Has any sport executive had as many words written about him as Branch Rickey? A one-time catcher, Rickey managed the St. Louis Browns and Cardinals at the end of the deadball era before serving as vice president of the Dodgers and general manager of the Pirates. Possessed of one of the most creative minds in the game's long history, Rickey made early use of statistical analysis, pioneered the farm system, and pressed for the expansion of major league baseball. But he is best known for integrating organized baseball, signing Jackie Robinson to a contract at a time when the U.S. armed forces were still segregated and the Civil Rights movement was years away. A courageous move, the signing also stands as proof of Rickey's foresight; by tapping the Negro Leagues, he enlarged the pool of exploitable talent. Soon after, major league ties to the talent-rich Caribbean were cinched up, and years later scouts sign players from Asia and all over the globe.
Based on nearly one hundred of interviews and vast amounts of research, including exclusive access to Rickey's own papers, Branch Rickey was originally published in 1982. It still stands as the definitive biography of the legendary executive. The McFarland edition includes updates and revisions, new photographs, a foreword by Branch B. Rickey, and a new preface.