Baseball

courtesy of Mad River Theater Works

At the start of the summer of 1947, television was brand new, the sound barrier had not been broken, and baseball was a white man’s game. By the time the fall arrived, all that had changed. President Truman addressed the nation for the first time on TV, Chuck Yeager flew faster than any man ever had, and Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play major league baseball. 

Clark County is getting a new amateur minor league baseball franchise. The team will be known as the Champion City Kings and will play a 60 game schedule starting in June of 2014, with 30 home games scheduled for Springfield's Carleton Davidson Stadium.

The Champion City name comes from the 1800s, when Springfield's Glessner Company manufactured Champion brand farm equipment.

Bill Veeck was one of the most fascinating figures in baseball history. Veeck owned a number of baseball teams over his long career. He was a shameless promoter who changed the way that our American pastime is presented.

Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal announced Wednesday that the Boston Bruins have been selected as Professional Sports Team of the Year.  The Dayton Dragons were one of five finalists for the award and the first minor league team ever selected as a finalist.

Paul Dickson has written a number of books about baseball. Weighing in at approximately four pounds and almost 1000 pages in length, the revised and updated Dickson Baseball Dictionary has just been re-issued in paperback.

In this interview Dickson explains why baseball continually generates a seemingly endless variety of imaginative words, descriptive phrases, and unique verbal expressions. Words like: "bopper" (a home run hitter), "foozler" (a lucky base hit), and "screwjack" (a player who is notoriously
wacky).

George Vecsey has been writing about baseball for 50 years. When he was a kid Vecsey rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The St. Louis Cardinals had a hitting star then, a fellow named Stan Musial. They called him "Stan the Man." Vecsey has fond memories of those Dodger/Cardinal games of the 1940's and '50's.

Vecsey's new biography of Musial reveals the story of Musial's humble origins in a steel mill town in Pennsylvania. We learn how Musial achieved fame yet never lost his sense of kinship with ordinary people.

Jimmy Breslin has written a biography of Branch Rickey. Rickey was the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball club. He is the man who brought the first black ball player into the major leagues. That man was Jackie Robinson.

This is the story of how Rickey made that fateful decision to break what was then known as the color line in baseball. It was a decision that changed America forever.