Academic journal article Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

Baseball in Chicago

Academic journal article Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

Baseball in Chicago

Article excerpt

Black Baseball and Chicago: Essays on the Players, Teams and Games of the Negro Leagues'Most Important City. Edited by Leslie A. Heaphy. (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Publishers, 2006. Pp. 267. Paper $29.95).

Burying the Black Sox: How Baseball's Cover-Up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded. By Gene Carney. (Washington: Potomac Books, Inc., 2006. Pp.360. Cloth $26.95).

Both of these useful books provide new information about the story of baseball in Chicago. In each case the broad outlines are known, but both volumes add many new details and interpretations. They testify to the dynamic role that baseball played in the city's identity in the years between 1900 and World War II. Although they will appeal to broad general audiences, these studies also are well documented and that will allow scholars to consult them with confidence.

Heaphy's fine book is part of an ongoing project of the Negro Leagues Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research. Specifically, several of the chapters are papers that were delivered at the 2005 Jerry Malloy Conference. The narrative begins with Black teams and players that made notable contributions before 1910. The second chapter provides a great deal of information about Andrew "Rube" Foster and the dominant Negro League team from Chicago-the Chicago American Giants. Following sections include brief biographies of significant African-American players and members of management. This series of short essays is undoubtedly the most valuable part of the book and will be a source for other scholars working in local or sport history. There are also brief discussions of the East-West AU Star games, parks where games were played, and rosters of Negro League teams. This organization of the volume is more like an encyclopedia than a single essay, but the author's choice of presentation probably allowed her to present information more efficiently than any other format.

Gene Carney's study, in contrast, is an essay with a specific interpretation. …

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