Archive for March 2016

“Larry Doby’s trials, and the triumphs that earned him a place in Cooperstown, are a stirring story wonderfully told by Douglas Branson.”  -George F. Will

Just eleven weeks after Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, Larry Doby became the first black player to integrate the American League, signing with the Cleveland Indians in July 1947.  Doby went on to become a seven-time All-Star who led the Indians to two pennants.  In many respects, Robinson and Doby were equals in their baseball talent and experiences and had remarkably similar playing careers.

Well into the 1950s, Doby was the only African American All-Star in the American League during a period in which fifteen black players became National League All-Stars.  Why is Doby largely forgotten as a central figure in baseball’s integration?  Why has he not been accorded his rightful place in baseball history?  Greatness in the Shadows: Larry Doby and the Integration of the American League attempts to answer these questions, bringing Doby’s story to life and sharing his achievements and firsts with a new generation.

Douglas M. Branson is the W. Edward Sell Chair in Business Law at the University of Pittsburgh.  He is the author of nineteen books, including No Seat at the Table; The Last Male Bastion; and Three Tastes of Nuoc Mam.

Listen in to Douglas Branson and Greatness in the Shadows, live in the Clubhouse...

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“The Mets are gonna be amazing.”  -Casey Stengel, circa 1975

They were coming off a seemingly endless string of losing records.  They were considered years away from legitimate contention.  They were derided and disregarded as a matter of course.  But in 2015, the New York Mets changed their course and changed their story.  The result was the best kind of amazin’.  They proceeded to capture a division title, raise a pennant, and lay claim to the heart of their city.

Author Greg Prince -- cocreator of Faith and Fear in Flushing -- traces the trajectory of this championship season and recreates the emotions of a year that culminated in the Mets making New York their kind of town once again in Amazin' Again: How the 2015 New York Mets Brought the Magic Back to Queens.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was six, during the magical summer of 1969.  He is the cocreator of the blog Faith and Fear in Flushing, the daily destination for “Mets fans who like to read.”  Prince has written about baseball for The New York Times, Huffington Post, Yahoo! Sports, and; served as a consultant to the film The Last Play at Shea; and helped organize the New York Mets 50th Anniversary conference at Hofstra University.

On an amazin' March evening, Greg brought the magic back to the Clubhouse.  Listen in.  Enjoy...

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How one team embraced tradition and Moneyball at the same time...

The St. Louis Cardinals have experienced the kind of success that is rare in baseball.  They not only win, but do so with an apparently bottomless pool of talent, one that is mostly homegrown.

“The Cardinal Way” -- a term that has come to represent many things to fans, media, and other organizations, from an ironclad code of conduct to the team’s cutting-edge use of statistics and analytics, and a farm system that has transformed baseball.

In the spirit of “Moneyball,” baseball journalist Howard Megdal takes fans behind the scenes and off the field.  Megdal reveals how the players are assessed and groomed using an unrivaled player development system.  He tells an in-depth, fascinating story about a consistently good franchise, the business of sports in the 21st century, and a team that has learned how to level the playing field, turning in season after successful season.

Howard Megdal has written for “Capital New York,” “Sports Illustrated,” “The New York Times,” and “USA Today,” among others.  His prior books include “The Baseball Talmud” and “Wilpon’s Folly.”

On the first Thursday in March, Howard Megdal led a packed Clubhouse in our captivating conversation about “The Cardinals Way.”  Listen in...

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