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Branch Rickey
Jimmy Breslin
Adult Nonfiction GV865.R45 B74 2011

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Pulitzer Prize-winning Breslin offers this slim biography on baseball manager and executive Branch Rickey, a man Breslin refers to as a "Great American." What results is a well-rounded look at a man who not only reformed competitive sports but also influenced the norms of society by helping Jackie Robinson break baseball's color barrier. Born to a tight-knit family in Ohio in the late 19th century, Rickey's career as a major league player didn't last long (as a catcher, he once allowed 13 stolen bases in a game), so he graduated from law school and became the manager of the St. Louis Browns. Yet his most far-reaching achievements happened decades later during his time in Brooklyn, when he shook baseball to its foundations by bringing Robinson to the Dodgers. Rickey as general manager knew there would be backlash and Robinson would be subject to rampant racism, but he was undeterred and never stooped to the level of those who attempted to sabotage his work. As he later told a group of students, "racial extractions and color hues and forms of worship become secondary to what men can do." Breslin's gift for easy-to-read yet hard-hitting prose will touch even those who aren't baseball fans. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Pulitzer Prize winner Breslin reveals much about the development of baseball, the Dodgers' last years in Brooklyn, and the struggle to overcome the national pastime's racism while tracing the life, deeds, and some (but not all) of Branch Rickey's warts. A breezy read, this "Penguin Life" is nonetheless insightful, humorous, and biting at times as it traces how the man dubbed "the Mahatma" by sportswriters emerged from obscurity as an Idaho lawyer to develop the baseball farm system, multiple MLB winners, Vero Beach spring training, the scientific teaching of skills, and the MLB expansion that brought New York the Mets. Breslin clearly admires Rickey. Lovers of the author, baseball, and/or Americana will be delighted to relive this trailblazer's life in this superlative gloss, which, owing to brevity, will not replace more extensive Rickey biographies.-G.R. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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