The National Pastime, 2018: Steel City Stories (Paperback)
The National Pastime is the annual review of baseball historical research and regional topics published by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Each year the publication focuses on the history of baseball in a different region or city, following the annual SABR convention from one major league territory to another.
The 2018 volume focuses on Pittsburgh, home to some truly significant episodes in baseball history, being not only the home to the great Negro Leagues teams the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords, but to a major league team who came by their name honestly--no pun intended--for what others called the "piratical" practice of poaching players.
The articles in the volume are arranged chronologically, starting from the opening of Forbes Field in 1909 and carrying through to a story of the annual fan gathering each October at the section of Forbes Field wall that still stands today. Fane re-live the magic of Game Seven of the 1960 Wold Series on the very spot where Bill Mazeroski's home run flew over the wall.
The articles feature not only the hall-of-fame players Honus Wagner, Josh Gibson, Roberto Clemente, and Willie Stargell, but some lesser remembered figures like Guy Bush, Roy Face, Sam Bankhead, and Carlos Bernier. The tales of Honus Wagner running for sheriff, Moses YellowHorse learning bad habits from Rabbit Maranville, and Pirates player Mudcat Grant's quest to sing the National Anthem are told alongside articles detailing Pittsburgh-related baseball litigation, Pirates appearances in the movies, and amateur baseball contests that produced several major leaguers.