Playing for Keeps: A History of Early Baseball by Warren GoldsteinPlaying for Keeps: A History of Early Baseball by Warren Goldstein

Playing for Keeps: A History of Early Baseball

byWarren Goldstein

Paperback | March 12, 2009

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In the late 1850s organized baseball was a club-based fraternal sport thriving in the cultures of respectable artisans, clerks and shopkeepers, and middle-class sportsmen. Two decades later it had become an entertainment business run by owners and managers, depending on gate receipts and the increasingly disciplined labor of skilled player-employees. Playing for Keeps is an insightful, in-depth account of the game that became America's premier spectator sport for nearly a century.

Reconstructing the culture and experience of early baseball through a careful reading of the sporting press, baseball guides, and the correspondence of the player-manager Harry Wright, Warren Goldstein discovers the origins of many modern controversies during the game's earliest decades.

The 20th Anniversary Edition of Goldstein's classic includes information about the changes that have occurred in the history of the sport since the 1980s and an account of his experience as a scholarly consultant during the production of Ken Burns's Baseball.

Warren Goldstein is Professor of History and Chair of the History Department in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Hartford. He is the author of William Sloane Coffin, Jr.: A Holy Impatience and coauthor (with Elliott Gorn) of A Brief History of American Sports.
Title:Playing for Keeps: A History of Early BaseballFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.24 inPublished:March 12, 2009Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801475082

ISBN - 13:9780801475085


Table of Contents

Histories of the Game
A Note on Method

Part I: The Culture of Organized Baseball, 1857-1866
1. The Base Ball Fraternity
Rites of Play
"Hard Work and Victory"
Players and Workers
Cultural Antecedents

2. Excitement and Self-control
Dangerous Excitement
Agents of Control: Rules, Umpires, and Women
The Problem of Competition

3. The "Manly Pastime"
Men and Boys
The Fly Rule
Ethics of the Game: Reform vs. Custom
Fruits of Reform: "Ambitious Rivalries and Selfish Victories"

Part II: Amateurs into Professionals, 1866-1876
4. Growth, Division, and "Disorder"
The Coming of the "Good Old Days"
Growth and Fragmentation
Cultural Conflict and Division

5. "Revolving" and Professionalism
The Decline of the National Association
Baseball Capital and Baseball Labor

6. The National Game
Home and Away
The Birth of the Cincinnati Red Stockings
Uniform Identities
Management, Triumph, and Defeat: The Red Stockings of 1869 and 1870

7. Amateurs in Rebellion
The Amateurist Critique of Professional Baseball
"Restoring" the Pastime

8. Professional Leagues and the Baseball Workplace
"Baseball Is Business Now"
The Origins of Baseball Statistics
The National League

Epilogue: Playing for Keeps

Selected Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"A strikingly original interpretation of baseball's early history, Playing for Keeps is imaginatively conceived and rich in texture. It is not only commendable for its treatment of baseball history but appreciably expands our knowledge of nineteenth-century American urban life in general."—Journal of American History (reviewing the first edition)