Before the Curse: The Glory Days of New England Baseball, 1858-1918

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In this revised and updated version of his highly regarded book, author Troy Soos covers the history of baseball in New England from 1791 through 1918, the year in which the Red Sox won their final World Series of the 20th century. Beginning with the recently discovered Pittsfield, Massachusetts, document, the history of early New England baseball and its folk predecessors is briefly discussed, followed by the advent of pay for play, when the Boston Red Stockings dominated baseball's first major league. Turning next to the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s, decades that saw pro baseball establish itself in especially the larger cities of the Northeast, Soos demonstrates that the amateur game became a fixture of the towns, schools, and even the factories. Success at the game's highest level followed, as the Boston Pilgrims won five NL championships in the 1890s before taking the first Modern World Series in 1903. When five more world championships came during the 1910s, New Englanders could justifiably argue that the country's oldest region sat atop the baseball world. By the close of 1918, New England was baseball mad, and the 86 years of collapses, near-misses, and outright struggles that lay ahead would do nothing to diminish the game's high place in the regional culture.

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McFarland & Co Inc
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