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Jules Tygiel (1949–2008)

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

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Om författaren

Jules Tygiel was born in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn on March 9, 1949. He graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.A. in 1969, and went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from U.C.L.A. After teaching at the University of Tennessee and the University of Virginia, Tygiel spent visa mer thirty years as a professor of American history at San Francisco State University. Known for his baseball scholarship, Tygiel wrote many books on Jackie Robinson and the history of the sport. His best-known work, "Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy," was ranked by Sports Illustrated in 2002 as the fiftieth best sports book of all time. Tygiel contributed to numerous baseball documentaries and appeared on national television and radio shows including Good Morning America, NBC Baseball, PBS, Talk of the Nation, and Fresh Air. He also published articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers such as the Journal of Sport History, Baseball Research Journal, American Heritage, and the Los Angeles Times. Tygiel's books on subjects other than baseball include "The Great Los Angeles Swindle: Oil, Stocks and Scandal in the Roaring Twenties" and "Ronald Reagan and the Rise of American Conservatism." Tygiel married Luise Custer in 1982 and had two sons. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre

Inkluderar namnet: Tygiel Jules

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It's Good to Be Alive (1959) — Inledning — 82 exemplar, 1 recension


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Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy is perhaps the definitive work on the importance of Jackie Robinson to American history. Professor Jules Tygiel tells the story of Jackie Robinson’s crossing of baseball’s color line on April 15th, 1947, arguably one of the most important steps in the history of desegregation. Tygiel explores both the social and historical context of Robinson’s introduction into white organized baseball, focusing on the years before and after Robinson’s 1947 breakthrough. After all, Jackie Robinson’s story was not his alone - it was the story of the ballplayers that come before and after him. Tygiel simultaneously is able to paint a picture of the hypocrisy of the baseball establishment, an organization that willingly participated in racial exclusion (even when in the first half of the century, black and white teams played barnstorming games against each other) while championing the the American ideal of democracy. As Tygiel notes “..segregation in the national pastime symbolized the inherent injustices of a Jim Crow society.”(p.31). It is shameful that the baseball establishment often reflected the ethos of the times.

As noted, Jackie Robinson’s story is one etched in the politics of Jim Crow. Tygiel elegantly recounts how the politics of Robinson’s era shaped baseball for better and for worse. I was particularly intrigued by Tygiel’s account of how sportswriters (particularly black sportswriters) and members of the communist party fought the racial policies of Jim Crow in Major League Baseball. The courageous efforts of politicians and sportswriters would expose contradictions between baseball rhetoric (championing an image of baseball as America’s wholesome game) and reality. This laid the foundations for the postwar onslaught against the color barrier. If baseball was truly the national pastime, the true American game, then the game needed to reflect the diverse population of the country.

This is why I think legendary manager Branch Rickey –President and General Manager of Brooklyn Dodgers from 1942 to 1950 – chose Robinson to carry out the great experiment. Rickey held an idealistic, progressive view of America, of an America where a man wouldn’t be treated differently for the color of his skin. Robison held the same. Some argue that Branch Rickey’s determination to desegregate Major League Baseball was born out of his astute business sense. This is partially true, I’m sure. Managers want their teams to win and with wins comes profit. But, the motivations behind what humans do is complex. As Tygiel points out, Rickey (who was a God-fearing capitalist) might just have been an idealist as well. Perhaps Rickey proves it is possible to be a capitalist with a stern yet loving heart? Harrison Ford's portrayal of Rickey in the film 42 makes a good case for it.

Tygiel paints Robinson as not only a diverse athlete, who was as Sam Lacy wrote in 1945 “the ideal man to pace the experiment” but someone who was akin to Rickey (at least in his younger years) in his vision of America. Of course, Robinson had to learn to not to be reactionary to the racism he was encountering if the experiment was to be successful but this is why Robinson remains a legend. Not only was he a versatile athlete who developed a temperament of steel but he personified the changing American conscience regarding race in the post-war era by doing so. Robinson took up the cause for Civil Rights on the diamond field. Being someone prone to reactionary impulses in regards to racism, his legend remains potent because of his endurance in the face of adversity.

Not everyone championed integration in Major League Baseball. Tygiel does not steer away from the criticisms of the “great experiment.” Many saw Rickey as a money-hungry manager, who was eager for success at any cost (particularly at the expense of exploited African-Americans). Others viewed the “great experiment” as another form of social control. Many black players feared for the style of the game itself. By integrating into baseball, many argued, the Negro Leagues would disband, and would force players to play a homogenized style of baseball (the Negro Leagues were known for their nonconformity and therefore, innovative manner of playing). Owners of Negro Leagues teams often protested against the breaking of the color barrier until the Negro Leagues finally did disband in 1951, just four years after Robinson played his first game with the Dodgers. Tygiel even tells of Robinson’s own outspoken criticisms of Major League Baseball. As one of baseball's greatest heroes, Robinson (especially later in his career and after his retirement) was not afraid to challenge the status quo with not only his superior playing but sharp intellect.

Many Negro League players would integrate into the Major Leagues bringing their unique style of play to the game. By the late 1950s, 15 MLB teams had integrated. As noted, the story of Robinson’s crossing of baseball’s color line is also the story of many other players. History is always connected. Baseball’s Great Experiment tells the stories of other African-American players such as Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron- who helped transformed our national pastime into a more inclusive and less homogenized game alongside of Robinson.

Tygiel draws on dozens of interview with players, front office executives, personal papers, newspaper accounts, to tell the account of Jackie Robinson’s influence on American baseball and society. It is a thoroughly researched work of great social and historical importance. There is a reason why the number 42 was retired and can be spotted in ballparks across the country. Robinson’s legacy is the emergence of African-Americans in athletics and in the larger society of America. It was a seminal point in the moral sense of America and the start for the march for equality on a national scale. And, this book serves as a reminder of such a legacy.
… (mer)
ryantlaferney87 | 1 annan recension | Dec 8, 2023 |
Tygiel goes into immense detail to describe an incredible drama of the 1920s that extended into the 1930s, about Southern California oil speculation, stocks, swindles, adultery, murder, attempted murder, suicides, and one guy even lost an eye. The stuff is interesting but also exhausting. I found myself skimming the financial details (and there are many), but was more engaged with the prolonged legal drama and the deaths and back-stabbing that came along with that. It's really a fascinating insight into the corruption intrinsic to LA from its earliest years, but this book isn't a keeper for me.… (mer)
ladycato | Jan 26, 2023 |
Jules Tygiel's book is an excellent short biography of Ronald Reagan. In it he charts Reagan's course for his childhood in Illinois through his time as a sports broadcaster and career as an actor to his years in politics. Throughout the book he is consistently fair to his subject, noting his gifts and achievements while pointing out Reagan's errors and lapses. For anybody seeking an introduction to our nation's 40th president, this is a good place to begin.
MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
One of the best baseball biographies ever, this is also a superb history of the Negro Leagues and the integration of major league baseball.
lateinnings | 1 annan recension | May 20, 2010 |



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