Big Hair and Plastic Grass by Dan Epstein
A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s

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Synopsis

The Bronx Is Burning meets Chuck Klosterman in this wild pop-culture history of baseball’s most colorful and controversial decade

The Major Leagues witnessed more dramatic stories and changes in the ‘70s than in any other era. The American popular culture and counterculture collided head-on with the national pastime, rocking the once-conservative sport to its very foundations. Outspoken players embraced free agency, openly advocated drug use, and even swapped wives. Controversial owners such as Charlie Finley, Bill Veeck, and Ted Turner introduced Astroturf, prime-time World Series, garish polyester uniforms, and outlandish promotions such as Disco Demolition Night. Hank Aaron and Lou Brock set new heights in power and speed while Reggie Jackson and Carlton Fisk emerged as October heroes and All-Star characters like Mark “The Bird” Fidrych became pop icons. For the millions of fans who grew up during this time, and especially those who cared just as much about Oscar Gamble’s afro as they did about his average, this book serves up a delicious, Technicolor trip down memory lane.
 

 

About Dan Epstein

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DAN EPSTEIN has written for Rolling Stone, MOJO, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, TimeOut, produced shows for VH-1, and is the author of 20th Century Pop Culture. He lives in Southern California.
 
Published May 19, 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books. 351 pages
Genres: History, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Big Hair and Plastic Grass

Kirkus Reviews

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For a time, baseball became a game played on an artificial surface that bore no relation to real grass, and players wore form-fitting polyester uniforms in “retina-searing color combinations that would’ve made Ty Cobb choke on his chaw.” Hair was everywhere, from giant Afros to voluminous mustaches.

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The New York Times

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On the afternoon of Oct. 7, 1968, minutes before the first pitch of Game 5 of the World Series, NBC cameras were trained on a patch of center field in Tiger Stadium, where the Latin pop-jazz guitarist José Feliciano began to sing the national anthem.

Jun 04 2010 | Read Full Review of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A...

AV Club

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In particular, he writes, “The Padres were cursed from the start with a mustard-and-fecal-brown color combination, held over from the team’s days in the Pacific Coast League, and their raglan-style jerseys and two-tone caps gave off what can only be described as a total fast-food employee vibe—wh...

May 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A...

City Book Review

Author Dan Epstein takes the reader on a ride through baseball in the 1970′s with Big Hair and Plastic Grass: a Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging 70′s.

Jul 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A...

Bookmarks Magazine

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May 31 2010 | Read Full Review of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A...

Rolling Stone

We saw Doug Fister break the AL consecutive strikeout mark, comeback kid Kris Medlen start a record 23 straight games in which his team emerged victorious, 49-year-old hurler Jamie Moyer become the oldest player to win a MLB game and record an RBI, and R.A.

Oct 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A...

Rolling Stone

A complete game shutout, TWO DAYS' REST, one pitch, against a mighty hitting team in the seventh game of a World Series.

Aug 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A...

Rolling Stone

It sits on my mantle in my game room, and I love to show off this prize possession from 'The Ryan Express!'" Name: Tom MorelloBand: The Nightwatchman, Street Sweeper Social Club, Rage Against the MachinePosition: Guitar, Vocals.

Jun 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A...

Rolling Stone

It's tough to know even what to make of the All-Star Game at this point.

Jul 04 2012 | Read Full Review of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A...

Rolling Stone

Whatever happens on the field over the course of the baseball season, it's pretty much a given that the most exciting off-the-field happenings will take place as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.

Jul 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A...

Reader Rating for Big Hair and Plastic Grass
81%

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