THE GOLDEN GAME: The Story of California Baseball

Kevin Nelson, Author, Hank Greenwald, Foreword by . Heyday $24.95 (379p) ISBN 978-1-890771-80-5

Nelson (The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration ) presents the development of the sport in California from its introduction until 1969, just before native son Curt Flood filed suit to challenge baseball's "plantation mentality" by fighting the reserve clause, ultimately opening the door for free agency and all it has wrought. Baseball in California is more than Barry Bonds and Vin Scully, Nelson reminds the reader. It's Jackie Robinson growing up in Pasadena before breaking the infamous color line; Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams growing up at opposite ends of the state and turning into one of the game's legendary rivalries; and Japanese-Americans, uprooted from their homes during WWII, playing ball in internment camps. California didn't have a major league franchise until the Dodgers and Giants arrived from New York after the 1957 season, but fans were able to enjoy the excitement of the Pacific Coast League. And scores of players raised in the congenial climates of the West went on to success in the big leagues. Nelson has a knack for research and an ear for good anecdotes as he reviews the impact California baseball has had not only on the game in this country but as an "export" to Japan and Mexico as well. This volume is copublished with the ample resources of the California Historical Society. (July)

Reviewed on: 06/21/2004
Release date: 01/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 456 pages - 978-0-8032-8395-4
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