Chris Von der Ahe knew next to nothing about baseball when he risked his life’s savings to found the St. Louis Browns, the franchise that would become the St. Louis Cardinals. Yet the German-born beer garden proprietor would become one of the most important - and funniest - figures in the game’s history.
Von der Ahe picked up the team for one reason - to sell more beer. Then he helped gather a group of ragtag clubs into a maverick new league that would fight the haughty National League. Sneered at as The Beer and Whiskey Circuit,” their American Association ended up revitalizing the sport, bringing Americans of all classes back to the ballpark. Their recipe: Sunday games, booze, 25-cent-tickets, with teams comprised of exciting, renegade, and often drunk, players.
Edward Achorn re-creates this wondrous and hilarious world and illuminates a long-forgotten turning point in American baseball history.
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A good sense of the times
Having only listened to three so far it's comparable. I appreciated the overall view of the league rather than the focus on one individual. I would have preferred less "of the times rhetoric" to be understood a bit more in certain areas when not making actual writers or article references.
Chris von der Ahe. To see a cycle of life and to start from humble beginnings then be lifted to the wealthy class just to come back down to almost the same status is an interesting perspective and how the treatment of others while wealthy changes his life when his wealth wasn't there.
Mood setting. Bringing out the lower points or the more disastrous moments. Would have preferred more emphasis on the high points. Also not as enthused about his way of pronouncing "W" words with an almost whistle.
The Epilogue delved further into the "long-term" lives of more players than the book did and would have have preferred to hear more about the players upbringing than just the select few that were highlighted.
This is Great History!
- Kathy "This is the only way to get through all the books I want to enjoy...and still I'm behind!"