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Spoke: A Biography of Tris Speaker [Hardcover]

Charles C. Alexander , C. Paul Rogers

Price: CDN$ 28.79 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 28 2007 Sport in American Life
Charles C. Alexander's fact-filled biography of Tris Speaker chronicles the twenty-two-year career of arguably the greatest centerfielder ever to play the position. It follows the colorful ballplayer through his years with the Boston Red Sox, the Cleveland Indians, the Washington Senators, and the Philadelphia Athletics, and on into his later years as manager of a professional ball club and promoter of the national pastime. Alexander examines both the highs and lows of Speaker's illustrious career, including his bitter contract dispute with the Red Sox in 1915, the death of his close friend Ray Chapman from a pitched ball in 1920, and the game-fixing scandal Speaker found himself embroiled in, along with Ty Cobb, late in his playing career. Despite the fact that Speaker was in the inaugural induction class when the National Baseball Hall of Fame opened in 1939, compiled a lifetime.345 batting average, and accumulated more doubles than anyone in baseball history, he is today not a household name like Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth, both of whom were Speaker's peers. Renowned baseball historian Alexander makes the case that Speaker, a fiery competitor and an immensely popular figure in his day, deserves to be known to a wider audience. Alexander details not only every significant major league game in which Speaker played, but also describes the careers of his teammates and opponents, the baseball of their day, and the way it changed within the context of the larger world around them. Tris Speaker's reputation receives new luster in Charles C. Alexander's even-handed biography of one of baseball's greats.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Methodist University Press (Aug. 28 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870745174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870745171
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.3 x 3.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,717,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Spoke is a first-rate biography of one of the most important and intriguing, but today largely overlooked, figures in baseball history." - C. Paul Rogers III"

About the Author

CHARLES C. ALEXANDER, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Ohio University, is the author of several important works of American intellectual and cultural history in addition to his other acclaimed baseball books - Ty Cobb, John McGraw, Our Game: An American Baseball History, Rogers Hornsby: A Biography, and Breaking the Slump: Baseball in the Depression Era.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointing Feb. 1 2008
By Michael Atamian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Baseball biographies of deadball era players are all the rage now. I was really excited to see that Mr. Alexander had written about one of the true early greats- Tris Speaker- as I was a big fan of his Cobb and McGraw biographies. I was a little disappointed though with this bio, for some of the same reasons I was disappointed in his work on Rogers Hornsby. Speaker almost seems like a ghost in this book, as I never could get a feel for him as a person (in contrast, Hornsby just came off as a colorless jerk). Alexander's text at times almost reads like a play-by-play retelling of every major game that Speaker was involved in. So one gets a feel for his greatness as a player, but at times I felt like I was slogging through play-by-play for chapters on end. That got tiring. I think the problem is that there is just not enough written material available to truly justify a biography of Speaker, the person. That's really sad, as he truly was great and simply had the misfortune of playing in Cobb's shadow his entire career. Consequently, when he retired and left baseball, he was largely (and unfairly) forgotten by baseball writers. Lastly, Speaker retired from the major leagues 80 years ago, and that there just aren't any people alive to shed insight into him as a person. So I guess Mr. Alexander did all right, given the limited material available- but I still felt largely unsatisfied after finishing.

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