Biz Mackey, a Giant Behind the Plate by Rich Westcott

Biz Mackey, a Giant behind the Plate The Story of the Negro League Star and Hall of Fame Catcher by Rich Westcott Temple University Press, 208 pp., cloth $27.50 Rich Westcott, former president of the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association, commonly maintains that professional baseball, with its complicated racial history, “is not one that can be easily digested.” While true, the career of James...
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Major League Murder

Samuel Byrem “Red” Crane’s life was one of extremes. Born on September 13, 1894, in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, he achieved the pinnacle of his chosen profession early in his adult life, playing seven seasons in Major League Baseball. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics, 1914–16, and the Washington Senators, 1917, before a two-year hiatus in the minor leagues, 1918–19. He returned to MLB,...
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Herb Pennock, Baseball Hall of Famer and World War I Vet

Herbert Jefferis “Herb” Pennock (1894-1948) was born and raised in Kennett Square, Chester County. He was reared in the Religious Society of Friends, or Quaker, faith. He was the son of Mary L. (Sharp) and Theodore Pennock, a well-to-do businessman whose lineage in Pennsylvania stretched back to 1685, when Christopher Pennock immigrated to Philadelphia from Ireland. Nicknamed the...
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Keep the Boys in College! How World War I Produced a Penn State Football Legend

Pennsylvanians who remember Glenn Killinger (1898–1988) often envision the legendary coach of West Chester State Teachers’ College football and baseball teams during the decades that spanned 1933 to 1970. His name often comes up in conversations about Paul “Bear” Bryant as one of the two unbending football minds who led the North Carolina Pre-Flight Cloudbusters to one of the...
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Native Philadelphian Cherokee Fisher: From Andersonville Prison to Major League Baseball

William C. “Cherokee” Fisher was born in Philadelphia in November 1844. As a young man he desired an opportunity to defend his country in the American Civil War, so he enlisted for a three-year term on October 11, 1862, as a private in Company A of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, also known as the 152nd Pennsylvania Volunteers. This company was recruited in his hometown of Philadelphia....
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A Pitcher, A President and a Home Movie

In November 2013 the Pennsylvania State Archives was contacted by Mrs. Judith Savastio regarding a home movie that her father filmed. She had questions about preserving the film and was interested in finding a repository for its permanent care. Mrs. Savastio’s father, Major League Baseball pitcher James “Jimmie” DeShong (1909-1993), shot the film on his new 8mm home movie...
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The Stetson Company and Benevolent Feudalism

Philadelphia, during the first three decades of the twentieth century, was known for its great industrial enterprise. The city called itself the World’s Greatest Workshop and was a leader in the manufacture of more than 200 different items. It ranked first in the nation in the pro­duction of hosiery and knit goods, carpets and rugs, locomotives, street railway cars, saws, surgical...
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Soaring above the Sandlots: The Garfield Eagles

Baseball was first and foremost among American sports, but it is only a summer game. Its place in the seasons bas much to do with its charm. In March and April, after sport’s tiempo muerto, many are willing to endure cold snaps and icy spring rains. But in the fall, each sunset foreshadows season’s end as baseball runs its course. Some pursued it year-round, in Cuba and Mexico,...
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Zane Grey: Pennsylvania’s Rider of the Purple Sage

The sun-dappled amber waters of the Lackawaxen River whisper their way through the templed hills of eastern Pennsylvania until they meet the more placid waters of the Delaware. At the confluence of the two rivers in Pike County is the hamlet of Lackawaxen. There, three quarters of a century ago, a young unknown dentist from New York City discovered the respite he desired from the harried life of...
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Lawrence County

Bart Richards, the unofficial historian of Lawrence County, indicates that little of historical significance has occurred in the county. He points out that it has had no wars, Indian uprisings, or great discoveries to its credit. Very few of its citizens have qualified for the pages of Who’s Who. Therefore, this history is the story of average, ordinary people striving to make a better...
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