Book Review: Playing for Keeps: a History of Early Baseball, 20th Anniversary Edition

729 Words Dec 28th, 2014 3 Pages
hName: Johnson Waweru
Occupation: Freelance writer
Date: 26th November, 2014
Book Review: Playing for Keeps: A History of Early Baseball, 20th Anniversary Edition The development of sports from their early stages, their metamorphosis and evolution to their current form and status is one of the most interesting areas of study. Unfortunately, most writers on such subjects only concentrate on the sport itself and players without exploring other ulterior factors that influence the development of a sport such as the emotional, economic and social environment. The book, Playing for Keeps: A History of Early Baseball by Warren Goldstein is one of the few that have managed to avoid this perennial mistake. This paper is a review of the book,
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He was the 2006 recipient of the James E. and Frances W. Bent Award for Scholarly Creativity. He is also the author of A Brief History of American Sports in 1993 and republished in 2006, William Sloane Coffin, Jr.: A Holy Impatience in 2004. In addition, he has co-authored two books, namely Time to Learn: How a New School Schedule is Making Smarter Kids, Happier Parents, and Safer Families in 2008 and For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics in 2012. The author succeeds in taking the reader through the developments in the history of the game with clarity. He paints the transitions from its foundation as an amateur sport to being commercialized and finally becoming a professional outfit. In every stage the book shows the new elements that come into play as well as the recurring ones such as the influence of alcohol, the conduct of players, the volatile emotions and crowd control across different generations. The writer makes use of news articles mainly from the New York press to relive some of the historical events of the game. The book shows how the game helped in promoting interaction between different social classes and hence inculcate a sense of equality and create an opportunity for work-life balance for the working class. While this is a book that I would recommend to anyone interested in learning the history of baseball, I have slight reservations

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