Cover image for The 10th man : the fan in baseball history
The 10th man : the fan in baseball history
Dewey, Donald, 1940-
Personal Author:
First Carroll and Graf edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Carroll & Graf Publishers, [2004]

Physical Description:
xviii, 396 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV863.A1 D49 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The 26th Player is the long-awaited account of the most colorful population within America's pastime, the fans: Season-ticket holders and impulse ticket buyers, gamblers and groupies, the radio audience of Red Barber and Vin Scully, obsessive collectors, even some of the executives and players themselves. All have invested their dollars and passions in a sport that has sometimes repaid them in spades and at other times broken their hearts. The interplay among owners, teams, individual players, and the folks in the seats is laid out in vivid and highly entertaining detail. Its characters--from Brooklyn's Hilda Chester with her clanging cowbell to Margo Adams with her palimony suit--sit everywhere from the center field bleachers to the luxury boxes behind home plate. Its plot reveals how the game's entrepreneurs have repeatedly done their utmost to sabotage their own industry while the fan response has been consistently inconsistent. The fan reaction to the Black Sox scandal, America's adoration of Babe Ruth, white baseball's reception of Jackie Robinson, the 1981 players' strike, and the internationalization of the game all are part of this rich and varied history that every fan of baseball has had a hand in creating.

Author Notes

Donald Dewey has published some seventeen books of fiction and nonfiction. He is a past winner of the Nelson Algren Prize and lives in New York City

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Dewey asserts, correctly, that very little has been written on the fans' role in the history of baseball. Taken together, this book's title, subtitle, and introduction promise to inform the reader about that role, but the book as a whole does not live up to the promise. True, the author includes a good deal of information on 19th-century "kranks" (as fans were then called) and 20th-century fans. He comments, for instance, on disorderly crowds (at a game between the Excelsiors and the Atlantics), on fan clubs (Boston's Royal Rooters), and on individual fans (Hilda Chester). But most of Dewey's book is not about the fans. Rather, it is a lively (but very familiar) history of the game from its origins to the present. In the course of retelling that history, Dewey implies that the fans are the game's uncelebrated shakers and movers (" ... the fan has had everything to do with baseball," Dewey writes), but at the same time he demonstrates that the players invented the game and that the owners and the media have always controlled and promoted it. The fans are no more in charge of the game of baseball than Chevrolet drivers are in charge of General Motors. ^BSumming Up: Not recommended. A. Guttmann Amherst College

Table of Contents

Introductionp. IX
Genesis Talesp. 1
The First Fans
No Fun and Games
Attendance Must Be Paid
Pros and Cons
War Games
The Enclosure Movement
The Betting Game
The Professional Gamep. 41
Smartening Up
Guilt by Association
Krank Cases
Territorial Rites
Blue Collars
Stars and Idols
Patronage and Patronizationp. 73
Cultural Stability
Krank Cases: The Deadball Era
Sex in the Grandstand
At the Ballpark
For the Good of the Fans
God and Country
Close Encountersp. 115
The Star System
The Sultan and the Child
Eyes and Ears
All the Stars
Gashouse Days
Night Shifts
Krank Cases: Between the Wars
Minority Imagesp. 157
Home Fronts
The Disappeared
The New New York Game
The Stuntman
Goodbye to All That
Broadcast News
Market Luresp. 197
Bum Steers
Liquid Capitals
The New Breeds
Box Office Hits
Going to Market
Fans and Phanaticsp. 227
Winning Ways
On the Page
Reserve Causes
Battling the Blues
Free Agency
Krank Cases: The Late Century
The New Compulsivenessp. 265
Getting Involved
Seeing Rose
Hexes and Complexes
Gambling Fantasies
By the Numbers
Noise! Noise! Noise!
Weather or Not
Krank Cases: Today's Game
Contraction Painsp. 317
Calling All Cals
Neighborhood Plays
Bonding Necessities
Foreign Affairs
Epiloguep. 353
Endnotesp. 361
Acknowledgmentsp. 377
About the Authorp. 379
Indexp. 381