The Celebrant


The Celebrant

A Novel

Eric Rolfe Greenberg

272 pages


January 1993


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April 2014


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About the Book

The first two decades of the twentieth century were a time of promise and innocence in America. Hardworking immigrants could achieve the American dream; heroes were truly heroic. Eric Rolfe Greenberg brilliantly and authentically chronicles the real-life saga of the first national baseball hero, Christy Mathewson, and the fictional story of a Jewish immigrant family of jewelers. In these pages Mathewson and other great players like John McGraw, Honus Wagner, and Connie Mack discover the realities behind the shining illusions: the burdens of being a hero and the temptations that taint success.


"An oft-overlooked novel that blends fact and fiction to create a charming turn-of-the-century tale about the intertwined lives of New York Giants pitcher Christy Mathewson and the family of a young Jewish immigrant who makes his World Series rings."—Sports Illustrated

"In this fictionalization of the life and times of New York Giants pitching star Christy Mathewson, the author has written a richly detailed narrative."—Library Journal

"The reconstructed accounts of Mathewson's most famous games reflect painstaking research and a colorful imagination."—Booklist

"Greenberg splendidly evokes the essence of turn-of-the-century America by deftly mixing fact and fiction in the tradition of Ragtime."—Kansas City Star

"A captivating novel."—People

"Greenberg recreates the famous events of the era, from the Merkle saga to the Black Sox scandal, in enchanting detail. If this isn't the best baseball novel ever written, it's definitely in the top five. A real treasure!"—Elysian Fields Quarterly Review


One of Sports Illustrated's Top 100 Sports Books of All Time

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