Books written by John B Holway
Ted the Kid
The most detailed book ever written about this most complex, charismatic, controversial, and brilliant star. Only Babe and Ali have ever matched him for sheer drama on and off the field. Covers his career, in intimidate detail, from the streets of San Diego through his triumphant .406 in 1941. Based on hours of talks with Ted and dozens of those who knew him – teammates, fans, friends, family. Ted reveals stories never told before, some of which the author swore not to reveal until Ted’s death. It’s the first of a 1,000-page trilogy – and there wasn’t even room for his macabre death.
“An iconoclast and a rebel, John Wayne in a Red Sox uniform” George H.W. Bush.
Voices from the Great Black Leagues
The 1975 classic tells the first-person stories of Hall of Famers Cool Papa Bell, Buck Leonard, Bill Foster, Willie Wells, Buck Leonard, Hilton Smith, Effa Manley, and 12 more greats. Leonard recalls how he and Josh Gibson were interviewed by Clark Griffith for a job on the Senators.(They never heard from him again.) Captures the rollicking, heart-breaking, colorful era that will never return.
“I read with wonder and anger the things lost: Cool Papa Bell going from first to home on a bunt… Holway had edited lengthy interviews into small story-telling gems. Games begin to be played in the reader’s mind. It is the closest we can come to seeing them.” The New York Times.
”Holway is the granddaddy of researchers on black baseball. A must-read for every student and historian.” Bob Peterson, Only the Ball Was White.
Winner of the Casey Award as best baseball book of 1988. Holway brings to life the true adventures of Rube Foster, Pop Lloyd, Smoky Joe Williams, Oscar Charleston, Bullet Rogan, Turkey Stearnes, Mule Suttles, Jud Wilson, Leon Day, Biz Mackey, Judy Johnson, Cum Posey, J.L. Wilkinson, and many
others, in pictures, news clips, and the memories of the men who played against them.
“A gold mine of baseball legend. They were big leaguers in every sense of the word, and it is about time their stories were told – and retold.” Commissioner Peter Ueberroth.
“Historically important, well researched” – Publishers Weekly.
“A wonderful collection of profiles, an indispensable addition to the history of baseball.” – Washington Post.
Josh and Satch
The two greatest stars of blackball history, these giants of American baseball were rivals, teammates, and rivals again. Follow the dramas year by year. They met in one climactic, titanic face-off in the World Series of 1942 – a moment that, had it happened in mainstream white baseball, would have surpassed Babe Ruth’s 1932 called shot as the classic, iconic moment in baseball history. Spurned by the major leagues, Josh smashes homers at a pace to demolish Babe Ruth’s record before dying of a drug overdose.
“A luminous account that rates purchase where serious sports biographies circulate.” Library Journal.
For the first time Buck O’Neil recounts his poignant, yet often hilarious, tales of living and paying with Satchel Paige, including his hilarious account of how Satchel pinned the nickname “Nancy” on him. Chet Brewer adds more to the long legend of Satch, such as his close-your-eyes and hold-your-hat rides down one-way streets and across pedestrian islands. Chet also recalls saving a young Dock Ellis from prison after youthful drug escapades. Willard “Home Run” Brown remembers slugging 27 home runs in Puerto Rico – 12 more than the next highest, Reggie Jackson.
“The reader barely controls his laughter at the players’ antics on the field and off. A lively program of fast and historical value.” Audiofile.
Frank “Strangler” Forbes brings to life the early days of cut-throat New York basketball.…Jesse “Mountain” Hubbard bets Satchel Paige the team car, then tell him, “You can kiss this one good-bye,” and drives off with a 1-0 victory…. Harry Salmon and Sam Bankhead rise from childhoods of mining coal to baseball stardom. Salmon and Sam Streeter teach a wild Satchel Paige control….Vic Harris recounts a wild brawl with Dizzy Dean’s all stars… Schoolboy Johnny Taylor goes from high school to the Polo Grounds and victory over Paige.
“It is more than a collection of baseball biographies. Its strength is Holway’s ability to recreate the aura of the time through colorful anecdotes and reminisces.” San Francisco Chronicle.
