Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy
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Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  152 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In 1997 the American people will celebrate with great fanfare and publicity the fiftieth anniversary of Jackie Robinson's explosive entrance into major league baseball. Robinson has become a national icon, his name a virtual synonym for pathbreaker. Indeed, much has transpired between this young African-American's first bold strides around the baseball diamonds of a segreg...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published May 29th 1997 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published July 28th 1983)
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I'm a big baseball fan and have a pretty good knowledge of baseball history, especially that part that I have lived through. Jackie Robinson played before I was born and up to the time I was about 5 years old. So I knew something about Robinson and his story. Nevertheless, there was much about him and the history of baseball integration that I did not know before I read this book. And this actually forms the basis of my only criticism of this book - it was so full of information that it read lik...more
Simply put: One of the five greatest baseball books I've ever read. The story of Jackie Robinson's signing and career with the Brooklyn Dodgers has been well documented, but not as well known are the many other black and Latino ballplayers who integrated minor leagues across the country for a decade after 1947, often by themselves in a harsh and defiant Southern culture with no preparation or support system. They were sent to Texas or Mississippi or Georgia to work their way up to the major leag...more
The definitive book on the story of Jackie Robinson's rise to the major leagues. Gives excellent background into the story of Branch Rickey and his desire to integrate baseball and of what Robinson and his family went through in 1946 & 47. The last third of the book talks about the integration of other major league teams from 1947-59. Not quite as compelling as Robinson's story. Tygiel does a good job tying in the Robinson story into the larger story of civil rights in the US, making this as...more
The Mets drafted the Red Sox's first African American player shortly after they signed him (Pumpsie Green).

That the Red Sox were a pretty racist organization well into the 80s, whether they knew it or not.

That baseball integration was very carefully planned out.

That Florida was one of the worst places to go to for an African American.

That Jackie Robinson rarely had to deal with segregationist policies during his life until he went into major league baseball.
Marc Horton
Fantastic, thorough history not only of Jackie but also of the African-American experience in pro baseball in the years before and after that legendary 1947 season. I always regretted not taking a class from Mr. Tygiel when he taught at San Francisco State, but especially after finally reading this, and learning of his death last year.
Sean Neahusan
This is an excellent book about the integration of baseball, with glimpses into the life of a Negro League Ballplayer and even shorter glimpses into post WWII America. A very detailed and thorough history. This is not a light read, but if you love baseball, especially baseball history, this book is for you.
Jane Rutherford
Parts were a little hard to get through, but on the whole, once I got through some of that, it was compelling. I appreciated the history of integration and the role of baseball in it, the hard times the Black ball players had (appalling!), and seeing names of players I "know" in this new context.
Great perspective on the integration of baseball and what it did for the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. Enjoyed the personal stories that supported the facts and name listing. I'm sure if I was a bigger baseball fan some of the more obscure names might have made more of an impact on me.
It's been awhile since I have read this, but because of it, I am really excited to see the new movie, '42'. I have so much respect for this man. I thought this book did a nice job of tying in Robinson's story to the overall culture and thoughts of the time period in the US.
Tygiel provides the reader with a much deeper understanding of an event that most of us at least know something about. A fine book that belongs on the bookshelf of the reader who not only enjoys sports, but also history and social science.
Very good, thorough book covering the integration of MLB by Jackie and others. Really tells some fascinating, heart-wrenching stories about what these players went through to reach the majors and when they were there. A high-quality read.
M. Newman
A gripping social history of desegregation centered on the breaking of the "color line" by the great Jackie Robinson, orchestrated by Branch Rickey, at the time, GM of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
This is a well-researched history of the integration of baseball. Although I really enjoyed it, I would only recommend this book for baseball history buffs.
Jackie Robinson is one of the great heroes of the Civil Rights movement, and I came to admire and respect him through this book.
RK Byers
it was refreshing to read that Jackie had such a temper!
my favoite book about my all time favorite Dodger
Stephanie Linton
Stephanie Linton marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2014
Matt Brown
Matt Brown marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2014
Rachel Willis
Rachel Willis marked it as to-read
Jun 02, 2014
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Jules Tygiel was a native of Brooklyn, Professor of History at San Francisco State University and founder of the Pacific Ghost League, a fantasy baseball league. His books include: The Great Los Angeles Swindle: Oil, Stocks, and Scandal During the Roaring Twenties, Baseball’s Greatest Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, and Past Time: Baseball as History.
More about Jules Tygiel...
Past Time: Baseball as History Ronald Reagan and the Triumph of American Conservatism (Library of American Biography Series) The Great Los Angeles Swindle: Oil, Stocks, and Scandal During the Roaring Twenties Extra Bases: Reflections on Jackie Robinson, Race, and Baseball History Baseball's Greatest Experiment

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