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Oscar Charleston: The Life and Legend of Baseball’s Greatest Forgotten Player

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4.53  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  4 reviews
2020 SABR Seymour Medal
2019 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year

Buck O’Neil once described him as “Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Tris Speaker rolled into one.” Among experts he is regarded as the best player in Negro Leagues history. During his prime he became a legend in Cuba and one of black America’s most popular figures. Yet even among serious sports fans, Oscar
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Hardcover, 456 pages
Published November 1st 2019 by University of Nebraska Press
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Lance
Ask most baseball fans or historians to name the best players in the history of the Negro Leagues and the immediate answers are usually Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige and Cool Papa Bell. However, if one takes a closer look at both the statistics available and the excellence of his play for a long period of time, the answer must be Oscar Charleston. Charleston's life and legacy are told in this excellent book by Jeremy Beer.

Whether one is researching Charleston's early life, his lengthy baseball
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Rob Neyer
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Utterly essential for anyone who cares about the history of Negro Leagues baseball (which is to say, anyone who cares about the history of baseball, period). Beer's research is phenomenal.
Dick Hamilton
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good biography of, as the title indicates, one of the great forgotten baseball players of all times. The author has to deal with the handicap of the limited information on Charleston but works through this using the information available, including access to family members and related documents. In addition, Charleston passed away over sixty years ago so the ability to interview individuals who actually saw Charleston play in his prime is limited. If nothing else, this book reminds us of the ...more
Steve
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don't remember the first time I heard of Oscar Charleston. Probably in the Bill James Historical Abstract as that seems to be when he got more widely recognized as one of the all-time greats (by the white press that is). I've read books on some of the other Negro League greats and this one really stands out to me as there wasn't much out there on him so the research had to be time consuming. But Jeremy did an outstanding job putting it all together in a very readable format.
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I am a principal partner at American Philanthropic, a consulting firm, and chairman of the board at the American Ideas Institute, publisher of The American Conservative magazine and website. I am an Indiana native who like so many other Hoosiers lives in Arizona. My biography of Negro Leagues legend Oscar Charleston was published on November 1, 2019, by the University of Nebraska Press.

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