RICKEY & ROBINSON                           ROGER KAHN
Posted:  Dec. 16, 2014

Rickey & Robinson: The True, Untold Story of the Integration of BaseballIn Rickey & Robinson, legendary sportswriter Roger Kahn at last reveals the true, unsanitized account of the integration of baseball, a story that for decades has relied on inaccurate, second-hand reports. This story contains exclusive reporting and personal reminiscences that no other writer can produce, including revelatory material he’d buried in his notebooks in the 40s and 50s, back when sportswriters were still known to "protect" players and baseball executives.That starts, first and foremost, with an in-depth examination of the two men chiefly responsible for making integration happen: Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson. Considering Robinson’s exalted place in American culture (as evidenced by the remarkable success of the recent biopic), the book’s eye-opening revelations are sure to generate controversy as well as conversation. No other sportswriter working today carries Kahn’s authority when writing about this period in baseball history, and the publication of this book, Kahn’s last, is a true literary event. In Rickey & Robinson, Kahn separates fact from myth to present a truthful portrait of baseball and its participants at a critical juncture in American history.

This book about Ricky and Robinson, is mostly about the life of Branch Rickey, but it is also filled with much more than that. The author talks about how the commissioner Landis band the Cardinals farm teams when Rickey was their General Manager, saying that what he was doing was an unfair advantage. Though every player was being paid. The author goes through with how Rickey built the Cardinals before he left for the Dodgers. The Cardinals of course would go to the World Series in the 40s and win some of them also all the while with the players that Rickey put together. When he to the Dodgers he had already had the idea and put into place the workings of adding Jackie Robinson. His whole goal was to end segregation in baseball. He brought with him to Brooklyn a man named Hy Turken, who was a stat or numbers guy before Bill James made it famous. This would help Rickey in all of his decisions when it came to ball players. The author goes into the difficulties of the first few years of Robinson being with the Dodgers, and he also goes into how there were Jewish players that were being verbally abused by other players and by fans and those players would stand up for Jackie. The author goes into detail also how that though baseball would start being open to all races the big newspapers of New York and some other cities still did not have any African American reports in their sports section or other sections. This would not change until 59 and thoroughly by 62. A Wendell Smith applied for membership in the baseball writers Association of America, in 1939 and was denied. Baseball would be integrated for 15 years before mainstream newspapers began to hire African American sport writers. Still this author who is Jewish stated that abuse by the old time writers went on until they finally left the business or drank too much to be listen to. Who find out how Rickey was forced out to leave the Dodgers before the made their World Series runs in the 50s and their only win while in Brooklyn. Being forced to sell his part of the team to O’Malley. He then moved onto the Pirates and built that team but was gone before the won in 1960. He did acquire a little unknown outfielder that the Dodgers did not protect by the name of Roberto Clemente, for the Pirates along with some other players who would help them win a couple of titles. Robinson of course would be forced by O’Malley, to retire once they got out to L.A. refusing a trade to the Giants. This book is filled with more history from the 30s forward than any other baseball book that I have read before, and what is amazing is that they are still using a lot of what Branch Rickey started back in the 30s and 40s in scouting for talent in a ball player. This is a fantastic book, that you do not need to be a baseball fan to enjoy. I got this book from net galley.

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