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Sunday at the Ballpark: Billy Sunday's Professional Baseball Career, 1883-1890 - American Sports History Series 17 (Paperback)
  • Sunday at the Ballpark: Billy Sunday's Professional Baseball Career, 1883-1890 - American Sports History Series 17 (Paperback)

Sunday at the Ballpark: Billy Sunday's Professional Baseball Career, 1883-1890 - American Sports History Series 17 (Paperback)

Paperback 208 Pages / Published: 01/01/2000
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In this work, Wendy Knickerbocker explores Sunday's professional baseball career to examine the coming of age of an interesting and important character in American sports history. Detail is given to the entirety of his career as well as his playing style. She includes his struggles and accomplishments in his professional career as well as his religious one.

Publisher: Scarecrow Press
ISBN: 9780810849723
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 272 g
Dimensions: 215 x 164 x 16 mm

The author helps make Sunday come alive as a person on and off the ball field....[Knickerbocker] uses all of Sunday's own writings, as well as many records of the Presbyterian Church and the YMCA. This array of sources makes the story more complete....Too often baseball texts focus on the game and ignore the life outside the stadium. Knickerbocker ably weaves the two stories together to create the full life story of Billy Sunday, ballplayer and evangelist. * Journal of Sport History *
Wendy Knickerbocker has packed the stories of two thin, but not unimportant, careers into one thin, but not unimportant volume. The text deals with the careers of Billy Sunday, itinerant professional baseball player, and Billy Sunday, itinerant professional evangelist...Knickerbocker is able to demonstrate the two Sunday careers were inextricably connected. * International Journal of the History of Sport *
This is the first scholarly attempt to look at the startling complexities of one of baseball's unique individuals. * USA Today Baseball Weekly *
...covers Sunday's baseball career exhaustively, seemingly mentioning nearly every single game and every quote about him found in Sporting Life or The Sporting News. -- Steven A. Riess, Northeastern Illinois University * Journal Of Illinois History *
Knickerbocker's portrayal of baseball in the superb. * Sports Collectors Digest *
Historians of US religion are familiar with Sunday's legendary first job, with may pointing to his dual professional affiliations (athlete and celebrity preacher) as a symbolic exhibit in the joint history of evangelicalism and entertainment. Knickerbocker is uninterested in symbolism or historiography; for her, this slim volume is a simple historical exercise, a corrective to Sunday's mythic accountings in his autobiography, "The Sawdust Trail." When, where, and against whom did Billy Sunday play professional baseball? And how well did he do? This statistical experience is scrupulously narrated in Sunday at the Ballpark. Relying primarily on newspaper accounts, Knickerbocker reconstructs Sunday's brief tenure as a right and center fielder for the Chicago White Stockings, Pittsburgh Alleghenies, and Philadelphia Phillies. According to Knickerbocker's assembled athletic profile, Sunday was an adequate athlete, with considerable speed but limited defensive agility. More important than numerical success was Sunday's social development during this era, which provided him not only with an abundance of sermonic metaphors, but also introduced him to A.G. Spalding, manager of the White Stockings, who served as a key ethical and rhetorical mentor. Knickerbocker never pursues the broader themes that shadow her chronological subject. As she notes, Billy Sunday's career coincided with rapid urbanization and profound cultural change. This seven-year epoch might have served as a point of departure for riffs on the local dynamics of these national shifts. However, this was not Knickerbocker's purpose. Rather, she sought to set the record straight; this she does with clear prose and precise research. * Religious Studies Review *
In Sunday at the Ballpark we have the best-balanced account in print about the famous ballplayer turned evangelist, Billy Sunday...Wendy Knickerbocker writes smoothly and organizes her material well. Her slim volume on the colorful...Billy Sunday, is worth reading. -- John Holway with Dorothy Jane Mills

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