The Jersey Game: The History of Modern Baseball from Its Birth to the Big Leagues in the Garden State

James M. DiClerico, Author, Barry J. Pavelec, With Rutgers University Press $23 (279p) ISBN 978-0-8135-1652-3
New Jersey chauvinists will delight in this baseball history. The authors, employed respectively in publishing and public relations in New Jersey, begin by pooh-poohing the claims that Cooperstown, N.Y., is the game's point of origin--instead, they give the nod to Hoboken. Insofar as spotty records allow, DiClerico and Pavelec show that many professional teams played in New Jersey during the late 19th century, although these teams had only shaky local allegiances. The sole major league organization to play in the state was the Newark Peps of the short-lived Federal League. Minor league ball, on the other hand, was important until 1962, highlighted by the legendary Newark Bears of 1938, which sent every starting player to the majors. The Negro leagues loomed large, too. DiClerico and Pavelec do a fine job of telling their story. They even touch on amateur, collegiate and industrial ball, though that won't help the book sell outside the Garden State. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-0-8135-1943-2
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