Baseball and Cricket
The Creation of American Team Sports, 1838-72
Sport and Society
Published by: University of Illinois Press
304 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 23.00 mm, 13 photographs
- ISBN: 9780252074455
- Published: March 2007
In discovering how and why Americans chose baseball over its early rival, cricket, as the national pastime, George B. Kirsch takes us back to amateur playing fields around the country to recreate the excitement of the early matches, the players, clubs, and their fans. As a narrative history, Baseball and Cricket places the growing popularity of the two sports within the social context of mid-nineteenth-century American cities. The book's comparative analysis follows baseball's transition from a leisure sport to a commercialized, professional enterprise and offers the first complete discussion of the early American cricket clubs.
A volume in the series Sport and Society, edited by Benjamin G. Rader and Randy Roberts
"A unique comprehensive history of America's first organized team sports. Focusing on New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Newark, Kirsch is the first to combine a history and analysis of baseball and cricket, showing the unique relationship between the two, and their places in urban history. . . . This is a major work in the field of sport history."
"Kirsch's account is highly engaging and quite edifying. . . . His analysis is keen, his prose readable, and his thesis fascinating. . . . Kirsch rescues from dusty archives the names of the important cricket teams (or rather clubs), their lineups, their statistics, and wonderfully vivid accounts of critical cricket matches that help provide a contemporary American audience scantly familiar with the game a sense of its excitement, its attraction."--Aethlon: Journal of Sports Literature
"This is a marvelous book. It tells us much about who played the game, what sorts of persons they were, and gives us many details of early baseball, who won, and why, and what this meant to viewers of the game."--Journal of Social History