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The Imperfect Diamond: A History of Baseball's Labor Wars [Paperback]

Lee Lowenfish , Robert W. Creamer

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Book Description

April 1 2010
From the introduction of the reserve clause in 1879 to the lockout and new basic agreement of 1990, baseball players have been engaged in one of the longest and most colorful labor struggles in our nation’s history. The Imperfect Diamond tells the stories of the players and their opponents, the powerful owners: how John Montgomery Ward led the Players League Rebellion of 1890; the rise and fall of David Fultz and the Baseball Players Fraternity (1912–18); the iron-fisted regime of Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis; the case of Danny Gardella vs. Happy Chandler and the blacklisting of the players who jumped to the Mexican League; the founding of the Baseball Players Association in 1953 and the tempestuous but triumphant reign of Marvin Miller; the struggles of Curt Flood, Andy Messersmith, and Dave McNally, and how they brought about the demise of the reserve clause; the unprecedented midseason strike of 1981 and the collusion cases of the late 1980s.
 
In the epilogue for this Bison Books edition, Lee Lowenfish guides the reader through the turbulent 1990s and first decade of the twenty-first century, covering expansion teams, the monumental 1994 strike, and performance-enhancing drugs. Listed by the Society of American Baseball Research as one of the fifty essential baseball books, The Imperfect Diamond will stand for years to come as the source for the real story behind America’s national pastime.

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Review

"If the Baseball Hall of Fame were to assemble a compilation of books that belong in a business of baseball canon, Lee Lowenfish's third edition of Imperfect Diamond would easily hold a prominent spot on the list."—Wayne McDonnell, Lovemyteam.com
(Wayne McDonnell)

“Not only an entertaining book, and not only a complete history of this important topic . . . it sets the standards for precision and presentation that other baseball authors should strive to match.”—Keith Olbermann, Baseball Magazine
(Keith Olbermann)

“If anyone wants to get a handle on baseball today—free agencies, the money, the relationships between players and owners, etc.—this book is a must.”—Red Barber, National Public Radio
(Red Barber)

“The seminal study of baseball’s labor history.”—USA Today Baseball Weekly


“A dramatic, stirring portrayal of traditional confrontation between labor and management. . . . An absorbing account of a hitherto little-publicized American labor movement.”—New Republic


“Thorough and comprehensive, the clarity of the prose is a welcome respite from traditional ‘baseballese.’ . . . An important work, not only for baseball history, but also for U.S. history, the labor movement, and the history of capitalism.”—Library Journal

About the Author

Lee Lowenfish, a historian, journalist, broadcaster, and jazz commentator, is the author of Branch Rickey: Baseball’s Ferocious Gentleman, available in a Bison Books edition. Robert W. Creamer, formerly a writer and senior editor for Sports Illustrated, is the author of several books, including, Stengel: His Life and Times and Baseball and Other Matters in 1941, both available in Bison Books editions.

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