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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

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3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  75 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
But Didn't We Have Fun? covers a period in the early days of baseball that even those who think they know everything about the popular American sport do not know. Peter Morris--an indefatigable researcher and brilliant chronicler, and winner of both the S
Hardcover, 286 pages
Published January 21st 2008 by Ivan R. Dee Publisher (first published 2008)
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N.N. Light
The author points out in the preface that using the historical record of the early days of baseball to just present a recitation of stats would be boring. Unfortunately, the approach taken here was boring.



I am a life long baseball fan and love the Ken Burns classic Baseball series. There is a reason Burns ably covers the first inning the way he does. The detailed look into the varied history of baseball is dry reading.



An academic point needs to be made too. The author is guilty of interpreting e
...more
Richard
Feb 13, 2017 Richard rated it liked it
In this book, Peter Morris examines the game of baseball in its earliest years. His main thesis seems to be that the game's pioneers didn't take a grim and austere approach to the sport, but actually were interested in having fun.

Two problems with this:
1) It doesn't seem all that revolutionary to suggest that people played a game in order to have fun.
2) Morris emphasized his point a lot, but didn't really prove it.

The good news is that despite the weak and failed thesis, there's a lot of good
...more
Robert
Apr 07, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it
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
...more
Muzzlehatch
Sep 24, 2008 Muzzlehatch rated it liked it
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
James
Apr 03, 2009 James rated it it was ok
Shelves: history-project
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
Matt
Apr 06, 2008 Matt rated it liked it
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.
Mark
Jul 29, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
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.
Thomas Nahigian
Aug 24, 2015 Thomas Nahigian rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book about the early days of baseball.
Christopher
Dec 20, 2014 Christopher rated it really liked it
Fun account of baseball's pioneer era. Gives good description into how the game really was.
Ak-75 Harris
Jun 20, 2010 Ak-75 Harris rated it it was amazing
If you have any interest in pre-professional and pre-live ball baseball, read some Peter Morris.
Kathy
Dec 23, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it
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.
Chip Rickard
Mar 19, 2013 Chip Rickard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball, history
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
Dec 13, 2008 Troy Soos rated it it was ok
Shelves: baseball
Some interesting material, but not very well written. Morris does not capture the spirit of fun to which the title alludes.
Sal Tejeda
Dec 27, 2012 Sal Tejeda rated it liked it
Started as a resource for my son's report but couldn't put it down. If you love baseball, it's a fun read.
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