More than any other sport, baseball has developed its own niche in America's culture and psyche. Some researchers spend years on detailed statistical analyses of minute parts of the game, while others wax poetic about its players and plays. Many trace the beginnings of the civil rights movement in part to the Major Leagues' decision to integrate, and the words and phrases of the game (for example, pinch-hitter and out in left field) have become common in our everyday language.
From AARON, HENRY onward, this book covers all of what might be called the cultural aspects of baseball (as opposed to the number-rich statistical information so widely available elsewhere). Biographical sketches of all Hall of Fame players, owners, executives and umpires, as well as many of the sportswriters and broadcasters who have won the Spink and Frick awards, join entries for teams, owners, commissioners and league presidents. Advertising, agents, drafts, illegal substances, minor leagues, oldest players, perfect games, retired uniform numbers, superstitions, tripleheaders, and youngest players are among the thousands of entries herein. Most entries open with a topical quote and conclude with a brief bibliography of sources for further research. The whole work is exhaustively indexed and includes over 120 photographs.