The men who speak in this collection, which includes eight Hall of Famers (Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Ron Santo, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Tom Lasorda, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre) go beyond facts and figures to provide an inside look at life in the big leagues.
Their stories provide a time capsule that documents not only the evolution of Italian American participation in the national pastime but also the continuity of the game and the many changes that have taken place, on and off the field. At a time when statistical analysis plays an increasingly prominent role in the sport, the monologues in this book are a reminder that the history of baseball is passed on to future generations more eloquently, and with much greater passion, through the words of those who lived it than it is by numerical data.
SubtitleGreat Stories Told by Italian American Major Leaguers from Crosetti to Piazza
AuthorBy Lawrence Baldassaro
Published6 March 2018
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.
About the author
Lawrence Baldassaro, Professor Emeritus of Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is the author of Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball, editor of Ted Williams: Reflections on a Splendid Life, and co-editor of The American Game: Baseball and Ethnicity. He has published articles in numerous sports encyclopedias and journals, has been a contributing writer for the Milwaukee Brewers Game Day magazine since 1990, and wrote the chapter on sports for The Routledge History of Italian Americans. He resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“Whether you collected cards as a kid, played through your life, or are simply a fan of sports or Italian American culture, you’ll find Baldassaro’s Baseball Italian Style a riveting read. Something wonderful happens when the journalist steps back and lets the voice of the ballplayer tell the story of his life and love of the game. You don’t have to be Italian to enjoy this book, but if you are, you’ll relate to the way these sports heroes, conditioned by family and culture, have dodged prejudices and donned ethnic pride on their way to achieving the American dream through America’s pastime.” —Fred Gardaphé, distinguished professor of Italian American studies, Queens College, City University of New York
“Larry Baldassaro follows in the estimable footsteps of Lawrence Ritter’s The Glory of Their Times with this compelling collection of interviews spanning nearly a century of baseball. It is at once a most entertaining read as well as an indispensable volume in the canon of literature regarding the Italian American Dream.” —Richard A. Johnson, curator of the Sports Museum, Boston, and author or editor of more than twenty books
“You will not have to be of Italian descent to thoroughly enjoy this book. The stories are compelling and while they are told in the first person by Italian Americans, the themes transcend ethnicity. These are baseball stories, and, in essence, American stories.” —Michael Bauman, former national columnist, MLB. com
“Baseball Italian Style is a wonderfully written book and a tribute to the great game of baseball. From the legendary Joe D. to Joe Torre to Mike Piazza, it covers the important impact that Italian ballplayers have had on baseball and why the game will always be the National Pastime.”— Bud Selig, Commissioner Emeritus of Baseball and 2017 Hall of Fame inductee