Past Time by Jules Tygiel
Baseball as History

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Synopsis

Few writers know more about baseball's role in American life than Jules Tygiel. In Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, Tygiel penned a classic work, a landmark book that towers above most writing about the sport. Now he ranges across the last century and a half in an intriguing look at baseball as history, and history as reflected in baseball.
In Past Time, Tygiel gives us a seat behind home plate, where we catch the ongoing interplay of baseball and American society. We begin in New York in the 1850s, where pre-Civil War nationalism shaped the emergence of a "national pastime." We witness the true birth of modern baseball with the development of its elaborate statistics--the brainchild of English-born reformer, Henry Chadwick. Chadwick, Tygiel writes, created the sport's "historical essence" and even imparted a moral dimension to the game with his concepts of "errors" and "unearned" runs. Tygiel offers equally insightful looks at the role of rags-to-riches player-owners in the formation of the upstart American League and he describes the complex struggle to establish African-American baseball in a segregated world. He also examines baseball during the Great Depression (when Branch Rickey and Larry MacPhail saved the game by perfecting the farm system, night baseball, and radio broadcasts), the ironies of Bobby Thomson's immortal "shot heard 'round the world," the rapid relocation of franchises in the 1950s and 1960s, and the emergence of rotisserie leagues and fantasy camps in the 1980s.
In Past Time, Jules Tygiel provides baseball history with a difference. Instead of a pitch-by-pitch account of great games, in this groundbreaking book, the field is American history and baseball itself is the star.
 

About Jules Tygiel

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Jules Tygiel is Professor of History at San Francisco State University. He is the author of Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and his Legacy.
 
Published April 20, 2000 by Oxford University Press. 288 pages
Genres: History, Sports & Outdoors, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Past Time

Publishers Weekly

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Baseball, with its long, rich, well-documented history remains a powerful vehicle for exploring the American past. In this goal Tygiel fails, but readers will likely stick around beyond the sevent

Apr 03 2000 | Read Full Review of Past Time: Baseball as History

Publishers Weekly

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""The National Game"" shows how the earlier version of baseball played in New York became the basis for the modern game, not because of ""its inherent attributes"" but because of the ability of its originators to incorporate emerging social attributes into the evolving game.

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ForeWord Reviews

Baseball is simply a great game that for the past century and a half “has reflected broader changes in society and maintained a special place in American culture.” Instead of another book about baseball history, Tygiel offers a history book that examines life in the United States from the mid-n...

Feb 14 2000 | Read Full Review of Past Time: Baseball as History

Project MUSE

While contextualizing baseball in American social history, Tygiel mines the best anecdotes and quotes from baseball over the ages.

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Reader Rating for Past Time
82%

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