SHUT OUT: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston

Howard Bryant, Author . Routledge $27.50 (296p) ISBN 978-0-415-92779-6

The Boston Red Sox' inability to win the World Series is one of the most familiar oddities in sport; the club's peculiar relationship with race is not quite so well known. Bryant, who's covered the Oakland A's and the New York Yankees for daily newspapers, brings excellent journalistic instincts and baseball smarts to the table. And he's a Boston native to boot, meaning he's properly versed about the city that former Celtic hero Bill Russell once called "a flea market of racism." Bryant examines looks at Jackie Robinson's doomed Fenway tryout in 1945 and at Pumpsie Green, who eventually became the Red Sox' first black player, a full dozen years after Robinson broke the color barrier. An unspectacular player, Green was befriended on the field by Ted Williams and by Russell off, as both tried to shield him from the pervasive vitriol. Bryant visits the modern era as well, reporting that the Sox did not sign a black free agent until 1993, and detailing slugger Mo Vaughn's mercurial stint in Boston. An MVP in 1995, the New England–reared Vaughn embraced his role in the race debate, even wearing Robinson's old number. Bryant illustrates both the ballplayer's dedication to community service and his repeated run-ins with the law, and wonders if Vaughn was run out of town by the press and team management. Throughout the book, Bryant looks at both sides of the race issue, and backs his conclusions with exhaustive research from a variety of sources. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/01/2002
Release date: 08/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-8070-0979-6
Open Ebook - 296 pages - 978-1-135-29776-3
Ebook - 296 pages - 978-1-135-29790-9
Open Ebook - 296 pages - 978-1-135-29783-1
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