Spitballing: The Baseball Days of Long Bob Ewing


Spitballing: The Baseball Days of Long Bob Ewing

  • 368 Pages
  • 7 x 10
  • Softcover
  • ISBN 978-1939710-055
  • Copyright 2013

By Mike Lackey

A colorful time in baseball and American history comes alive in this multi-layered biography of an Ohio farm boy who employed a combination of spit and savvy to earn a place in the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. Author Mike Lackey drops the reader into the early years of the 20th century—the dead ball era, when low-scoring, highly contentious baseball was a potent mixture of fastballs and fisticuffs. Gambling was endemic. Night baseball was a gasp-inducing experiment. Sunday ball was illegal in many places. Black baseball was a separate world. The professional ballplayer was a social outcast described as "a slave held in bondage," and yet hundreds of ambitious young men battled for barely 250 jobs in the major leagues. The spitball was legal and Bob Ewing, the National League's first master of the dampened delivery, used it to contend with the best in the game—and as his ticket to see the rapidly changing country, from the trolley leagues to the White House, and then to a post-baseball stint as a Prohibition-era lawman.

“A rich, robust portrait of pitcher Bob Ewing and his day, brimming with details you highlight with ex clamation points. Mike Lackey giv es us a wonderfully researched, well-footnoted book and an entertaining read about the game in the early 20th century.” —Greg Rhodes, Cincinnati Reds team historian

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