The Last Bookstore is pleased to present Lincoln Mitchell, author of Baseball Goes West: The Dodgers, the Giants, and the Shaping of the Major Leagues.
Following the 1957 season, two of baseball’s most famous teams, the
Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants, left the city they had
called home since the 19th century and headed west. The Dodgers went
to Los Angeles and the Giants to San Francisco. Those events have
entered baseball lore, and indeed the larger culture, as acts of
betrayal committed by greedy owners Walter O’Malley of the Dodgers and Horace Stoneham of the Giants. The departure of these two teams, but especially the Dodgers, has not been forgotten by those communities. Even six decades later, it is not hard to find older Brooklynites who are still angry about losing the Dodgers.
This is one side of the story. Baseball Goes West seeks to tell
another side. Lincoln A. Mitchell argues that the moves to California,
second only to Jackie Robinson’s debut in 1947, forged Major League
Baseball (MLB) as we know it today. By moving two famous teams with
national reputations and many well-known players, MLB benefited
tremendously, increasing its national profile and broadening its fan
base. This was particularly important following a decade that, despite
often being described as baseball’s golden age, was plagued with
moribund franchises, low wages for many players, and a difficult
dismantling of the apartheid system that had been part of big league
baseball since its inception.
In the years immediately following the moves, the two most iconic
players of the 1960s, Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays, had their best
years, bringing even greater status and fame to their respective ball
clubs. The Giants played an instrumental role in the first phase of
baseball’s globalization by leading the effort to bring players from
Latin America to the big leagues, while the Dodgers set attendance
records and pioneered new ways to market the game.
Pre-buy the book – even reserve a seat – right here!
Lincoln A. Mitchell is a scholar and writer in New York City. He is an
adjunct research scholar at Columbia University’s Arnold A. Salesman
Institute of War and Peace Studies and the author of four books, most
recently Will Big League Baseball Survive?: Globalization, the End of
Television, Youth Sport and the Future of Major League Baseball.
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