. Merkle did nothing wrong on the baserunning play. He was anything but a bonehead. He’s the opposite–a role model in terms of handling extreme adversity.

    The book is also a fun ride through hard-scrabble 1908 baseball. Arguably, the greatest-ever pennant race, most famous game and most memorable characters.

    Just a heads-up, Ron. Thank you.

  • mikec

    “Public Bonehead, Private Hero: The Real Legacy of Baseball’s Fred Merkle”

    http://www.sportingchancepress.com

    Available in February.

    This was a labor of love for me. Merkle did nothing wrong on the baserunning play. He was anything but a bonehead. He’s the opposite–a role model in terms of handling extreme adversity.

    The book is also a fun ride through hard-scrabble 1908 baseball. Arguably, the greatest-ever pennant race, most famous game and most memorable characters.

    Just a heads-up, Ron. Thank you.

  • marcsherman

    I compiled the attached timeline about a year ago. I thought that it might interest you.

    I’ve been known to obsess about certain topics. Two of them are Baseball and Bigotry. So I decided to research the history of one within the other. Below is basically a time line of the history of bigotry in baseball.

    1867- The National Association of Baseball Players rejected the application, an all black team, for club status.

    Cap Anson-

    Anson was well known to be a racist and refused to play in exhibition games versus dark-skinned players.

    This attitude was not considered to be unusual in his day, and Anson remained very popular in Chicago while playing for the White Stockings. On August 10, 1883 Anson refused to play an exhibition game against the Toledo Blue Stockings because their catcher, Moses Fleetwood Walker, was African American.[8] When Blue Stockings Manager Charlie Morton told Anson the White Stockings would forfeit the gate receipts if they refused to play, Anson backed down.

    On July 14, 1887 the Chicago White Stockings played an exhibition game against the Newark Little Giants. African American George Stovey was listed in the Newark News as the Little Giants' scheduled starting pitcher. Anson objected, and Stovey did not pitch.. Moreover, International League owners had voted 6-to-4 to exclude African-American players from future contracts.

    In September 1888 Chicago was at Syracuse for an exhibition game. Anson refused to start the game when he saw Walker’s name on the scorecard as catcher. Again, Anson pressured his opponents to find a Caucasian replacement

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap_Anson#Racial_i

    1902- The first Latin American Ballplayer, Luis Castro, plays 42 games for the Philadelphia Athletics.

    Ty Cobb was a notorious racist- http://wso.williams.edu/~jkossuth/cobb/race.htm

    1933- Hank Greenberg starts for the Tigers.

    Yet the budding baseball star often faced bigotry in the predominantly Gentile world of baseball. While it was rampant in pre-World War II Germany, anti-Semitism was not uncommon in the United States in the 1930s. Greenberg was often heckled by baseball spectators and by opposing players—some of whom joked that pitchers should try throwing a pork chop at him to strike him out. Throughout these trials, Greenberg maintained his dignity, and became more beloved among his fans for his fortitude and perseverance. http://sports.jrank.org/pages/1763/Greenberg-Ha

    1947- Jackie Robinson becomes the first Black Major league player. Below are the different reaction of two of Robinson’s Teammates.

    Dixie Walker- When the Dodgers broke baseball's color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, Walker became a figure of some controversy. In 1947, during spring training, the club announced that it was bringing up Robinson from the minors. Walker thereupon wrote a letter to Branch Rickey, the club president, asking him to be traded. The letter did not mention Robinson by name, but Walker acknowledged later that he had been under pressure from Alabama people not to play with Robinson. Several other Dodgers from the U.S. South who had also grown up in conditions of strict racial segregation made similar requests of Rickey. Walker denied, nevertheless, that he had been in the forefront of a move to block Robinson. Reportedly, Robinson would look the other way rather than try to shake Walker's hand on the field, to avoid mutual embarrassment. Walker was soon defending Robinson and giving him pointers, and added that he came to respect Robinson for the way he handled the abuse hurled at him, and called him “as outstanding an athlete as I never saw.” Walker finished the year at .306 and 94 RBIs.

