Looks at the evolution of the home run's popularity in baseball through an analysis of historic long-ball seasons, the sport's superstars, and the steroid era.
Why are Americans obsessed with the home run in sports, business, and even life? What made the steroid era inevitable? Revisiting the great home run seasons of Babe Ruth through that of Barry Bonds, All the Babe s Men answers these and other provocative questions.Baseball evolved in a Darwinian study of fate, accident, necessity, and occasional subterfuge. Babe Ruth clubbed his record sixty homers with a heavier bat than what contemporary sluggers like Sammy Sosa used. Ruth batted low in the lineup, swung freely, and knocked balls over the fences. Other players noticed, like Rogers Hornsby, whose own home run totals went from nine in 1919 to forty-two in 1922. But bat speed has become more important in today s game. Big league stadiums built in urban areas have compressed the field and sport shorter outfields, compared to the vast meadows where the game was born. The players, owners, and fans became hooked, but our addiction took us to excess.All the Babe s Men features the game s special long ball seasons from Ruth to Bonds and divulges how baseball became king, America evolved into a home run society, and the contemporary game found itself trapped in a legal nightmare.About the AuthorEldon L. Ham has taught sports law at Chicago-Kent College of Law since 1994 and was one of the first lawyers to challenge the NFL s drug policy in court. He is the sports legal analyst for WSCR sports radio in Chicago and has appeared on dozens of radio stations coast to coast as a sports lawyer, expert, and historian. He is also the author of The Playmasters: From Sellouts to Lockouts an Unauthorized History of the NBA, Larceny& Old Leather: The Mischievous Legacy of Major League Baseball, and Broadcasting Baseball: A History of the National Pastime on Radio and Television. He lives near Chicago.