In its infancy, major league baseball was anyone’s game, open to a dizzying array of rogues and scamps, athletic giants and captains of industry, hustlers, managers, and umpires who transformed club-based teams into the first professional federations with formalized rules—and commercial considerations. This two-volume work—with its profiles of every key contributor to the major league game from May 4, 1871, through December 31, 1900—is truly “inside baseball.”
Volume 1 profiles all the key position players and pitchers of the nineteenth century, giving detailed information about each player’s role in the game, his debut and finale, high points and low, most important achievements, relationship to ground-breaking diamond occurrences, in addition to fascinating personal information.
Volume 2 features Hall of Famers who played in the era, as well as twenty other figures who aren't yet enshrined but arguably should be because of their considerable impact on the game. It also profiles early day baseball’s crooks, madcaps, homicide victims, suicides, and missing persons, in addition to the managers, team owners, and umpires who helped give the game its structure and shape.
More than a collection of mere facts and statistics, Major League Baseball Profiles provides a unique history of the evolution of major league baseball, from the date of the first major league game in 1871 through the 1900 season, which marked not only the close of a century but also the unofficial end of what many believe to be the formative period of the game.
“Whether you are a newcomer to the wonderful world of nineteenth-century baseball or consider yourself to be an expert, you will learn much in this wonderful collection of biographical sketches. While other books have focused on the great pennant races or teams of the era, no book has so vividly presented the colorful stories of so many players as these two volumes do. You will be entertained and you will be smarter, once you spend some time with these books.”—Mark Armour, chairman of SABR’s Baseball Biography Project and author of Joe Cronin: A Life in Baseball
Named one of Baseball America's Top Ten Books of 2011