Tagged: don drysdale

There’s No Place Like Home

When a team changes cities it is a daunting process.  Ownership has to make sure it crosses all its T’s and dots all its I’s to make sure everything will be to their, and more importantly their fans liking.  No where as near as common place as it once was, team transfers can be a great thing for those involved.  New stadiums, new fan base, a whole new chance to invent yourself and the financial rewards usually aren’t too bad either.  That is just what the New York giants were hoping for with their move to San Francisco.  A shiny new stadium to call home accompanied with lots of parking spaces for ownership to sell each night helped sell them on their new locale.  But sometimes all is not what you hope it will be, and todays book takes a look at the Giants move to California and good or bad, depending on where you stood, their new Home Sweet Home.


We are all well aware of the story of the Dodgers moving to Los Angeles and their conquering of the Southern California market.  Sometimes lost in that great shadow is the Giants, who abandoned the Polo Grounds and the city of New York at the exact same time to help usher in baseball across the continent.  Walter O’Malley was larger than life at times and in that shadow one can understand how Horace Stoneham may have fallen by the wayside.  So with that, it easy to forget the history of the Giants during the first years in California.  Luckily for us this book shows us what it took to get the Giants in place in San Fran and the hopes ownership had for the new frontier.

Robert Garrett does a good job of giving us the background of the team in New York and the situation it found itself in during the late 50’s.  From stadium woes to the personality of Horace Stoneham you get a pretty good feel of what it was like for the team during their waning days in New York.  He shows the courtship of the Giants by a new city and the promises bestowed by the local government, the biggest of all being a new stadium.

Stoneham had a somewhat of a hands off approach to his new stadium as the book shows and it in turn came to bite him in the butt.  Candlestick Park had its own set of issues that are well chronicled in the book which in turn snowballed, enough so that it would essentially destroy many of the dreams of what Stoneham had for this new venture.  In the end it is one of the driving factors that ends the Stoneham ownership of the team.

Next we look at the struggles to find new ownership and the quest to keep the Giants in San Francisco less than twenty years after the had arrived.  Once new ownership was found you see the same struggles of old ownership with the albatross of Candlestick still dangling around its neck.  It shows an interesting look at how baseball operated in regards to stadiums, success at the gate and play on the field.  You see how the Giants, except for a few years as a whole, struggled while they called Candlestick home.  It’s also shown how the people of San Fran really didn’t care if they ever got out of there.

Finally, you see a final change on ownership that get the Giants to a new frontier and a stadium worthwhile of Major League Baseball and the success that comes with that type of arena.   I honestly think this book is a great look at this era of Giants baseball, no matter how bad it was on the field.  It’s a portion of team history that gets overshadowed by the Los Angeles Dodgers moving at the same time, the expansion of baseball and the evolving changes that were going on in both baseball and society.  It proves some dreams take longer than others to come to fruition.

If you have an interest in California baseball during this era this book is definitely worth checking out.  You can get this book from the nice folks at the University of Nebraska Press.

Home Team-The Turbulent History of the S.F. Giants

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Handsome Ransom Jasckson-Accidental Big Leaguer

Some baseball books have a real knack for portraying the true feelings of their authors.  These types of books allow the reader to get a good feel of what their personality is like and at what level they appreciated their talents.  I have noticed and with good reason, the brighter the star, the less appreciation for the talent.  Now there are some Superstars that do not fall into that generalization, but through the years I have read enough baseball books to back it up.  I always find it enjoyable when a lesser known star publishes a book and their appreciation for the game and their experiences overflow from the pages.  Today’s book qualifies for that category and allows the reader to hear some new stories along the way.


By:Ransom Jackson-2016

When sure fire Hall of Famers come up in conversation, Ransom Jackson is not in the mix.  The owner of some respectable career numbers, he would never been confused with stars such as Mantle or Mays.  Making stops in several Major League cities, Jackson has compiled some incredible stories that have lasted him a lifetime and now is sharing with the world.

Ransom starts with the telling about his childhood and his upbringing in a totally different period in American culture.  It gives a nice glimpse of all the changes that have happened in our country over the last century.  He also shows his readers the struggles he faced in making it to professional baseball and the sacrifices he and those around him made to get him there.

Next Ransom dazzles the readers with some great stories from his various stops around the league.  Being part of that great era in baseball, he was able to rub elbows with some of the games great names from a few different eras.  Shining through in all of this is the fact that Ransom is very appreciative of the experiences he has had.  He realizes how lucky and blessed he really was to do what he did for so many years.  Finally the book wraps up nicely in showing the reader Ransom’s life after baseball.

I always enjoy books of the lesser known players.  As stated above, their appreciation of their experiences and accomplishments in the game are much stronger and better explained through the pages of their books.  I also do not use the term lesser known player as any sort of insult.  There are so many of us that would be proud and thrilled to have one days worth of these lesser known players careers.

If you are not familiar with Ransom Jackson take the time to read this book, it is a great glimpse of what you can accomplish if you put in the effort and a good look at what baseball was like 60 years ago.  If you are one of the lucky ones who are familiar with Jackson’s career, you will not be disappointed, his stories are vivid and very entertaining.

You can get this book from the nice  folks at Rowman & Littlefield

Accidental Big Leaguer

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