    Whatever his opinion might have been at the time about integration, Walker saluted Robinson the baseball player when the 1947 pennant was won: “He is everything Branch Rickey said he was when he came up from Montreal.” And with time, and as baseball welcomed more black and Latin players into its ranks, Walker's position about integration surely evolved as well. He managed integrated teams in the AAA International League in the late 1950s, coached for the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Braves and made clear to reporters that he was not the same Dixie Walker as he was in 1947. His support of Jim Crow during Robinson's rookie season sprang partly from concerns for his home and businesses in his native Alabama – “I didn't know if people would spit on me or not [for playing with a black man],” he once said. Indeed, his final years in baseball in the late 1960s through the 1970s were as the minor league batting instructor for one of the game's most diverseorganizations, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixie_Walker#Integ

    Pee Wee Reese- Reese was a strong supporter of the first 20th century black Major League Baseball player, Jackie Robinson. He was serving a stint in the Navy when the news of Robinson's signing came. Although he had little or no experience interacting with minorities — according to Reese, his meeting Robinson marked the first time in his life that he had shaken hands with a black man — he had no particular prejudices, either. It is reported that his father had made him starkly aware of racial injustice by showing him a tree where a lynching had occurred.[2] The modest Reese, who typically downplayed his pioneering role in helping to ease the breaking of the 80-year-old color line, said that his primary concern with regard to Robinson's arrival was the possibility of Reese losing his shortstop job. Robinson was assigned to the right side of the infield, and Reese retained his position.

    Many Dodgers were anathema to the thought of a Negro playing in the bright white Dodger uniform. The mindset of the majority of the ballplayers at the time was that black people had been put on earth to merely serve others. Reese refused to sign a petition that threatened a boycott if Robinson joined the team. When Robinson joined the Dodgers in 1947 and traveled with them during their first road trip, he was heckled by fans in Cincinnati, Ohio. During pre-game infield practice, Reese, the captain of the team, went over to Robinson, engaged him in conversation, and put his arm around his shoulder in a gesture of support which silenced the crowd. This gesture is depicted in a bronze sculpture of Reese and Robinson, created by sculptor William Behrends, that was placed at KeySpan Park in Brooklyn, New York, and unveiled on November 1, 2005.

    Throughout that difficult first year in the major leagues, Reese helped keep Robinson's morale up amid all the abuse. As the 1947 season wore on, there was tacit acceptance of the fact that Black men were now playing big league ball and were probably here to stay. Robinson still got pitches thrown at him, but Pee Wee Reese told him, “You know Jack, some of these guys are throwing at you because you’re black. But others are doing it just because they don’t like you.” His role in nurturing Jackie Robinson aside, 1947 was a superb year for Reese, as he batted .284 with a league-leading 104 walks. He also had a career best slugging average of .426. Their rapport soon led shortstop Reese and second baseman Robinson to become one of the most effective defensive pairs in the sport's history.

    The friendship between Reese and Robinson is the subject of a popular 1990 children's book called Teammates, written by Peter Golenbock and with illustrations by Paul Bacon.

    At Reese's funeral, Joe Black, another Major League Baseball black pioneer, said:

    “Pee Wee helped make my boyhood dream come true to play in the Majors, the World Series. When Pee Wee reached out to Jackie, all of us in the Negro League smiled and said it was the first time that a White guy had accepted us. When I finally got up to Brooklyn, I went to Pee Wee and said, 'Black people love you. When you touched Jackie, you touched all of us.' With Pee Wee, it was No. 1 on his uniform and No. 1 in our hearts.”

    1955- Sandy Koufax signs with the Dodgers.

    “Some of the players did not like him because he was a Jew,” Newcombe says. “I couldn't understand the narrow-mindedness of these players when they would come to us and talk about Sandy as 'this kike' and 'this Jew bastard' or 'Jew sonofabitch that's gonna take my job.' Players used to complain he threw the ball too hard. But the way they used to complain—'The wild Jew sonofabitch, I'm not gonna hit against that…'—and they'd use the f word—'…that kike, as wild as he is.' And these were star Dodgers players, some of them. You think of crackers as being from the South, but a lot of those crackers, they were from California and other places.”

    Such prejudice wasn't confined to the Dodgers. It was the mindset of the era. ” Sandy Koufax, being a little Jewish boy, didn't know anything about baseball,” Hank Aaron says, describing the prevailing attitude. “Everybody thought, Hey, he needs to be somewhere off in school, counting money or doing whatever they do.” http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/ar

    1955- Elston Howard becomes the first and only African American Yankee during the George Weiss era as General Manager. http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/yankeeswebpage/els

    1959- The Red Sox become the last team to integrate.

    1960's – Large influx of Latin Americans, highlighted by Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Luis Tiant and Tony Oliva. http://www.latinobaseball.com/mlb-hcountry.html

    1974- Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth’s record- receives hate mail and death threats.

