Bismarck once said that God looked after drunkards, children and the U.S. of A. Some say that baseball should be added to the list. It must have been divine intervention that led the sport through a series of transformative challenges from the end of World War II to the game's first expansion in 1961.
During this period baseball was forced to make a number of painful choices. From 1949 to 1954, attendance dropped more than 30 percent, as once loyal fans turned to other activities, started going to see more football, and began watching television. Also, the sport had to wrestle with racial integration, franchise shifts and unionization while trying to keep a firm hold on the minds and emotions of the public.
This work chronicles how baseball, with imagination and some foresight, survived postwar challenges. Some of the solutions came about intelligently, some clumsily, but by 1960 baseball was a stronger, healthier and better balanced institution than ever before.