Autumn Glory

Today marks the beginning of this year's World Series, so our Review of the Week looks back at the first ever baseball championship

Autumn glory : baseball’s first World Series

Masur, Louis P. Hill and Wang, 2003
244p, 0809027631 $23.00

Baseball books just seem to be getting better and better. Academic historians and Americanists are writing richly textured and nuanced accounts of baseball during the Progressive Age, the Depression, and the years during both world wars. This year, as the centennial of the first World Series (played between Boston and Pittsburgh), has been particularly fertile for baseballs historians. Masur (history, CUNY) offers a marvelous account that is a perfect complement to the other book on the same subject, historian Roger Abrams’s The First World Series and the Baseball Fanactics of 1903 (CH, Sep’03). Both are slender and rich in detail, but Masur takes the reader more dramatically into each game, every inning, pitch, and at-bat. Each game of the eight-game series gets its own chapter and to these the author adds contextual information dealing with the establishment of the two leagues, the agreement to play a showdown series, and the basic agreement that led to the creation of the national pastime. This is a book to be read in one enjoyable sitting. The bibliography is complete, the scholarship impeccable.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections; all levels.
S. Gittleman, Tufts University
Subject: Science & Technology – Sports & Recreation
Choice Issue: Oct 2003