Reviews for Extra Bases : Reflections on Jackie Robinson, Race, and Baseball History


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 September 2002
Tygiel, the author of Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy (1983), defines himself as an American historian who sometimes writes about baseball. This collection, gathered from publications as diverse as Sport magazine and Reviews in American History, is divided into three sections: Jackie Robinson, baseball history, and the significance of race in baseball. Among the highlights are a review of Robinson's tumultuous military career, an examination of the game during the Jim Crow era of racial discrimination, and a critique of Ken Burns' 18-hour documentary Baseball. (As one might expect, Tygiel admires Burns' overall effort but points out some significant historical inaccuracies.) There is also a fascinating article examining the relatively recent phenomenon of televised sport and how it has altered our perceptions, to say nothing of the wealth it has created for participants. A worthwhile addition to those collections where interest in baseball and sports history is high. ((Reviewed September 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Library Journal Reviews 2002 August #1
This collection of essays is going to have a difficult time finding its niche; it is too scholarly to appeal to most baseball fans, but its lack of focus will frustrate an academic audience. Those who enjoyed Tygiel's Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy and Past Time: Baseball as History, which use baseball as a barometer for American history and society, will enjoy this gathering of his previously published essays. The age spread of the essays, however, works against them, as some are as recent as 2001 but many date from the 1980s. "Playing by the Book: Baseball History in the 1980s" is a serviceable introduction to baseball historiography, but it was written as a journal article in 1986. Tygiel's primary source material for Hank Aaron does not include Aaron's excellent autobiography, I Had a Hammer, because it was not written until 1992. Some of the essays in the review copy had end notes, and some did not. Tygiel's closing essay, an analysis of what is wrong with the current state of the game, will leave casual fans thinking that Bob Costas said it better. Still, the essays about Jackie Robinson and Jim Crow baseball, Tygiel's specialities, are small gems that are worth the price of this relatively inexpensive paperback. Recommended for public and academic libraries with large baseball collections. Randall L. Schroeder, Wartburg Coll. Lib., Waverly, IA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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