Review of Little Wonder

Abramsky, Sasha. Little Wonder: The Fabulous Story of Lottie Dod, the World’s First Female Sports Superstar. Akashic Books, 2020. Pp. 280. Acknowledgments, end notes, introduction, photographs, $25.95 hardback. Reviewed by Bob D’Angelo. Sasha Abramsky is not a sports historian. He is a journalist who has spent the past 25 years writing about politics, covering social…

Review of Earl Campbell: Yards After Contact

Price, Asher. Earl Campbell: Yards After Contact. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2019. Pp. 344. 12 photos, notes, and index. $27.95 hardcover. Reviewed by Nicholas Evan Sarantakes It is difficult to explain how much Earl Campbell dominated American football in the late 1970s.  For roughly three years, he was the player in the sport. In…

Review of Oscar Charleston

Beer, Jeremy.  Oscar Charleston: The Life and Legend of Baseball’s Greatest Forgotten Player. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019. Reviewed by Leslie Heaphy Author Jeremy Beer has written the first full biography of one of the greatest baseball players in history, Oscar Charleston. The story is long overdue, and Beer meets expectations, bringing to life…

Review of Katharine Whitney Curtis: Mother of Synchronized Swimming

Whitney-Wei, Jordan. Katharine Whitney Curtis: Mother of Synchronized Swimming. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2020. Pp. 185. Notes, bibliography, and index. $39.95 paperback. Reviewed by Vicki Valosik In 1912, Katharine Curtis (nee Whitney) became the first woman to swim across Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin. Under the headline “Madison has a youthful Annette Kellerman,” a…

Review of Bouton: The Life of a Baseball Original

Nathanson, Mitchell. Bouton: The Life of a Baseball Original. University of Nebraska Press, 2020. Pp. 407. Acknowledgments, bibliography, epilogue, index, notes, photographs, prologue, $34.95 hardback. Reviewed by Bob D’Angelo. Jim Bouton’s diary of the 1969 major league baseball season may seem tame today, but Ball Four’s release 50 years ago caused a furor. A book…

Review of Mr. All-Around: The Life of Tom Gola

Gryzbowski, David. Mr. All-Around: The Life of Tom Gola. Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 2019. Pp 181. Foreword by Bill Raftery, introduction, appendices. Reviewed by Murry Nelson Mr. All-Around: The Life of Tom Gola is a pleasant little book. However, David Gyrzbowski’s biography of Gola is more geared to general readership, especially those with Philadelphia interests,…

A Tribute to Kobe Bryant

Editor’s note: Please accept our apology for any inconvenience: The draft copy was posted last night instead of the final version which now appears on our blog. This post is a tribute to Kobe Bryant and first appeared in 2013 as an entry about his life and career in American Sports: A History of Icons, Idols,…

Review of Patty Berg: Pioneer Champion of Women’s Golf

Kenny, Kevin.  Patty Berg: Pioneer Champion of Women’s Golf.  North Carolina: McFarland, 2019.  Pp. 205.  Appendix, Chapter Notes, Bibliography, and Index.  $45.00 softcover. Reviewed by Erica J. Zonder In November 2019, the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s (LPGA) season-ending event, The CME Group Tour Championship, was won by Korean golfer Sei Young Kim.  First place was…

50 Years of George Foreman

50 years ago we didn’t know much about George Foreman. But the story of his first professional boxing match told us everything about the boxer and the businessman. In 1968, George Foreman was a largely unknown amateur boxer with only two years and 20 bouts of experience. His victory in the gold medal match of…