Making Philly a Blue-Collar City: Sports, Politics, and Civic Identity in Modern Philadelphia

By Timothy J. Lombardo A familiar refrain accompanied the Philadelphia Eagles’ unlikely trek toward Super Bowl LII. It was perhaps best explained by Ed Rendell. Predicting an Eagles victory, Rendell said, “This team reminds me of the 1993 Phillies, just a bunch of working stiffs, not glamourous whatsoever. So blue-collar.” Rendell was uniquely qualified to…

Football is the New Religion in America

By Tanya K. Jones Whether one is playing or spectating, millions of people participate in one form or another. As springtime ends, it takes two sports in the U.S. with it; hockey and basketball. Despite the loss, American sports enthusiasts have baseball to lean on until the day comes when one sport rises above the…

Review of Presidents and the Pastime

Smith, Curt. The Presidents and the Pastime: The History of Baseball & the White House. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018. Pp. 469. Bibliography. $29.95 hardback. Reviewed by Bob D’Angelo Politics and baseball are a delicious mixture. Curt Smith knows how to create a satisfying recipe. Smith, 67, a senior lecturer of English at the…

Review of The Age of Ruth and Landis

Surdam, David George, and Michael J. Haupert. The Age of Ruth and Landis: The Economics of Baseball during the Roaring Twenties. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018. Pp. 405. Epilogue, appendixes, notes, tables and bibliography. $45 hardback. Reviewed by Bob D’Angelo At first blush, it seems easy to define what influenced major league baseball during…

Making History: The Rise and Roll of Roller Basketball

By Jon Hart Have you ever wanted to create something, make history even? Have you ever wanted to create a sport? Former NBAer and Olympic gold medalist Tom LaGarde did just that. LaGarde’s invention was mostly out of necessity and partly because he had an under-utilized artistic streak. Let’s back track. It was the 90s.…

Review of Mohamed Ali

Boli, Claude. Mohamed Ali. Paris: Gallimard, 2016. 303 pages + appendices. $11.05 Paperback. Reviewed by Peter Marquis This review first appeared in Transatlatnica. Re-posted with permission. Some say he is indeed the “greatest”, the best-known person on earth, ahead of Pélé or Michael Jackson [1]. From the sidewalks of big cities where peddlers sell posters…

Review of The Integration of the Pacific Coast League

Essington, Amy. The Integration of the Pacific Coast League: Race and Baseball on the West Coast. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018. Pp. 162. Afterword, appendix, notes, and bibliography. $19.95 paperback. Reviewed by Bob D’Angelo Jackie Robinson’s heroic struggle in breaking the color line in the modern era of major league baseball has been told…