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Baseball's Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914 (Hardback)
  • Baseball's Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914 (Hardback)

Baseball's Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914 (Hardback)

Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 07/08/2014
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Baseball's Greatest Comeback recounts the story of the 1914 Boston Braves that experienced the greatest come-from-behind season ever witnessed in baseball history. A perennially woeful team, the Braves rose from the ashes of last place-fifteen games behind on July 4th-to battle in the World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics, one of the most dominant teams of all time. Baseball fans witnessed one of sport's most spectacular comebacks, and Boston's National League team earned a new designation: "The Miracle Braves." Full of timeless images and memorable characters-including a fanatically superstitious manager, a cheerfully madcap star, and an obsessively driven, yet highly sensitive captain-this book will inform and entertain baseball fans and sports historians alike.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442236066
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 503 g
Dimensions: 236 x 161 x 23 mm

Ross' baseball research is impeccable, and he captures the building excitement of the Braves fan base as the team gathers momentum. Ross is also an expert on the era and provides depth in his account with fascinating forays into the larger societal issues of the time. A fine book for baseball fans with an interest in the game's rich history. * Booklist *
Baseball historian and university professor Ross delivers an exciting look at one of the greatest come-from-behind pennant races, when the 1914 Boston Braves, a 'perennial woeful team,' rose from last place to defeat the New York Giants, 'one of the most dominant teams of all time,' for the National League crown. Ross's fact-filled but fast-moving account actually completes a double play of its own, skillfully connecting the 'Deadball Era' of the early 20th century-when pitchers 'served up to batters a cut, tobacco-stained, dirt-worn, uneven, spit-laden sphere so unhittable that teams scored only a few runs per game'-with the reform-minded values of the Progressive Era. Along the way, Ross also includes many entertaining stories, most notably the tale of how manager George Stallings got under the skin of Connie Mack, one of 'baseball's great gentlemen,' when the Braves successfully battled Mack's Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series. * Publishers Weekly *
Midway through the 1914 season, the Boston Braves, a weak team for the previous decade or more, hardly merited the phrase 'the Miracle Braves' that would be attached to them by baseball writers in October 1914. Playing temporarily in Fenway Park, the team, a collection of memorable characters and castoffs from other teams, was 15 games out of first place on July 4. Surprising all observers, they managed to win 52 of 66 games in the second half of that season. Subsequently, they defeated John McGraw's powerful New York Giants to win the pennant, then beat the talented Philadelphia Athletics in four games to triumph in the World Series. In the year marking the 100th anniversary of 'the Miracle Braves' 1914 season, Progressive Era and baseball historian J. Brian Ross, longtime fan of baseball at Fenway, provides in this book a fascinating account of what he maintains is the greatest comeback in baseball history. Ross treats the season chronologically and details not only the Braves players, but also five key baseball men: George Stallings; Johnny Evers; 'Rabbit' Maranville; skipper John McGraw of the Giants; and Connie Mack, manager of the Athletics. Moreover, he carefully places the season in the context of the start of World War I and in the spirit of the Progressive Era itself and explains how the extremely superstitious manager of the Braves, 'Gentleman George' Stallings studied batting and pitching statistics and managed to get the best out of his players using the novel strategy of platooning them. Reproduced black-and-white photographs greatly enhance the text and enable readers to see the uniforms, bats, gloves, players, managers, and stadiums of 1914 clearly. The appendix offers complete 1914 World Series statistics. The author's extensive notes and bibliography suggest the broad range and depth of his research. Ordinary baseball fans, baseball players, and sports historians alike will enjoy this clearly written, interesting account of a truly memorable baseball season set in booming Boston in the early-twentieth-century United States. * American Reference Books Annual *
If you are a bookish baseball fan, December is not merely the dead center of the off-season, it's also a time to relish the Hot Stove League with a slice of the game's history. This year marks the centennial of the 'Miracle Braves' of 1914. Boston's National League team, mired in last place in July, staged a wildly improbable comeback, overtaking the New York Giants to win the pennant and face the Philadelphia Athletics, the reigning dynasty in the World Series. Historian Ross's account is . . . always entertaining, loaded with colorful characters and illuminating glimpses of the era. * Christianity Today *
Brian Ross's Baseball's Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914 is a nicely researched account of the Boston Braves' remarkable last-place-to-first-place 1914 season. In telling his story, Ross infuses his detailed chronology of the season with profiles of the Braves' manager and key players, as well as noteworthy competitors. . . .Baseball fans and historians will appreciate Ross's attention to detail and carefully crafted accounts of games. . . .[T]he book's esoteric subject matter makes a wonderful addition to the annals of baseball history. * Journal of Sport History *
An absorbing and entertaining narrative of one of baseball's amazing teams and their miraculous turnaround. But still more, Ross moves between the ballpark and the larger society to offer an engaging social history of baseball in the Progressive Era (1890-1920). It is a time of far reaching economic and social change that transforms American society and its emerging National Pastime. Along the way are memorable portraits of some of baseball's most unconventional characters, including Johnny Evers, Rabbit Maranville, John McGraw, and Connie Mack. This book, like the 1914 Boston Braves, is a winner! -- George Gmelch, author of Inside Pitch: Life in Professional Baseball and Baseball without Borders: The International Pastime
What happens when a real historian tackles baseball? A terrifically smart book like Baseball's Greatest Comeback. Brian Ross brings it all together: The Boston Braves of 1914, the history of baseball, and the events that shook the world with the start of the First World War. This delicately written and affecting account of the season will open your eyes to the rich history of the American Pastime that needs to be written. -- Peter Rutkoff, author of Shadow Ball: A Novel of Baseball and Chicago
On the centennial anniversary of the most improbable comeback in baseball, Brian Ross gives us an entertaining and insightful history lesson. He uncovers seemingly small details of immense interest. Baseball fans will delight in this story laced with historical perspective and unlikely heroes. -- John Rosengren, award-winning author of The Fight of Their Lives and Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes
Brian Ross offers a fresh look at one of baseball's most improbable stories set against a world torn apart by war. On the centennial anniversary of the 1914 baseball season, Brian places the reader inside the late-season heroics of the Boston Braves, a colorful group of ordinary players who managed to be nearly unbeatable over the last two months of the season and swept the World Series against a talented Philadelphia Athletics squad. You will enjoy this story of how a previously undistinguished manager forged a tremendous effort out of a team led by an aging Johnny Evers and a young Rabbit Maranville. -- Ed Edmonds, professor of law at Notre Dame Law School and co-editor of the Hein's Sports Law Legislative History Series
Ross weaves sharp profiles of the participants with the ups and downs of a manic pennant race as the Braves made a 'baseball miracle.' -- Andy McCue, award-winning author of The Baseball Mover and Shaker: Walter O'Malley, the Dodgers, and Baseball's Westward Expansion
Ross engagingly weaves the tale of the Miracle Braves into the history of a U.S. society confident in its scientific knowledge but shaken by the onset of war in Europe. -- Paul Ringel, author of Commercializing Childhood: The Children's Magazine Industry and American Gentility, 1823-1918
The story of the 1914 Miracle Braves is hard to believe. Even after reading about it, you still might not believe it. -- Mitchell Nathanson, author of The Fall of the 1977 Phillies: How a Baseball Team's Collapse Sank a City's Spirit and A People's History of Baseball

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