Cover for ZINGG: Harry Hooper: An American Baseball Life. Click for larger image

Harry Hooper

An American Baseball Life

Through the figure of Harry Hooper (1887-1974), star of four World Series championship teams and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Paul Zingg describes baseball's transformation from an often rowdy spectacle to a respectable career choice and entertainment institution.

Zingg chronicles Hooper's rise from a sharecropper background in California to college and then to the pinnacle of his sport. Boston's lead-off hitter and right fielder from 1909 to 1920, Hooper later played for the Chicago White Sox, managed in the Pacific Coast League, and coached Princeton's team. When he retired in 1925, he held every major fielding record for an American League right fielder. Hooper's diaries, memoirs, and six decades of letters offer a rich and colorful commentary on the evolution of the game, as well as insight into the tensions between a player's public and private lives.

"Hooper's instinct for knowing where the ball was going to be hit was uncanny. I'm sure, too, that he made more diving catches than any other outfielder in history. With most outfielders the diving catch is half luck; with Hooper it was a masterpiece of business."--Babe Ruth, on his selection of Harry Hooper for his all-time all-star team


Paul J. Zingg is Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at California Polytechnic State University. He is the coauthor of Runs, Hits, and An Era: The Pacific Coast League, 1903-58.

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