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The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  4,701 ratings  ·  331 reviews
From Lawrence Ritter (The Image of Their Greatness, The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time), comes one of the bestselling, most acclaimed sports books of all time, The Glory of Their Times—now a Harper Perennial Modern Classic.

Baseball was different in earlier days—tougher, rawer, more intimate—when giants like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb ran the bases. In the monumental
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Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published September 26th 1966)
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Ron Some of the stories tell about the alcohol abuse by some of the players but there isn’t any sex stories. I would have loved the book when I was 13. I …moreSome of the stories tell about the alcohol abuse by some of the players but there isn’t any sex stories. I would have loved the book when I was 13. I have read it recently and rated it 5 stars. (less)

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Natalie
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must-read for baseball fans. I know there aren’t that many people who give a shit about baseball but I have really grown to appreciate it. This book is a transcription of interviews with baseball players who played around the turn of the century. It was published in the 60’s.

The stories are great and I just have to wonder what happened to this sport. It was such in integral part of American culture (the little that exists) and it’s really fallen by the wayside. It was mentioned in the
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Ted
All these were honored in their generation,
And were the glory of their times.

Ecclesiasticus 44:7




Boston Red Sox, spring traing, 1915. Hot Springs Arkansas
Highlighted players, left to right
Smokey Joe Wood
Dutch Leonard
Babe Ruth
Carl Mays
Germany Schaefer (not on team, happened to be in town)
(to enlarge photo, click, click again on Flickr)


This is a TOP TEN book in my baseball library.
Availability. IN PRINT – New, used, Kindle, audio – all available.
Type. PLAYERS/ERA/HISTORY
Use. READ/[EH?]

_explan
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Jeff
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book more stars if I could. Maybe 10. This is, hands down, the best baseball book I have ever read! It was absolutely delightful! The book is, if I understand correctly, interviews with ballplayers, transcribed from tapes which now reside in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown. I had not heard of a lot of these players before, but now love them as much or more than the players I follow today. Players like Rube Marquard, Tommy Leach, Davy Jones, Sam Crawford, to name a few. I knew o ...more
Lance
Per the advice of a fellow baseball book lover, I listened to the last 25% on audio - that was fantastic! Whether audio, e-book, or hardcover, this book is a baseball classic and deserves all the praise it gets. With so many reviews of this book pretty much covering everything I had to say about it, I will skip writing a formal review and just say that every good thing this book has brought out in other reviewers, I agree wholeheartedly. The stories have such an air of authenticity when Ritter j ...more
Steven Peterson
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book, nostalgic but still powerful. The author tape recorded interviews with many old-time baseball players in the mod 1960s. He essential transcribed the recordings and published them in this book. The result is a first person narrative by many players from the very late 1800s through the 1940s. In a later edition, a handful of new interviews was included. The result is very interesting and even riveting.

One way of addressing this is simply to note some of those interviewed-
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Doreen Petersen
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
Great read on the beginning of baseball and the talented players. If you like baseball like me then this is the book for you.
Campbell
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating and, at times, moving account of the early days of baseball, told by the players themselves. Amongst the many stories you will hear of the player who stole 1st base... from 2nd!... and the man who turned an unassisted triple play in the World Series.

Even if you've no interest in the game itself, the audiobook (actually a compendium of interview footage with the players themselves) will hold you captive through sheer charm alone. I'd recommend this to anyone.
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Gary Hoggatt
I am a huge baseball fan, and really appreciate the history of the game. I've watched Ken Burns' Baseball probably a half-dozen times. As such, I'm the exact target audience for Lawrence S. Ritter's book, The Glory of Their Times: The Story Of The Early Days Of Baseball Told By The Men Who Played It. This book was absolutely fantastic, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone with any interest at all in baseball. Even if you aren't currently interested in the game's history, you will be by th ...more
Mike Schneider
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book to be read by those who wish to truly understand the history of baseball. It is stories told to the author by those who lived them, including some of the very best of professional baseball's early players. I own several large shelves of baseball books, but this is the one I lend out the most and I recommend it to anyone who asks. ...more
David
Dec 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a die hard baseball fan, I am always on the look out for great baseball books. And after reading numerous lists of favorite baseball books by Amazon.com readers, it seemed that there was one unanimous choice, The Glory of Their Times, by Lawrence Ritter. And let me say, that I wasn't dissapointed in the least. The beauty of this book is that you feel like you yourself are sitting down with the different players interviewed and having them regale you with stories about playing baseball in t ...more
Ivan
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ivan by: Elizabeth
I can't remember any of my 10th grade teachers. I couldn't tell you what I did for my birthday last year. I have no memory of what I ate for lunch yesterday. But I still remember the exact location of the pitch that lost my Little League championship when I was 15.

That's the most impressive part about this book: the amazingly detailed recollections of old ballplayers about their playing days decades earlier. They can remember stats, conversations, and crazy plays with such clarity and enthusiasm
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Mike
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the all-time great baseball books.
Sue K H
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I was missing baseball and decided to buy The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It when I noticed that there was an audible version with the actual taped interviews from the players themselves. It was only $5! I could tell from the length that the audible is a condensed version of the print book, so I purchased both. I listened to this audio first. It is fantastic!

