Before They Were Cardinals

Sports and American culture series

Book 2
University of Missouri Press
Free sample

Mark McGwire, Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock. These famous Cardinals are known by baseball fans around the world. But who and what were the predecessors of these modern-day players and their team? In Before They Were Cardinals, Jon David Cash examines the infancy of major-league baseball in St. Louis during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. His in-depth analysis begins with an exploration of the factors that motivated civic leaders to form the city's first major-league ball club. Cash delves into the economic trade rivalry between Chicago and St. Louis and examines how St. Louis's attempt to compete with Chicago led to the formation of the St. Louis Brown Stockings in 1875. He then explains why, three years later, despite its initial success, St. Louis baseball quickly vanished from the big-league map.

St. Louis baseball was revived with the arrival of German immigrant saloon owner Chris Von der Ahe. Cash explains how Von der Ahe, originally only interested in concession rights, purchased a controlling interest in the Brown Stockings. His riveting account follows the team after Von der Ahe's purchase, from the formation of the American Association, to its merger in 1891 with the rival National League. He chronicles Von der Ahe's monetary downturn, and the club's decline as well, following the merger.

Before They Were Cardinals provides vivid portraits of the ball players and the participants involved in the baseball war between the National League and the American Association. Cash points out significant differences, such as Sunday games and beer sales, between the two Leagues. In addition, excerpts taken from Chicago and St. Louis newspapers make the on-field contests and off-field rivalries come alive. Cash concludes this lively historical narrative with an appendix that traces the issue of race in baseball during this period.

The excesses of modern-day baseball--players jumping contracts or holding out for more money, gambling on games, and drinking to excess; owners stealing players and breaking agreements--were all present in the nineteenth-century sport. Players were seen then, as they are now, as an embodiment of their community. This timely treatment of a fascinating period in St. Louis baseball history will appeal to both baseball aficionados and those who want to understand the history of baseball itself.

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About the author

Jon David Cash is Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Arkansas-Monticello. He resides in Crossett, Arkansas.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Missouri Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2002
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Pages
279
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ISBN
9780826263704
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Language
English
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Genres
Sports & Recreation / Baseball / History
Sports & Recreation / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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1942: Americans suddenly found themselves at war but were not about to be distracted from the National Pastime. The Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees were looking to continue their World Series rivalry from the 1941 season, and a youthful team from St. Louis was determined to stop them.

With only one player older than thirty, the St. Louis Cardinals were the youngest team to win the National League pennant and World Series. Built on good pitching and tremendous speed on the base paths and in the field, the team featured rookie Stan Musial, future Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter, and ace pitcher Mort Cooper, the National League's Most Valuable Player of 1942. With their winningest season ever, posting 106 victories, the 1942 Redbirds have been called the greatest Cardinal team of all time.

Jerome Mileur was just a kid from downstate Illinois, but he well remembers his view of one game from the left-field grandstand—and the thrill of attending the second game of the World Series. In this book, he brings a sure and loving grasp of his subject to reconstructing one of the most remarkable pennant drives in modern baseball history, with the Cards winning forty-three of their last fifty-one games and clinching first place on the last day of the season.

Mileur provides a game-by-game account of the season with play-by-play action, not only capturing all the thrills on the Cards' way to the top but also conveying the physical and mental demands that the players endured. Counted out by nearly everyone but themselves in August, the Redbirds caught fire in the season's final weeks to pass the seemingly unbeatable Dodgers. And by winning four games out of five to defeat the New York Yankees for the championship, they handed Joe DiMaggio his only World Series defeat.

More than a recapitulation of a thrilling season, Mileur's book is a reminder of how major-league baseball in 1942 differed in so many ways from today's game—one startling example is Mileur's account of how the absence of outfield warning tracks contributed to a devastating injury to Brooklyn's star outfielder, Pete Reiser. The tenor of the times is reflected as well in the juxtaposition of the baseball season with the United States' first year in the Second World War.

The 1942 Cardinals were not only a remarkable team unto themselves but also the beginning of a new baseball dynasty—1942's pennant was the first of three in a row for the Cards, as well as the first of three World Series victories in a space of five seasons. This account of that tremendous season is a page-turner for anyone who loves the game and a must-read for Cardinals fans.
In 1959, Gerald Eskenazi dropped out of City College, not for the first time, and made his way to the New York Times. That day the paper had two openings--one in news and one in sports. Eskenazi was offered either for thirty-eight dollars a week. He chose sports based on his image of the sports department as a cozier place than the news department. Forty-one years and more than eighty-four hundred stories later, New Yorkers know he made the right decision.When Eskenazi started reporting, sports journalism had a different look than it does today. There was a camaraderie between the reporters and the players due in part to the reporters' deference to these famous figures. Unlike today, journalists stayed out of the locker rooms, and didn't ask questions about the players' home lives or their feelings about matters other than the sports that they played. In A Sportswriter's Life, Eskenazi details how much sports and America have changed since then. His anecdotes regarding famous and infamous sports figures from baseball great Joe DiMaggio to boxer Mike Tyson illustrate the transformation that American culture and journalism have undergone in the past fifty years.Eskenazi gives a behind-the-scenes look into the journalistic techniques that go into crafting a story, as well as the pitfalls reporters fall into. There are cautionary tales of journalistic excess, as well as moments of triumph such as the time Eskenazi got Joe Namath to open up to him by admitting he was a sportswriter who knew nothing about football. Along the way, Eskenazi discusses interviewing other reluctant subjects and writing under the intense pressure of a deadline.A Sportswriter's Life is a revealing look at the people and events that were part of the history of sports from a perspective usually unavailable to the public. Eskenazi's inside stories of sports are not always flattering, but they are always amusing, touching, and revealing. This entertaining volume will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in reporting, sports, or just a good story.
1942: Americans suddenly found themselves at war but were not about to be distracted from the National Pastime. The Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees were looking to continue their World Series rivalry from the 1941 season, and a youthful team from St. Louis was determined to stop them.

