Branch Rickey : Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Nebraska Pr
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He was not much of a player and not much more of a manager, but by the time Branch Rickey (18811965) finished with baseball, he had revolutionized the sportnot just once but three times. In this definitive biography of Rickeythe man sportswriters dubbed "The Brain," "The Mahatma," and, on occasion, "El Cheapo"Lee Lowenfish tells the full, colorful story of a life that forever changed the face of America's game. From 1917 to 1942, Rickey was the mastermind behind the Saint Louis Cardinals who enabled small-market clubs to compete with the rich and powerful by creating the farm system . Under his direction in the 1940s, the Brooklyn Dodgers became the first true "America's team." By signing Jackie Robinson and other black players, he single-handedly thrust baseball into the forefront of the civil rights movement. Lowenfish evokes the peculiarly American complex of God, family, and baseball that informed Rickey's actions and his accomplishments. His book offers an intriguing, richly detailed portrait of a man whose life is itself a crucial chapter in the history of American business, sport, and society.

Author Biography

Lee Lowenfish, a jazz and baseball journalist and historian of American culture, teaches sport history in Columbia University’s graduate Sports Management program in New York City. He is the author of The Imperfect Diamond: A History of Baseball’s Labor Wars, and he collaborated on Tom Seaver’s The Art of Pitching.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. v
List of Illustrationsp. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
List of Abbreviationsp. xxiii
Prologuep. 1
The Making of a Baseball Brain, 1899-1918p. 11
Diamond in the Roughp. 13
From Catcher to Coachp. 38
Branch Rickey and the St. Louis Brownsp. 61
"War Overshadows Everything"p. 88
The St. Louis Prime of Branch Rickey, 1919-1942p. 107
Necessity Is the Mother of Inventionp. 109
Years of Contention and Frustrationp. 129
That Championship Seasonp. 155
The Near-dynastic Years and a Place in Who's Whop. 176
Another Championship Season and Then Declinep. 203
Prelude to the Gashouse Gangp. 224
The Triumph of the Gashouse Gangp. 239
Years of Frustrationp. 264
More Years of Loss, and Farewells to Dizzy Dean and Charley Barrettp. 284
Going Out on Topp. 300
The Birth of the Mahatma, 1943-1950p. 321
A Branch Grows in Brooklynp. 323
The Secret Path to the "Young Man from the West"p. 349
An Historic Meeting in Brooklynp. 371
Prelude to a Pennantp. 385
When All Hell Almost Broke Loosep. 407
When Most of Heaven Rejoicedp. 427
A Year of Disappointment, Odd Choices, and an Adieu to Leop. 446
A Branch Bends in Brooklynp. 464
A Branch Is Chopped in Brooklynp. 482
"My Greatest Thrill in Baseball Hasn't Happened Yet," 1951-1965p. 503
A Branch Doesn't Grow Fast Enough in Pittsburghp. 505
Mr. Rickey Prepares to Do the Continentalp. 533
The Continental Dance Card Goes Blankp. 557
Meet Me in St. Louis, Final Chorusp. 580
Notesp. 599
Bibliographyp. 643
Indexp. 655
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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