British Baseball and the West Ham Club: History of a 1930s Professional Team in East London

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McFarland, Dec 15, 2006 - Sports & Recreation - 272 pages
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Few people associate baseball with Great Britain, but for a brief period in the 1930s, America's pastime nearly gained a foothold with the British populace. Though never as popular as the beloved football clubs, or even greyhound races, baseball teams like the West Ham Hammers developed intense local followings, and played some excellent baseball--in 1936, the Hammers defeated the U.S. Olympic team. The outbreak of World War II ended the rising popularity of baseball among Britons, but speculation remains that, under different circumstances, British baseball could have flourished. This book traces the history of baseball as a popular British sport, concentrating on one particularly successful and notable team, the West Ham Hammers. It places the West Ham club within the historical context of 1930s Great Britain, and covers team management, major players (e.g., Roland Gladu, the "Canadian Babe Ruth"), and the fans, many of whom still cling fondly to faded memories of the club and West Ham Stadium. Eight appendices include team rosters, British baseball rules, and year-by-year records from 1890 to 2005.

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User Review  - rocketjk - LibraryThing

A very interesting work on the history, not just of the West Ham "Hammers," but of the entire history of baseball in England, starting with the attempts to start professional leagues in the 1890. The ... Read full review


Sir John Takes the Mound
Mining for Passion
The Birth of West Ham Baseball
The Hammers Start Hammering
The Olympians
Londons Pride
Custom House Days
From Anticlimax to Accession
Great Britain National Team in Europe

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About the author (2006)

Josh Chetwynd is an award-winning journalist who has served as a staff reporter for USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter and U.S. News & World Report. A former professional baseball player in the United Sates and Europe, he has broadcast baseball in the United Kingdom on both television for Channel Five and BT Sport and on radio for the BBC. He lives in Denver, Colorado. Brian A. Belton is a senior lecturer at the YMCA George Williams College in London, England. He lives in London.

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