"Cap Anson 1" Released
August 3, 2003
|Debut of Definitive Book Relating Early Baseball to 2003: Cap Anson 1: When Captaining a Team Meant Something: Leadership in Baseball's Early Years; First Anson Book in 103 Years (three decades before Seabiscuit) |
Tile Books announces the U.S. availability of the hardcover Cap Anson 1: When Captaining a Team Meant Something: Leadership in Baseballs Early Years. The central subject is middlemen of baseball: captains, captain-managers and bench managers. Cap Anson was a longtime captain (player)-manager of Chicagos National League team (which later became known as the Cubs), and this is the first book (with the exception of his ghostwritten autobiography in the year 1900), in which he is definitively and independently discussed.
Few people know that Anson was the most closely reported professional or amateur team athlete in the United States of the 19th century (before Jackie Robinson and Mickey Mantle were born). When Anson was in charge of the Chicago team (for 19 years), it was financially the most important city in baseball. While drawing great attention from reporters for his leadership on and off the field (which is the central focus here), he was on the way to becoming the first player to attain 3,000 hits, a mark not surpassed until Honus Wagner and Napoleon (Nap) Lajoie in the 1910s.
Ansons nickname derived from the word captain, a role in baseball that used to be much more important. For that matter, in professional team sport in the United States today (relative to the rest of the world, in sports such as soccer, rugby and cricket), players (including those with the title of captain) exercise little strategic control, and this book captures the time when players were most in charge of teammates. With a teammate being in charge (and players doing all the coaching at first and third base, and the nonplaying manager often playing second fiddle to the captain), possibilities for humor were greater than they are today, and Anson provided a huge target. Anson later became the first player to have a starring role in a vaudeville play. Fans of Derek Jeter or the New York Yankees should enjoy the book, now that Jeter has been named captain.
The two most newsworthy sections of the book may be:
1. The opening pages of the books longest chapter: Chapter 7: Discipline Through a Captain-Manager: The Chicago Story (Dr. Robert Millman, the medical adviser to the Commissioners Office, is interviewed). Coverage of the often-hilarious subject of drinking in baseball in the 19th century is compared to today. The chapter may provide the best historical complement to Jim Boutons "Ball Four" and to the recent book by Yankees pitcher David Wells.
2. Appendix B: Reporting on Team Rules Then and Now (officials from the Major League Baseball Players Association are interviewed). Also, the following subject is squared with early baseball: reporting in the 21st century on internal discipline by baseball clubs. This discussion complements a subject that media report more frequently on: discipline by the Commissioner's Office.
Howard W. Rosenberg, a native of Roslyn, N.Y., is writing a series of topical and biographical books on nineteenth-century baseball, with Cap Anson the organizing feature. Rosenberg, who has been quoted several times in ESPN The Magazine as an expert on early baseball, is polishing off several more manuscripts, two of which feature Anson. He is a 1987 graduate of Cornell University, and has worked in Washington, D.C., as a wire service reporter for Jewish newspapers and as editor of policy reports at a Native American think tank. He lives in Arlington, Va.
Hardcover ISBN 0-9725574-0-7 $28.00
xxii (22 introductory pages), 394 regularly numbered pages
7 x 10 inches
Publication Date: July 2003
40 drawings, index, full endnotes, three appendices
Foreword by Clark C. Griffith, chairman of the Sports Law Division of the American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Law (and whose great-uncle Clark Griffith was the first captain-manager of the New York American League club, in 1903)
Section and Chapter Titles:
Cast of Featured Baseball Figures (by team)
Cast of Main Baseball Reporters
1. Captains, Bench Managers and Captain-Managers
2. Chicagos Cap Anson: Power and Personality
3. Bench Managers Barred from Playing Field
4. Arguing with the Lone Umpire: A Study of Anson
5. Injuries without Fancy Medicine
6. An Interlude: Travel without Traveling Secretaries
7. Discipline through a Captain-Manager: The Chicago Story
8. The Fall of Captains
Appendix A: Fine List
Appendix B: Reporting on Team Rules, Then and Now
Appendix C: Timeline of Key Dates
Author's contact information:
Howard W. Rosenberg
1111 Arlington Boulevard
Number 235 West
Arlington, Virginia 22209
(703) 841-9523 (telephone)