Autumn Glory by Louis P. Masur
Baseball's First World Series

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A suspenseful account of the glorious days a century ago when our national madness began

A post-season series of games to establish supremacy in the major leagues was not inevitable in the baseball world. But in 1903 the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates (in the well-established National League) challenged the Boston Americans (in the upstart American League) to a play-off, which he was sure his team would win. They didn't--and that wasn't the only surprise during what became the first World Series. In Autumn Glory, Louis P. Masur tells the riveting story of two agonizing weeks in which the stars blew it, unknown players stole the show, hysterical fans got into the act, and umpires had to hold on for dear life.

Before and even during the 1903 season, it had seemed that baseball might succumb to the forces that had been splintering the sport for decades: owners' greed, players' rowdyism, fans' unrest. Yet baseball prevailed, and Masur tells the equally dramatic story of how it did so, in a country preoccupied with labor strife and big-business ruthlessness, and anxious about the welfare of those crowding into cities such as Pittsburgh and Boston (which in themselves offered competing versions of the American dream). His colorful history of how the first World Series consolidated baseball's hold on the American imagination makes us see what one sportswriter meant when he wrote at the time, "Baseball is the melting pot at a boil, the most democratic sport in the world." All in all, Masur believes, it still is.


About Louis P. Masur

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Louis Masur, a professor of history at the City University of New York and the editor of Reviews in American History, is the author of Rites of Execution: Capital Punishment and the Transformation of American Culture, 1776-1865
Published October 1, 2004 by Hill and Wang. 256 pages
Genres: History, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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He would resurface years later—and $50,000 richer—in Chicago, indicted along with the eight White Sox players bribed to throw the 1919 World Series in an ironic example of what the author tabs as one of baseball’s most American attributes: “Teamwork matters.” Profusely detailed rendering of the e...

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Publishers Weekly

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At the heart of this book by Masur (1831: Year of Eclipse) are eight in-depth, almost play-by-play, retellings of the games of the 1903 World Series between the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Book Reporter

Masur dedicates eight different chapters to provide in-depth information about each game of the thrilling series that Boston, believe it or not, won five games to three (originally the World Series had a best-of-nine format, as opposed to the best-of-seven format that is used today).

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Autumn Glory: Baseball's Firs...


While the National League dated back to 1876, and enjoyed a near-monopoly on talent from 1891 onward, the American League sprang up in 1900 and immediately began raiding National League teams for players.

Sep 17 2003 | Read Full Review of Autumn Glory: Baseball's Firs...

Project MUSE

Masur's fine book provides considerable detail not only on the ball games making up the Series but also on the cultural implications of the Series in the world of baseball as well as in American society.

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