Outsider Baseball

Outsider Baseball
Outsider Baseball

Outsider Baseball

The Weird World of Hardball on the Fringe, 1876?1950
By Scott Simkus


336 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF

Cloth, $26.95 (US $26.95) (CA $29.95)

ISBN 9781613748169

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Mar 2014)


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Highlighting early baseball’s extraordinary players and teams who fell outside the major leagues
Outsider Baseball is the story of a forgotten world, where independent professional ball clubs zig-zagged across America, plying their trade in big cities and small villages alike.  Included among the former and future major leaguers were mercenaries, scalawags, and outcasts. This is where Babe Ruth, Rube Waddell, and John McGraw crossed bats with the Cuban Stars, Tokyo Giants, Brooklyn Bushwicks, dozens of famous Negro league teams, and novelty acts such as the House of David and Bloomer Girls.             Legends emerged in this alternate baseball universe and author Scott Simkus sets out to share their stories and use a critical lens to separate fact from fiction. Written in a gritty prose style, Outsider Baseball combines meticulous research with modern analytics, opening the door to an unforgettable funhouse of baseball history.


“This is the best baseball book you will read this year. With Outsider Baseball, Scott Simkus provides us with a time traveler’s guide to the dark side of the moon—and rattles off weird and wonderful stories at every stop. I learned plenty; you will too.” —John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball and author of Baseball in the Garden of Eden

“There’s a lot more to baseball history than the major leagues and their vassals. Finally, outsider baseball has the book it has long deserved.” —Rob Neyer, author of Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Lineups

“Scott Simkus is one of our foremost baseball archeologists. He scratches and claws at the past in Outsider Baseball, unearthing wonderful nuggets of sports history. Reading this book is like hopping into baseball’s time machine. Enjoy the ride!” —Tom Dunkel, author of Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball’s Color Line

“The weird old world that bursts into bloom in Outsider Baseball seems like the twisted, magical stuff of myth. This would have made for an immensely enjoyable read in and of itself, but Simkus elevates his rollicking parade of heroes, hucksters, oddballs, and mercenaries to the level of instant baseball classic by connecting each seemingly tall tale to doggedly excavated data and deeply satisfying historical analysis. Reading it is like having a vivid dream about discovering a lost treasure chest and then waking up with gold coins in your hands.” —Josh Wilker, author of Cardboard Gods

“Baseball fanatics will love this brisk, funny, insightful foray into the hidden corners of professional baseball, with its forgotten stars and fascinating stories. And check out Scott Simkus’s ingenious tool to help us compare leagues separated by time and talent!” —Edward Achorn, author of The Summer of Beer and Whiskey and Fifty-nine in ’84

“A must-read for anyone with more than a passing interest in the national pastime. This careful, provocative examination of baseball’s history and mystery challenges much of the conventional wisdom surrounding the sport, forcing us to see the game in a different light.” —Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times

"If you have any interest in the game's history, please pick up the book." —Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter

"Simkus is at his best when presenting the wild and wacky leagues and players. He respects the game and its statistics, but he also strikes a balance with his breezy prose that number geeks and casual fans should find appealing." —The Tampa Tribune

Author Biography

Scott Simkus is the founder and editor of the Outsider Baseball Bulletin. He is the winner of a research award from the Society of American Baseball Research for his work on the Negro League Database.