At least as far back as 1842 through about the late 1930s and mid-1940s, before baseball became commercialized and teams were able to hire one man to manage the entire team, it was not uncommon for one person to fill the roles of player and manager simultaneously. Often, the strongest, brightest, or best player - or sometimes the person who owned the playing equipment - directed his teammates.
Forty-two of those men who were both players and managers at the same time are profiled in this work. The book leads off with chapters describing what it was like to fill the dual role and how it came about. Then, chapters are devoted to such men as Cap Anson, Connie Mack, Charles Comiskey, John McGraw, Mickey Cochrane, Dave Bancroft, Ty Cobb, Mel Ott, Joe Cronin, and Pete Rose, just to name a few.