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Potomac Books


More than Merkle, More than Merkle, 0803210566, 0-8032-1056-6, 978-0-8032-1056-1, 9780803210561, David W. Anderson Foreword by Keith Olbermann, , More than Merkle, 0803259468, 0-8032-5946-8, 978-0-8032-5946-1, 9780803259461, David W. Anderson Foreword by Keith Olbermann, , More than Merkle, 0803203276, 0-8032-0327-6, 978-0-8032-0327-3, 9780803203273, David W. Anderson Foreword by Keith Olbermann

More than Merkle
A History of the Best and Most Exciting Baseball Season in Human History
David W. Anderson
Foreword by Keith Olbermann

2000. 285 pp.
Out of Print
2000. 285 pp.
$19.95 t

“I have done a report of some kind on the Fred Merkle story, whether in print, on radio, or on TV, on or about its anniversary, September 23, virtually every year since I was in college. The saga has always seemed to me to be a microcosm not just of baseball, nor of celebrity, but of life. The rules sometimes change while you’re playing the game. Those you trust to tell you the changes often don’t bother to. That for which history still mocks you, would have gone unnoticed if you had done it a year or a month or a day before. That’s who Fred Merkle is. I have often proposed September 23 as a national day of amnesty, in Fred Merkle's memory.”—Keith Olbermann, from his foreword.

David W. Anderson is a telecommunications consultant in northern Indiana. He is also an umpire for Indiana high school and Babe Ruth league baseball. Keith Olbermann is anchor for Fox Sports.

“David Anderson’s book is a winner in its own right. Not only does it enlighten us about a season that might really have been ‘the best and most exciting’ of all time, it gives us the feeling that we’re standing hatless among the overflow crowds of nearly a century ago, rooting for Matty, Rube, the Big Train, the Flying Dutchman, the Georgia Peach, and all the other flannel-clad immortals of days gone by. . . . Anderson has fashioned as close to a masterpiece of baseball research and analysis as any first-class author has produced in a long time.”—David Shiner,

"A fascinating archival account of what baseball and America were like nearly a century ago."—New York Times Book Review

“Those not acquainted with the dramatics of the 1908 campaign might find Anderson's hyperbolic title a bit extreme until they read of the many astonishing events that took place that year. To wit: three NL teams finishing within a half game of each other (forcing the first-ever playoff game) and an AL race decided by .004 percentage points. Toss in the exploits of legendary figures Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner and other future Hall-of-Famers and the book's description more resembles an exercise in prosaic restraint.”—USA Today Baseball Weekly

“Baseball enthusiasts will enjoy this.”—Library Journal

“As his title suggests, there was more to this memorable season than an infamous blunder.”—Sports Illustrated

"The arrival of a new baseball season serves to rekindle an old question: Which was the most exciting season ever played? In a book called More Than Merkle, David W. Anderson comes up with an answer that will startle many fans: the season of 1908. Just to make things perfectly clear, he subtitles his opus 'A History of the Best and Most Exciting Baseball Season in Human History.' Of course, the centerpiece is Fred 'Bonehead' Merkle, whose 'boner' of not running from first to second base while the winning run was scoring cost the New York Giants a pennant. Both leagues had close races that year, and the author covers them in exuberant detail. He also focuses on such star players as Christy Mathewson, Three-Finger Brown and Johnny Evers, not to mention more obscure figures, such as a pitcher with the fascinating name of Orval Overall, who won two games for the Chicago Cubs in the World Series (their last World Championship). Baseball antiquarians will relish the book."—Parade

"An excellent new entry in the baseball literary canon. . . . The Merkle story is a classic, and Anderson's telling of it is masterful. But the book is called More Than Merkle for good reason: It's a wonderful portrait of a game that no longer exists. Yes, we have baseball. But More Than Merkle is about players as opposed to millionaires, ballparks instead of stadiums, a game and not a business. . . . 1908 has given us a new baseball book that falls just short of a classic. . . . Anderson has scored three runs with More Than Merkle. He has vindicated Fred Merkle, a player whose respectable career has been overshadowed by one play. He has told a tale worth telling: how the Chicago Cubs edged the Giants in a thriller season. And best, he as brought the Dead Ball Era back to life."—Kansas City Star

Anderson organizes his work neatly: a chapter on how baseball was played in the Deadball Era, a chapter analyzing the majors' 16 teams, a chapter on umpires and then one chapter on each month of the season. Taken together, these place the Merkle play in context and provide more than enough evidence to spread the blame around.”—Sporting News

"Going beyond the infamous 'Merkle Boner,' Anderson describes baseball (ballparks, fans, rules, and players) in the 'Dead Ball Era' and sets the stage for the unique 1908 season, commenting on the players of each of the eight American League and National League teams and even the umpires who worked that year. . . . This book will enthrall baseball history buffs. It illuminates the sport as an important element in US popular culture at the beginning of the 20th century. Appropriate for undergraduate and general readers."—Choice

"Very well researched and carefully crafted."—

2001 Seymour Medal, sponsored by the Society for American Baseball Research, finalist
2000 Dave Moore Award, sponsored by Elysian Fields Quarterly, finalist

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