Sunday Baseball

Sunday Baseball : The Major Leagues' Struggle to Play Baseball on the Lord's Day, 1876-1934

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Playing baseball on Sunday was a divisive issue in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. On one side of the argument were the owners, who wanted to take in more money, and working people, who labored six days a week and wanted to take in a baseball game on the seventh. On the other side were people who thought that the commandment to keep Sunday sacred ought to be obeyed. The story of how Sunday baseball went from being an illegal activity in most areas of the country in 1876 to a legal form of entertainment in all major league cities by 1934 is told in this work. It describes the numerous schemes used to play baseball on Sunday, like playing games in strange places, under odd circumstances and at the inconvenience of players and managers, many of whom were arrested and jailed for attempting to play baseball on Sunday. It covers the foothold Sunday baseball gained in cities like St. Louis, Cincinnati and Chicago in the 1880s and 1890s, its slow spread eastward as the general attitude of the populace toward Sunday baseball gradually changed, and its widespread acceptance after New York passed a law in 1919 making it legal. It was not until 1934, however, that Sunday baseball was played in all major league cities.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 326 pages
  • 153.42 x 233.17 x 18.29mm | 444.52g
  • Jefferson, NC, United States
  • English
  • 0786415649
  • 9780786415649

Review quote

"Bevis, an expert on early twentieth century New England leagues, has obviously done his research. He offers an accurate and polished behind-the-scenes narrative for each major league city. Senior baseball historians will be impressed by the completeness...virtually the only book on this subject...deserves note as 'more that just a baseball book'...thoroughly researched...a handy reference...a fun book for anyone to thumb through...enjoyable read"--Nineteenth Century Notes; "Bevis tells the story well, and he provides excellent documentation...another excellent example of baseball writing...recommended"--Choice; "recommend[ed]...amazing...worthwhile...documentation is dazzling if slightly overwhelming"--Nine.
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About Charlie Bevis

Charlie Bevis, a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, is an adjunct professor of English at Rivier University. He has written for Nine, The Cooperstown Symposium, The National Pastime and Base Ball, and is the author of several baseball books. He lives in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
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