The interviews were done shortly after Ty Cobb's death in the early 1960's. Th
...more
Dave
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great Costco find! Stumbled on this book that claimed to be the best baseball book ever published. Problem is, it was published in the 1960s initially. The author set out to find a handful of aged former baseball players, long forgotten yet residing somewhere in the country with balefuls of memories on the greatest sport of all time. Each chapter is essentially a different ballplayer from the early 20th century waxing poetic about different teammates, managers, and opponents. It was fasci ...more
Donald
Oct 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
"The Glory Of Their Times" remains a timeless work, and can be enjoyed by more than just hard-core baseball fans. Basically the story of the early days of Major League Baseball, told by the surviving oldsters who had played it, "The Glory Of Their Times" works so well because it isn't just another opinion piece by a professional writer. The stories told by these players illustrate what life was like during the first few decades of the twentieth century better than any historian could. This was w ...more
Schyler
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book. Each man's story has something unique and fascinating to offer, whether it's a story of an interaction with Ty Cobb on the baseball field, or the way a player fell head over heels in love with the woman who would become his wife. Historically fascinating and emotionally fulfilling, I was only required to read up to chapter 15 for my history class, but I loved this book from start to finish and found it impossible to put down. ...more
KOMET
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-baseball
This book is an ABSOLUTE GEM for baseball fans. The author conducted a series of interviews during the 1960s with several of major league baseball’s early stars from what is now known as “The Dead-Ball Era,” the period from 1900 to 1919, when Babe Ruth (who had won renown as a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox) hit a then astounding 29 home runs.
Dan
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I could happily reread every year.
David Chung
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Twenty-six stories about boys becoming men and men remaining boys because of a game they loved. Indeed, these are love stories.
Daniel Evensen
Jun 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Glory of Their Times is, without a doubt, the greatest baseball history book ever written. I don't write that lightly. More than any other book in the genre, Lawrence Ritter's writing brings his subjects to life, creating a view of the game's distant past that is always current and relevant.

The magic that makes Ritter's approach work so well is that he takes a back seat and allows the players to speak for themselves. There are very few notes by the author, and there isn't really much of an a
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Matt
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like just about anyone else who picks up this book, I thought it would be fun to read first-hand accounts of early professional baseball. But I wonder if the same attention wasn’t bestowed on early twentieth century farm laborers or tradesmen or university professors or the players’ wives if there wouldn’t be nearly the same amount of intrigue. The subjects are simple, mostly very down-to-earth men. Most don’t care to inflate their own tires. Most love to reflect on the people they cared about. ...more
Steven Belanger
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding collection of first-person observations of many ballplayers--mostly from the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Cincinnati Reds--from those who began their careers in the late-1890s / early 1900s (Tommy Leach and Sam Crawford) to those who finished their careers in the 1930s and 1940s (Paul Waner and Hank Greenberg). I really liked this book because it initially talks a lot about many of the players I have in my 1909-1911 T206s, who I didn't know a lot about, outside of their n ...more
Luke Koran
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
In one of the greatest contributions to preserving the history of professional baseball through the lengthy process of tracking down and interviewing the long-ago retired players that made the early era what it is, Lawrence Ritter’s “The Glory of Their Times” deserves every ounce of credit and appreciation it has ever accumulated, and then some.

A total of 26 noteworthy ballplayers, most of whom began their professional careers before 1920, provided their oral history to this seldom-known writer
...more
Chad
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this collection of recorded interviews. Not sure I would do this one as a book. Its a must listen. This reminded me of sitting around the campfire listening to my grandfather spin tales. Revisionist history? Perhaps. Listening to these old players talk about times I wasn't even alive for was still so amazing. These memories, even if they were inflated, are so crisp. I can't refute the stories, and to be honest the accuracies or inaccuracies don't even matter. They are real because this i ...more
Rob Bauer
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
I regard this as one of the best books about baseball ever written. And, after authoring three books about baseball myself, I’ve read a lot of them.

It’s a great oral history. Ritter spoke to about two dozen baseball players from early in the 20th century whose careers concluded anywhere between 1915 and 1945. As a result, the reader gets stories from a fair slice of baseball’s history. There are a handful of Hall of Famers but several other players who were just regular ballplayers but had inter
...more
Terry Heller
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Glory of Their Times is a loose oral history of the major leagues from the turn of the century through the 1930s. I recommend listening to the audio book , whichuses the actual recordings of the author interviewing the old ballplayers. Half of the stories sound as if they were told by Grandpa Simpson (the jaunty ragtime interstitials help). There's old-timey slang, some self-aggrandizement and self-deprecation, and a lot of bonkers details, like Fred Snodgrass talking about a man walking out ...more
Paul Burgoyne
Jul 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE GLORY OF THEIR TIMES is a collection of verbatim reminiscences of old-time baseball players compiled by their interviewer, Lawrence Ritter. Ritter apparently traveled 75,000 miles to interview his subjects, and sat for hours listening to them tell their tales. The book retells their stories in the first-person, as they were told to Ritter. It is full of life and creates a picture of America in the first half of the 20th century and the ballplayers that made their way into the Big Leagues. It ...more
Kevin Halloran
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
What a neat audiobook! I felt like I was on the front porch spinning yarns with a bunch of old-timers, all of whom have been dead for generations. It was so interesting to hear how different things were in the early 1900s: player salaries, players buying their own uniforms, riding public transportation to games in their uniform because there were no locker rooms. If you’re a baseball history fan, this is a must listen. I say “listen” because the audiobook shares recorded conversations. You can h ...more
Kyle Bornhorst
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved reading this book. Lots of great stories of a very different time in our nations history. The players interviewed played between 1900 and 1940. I laughed out loud many times at their stories.
Sid Mickle
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read. One I didn't want to end. Great stories and wonderful personalities. ...more
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