    1975- Frank Robinson becomes the first African American manager.

    1976- Glenn Burke the first openly Gay Ballplayer makes his major league debut.

    Burke's association with the Dodgers was a difficult one. According to his autobiography Out at Home, the Los Angeles Dodgers offered to pay for a lavish honeymoon if Burke agreed to get married. Burke refused to participate in the sham. He also angered Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda by befriending the manager's estranged gay son, Tommy Lasorda, Jr. The Dodgers eventually dealt Burke to the Oakland A's.

    Faced with mounting difficulties, Burke eventually quit baseball. He stated in his autobiography that “prejudice just won out.” He returned for spring training with Oakland in 1980. Billy Martin, the newly hired manager of the Athletics made public statements about not wanting a gay man in his clubhouse.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Burke

    1978 – A Federal court judge opened the locker rooms of all male athletes thereby making them a heterosexual environment. An additional civil ruling in 1985 reaffirmed the previous 1978 decree. http://www.sensations4women.com/femReporters/in

    1987- Dodger Exec Al Campanis says on Nightline, that African American people “may not have some of the necessities” to be managers or executives of major league teams.

    Marge Schott On November 13, 1992, Charles “Cal” Levy, a former marketing director for the Reds, stated in a deposition for Tim Sabo, a former employee who was suing the team that he'd heard Schott refer to then-Reds outfielders Eric Davis and Dave Parker as “million-dollar niggers.” [2] Sabo, whose position was “team controller,” alleged that his 1991 firing was due to testifying against her in another lawsuit brought against Schott by several limited partners and because he opposed the unwritten policy of not hiring blacks. Schott's countersuit alleged that Sabo wrote unauthorized checks to himself and paid health insurance premiums to retired front-office employees. She also asked for $25,000 in damages for defamation. Tim Sabo ultimately lost his suit.

    Levy, a Jew, also alleged that Schott kept an old Nazi swastika armband at her home and claims he overheard her say “sneaky goddamn Jews are all alike.”[3] The next day, Schott issued a statement saying the claims of racism levied against her were overstated and that she didn't mean to offend anyone with her statement or her ownership of the armband. On November 29, Schott said the “million dollar niggers” comment was made in jest, but then stated that she felt that Adolf Hitler was initially good for Germany and didn't understand how the epithet “Jap” could be offensive.

    During the same season, a former Oakland Athletics executive assistant, Sharon Jones, is quoted in the New York Times as having overheard Schott state: “I would never hire another nigger. I'd rather have a trained monkey working for me than a nigger,” before the start of an owners' conference call.

    May 18, 1994, Schott commented that she didn't want her players to wear earrings because “only fruits wear earrings.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marge_Schott#The_d

    1999- Sports Illustrated interviews John Rocker, who reveals his racist and anti gay attitudes.

    2006- Barry Bonds passes Babe Ruth.

    Bonds himself thinks fans have it in for him for racial reasons “because Babe Ruth is one of the greatest baseball players ever and Babe Ruth ain't black. I'm black. Blacks, we go through a little more, and that's the truth.” Others agree. Torii Hunter of the Minnesota Twins insisted in a USA Today interview, “It's so obvious what's going on. … It's killing me because you know it's about race.” Danny Glover similarly mused on ESPN's Bonds on Bonds program: “I'm surprised the black community hasn't come out and made a statement about this.” And Louisiana State University Professor Leonard Moore insists things are actually worse than when Hank Aaron was at bat: “White America doesn't want him to [pass] Babe Ruth and is doing everything they can to stop him. … I think what he'll go through will be 100 times worse than what Aaron went through.” http://www.slate.com/id/2143014/

    nts here.

    http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/\u126 ~jahavsy1/reporters.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pee_Wee_Reese#Jack

  • Ron_Kaplan

    Fine work here,

  • Ron_Kaplan

    Thanks!

  • Hey, Ron. It's Tim Gay, the “Satch, Dizzy & Rapid Robert” guy. Very much appreciate your kind review. And I'd be delighted to contribute to your blog if you're still interested.

  • Hi Ron,
    Just dropping a line to say thanks for the link to MetsCards.com. We've got a Yankees version too. I'll put a link to your site over there.

  • Thanks for selecting “Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil” as one of your picks. Come over and join us on our facebook page – today we posted our first Joe DiMaggio crossword puzzle. http://on.fb.me/JoeDiMaggioFacebook

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