Cover image for The pastime in turbulence : interviews with baseball players of the 1940s
The pastime in turbulence : interviews with baseball players of the 1940s
Kelley, Brent P.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [2001]

Physical Description:
viii, 325 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV865.A1 K436 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The 1940s were years of change in the world of baseball. Minor league free agents were introduced to the game in 1940 by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis; Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 and player after player left to join the war effort with players both below and well above draft age completing the rosters; 1946 marked the first time that two National League teams, the St. Louis Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers, were tied for first place, forcing a best two-out-of three series; 1947 brought racial integration, with Jackie Robinson taking the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers; and the American League saw its own tie for first place in 1948 between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, which was played out in a one-game playoff. This work focuses on 27 players of the 1940s, guys--like Gene Thompson, Elmer Valo, Damon Phillips, Joe Cleary, and Cliff Chambers--who witnessed these changes and firsts personally. The players interviewed for this work had different experiences in the major leagues--some experienced long careers and benefited from the changes while others did not--and they come from diverse backgrounds as well.

Author Notes

Brent Kelley, a veterinarian in Paris, Kentucky

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Rather than celebrate stars of the time, Kelley (Negro Leagues Revisited, McFarland, 2000) relates the stories of John Berardino, Adrian Zabela, and 25 other baseball journeymen of the 1940s. Most of them had careers shortened by World War II, and several have since died. Notable interview subjects include a TV star, a minor league president, and an Irish-born pitcher with a mammoth earned run average. Veterinarian Kelley gives a sympathetic account of lesser players who pay generous tribute to the stars they knew. All clearly loved the game and often find fault with today's changes. This will appeal to nostalgic readers and larger public libraries serving them. Morey Berger, St. Joseph's Hosp. Lib., Tucson, AZ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Gene ThompsonJohn BerardinoJohnny WelajFloyd GiebellElmer ValoPaul CampbellBilly HitchcockJohnny LiponPete CenterDamon "Dee" PhillipsBill "Lefty" LeFebvreCarl ScheibRoy ParteeWhitey LockmanEd WrightDon LundAl LibkeRed HayworthAdrian ZabalaJoe ClearyLou KretlowFrank BaumholtzChuck DieringCliff ChambersClint ConatserWayne Terwilliger
Introductionp. 1
A Missing Piece (1939-1947)p. 9
Aka Dr. Steve Hardy (1939-1952)p. 20
Cobb Said He Could Fly (1939-1943)p. 29
King for a Day (1939-1941)p. 41
Hustle (1940-1961)p. 51
Name It and He Did It (1941-1950)p. 60
Mr. President (1942-1953)p. 67
Builder of Ballplayers (1942-1954)p. 84
Everything Is Relative (1942-1946)p. 95
Double or Nothing (1942-1946)p. 108
First Pitch (1938-1944)p. 124
A Major League Minor (1943-1954)p. 133
If Only the Throw Had Been Good (1943-1948)p. 145
Breaking in with a Bang (1945-1960)p. 163
50 Years Too Soon (1945-1952)p. 182
Baseball Over Football (1945-1954)p. 192
Versatile (1945-1946)p. 202
Rookie Series Catcher (1945-1946)p. 211
Done In by Durocher (1945-1949)p. 226
The Last Irishman (1945)p. 237
100 MPH? (1946-1956)p. 248
A Good Man in a Pinch (1947-1957)p. 255
Team MVP (1947-1956)p. 266
Pirates' Ace (1948-1953)p. 277
Spahn, Sain and a Whole Bunch of Others (1948-1949)p. 288
40 Years to the Top (1949-1960)p. 307
Bibliographyp. 317
Indexp. 319