Review of Breaking Barriers

Stark, Douglas. Breaking Barriers: A History of Integration in Professional Basketball. Lanham, MD. Rowman & Littlefield, 2019. Notes, bibliography, index. Reviewed by Murry Nelson This is a book that sounds better than it really is and that was a disappointment since Stark is a good writer with a background of curation at the Naismith Basketball…

Review of Our Bums

Krell, David.  Forward by Branch Rickey III. Our Bums: The Brooklyn Dodgers in History, Memory, and Popular Culture.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015.   Pp. 240.  Notes, References, Index.  $29.95 softcover.  Reviewed by Rich Loosbrock Baseball and nostalgia go hand in hand.  Mentions of baseball in popular culture, be it movies, documentaries, biographies, or memoirs, are bathed…

Review of Gene Kiniski: Canadian Wrestling Legend

Verrier, Steven. Gene Kiniski: Canadian Wrestling Legend. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2018. Pp. 246. Bibliography and index. $35 paperback. Reviewed by Bob D’Angelo Professional wrestling has always been about business. It has evolved from matches in dimly lit carnival tents before a few hundred curious onlookers to WrestleMania 35, which reportedly drew 82,265 fans to…

Review of The Art of Football

Oriard, Michael. The Art of Football: The Early Game in the Golden Age of Illustration. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2017. Pp. 243.  Notes, References, Index.  $39.95 cloth. Reviewed by Rich Loosbrock Michael Oriard continues his exploration of the intersection between American football and the popular imagination with this sumptuously illustrated examination of early football…

From Next to Now: The WNBA in 2018

By Cat Ariail When advertising its inaugural 1997 season, the WNBA announced, “We Got Next.” The slogan represented a clever adaptation of the playground basketball expression. Unintentionally but appropriately, it also captured the perpetual liminality of the league. For much of its twenty-two year history, insecurity has characterized the league, with professional women basketball forever…

Review of Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs

Keurajian,Ron. Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs,Second Edition. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.,2018. Pp 303. Appendix, bibliography, glossary, illustrations and notes. $49.95 paperback. Reviewed by Bob D’Angelo. It’s a sign of the times: Collecting sports autographs is a big business, with potentially lucrative paydays. In August, a baseball signed by 11of the original National…

Review of Collision of Wills

Gilden, Jack. Collision of Wills: Johnny Unitas, Don Shula, and the Rise of the Modern NFL. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018. Pp. 328. Afterword, index and bibliography. $29.95 hardback. Reviewed by Bob D’Angelo The Baltimore Colts of the 1960s could be called the National Football League’s underachievers — or, more charitably, unlucky. From 1963…

Review of Ty Cobb Unleashed

Rosenberg, Howard W. Ty Cobb Unleashed: The Definitive Biography of the Chastened Racist. Tile Books, 2018. Pp. 544. Appendixes, bibliography, notes. $32 hardback. Reviewed by Bob D’Angelo When writing about baseball history, Howard W. Rosenberg marches to the beat of his own drum. When he published his first of four books about Hall of Famer…

Review of Sugar

Rosen, Charley. Sugar: Michael Ray Richardson, Eighties Excess, and the NBA. Lincoln: Nebraska University Press, 2018. Pp. 192. $24.95 hardcover and ebook. Reviewed by Cat Ariail During his tumultuous tenure as general manager of the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson often appeared to air his grievances, including the infamous ones against Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo…