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Cap Anson 3: Muggsy John McGraw and the Tricksters--Baseball's Fun Age of Rule Bending
by:Howard W. Rosenberg
This is the definitive baseline on trickery and dirty play in early baseball, for the sport's formative 25 years through 1900 (the first quarter-century of the National League). Must reading for reporters who cover the actual playing of baseball today (and not just roster moves or Hot Stove League matters), Cap Anson 3 accounts for all of the tricky and...
This is the definitive baseline on trickery and dirty play in early baseball, for the sport's formative 25 years through 1900 (the first quarter-century of the National League). Must reading for reporters who cover the actual playing of baseball today (and not just roster moves or Hot Stove League matters), Cap Anson 3 accounts for all of the tricky and dirty play for a decade or more by two notable National League teams, Baltimore of the 1890s and Chicago of the 1880s and 1890s. In doing so, it closely tracks the playing careers of Hall of Fame players John McGraw, Mike "King" Kelly and Anson. In assessing the true extent of tricky and dirty play by the old Orioles and McGraw in particular, Cap Anson 3 trumps several related books including McGraw's standard biography (Charles Alexander's 1988 John McGraw), and most recently, Frank Deford's 2005 The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball. One of Cap Anson 3's two appendices, "Manipulation of the Ball," shows that in the 19th century, it was fooling with the ball, not one's bat, that accounted for the overwhelming majority of tricky moments involving tools or objects of the game (beyond a ballplayer's use of his mouth to fool or psych out the opposition, which is a separate subject the book also analyzes). To get a new ball into the game, players and managers sometimes chucked the ball over the grandstand, and often without penalty.
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