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Major League Baseball in the 1970s : A Modern Game Emerges - Joseph G. Preston

Major League Baseball in the 1970s

A Modern Game Emerges

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Many of the most powerful trends in baseball today have their roots in the 1970s. Baseball entered that decade seriously behind the times in race relations, attitudes toward conformity versus individuality, and the manager-player relationship. In a sense, much of the wrenching change that American society as a whole experienced in the 1960s was played out in baseball in the following decade. Additionally, the game itself was rapidly evolving, with the inauguration of the designated hitter rule in the American League, the evolution of the closer, the development of the five-man starting rotation, the acceptance of strikeout lions like Dave Kingman and Bobby Bonds and the proliferation of stolen bases. This book opens with a discussion of the challenges that faced baseball's movers and shakers when they gathered in Bal Harbour, Florida, for the annual winter meetings on December 2, 1969. Their worst nightmares would be realized in the coming years. For many and often contradictory reasons the 1970s game evolved into a war of competing ideologies-escalating salaries, an acrimonious strike, Sesame Street-style team mascots, and the breaking of the time-honored tradition that all players, including the pitcher, must play on offense as well as defense-that would ultimately spell doom for the majority of attendees.

"splendid...this volume clicks...Preston has written the book (and the endnotes) in a deliciously engaging manner, without lapsing into cuteness or pretentiousness. Go for it. Essential"--Choice.

Prefacep. 1
Introduction: December 2, 1969p. 5
Curt Flood, the Man Who Fought the Lawp. 13
From the Literary Corner, Ball Fourp. 21
The Coming of the Sterile Ashtraysp. 25
The Man Who Gave His Body to Baseballp. 33
The Angry Menp. 37
The End of the Age of Innocencep. 50
The Pride of Westchester Highp. 61
Charlie Finley's Big Happy Familyp. 66
On the Origins of the DH Rulep. 77
Bobby Bonds and the Ghost of Baseball Futurep. 86
Henry Aaron, Race, and the Recordp. 92
The Ten-Cent Beer Fiascop. 102
The End of the Fireballer Epochp. 105
Steve Carlton's Sounds of Silencep. 117
Messersmith and McNally: The Guys Who Fought the Law and Wonp. 121
The Potential Immortality of Marvin Millerp. 133
The Big Red Machine and the End of an Erap. 136
Pete Rose in Full Bloomp. 144
The Rotation Revolutionp. 147
Consistency and Wit in the Shadowsp. 157
The Evolution of the Bullpenp. 160
The Aborted Sale of Vida Bluep. 173
A Paradox in Actionp. 183
The Commissionerp. 187
The Birdp. 197
George Steinbrenner's New Economicsp. 200
Rod Carew and Ted Williams-Style Greatnessp. 210
Contending on the Cheapp. 214
Bill Veeck's South-Side Wreckp. 226
Vern Rapp and Management 101p. 237
Steve Garvey and the Essence of Famep. 247
Being Without a Chair When the Music Stopsp. 253
The Stolen Base Revivalp. 265
Dave Kingman: Master of the Homer and the Big Breezep. 274
Power to the Umpiresp. 279
The Roman Umpirep. 291
Willie Stargell and the Evolution of the African American Playerp. 296
Epilogue: August 9, 1979p. 303
Chapter Notesp. 313
Bibliographyp. 383
Indexp. 393
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780786415922
ISBN-10: 0786415924
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 412
Published: 1st January 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 18.0 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.57