With only one player older than thirty, the St. Louis Cardinals were the youngest team to win the National League pennant and World Series. Built on good pitching and tremendous speed on the base paths and in the field, the team featured rookie Stan Musial, future Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter, and ace pitcher Mort Cooper, the National League's Most Valuable Player of 1942. With their winningest season ever, posting 106 victories, the 1942 Redbirds have been called the greatest Cardinal team of all time.

Jerome Mileur was just a kid from downstate Illinois, but he well remembers his view of one game from the left-field grandstand—and the thrill of attending the second game of the World Series. In this book, he brings a sure and loving grasp of his subject to reconstructing one of the most remarkable pennant drives in modern baseball history, with the Cards winning forty-three of their last fifty-one games and clinching first place on the last day of the season.

Mileur provides a game-by-game account of the season with play-by-play action, not only capturing all the thrills on the Cards' way to the top but also conveying the physical and mental demands that the players endured. Counted out by nearly everyone but themselves in August, the Redbirds caught fire in the season's final weeks to pass the seemingly unbeatable Dodgers. And by winning four games out of five to defeat the New York Yankees for the championship, they handed Joe DiMaggio his only World Series defeat.

More than a recapitulation of a thrilling season, Mileur's book is a reminder of how major-league baseball in 1942 differed in so many ways from today's game—one startling example is Mileur's account of how the absence of outfield warning tracks contributed to a devastating injury to Brooklyn's star outfielder, Pete Reiser. The tenor of the times is reflected as well in the juxtaposition of the baseball season with the United States' first year in the Second World War.

The 1942 Cardinals were not only a remarkable team unto themselves but also the beginning of a new baseball dynasty—1942's pennant was the first of three in a row for the Cards, as well as the first of three World Series victories in a space of five seasons. This account of that tremendous season is a page-turner for anyone who loves the game and a must-read for Cardinals fans.
Every spring, Little Leaguers across the country mimic his stance and squabble over the right to wear his number, 2, the next number to be retired by the world’s most famous ball team. Derek Jeter is their hero. He walks in the footsteps of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle, and someday his shadow will loom just as large. Yet he has never been the best player in baseball. In fact, he hasn’t always been the best player on his team. But his intangible grace and Jordanesque ability to play big in the biggest of postseason moments make him the face of the modern Yankee dynasty, and of America’s game.

In The Captain, best-selling author Ian O’Connor draws on extensive reporting and unique access to Jeter that has spanned some fifteen years to reveal how a biracial kid from Michigan became New York’s most beloved sports figure and the enduring symbol of the steroid-free athlete. O’Connor takes us behind the scenes of a legendary baseball life and career, from Jeter’s early struggles in the minor leagues, when homesickness and errors in the field threatened a stillborn career, to his heady days as a Yankee superstar and prince of the city who squired some of the world’s most beautiful women, to his tense battles with former best friend A-Rod. We also witness Jeter struggling to come to terms with his declining skills and the declining favor of the only organization he ever wanted to play for, leading to a contentious contract negotiation with the Yankees that left people wondering if Jeter might end his career in a uniform without pinstripes.

Derek Jeter’s march toward the Hall of Fame has been dignified and certain, but behind that leadership and hero’s grace there are hidden struggles and complexities that have never been explored, until now. As Jeter closes in on 3,000 hits, a number no Yankee has ever touched, The Captain offers an incisive, exhilarating, and revealing new look at one of the game’s greatest players in the gloaming of his career.

The New York Times Bestseller

With inside access and reporting, Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer and FOX Sports analyst Tom Verducci reveals how Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon built, led, and inspired the Chicago Cubs team that broke the longest championship drought in sports, chronicling their epic journey to become World Series champions.

It took 108 years, but it really happened. The Chicago Cubs are once again World Series champions. 

How did a team composed of unknown, young players and supposedly washed-up veterans come together to break the Curse of the Billy Goat? Tom Verducci, twice named National Sportswriter of the Year and co-writer of The Yankee Years with Joe Torre, will have full access to team president Theo Epstein, manager Joe Maddon, and the players to tell the story of the Cubs' transformation from perennial underachievers to the best team in baseball. 

Beginning with Epstein's first year with the team in 2011, Verducci will show how Epstein went beyond "Moneyball" thinking to turn around the franchise. Leading the organization with a manual called "The Cubs Way," he focused on the mental side of the game as much as the physical, emphasizing chemistry as well as statistics. 

To accomplish his goal, Epstein needed manager Joe Maddon, an eccentric innovator, as his counterweight on the Cubs' bench.  A man who encourages themed road trips and late-arrival game days to loosen up his team, Maddon mixed New Age thinking with Old School leadership to help his players find their edge.  

The Cubs Way takes readers behind the scenes, chronicling how key players like Rizzo, Russell, Lester, and Arrieta were deftly brought into the organization by Epstein and coached by Maddon to outperform expectations. Together, Epstein and Maddon proved that clubhouse culture is as important as on-base-percentage, and that intangible components like personality, vibe, and positive energy are necessary for a team to perform to their fullest potential. 

Verducci chronicles the playoff run that culminated in an instant classic Game Seven. He takes a broader look at the history of baseball in Chicago and the almost supernatural element to the team's repeated loses that kept fans suffering, but also served to strengthen their loyalty.  

The Cubs Way is a celebration of an iconic team and its journey to a World Championship that fans and readers will cherish for years to come.
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