FROM THE DUGOUTS TO THE TRENCHES
Baseball during the Great War
Jim Leeke, University of Nebraska Press, Hardcover $32.95 (272pp), 978-0-8032-9072-3
Major League Baseball has gone to war with itself—the Black Sox gambling scandal, collective-bargaining negotiations in the late 1960s, steroid use— and also against Germany and Austria-hungary during World War I when more than 1,250 players, team owners, and sportswriters enlisted. The history of those tumultuous nineteen months is further enlivened by the heroism of certain players from the Negro Leagues (barred from the MLB), the patriotic news coverage of notable players overseas, and the majorleague talent that studded the army, navy, and marine teams. To be sure, the Great War has been written about extensively, but this project takes a hanging curveball and knocks it out of the park.