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The One Hundred Most Important Players in Baseball History

The One Hundred Most Important Players in Baseball History

The One Hundred Most Important Players in Baseball History

Author: Lincoln A. Mitchell
ISBN: 9781951122669 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781951122676 (ebook)
Publication Date: September 12, 2023
Price: $17.95 (paperback)
Pages: 336

Baseball lore and history is filled with many important players, and many of them are not the Hall of Famers you may be familiar with.

Within is a collection of essays about the one hundred players who have had the biggest impact on baseball, popular culture, American and world history through their careers inside or outside of baseball. This is a baseball book with stories about famous players like Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, but also lesser known but deeply impactful baseball players like Curt Flood, Hal Chase, or Felipe Alou. Baseball has been a deep part of American life as folk culture and big business, but it has also been central to race relations, labor issues, global conflicts, and the songs of Bob Dylan. Learn how players like Fred Merkle, Dorothy Kamanshek, and Hoyt Wilhelm made their own impacts to America's pastime.

Read the first chapters!


"Lincoln Mitchell delivers an outstanding comprehensive overview of the history of baseball in a very unique way in this wonderful book. Mitchell discusses the great players, the great moments, and baseball's great history while also making astute observations on the many struggles the game has faced since its inception. This book pulls no punches. Lincoln Mitchell shares the stories of baseball's past while also using his deep knowledge of American history and the political world and to bring this compelling book together. Baseball fans will want to read, discuss, and debate the conclusions in this original and compelling book. The player biographies are concise, but extremely thought-provoking. This is bound to become a baseball classic."
Dr. Paul Semendinger, author of From Compton to the Bronx, The Least Among Them, and Scattering the Ashes.

"Mitchell's… assessments of the player are informed and perceptive…This is the essence of baseball."
Greg Proops, Comedian and Social Critic.

"No sport has had a greater impact on American social and political culture than baseball and no one has a greater grasp of that impact than Lincoln Mitchell. The One Hundred Most Important Players in Baseball History is essential reading for anyone who wishes to truly understand the relationship between America and its National Pastime and for anyone whose love of baseball extends beyond the mere appreciation of numbers in a box score."
Craig Calcaterra, Cup of Coffee Baseball Newsletter and author of Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game.

"Lincoln Mitchell has done us a great service by taking the discussion of "greatest players in history" away from statistics and reframing it around social impact, thereby giving us a list not of the batters with the most homers or the pitchers with the most wins, but of the men and women who made the most significant contributions to the American story that is both reflected and embodied by our national game. In short, here is the intersectionality of baseball recognized and indispensably codified."
Steven Goldman, host of the Infinite Inning podcast and author of Baseball's Brief Lives.

"By the luck of the alphabet, the first two entries in this affectionately assembled compendium of the 100 most influential players in baseball history are Henry Aaron and Dick Allen, whose impact on the game extends far beyond mere stats and acronyms. Lincoln Mitchell's fresh approach to enumerating the best of the best sets his book apart from a crowded field, and includes some eye-openers - women! little people! spies! - that will spark heated debate while inspiring a deeper appreciation of many of the players about whom we thought we knew a lot, but find out in these pages that we still have much to learn."
Perry Barber, umpire, Jeopardy! champion, inaugural winner of The Dorothy, SABR's Women In Baseball Lifetime Achievement Award

"Lincoln Mitchell has done it again! In his latest book, the prolific political analyst and baseball historian revises the 'best ever player' genre of sportswriting by providing novel insights on the impact of baseball on American society. A fascinating and engaging read."
Frank A. Guridy, historian and author of The Sports Revolution: How Texas Changed the Culture of American Athletics

"Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, and Barry Bonds are all names mentioned when fans and historians create lists of baseball's all-time greats. Lincoln Mitchell takes on a journey through baseball's past and present by shifting our focus from thinking about the greatest of all time to the most important players in the modern game. Entries offer distinct insights into players and events of the modern game. Superstars and lesser accomplished players are looked at in new light, enhancing our appreciation for baseball's history from the perspective of the narratives that mean the most to us and explain the modern game's evolution, good and bad. Bryce Harper's importance thus emerges not just from his being a superstar but of how his path to Major League Baseball unveils the talent development pipeline that evolved in the early 21st century in the United States. A thought-provoking read for baseball enthusiasts."
Adrian Burgos, Jr., Professor at University of Illinois and author of Playing America's Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line


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