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But Didn't We Have Fun?: An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843-1870
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But Didn't We Have Fun?: An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843-1870

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The story of baseball in America begins not with the fabled Abner Doubleday but with a generation of mid-nineteenth-century Americans who moved from the countryside to the cities and brought a cherished but delightfully informal game with them.
Hardcover, 286 pages
Published January 21st 2008 by Ivan R. Dee Publisher (first published 2008)
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In the movie American President, Michael Douglas gives a soliloquy in the press room that is remarkable for many reasons. One of those is when he explains how oncomers speak of how calm and wonderful their lives were before certain events. Morris explodes on that them in this wonderful analysis of the early years of baseball.

The myth of Doubleday inventing the game is thoroughly disposed of as one learned that there is no "one" when it comes to baseball. Many events added to the game that we hav
Oct 09, 2008 Muzzlehatch rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: serious devotees of baseball history or of amateurism
Shelves: baseball
A fun little book, and one of the few that I've been able to find (admittedly, restricting myself to the mediocre public library where I live, at the moment) that deals with the pre-1876 or "amateur" era. While the narrative is fairly well-constructed in a mostly linear/chronological fashion, and I certainly learned a lot that I didn't know, I do feel that the work could have been a lot meatier, and in some very basic areas (how, exactly, did these early baseball games progress? Apart from the K ...more
Histories tend to fall into two categories based on the author's skill: great research with so so writing; great story telling but no special insights. This book is clearly the former. The topic was really compelling to me: I love baseball and I love history. And it had enough information to satisfy my curiosity and keep me reading. The quotes and stories from original sources he found gave a great color and sense of the game as it developed, spread across the country, became standardized, and t ...more
An entertaining examination of the early development of baseball. Morris is at his best when describing colorful characters and unusual events, the larger structure of the book feels more like an afterthought than a refined thesis. Still there is plenty to enjoy.
This book will be interesting to anyone who ever wanted to know why Baseball is played the way it is. Also, just a terrific study of how fun, informal activities can become codified, for better and worse.
Chip Rickard
This book should be required reading for anyone that has an interest in mid-19th century base ball. It was thoroughly researched and I learned several new things while reading the book.
Troy Soos
Some interesting material, but not very well written. Morris does not capture the spirit of fun to which the title alludes.
Sal Tejeda
Started as a resource for my son's report but couldn't put it down. If you love baseball, it's a fun read.
Ak-75 Harris
If you have any interest in pre-professional and pre-live ball baseball, read some Peter Morris.
Dec 23, 2009 Kathy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: baseball fans
Recommended to Kathy by: baseball swap
A good, fun read. Could have used a bit of editing to tighten up the text.
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