Owners are an interesting lot in Major League Baseball. Some are from the old school and don’t really care about the fortunes of the company, they just want to own a team. Some are in it for the profit aspect, while others ownership groups are part of a corporate conglomeration. I have always found the individual owners the most intriguing. Some of the best off-field personalities within baseball have come from ownership. Walter O’Malley, George Steinbrenner, Bill Veeck and Charlie Finley are just a few of the greats that have come from that group. Baseball has always been considered a good-old boys club but there have been a few exceptions to that rule. Today’s book takes a look at those exceptions and the great contributions the lady owners have made to the game of baseball.
William A. Cook has taken some of the most influential names in female ownership within baseball and created in-depth biographies of each one. Owners such as Effa Manley, Joan Payson, Jean Yawkey, Marge Schott, Joan Kroc and Grace Comisky to name a few. Each woman came into ownership through a unique set of circumstances. Some were by design and some were by accident, but nevertheless it shows how each overcame the obstacles inherent to being a minority and owning a baseball team.
This author does a great job of showing the state of each respective team when the owner took over, the coming to power and the final results the team achieved under their ownership. Finally the author tells us how each team was disposed of. It really shows a complete picture of what the ownership by each of the lady moguls accomplished during their tenure and where they have missed their mark.
I have seen individual biographies on some of the women mentioned in this book, but really did enjoy the format of covering several of them in one book. 20-30 pages was plenty to cover each one of the owners and gave a thorough picture as to what each ownership group achieved. Obviously you would be able to complete a stand alone biography on any of the owners covered but this is a very nice resource to get your feet wet with a group of female owners.
Fans who have an interest in the off-field history of the game really will enjoy this. It is a glimpse behind the curtain of stuffy team ownership and shows some of the driving personalities throughout history. Check it out I don’t think you will be disappointed.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Sunbury Press
Whatever your chosen avenue of reading is, there are always books that are considered classics. Almost all baseball books do not fall into the category of great examples of classic American literature. Once in a great while you will find some baseball books that baseball fans will consider a must read. Ball Four and Veeck as in Wreck are two that come to mind for me that every fan should read. I am sure if you ask 100 different fans you will get 100 different answers as well. Nonetheless, there are some books that every fan should read, if for nothing more than the historical value they provide to the reader. Today’s book is one of those.
Originally published in 1976, Negro Baseball……Before Integration is a great history lesson. In the generation before the internet brought the world to our fingertips, this book brought us back to a long ago time and told us how it really was.
Written basically in a first person account, Effa Manley walks you through what transpired during the life of the entire league. It shows the ups and downs and the monumental moments that occurred throughout the league. You also got an idea of what the leagues overall general health was like and the way the league ultimately folded after the integration of Major League Baseball. It truly gives a first hand account of the league and what ultimately transpired.
This book is an important one in each fans library. It is a good account of what transpired in America in a totally different era, but is something that should never be lost to the ages. I have always said knowledge is power, and as fans it is our duty to learn as much as we can about the game. With that knowledge, it allows fans to keep the by-gone eras alive and well for future generations.
You can get this book from the nice folks at St Johann Press