Saturday, March 20, 2010

Good Night Pumpsie Green

Shut Out, A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston by Howard Bryant; 278 pages; 2002; Routledge, New York; 0-415-92779-X; Interlibrary loan from Willamette University Library; 3/11-3/19This is much more than a book about baseball, this is a sociological study of race relations and sports in Boston.  All four of the major sports teams, the Sox, Bruins, Patriots and Celtics are at least touched upon and their relationship to the black population.  The author traces the history of race relations clear back to pre civil war times.  This is a book that should, I think, be used for anyone studying sociology.  The baseball portion of the book starts with the farcical tryout held for Jackie Robinson and Sam Jethroe in 1945, illuminates the attitudes of Pinky Higgins, Joe Cronin and Tom Yawkey, highlights the integration of the Sox in 1959 by Pumpsie Green and continues through Jim Rice, Ellis Burks and Mo Vaughn. Pumpsie Green had it even tougher than Jackie Robinson in a way, Jackie had the backing of the team and the front office, whereas Pumpsie Green got no support from the front office, Ted Williams was his friend on the team.  I will be looking for more by Mr. Bryant, I really enjoyed reading his work.  Grade-A+

3 comments:

Carl Crawford Cards said...

Gotta pick that one up.

MattR said...

Looks like an interesting book. I need to put it on my "books to get" list.

Collective Troll said...

Great review Rod! I have been dying to find this one, now I really want to read it!Boston is a very strange area in a lot of ways...