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Cap Anson 4: Bigger Than Babe Ruth--Captain Anson of Chicago (Cap Anson) (Cap Anson) (Cap Anson)
by:Howard W. Rosenberg
Cap Anson was baseball's original superstar and, for well over a century, has remained the player who received the wittiest coverage, over a long playing and post career. On the heels of his landmark 2004 definitive biography of early baseball's biggest media sensation (and one other early superstar)--Hall of Famer Mike Kelly, whom legendary Boston Globe...
Cap Anson was baseball's original superstar and, for well over a century, has remained the player who received the wittiest coverage, over a long playing and post career. On the heels of his landmark 2004 definitive biography of early baseball's biggest media sensation (and one other early superstar)--Hall of Famer Mike Kelly, whom legendary Boston Globe columnist (and J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner) Harold Kaese called "probably the most popular player in all of Boston baseball history"--Howard W. Rosenberg now focuses on the player called by H. H. Westlake of Baseball Magazine "probably the most independent character baseball ever knew." Rosenberg, who has demonstrated an unerring respect for the totality of baseball history, applies the same standard in his second full-length, definitive biography of a one-of-a-kind Hall of Famer. Also based on dozens of Cap's personal letters that have never been mentioned before, Cap Anson 4: Bigger Than Babe Ruth: Captain Anson of Chicago traces Cap's life starting from childhood, when he grew up in a log cabin, through the one-of-a-kind gruff persona he took on as captain (player)-manager of the famous Chicago (National League) White Stockings (which later became the Colts) for a major league-record 19 straight years as an on-the-field leader with the same team. Then the book explores his fascinating post career that included his tenure as city clerk of Chicago, the city’s number three post, 100 years ago (1905 to 1907); founding of a semi-pro team called Anson's Colts; his personal bankruptcy; and a long vaudeville career that is unmatched by any Hall of Fame player. Cap was the first big star in the game's history to age fully, healthily and colorfully in the public eye (to the reasonably ripe old age of three days before his 70th birthday). Except for aspects of him covered in the prior books in the series, the author explores the vast majority of all remaining aspects of the man and in relation to his key teammates, including one with great name recognition today: evangelist Billy Sunday. At a time when big-time publishers and mainstream media cherry-pick in "focus group"-like ways to appeal to names popularized by more modern technologies such as film and television, Cap Anson 4 brings back the glory days of print baseball journalism (even before Ring Lardner Sr.) and brilliantly illuminates its truly most legendary combination of hero and anti-hero: Cap is also the player most often blamed for bringing about the sport's color line that Jackie Robinson broke. For being the culprit, Cap was vilified in Ken Burns’s 1994 PBS series on the sport. Accordingly, more than two dozen pages of Cap Anson 4 are devoted to claims and counterclaims about Anson’s behavior and influence.
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