SPORTS & RECREATION

Comeback Pitchers: The Remarkable Careers of Howard Ehmke and Jack Quinn

Univ. of Nebraska Apr. 2021. 512p. ISBN 9781496222022. $39.95. SPORTS
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The world of sports is replete with accounts of players who overcame incredible odds—like pitchers Jack Quinn (1883–1946) and Howard Ehmke (1894–1959), who, despite roadblocks, carved out careers highlighted by series of highs and lows and repeated reinvention. In this dual biography, Spatz and Steinberg (coauthors, The Colonel and the Hug: The Partnership That Transformed the New York Yankees) weave together the stories of Quinn and Ehmke. The athletes’ careers were intertwined; both were teammates on the Boston Red Sox in the mid-1920s and on the 1929 world champion Philadelphia Athletics. The authors shed light on a fascinating period of baseball history: the transition from the Deadball Era into the Lively Ball Era. They also provide insight into the upstart Federal League, which briefly competed with major league baseball, and into some of the more notable figures of the time, including Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, and John McGraw.
VERDICT This well-researched study of Ehmke, Quinn, and early 20th-century baseball will appeal to readers who enjoy inspiring sports stories.
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