Sixteen more true tales covering black history from 1914 through 1962. Frank (Doc) Sykes braved Alabama racists to testify for nine boys falsely accused of murder in the sensational Scottsboro trial of the 1930s…….George (Never) Sweatt from Walter Johnson’s home town recounts a heart-warming story of growing up black in rural Kansas.… Piper Davis and Artie Wilson tell of young Willie Mays and segregated baseball days in Birmingham, barnstorming with the Globe Trotters, plus their long and glorious careers in the Pacific Coast League.
“First rate. An important contribution to the literature of base ball.” Christian Science Monitor.
The Complete Book of the Negro Leagues
The most ambitious book ever done on “the other half of baseball history” it cover 89 years, from 1859 to 1948. It contains team standings and rosters, top hitters and pitchers, post-season series, games against the top white stars – the blacks won slightly more than half – and Latin America. You’ll also find the all-time leading batters, home run sluggers, base stealers, and winningest pitches. Who hit the mot home runs? (Hint: it wasn’t Josh Gibson.) Who won the most games? (Not Satchel Paige.) Who stole the most bases? (Cool Papa? Nope.) While new data have been added, and errors corrected in the last 14 years, this is still the starting point.
“Holway’s statistics prove the greatness of the Negro League players. Now w can truly call baseball the National Pastime.” Ken Burns.
“The Complete Book is a compelling story and a must-read for all baseball fans.” Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig,
“Holway is the granddaddy o of research on black baseball…. This book is a must read for every student and historian.” Robert Peterson, author of Only the Ball Was White.
Mule/Josh goes from the coal mines to the Monarchs. With his buddy, Cool, he tours small towns of Depression America, sleeps in funeral homes or jails, careens down a mountain road with no brakes, out-runs KKK pursuers, delivers cash to gangsters amid a midnight shoot-out, escapes a dictator’s goons in Latin America, gets drafted, busts a redneck who orders him out of his train seat, and narrowly misses a sniper’s bullet. A cocky kid, Willie, gets the shot in the Bigs that Mule never got. Mule hits drugs but dries out for one last game. They’re tied for the home run crown in Yankee Stadium. One more by Mule and the boy misses his big chance. Here’s the pitch, and …
“Holway is the John Wayne of baseball writers.” John Thorn, official MLB historian.
The 18 year-old kid who came within two feet of hitting the only ball out of Yankee Stadium. Hit homers at a faster pace than the great Ruth or the controversial Bonds – Babe’s record probably wouldn’t have last a dozen years if Josh had been in the league. Recounts Josh’s titanic duels with former teammate and later rival Satchel Paige.
“Holway knows more about the Negro Leagues, the players, and the history of Negro League baseball than anyone alive today.” Bob Feller, Cleveland Indians.
The Last .400 Hitter
The first book to explore in depth the day-by-day drama of how a cocky, skinny 22 year-old 175-pounder did what no man in the next 74 years has been able to do. Holway interviewed Ted’s cousins, teammates, foes, and every living pitcher to bring to life the ups and downs as Ted dueled DiMaggio and the writers to reach the final nail-biting day. Holway watched the drama from a box seat. If you have never seen a .400-hitter, or a 56-game hitter, and probably never will, you can share the first-hand drama through the eyes of one of the last men who did. Hardcover. $40.
“It was great fun reading about Ted and brought back many memories. Holway has skillfully revived a remarkable period in baseball history and the turbulent world surrounding it. I thoroughly enjoyed reliving those times through this insightful book.” Mrs. Jean Yawkey.
“A joy to read. Thoroughly researched and carefully detailed, it is an affectionate tribute to a ballplayer, a season, and an era.” Lawrence Ritter, The Glory of Their Times.
Two of the top living baseball historians delve into the stories of pitching since Candy Cummings hurled history’s first known curve in 1863. Pichers produce more nutcakes than any other position. Goofy Gomez invented a revolving fish bowl for tired goldfish. Dizzy Dean dropped out of school in third grade “so’s not to pass my old man.”
