front cover of The Amazing Tale of Mr. Herbert and His Fabulous Alpine Cowboys Baseball Club
The Amazing Tale of Mr. Herbert and His Fabulous Alpine Cowboys Baseball Club
An Illustrated History of the Best Little Semipro Baseball Team in Texas
By DJ Stout
University of Texas Press, 2010

Back in the 1940s and 1950s, almost every small town in America had a baseball team. Most players were simply local heroes with a local following, but a few teams achieved fame far beyond their region. The Alpine Cowboys—despite being based in Texas's remote, sparsely populated Big Bend country—became a star in the firmament of semi-pro baseball. Lavishly underwritten by a wealthy rancher with a passion not only for baseball but even more for helping young men get a good start in life, the Cowboys played on a "field of dreams" whose facilities rivaled those of professional ballparks. Many Cowboys went on to play in the big leagues, and several pro teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, and St. Louis Browns, came to play exhibition games at Kokernot Field.

The story of Herbert Kokernot Jr. and his Alpine Cowboys is a legend among baseball aficionados, but until now it has never been the subject of a book. DJ Stout, son of former Cowboys player Doyle Stout, presents a hall-of-fame-worthy collection of photographs, memorabilia, and reminiscences from Alpine Cowboys players, family members, and fans to capture fifteen years (1946–1961) of baseball at its finest. Nicholas Dawidoff's introduction, originally published in Sports Illustrated, tells the fascinating tale of "Mr. Herbert" and his determination to build a baseball team and ballpark that deserved to carry his ranch's 06 brand.

One of the most heartwarming episodes in the annals of the game, The Amazing Tale of Mr. Herbert and His Fabulous Alpine Cowboys is a fitting tribute to a man, a team, and a ballpark.


front cover of Barnstorming to Heaven
Barnstorming to Heaven
Syd Pollock and His Great Black Teams
Alan J. Pollock
University of Alabama Press, 2006
An insider history of the Indianapolis Clowns, sometimes referred to as the Harlem Globetrotters of baseball
The Indianapolis Clowns were a black touring baseball team that featured an entertaining mix of comedy, showmanship, and skill. Sometimes referred to as the Harlem Globetrotters of baseball—though many of the Globetrotters’ routines were borrowed directly from the Clowns—they captured the affection of Americans of all ethnicities and classes. Author Alan Pollock was the son of the Clowns' owner Syd Pollock, who owned a series of black barnstorming teams that crisscrossed the country from the late 1920s until the mid-1960s. They played every venue imaginable, from little league fields to Yankee Stadium, and toured the South, the Northeast, the Midwest, the Canadian Rockies, the Dakotas, the Southwest, the Far West—anywhere there was a crowd willing to shell out a few dollars for an unforgettable evening.

Alan grew up around the team and describes in vivid detail the comedy routines of Richard “King Tut” King, “Spec Bebob” Bell, Reece “Goose” Tatum; the “warpaint” and outlandish costumes worn by players in the early days; and the crowd-pleasing displays of amazing skill known as pepperball and shadowball. These men were entertainers, but they were also among the most gifted athletes of their day, making a living in sports the only way a black man could. They played to win.

More than just a baseball story, these recollections tell the story of great societal changes in America from the roaring twenties, through the years of the Great Depression and World War II, and into the Civil Rights era.

front cover of Bill Giles and Baseball
Bill Giles and Baseball
John B Lord
Temple University Press, 2014


Bill Giles oversaw one of the greatest eras of winning that the Philadelphia Phillies ever enjoyed. In Bill Giles and Baseball, John Lord chronicles Giles' remarkable career--which includes 44 years with the Phillies--to provide an insider's view of the business of the sport, which takes place off the field.


Based on extensive interviews, Bill Giles and Baseball spans Giles' life from his childhood growing up in the game to the tumultuous years he spent as the president and managing partner of the Phillies. Purchasing the team in 1981, when baseball experienced its first serious labor stoppages, Giles also watched baseball add franchises, grapple with franchise fees, realign the leagues, and restructure baseball's postseason. Yet Giles, the public face of the Phillies championship teams of 1980, 1983, and 1993, is best remembered for his critical role in creating innovative TV deals, and leading the efforts to build the Phillies' beautiful new ballpark.


A book about the business of baseball as seen through the eyes of one of the architects of the game, Bill Giles and Baseball captures the spectacle of the sport through fascinating behind-the-scenes stories of our national pastime. 


front cover of Owning a Piece of the Minors
Owning a Piece of the Minors
Jerry Klinkowitz. Foreword by Mike Veeck
Southern Illinois University Press, 1999

Owning a Piece of the Minors is by and about a man who lived his dream and acquired a baseball team. When Jerry Klinkowitz joined the group that ran the Waterloo, Iowa, Diamonds in the 1970s, ownership of a minor league baseball franchise conferred little mystique. Neglected for a half century, minor league baseball was at best obscure. Yet in the purchase of fantasy, what difference if your desire is out of style?

Klinkowitz continued his work with the Diamonds through the 1980s and much of the 1990s. In Owning a Piece of the Minors, he maps out his personal journey through baseball and probes his fluctuating fortunes and those of his team as he evolves from a fan to a team executive and, most important, to a writer writing about baseball. This baseball story begins with a nine-year-old Klinkowitz who is elated when Milwaukee lures the Braves from Boston; this story of a love affair with baseball might have died—and in fact suffered a ten-year hiatus—when the apostate Braves fled to Atlanta in 1965.

Klinkowitz rediscovered the joy of being at the baseball park when, as a middle-aged professor, he took his own children to the Waterloo Diamonds games. Gradually his involvement with the Diamonds grew deeper until he owned the team. His immersion into team activities was complete, from shagging batting practice and working the beer bar to struggling with the Cleveland Indians and then the San Diego Padres as minor league affiliates to accommodate baseball's resurgence.

Klinkowitz writes of loss—first the Braves and later the Diamonds; of writing baseball fiction; of attending the 1982 World Series back in Milwaukee; of the great old ballparks around the country, including Wrigley, Fenway, and old Comiskey Park; of fictional and factual accounts of how the Diamonds franchise was lost; of friendships among season ticket holders in "Box 28"; and of Mildred Boyenga, the club president and Baseball Woman of the Year. A first-rate stylist, Klinkowitz shows the problems and perks and, most rewarding, the priceless relationships made possible in the world of baseball.


front cover of Veeck As In Wreck
Veeck As In Wreck
The Autobiography of Bill Veeck
Bill Veeck with Ed Linn
University of Chicago Press, 2001
Bill Veeck was an inspired team builder, a consummate showman, and one of the greatest baseball men ever involved in the game. His classic autobiography, written with the talented sportswriter Ed Linn, is an uproarious book packed with information about the history of baseball and tales of players and owners, including some of the most entertaining stories in all of sports literature.

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