• 521 pages
  • 7 x 10
  • 26 tables

Koppett's Concise History of Major League Baseball

Leonard Koppett

Koppett's Concise History provides an overview and explanation of all the major events and personalities that made baseball America's national game.

As early as the 1880s, many basic baseball strategies-pitching high and tight or low and away; first basemen lining up well wide of the base they were "covering"; throwing breaking balls and change-ups; bunting as well as swinging away-were already in use. But the history of the game is a story of changes that have been controversial for fans and players.

Leonard Koppett takes the reader through the long-standing back-and-forth over the balance between offense and defense-dead balls versus lively balls, changes in the strike zone and mound height, and arguments about competitive balance among teams in different eras. He explores the controversies over the introduction of night baseball, radio and TV broadcasting, the farm system, domed stadiums, the expansion draft to create ten-team leagues, divisional play-offs, franchise moves to new cities, and interleague play.

How baseball as business affects the nature of the game is an issue throughout the book. Whether he's talking about free agency, strike actions, or the policies of different commissioners and owners, Koppett is never afraid to say whose interests are being served.

A major portion of each chapter is devoted to Koppett's lively narratives of the shape and significance of each season from 1892 through 1995. On each point, Koppett has the facts, the stories, and an opinion about what works for the game and what doesn't.

About the Author(s)

Leonard Koppett has been writing about baseball since the 1940s (his earliest memories include seeing Babe Ruth hit and John McGraw manage) for the New York City newspapers, the San Francisco Bay Area newspapers, and the Sporting News. He is the author of half a dozen baseball books, including The Man in the Dugout (Temple). Koppett is the only sportswriter named to the writers' wing of both the baseball and basketball Halls of Fame.