“The most up-to-date compendium of information on the game’s most important position… it’s a bag of peanuts sort of book.. The years of research have produced a mound of gourmet goobers.” Sports Illustrated.
“Thorn and Holway are excellent baseball historians, and they have produced a book I highly recommend to anyone interested in baseball history.” The Sporting News.
“This mesmerizing potpourri of statistics, analyses, anecdotes, and legends illustrates the much-discussed – but seldom understood – art of pitching. A superior effort by any standard.” Booklist.
“Thorn and Holway join in a salute to pitchers, ‘that sensitive caste of egomaniacs.’ They trace the evolution of pitching thru changes in rules, equipment, and player physiques. With an array of statistical analysis, they give their picks of leaders past and present They also rate ball parks, managers, catchers, and coaches. A cross between Bill James and Martin Qujigley’s ‘The Crooked Pitch,” this will appeal to students, fans, and libraries.” Library Journal.
“A treasure trove of information, insights, and anecdotes, from split-fingered fastballs to side-soplitting oddballs. Tremendous fun.” Lawrence Ritter, author of The Glory of Their Times.
The basis for the George Lucas movie. These pioneers who battled Hitler and Jim Crow tell their own tales of deadly combat. They were the only fighter outfit in Europe that took literally their orders to “stick with the bombers” while others deserted their bombers, seeking glory. But as a result the Red Tails brought more bombers back safely than any other unit – and paved the way for integration.
“A stunning record of heroism.” Amazon.com Review
“An important addition to African American history and/or military studies.” Library Journal
“An absorbing account of living American history. A highly recommended addition to Black studies and Military Studies collections.” The Bookwatch.
“The author’s experience at bringing oral history to life shines through these recollections, many of them vivid and personal. An engaging collection. Essential American history.” The Book Reader.
“Holway has woven these stories into an important and inspirational work. He wisely allows the veterans ample room to tell their tales in their own words, and they provide keen insights into both social and aviation history,” Publishers Weekly
Books written by Gabriel Schechter
Victory Faust: The Rube Who Saved McGraw’s Giants
This book of historical nonfiction chronicles the bizarre adventures of Victory Faust and the 1911 New York Giants. Despite a lack of baseball skills, Faust joined the Giants, became their good-luck mascot, helped them win the pennant, and got his reward by pitching in two games. The book details the trials of John McGraw’s vintage Giants that made them so susceptible to the positive influence of Faust, a Kansas farmer so determined to pitch the Giants to the pennant that nothing could stop him.
“A fascinating, book-length look at one of baseball’s charming oddities–the very stuff of the game and its literature.” Mike Tribby, Booklist.
Unhittable! Baseball’s Greatest Pitching Seasons
Unhittable! is the first in-depth book that examines the greatest pitching seasons in baseball’s past century. It tells the behind-the-scenes stories behind the twenty-five greatest seasons, from Cy Young through Pedro Martinez. By focusing on game-by-game accounts of each season, it shows how these great seasons were achieved and how they were regarded in their time. Utilizing statistics, charts, quotes, and historical perspectives, it puts these great seasons in context. The statistical analysis is minimal compared to the analysis of each pitcher’s unique situation during his greatest season, giving each story its own theme and significance.
America’s Pastime Historical Treasures from the Baseball Hall of Fame
16 Pieces of memorabilia including these replicas:The contract that sent Babe Ruth to The New York Yankees; Tickets to the 1949 All-Star game; The minor league scouting report on Mickey Mantle; Handwritten lyrics to ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ from 1908.
This Bad Day in Yankees History: A Calendar of Calamities
January 3, 1973: Quote of the Day – George Steinbrenner: “We plan absentee ownership as far as running the Yankees is concerned. We’re not going to pretend we’re something we aren’t. I’ll stick to building ships.” If only. This is at the beginning of the new book by Gabriel Schechter called “This BAD Day In Yankees History.” As you leaf through this daily “Calendar of Calamities,” you quickly find that, even though the Yankees lead Mother Earth in World Championships, they might also lead in bad luck, bad quotes, and bad players.