Harry Hooper

Harry Hooper : An American Baseball Life

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Through the figure of Harry Hooper (1887-1974), star of four World Series championship teams and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Paul Zingg describes baseball's transformation from an often unsavory sporting spectacle to a respectable career choice and entertainment institution. Hooper's diaries (including his unique account of his 1909 rookie season with the Boston Red Sox), written and taped memoirs, and letters spanning six decades allow rich and colorful commentary on the evolution of the modern professional game. Scores of letters between Hooper and his wife shed light on the tensions between a player's public and private lives. Zingg chronicles Hooper's rise from a sharecropper background in California's Santa Clara Valley to college and then to the pinnacle of his sport. Boston's leadoff hitter and right fielder from 1909 to 1920, Hooper later played for the Chicago White Sox, managed in the Pacific Coast League, and coached Princeton's team. A keen student of the game, it was Hooper who convinced the Red Sox manager to pull Babe Ruth off the pitcher's mound and make him an outfielder, thereby allowing him more at bats. Possessing neither the crafted appeal of Christy Mathewson nor the raw excitement of Babe Ruth, Hooper was more Everyman than Superman - but when he retired in 1925, he held every major fielding record for an American League right fielder. His records for assists and double plays still stand. Baseball legends Babe Ruth and John McGraw both placed Hooper in right field on their all-time all-star teams. According to Ruth, "Hooper's instinct for knowing where the ball was going to be hit was uncanny. I'm sure, too, that he made more diving catches than anyother outfielder in history. With most outfielders the diving catch is half luck; with Hooper it was a masterpiece of business." Harry Hooper is the story of a man who practiced his profession quietly but with consummate skill - a man who actively participated in the key events shapshow more

Product details

  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 158.8 x 236 x 30.7mm | 666.85g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252020065
  • 9780252020063

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