Month: August 2017

Robert McGregor – A Calculus of Color – Book Review

Robert McGregor – A Calculus of Color – Book Review

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Calculus of Color Book Cover
McGregor takes us on a solid journey from race baseball to an integrated game.

Robert Kuhn McGregor is a emeritus professor of history from the University of Illinois-Springfield. He taught among other things, a course on baseball. Using that career’s worth of knowledge, McGregor takes swing at the history behind the integration of the American League. Lesser known than the Jackie Robinson story, it is a story of courage that needed told before it was forgotten. Thus, A Calculus of Color came to be. McGregor begins his book with a brief introduction of the Negro Leagues. He finishes with the integration of the last team to do so, the Boston Red Sox. In taking this monster swing, McGregor hit a grand slam.

Negro League Ball

McGregor begins his book introducing the reader to the Negro Leagues. Despite varied successes throughout history, the leagues did not go forward until Rube Foster took the helm. At that point, the Negro National League grew to have some success. The barnstorming activity of the men (and women) of this league honed the skills of such players as Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Satchel Paige. It is from this league that Bill Veeck signed a young Larry Doby to become the first black player in the American League.

Integration Across the League

The breaking of the long-standing “gentlemen’s agreement” took years, especially in the junior circuit. While Doby broke the color barrier in 1947, it would be 12 years before Pumpsie Green made his début for the Red Sox, completing the integration of the MLB. McGregor’s book takes the reader on a trip describing and discussing each team’s decision to hire its first black player.

Recommendation of McGregor’s Book

I enjoyed the book, a lot. Any fan of baseball, or the history of America’s Pastime should find themselves lost in these pages describing the journey from racially based leagues to a major league system where the best players wind up on a roster regardless of the color of their skin. I rate this book 10/10, and highly recommend its purchase.

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Chapter 1 of the Devil’s Deal

Chapter 1 of the Devil’s Deal

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Greetings friends, I’m taking the plunge and working on my first book, which I hope to publish via Amazon by the end of the year. But to get your taste buds wet, I’ve decided to publish Chapter 1 of The Devil’s Deal here as a taste. Keep your eyes open for the novel just in time for your holiday shopping needs.

The Devil’s Deal is a journey into the Old West where men and women did what they had to do to scratch out a living. Everyone has a story, and for Jack, it’s a long twisted tale that landed him at the crossroads after a bad night at the poker table.

I hope you enjoy it.

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384 – 1987 Topps – Johnny Grubb

384 – 1987 Topps – Johnny Grubb

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The San Diego Padres drafted Johnny Grubb in the first round of the 1971 free-agent draft, with the 23rd over-all pick. Grubb played his college baseball for Florida State University. Previously, he played prep baseball for Meadowbrook High School in Richmond, Virigina. His major league début came as a September call-up on September 10, 1972. He went 1 for 2 with a walk and a single, as the Padres beat the Atlanta Braves one to nothing at San Diego Stadium.

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1987 Topps – Mike Davis

1987 Topps – Mike Davis

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The Oakland Athletics drafted Mike Davis in the third round of the 1977 free-agent draft, with the 69th over-all pick. Davis played his college baseball for San Diego Mesa Junior College. Previously, he played prep baseball for Herbert Hoover High School in San Diego, California. His major league début came on April 10, 1980, pinch-hitting in the ninth for Tony Armas. He continued in the game into extra innings at right field for the As, against the visiting Minnesota Twins at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. He ground out to Doug Corbett in his first at-bat, and again struck out in the eleventh .

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762 – 1987 Topps – Gary Ward

762 – 1987 Topps – Gary Ward

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The Minnesota Twins signed Gary Ward as an undrafted free-agent on August 29, 1972. Ward played his prep baseball at Compton High School in Compton California. He did not play college baseball. His major league début came on September 3, 1979, entering the game late as a pinch runner for Mike Cubbage. He stayed in the game playing right field in place of Hosken Powell. The Minnesota Twins wound up losing the game to the visiting Kansas City Royals at Metropolitan Stadium.

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Let the Bartman Incident Go. Cubs Fans. Let it Go

Let the Bartman Incident Go. Cubs Fans. Let it Go

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Any true blue Cubs fan can remember the 2003 NLCS. The one where the game turned in a blink of an eye when a fan made a play for a ball that was near the stands, or potentially in the stands. A day when the ire of the entire Cubs nation fell upon one lifelong Cubs fan who merely made a mistake. Steve Bartman did exactly what 99% of fans would have done in that situation. In fact, in the photo, there appears to be other fans making a play for the same foul ball. However, one incident, even for a long-suffering fan base such as the Chicago Cubs, should not cause a game to turn the way it did.

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