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The Big Book of Baseball Humor

Organized so that the reader can follow baseball's development from its early years to the contemporary era, the single unifying theme of the collection is "baseball as Americana," exploring how baseball has served as a marker for the larger American society. Parts I and II, "Baseball's Rise and a Cast of Characters" and "Beyond the Majors," provide a thoughtful balance between the history of the sport and focused attention on specific players.

In both cases, the essays connect the game of baseball to American culture at large. Even if at times these essays overlap in subject matter, such occurrences are a welcome reminder that players and events can be read in different contexts. More importantly, these essays include discussions of groundskeepers, radio broadcasters, and leagues such as the West Virginia Coalfield and Negro National League , all of which help remind the reader just how enmeshed baseball was in the daily lives of various communities, as well as how the development of the game depended on more than just the players and fans.

Casey at the Bat

Ultimately, as Peter Morris persuasively argues in his contribution, baseball is America's game precisely because America as a whole shaped its development; in both its style of play and its history, baseball is a truly democratic endeavor. Bringing together three pieces about Jackie Robinson and one on Minnie Minoso, this section reminds its readers just how important racial integration was to the survival of baseball in an America that witnessed rapidly changing racial demographics and significant social upheaval over questions of racial equality.

A young woman named Ruthie Patzke was seated in the dining room with her girlfriend. They had come in with a busload of Braves Boosters from Milwaukee. She remembered seeing Bob for the first time. It matched his eyes. Bobby always wore a jacket and tie and shirt.

Observer review: Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville by Stephen Jay Gould | Books | The Guardian

Long story short, the fire was kindled for Bob and Ruthie that day. He found out where she and her friend would be sitting in the ballpark upper deck.

Bob offered them a ride back to Milwaukee in his car, but this was That would not have been proper. They rode the bus. He called Ruthie at home, and they started dating. On September 27, , the day after the National League season ended, Ruthie and Bob were married in a small chapel in a Lutheran church in Milwaukee.

Virjean Lauby and Eddie Mathews were married the same day. Bob and his bride honeymooned in New York City — for two days. He had to be there to cover the World Series. Wolf got in touch with Braves traveling secretary Duffy Lewis , who saved the day by procuring nicer accommodations for them. The Braves pulled out of Milwaukee after the season.

The Early Days of Baseball on Delmarva

Wolf was left without a beat. He received a new one when the National Basketball Association expanded in January and formed the Milwaukee Bucks. Wolf was not tempted, though. Pro basketball offered less travel and a more normal home life. In he was offered a position as a columnist, and he gladly accepted. It was a five-mile run through downtown Milwaukee.

The fundraiser started small, about 4, runners, and grew to be one of the largest in the nation. Twice, in and again in , Wolf ran alongside McGuire and interviewed him as they jogged. Ruthie also entered the run. After 39 years at the Journal, Wolf retired in November so he and Ruthie could live on the beach close to their daughter Debi in California.

Joy, drama, milestones: Relive the year in MLB

When Wolf turned 80 in , Debi hosted a party for her dad. She knew that his all-time favorite ballplayer was Chicago Cubs slugger Ernie Banks.

Product description

She arranged for Mr. Cub to call Bob and wish him well on his birthday, which he did. Wolf suffered a stroke on January 3, He died at age 81 the day after Thanksgiving of that year in Oceanside, California.


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