Lowenfish: New books personalize life in baseball during the 1960s

From SABR member Lee Lowenfish at The National Pastime Museum on October 18, 2017:

It is hard to believe that we are more than a half-century removed from the turbulent decade of the 1960s. Though it is exaggerated how static the 1950s actually were—two of modern America’s most significant achievements occurred in that decade: the GI Bill that opened college education to millions and the Eisenhower administration’s establishment of the interstate highway system—there is no doubt that the 1960s were a watershed in our history.

Politically, the decade was marked by the rise and fall of the Kennedys—President John was assassinated on November 22, 1963, and less than the five years later on June 5, 1968, his presidential candidate-brother Robert suffered the same cruel fate. Two months earlier, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was also assassinated. As the war in Vietnam escalated in the Sixties until more than 57,000 Americans died, the decade also witnessed the arrival of long-haired hippies “doing their own thing” and the emergence of a counterculture inspired by the music of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, and many other rock bands.       

The insular world of professional baseball was, not surprisingly, late in reacting to the changes in American life. Yet two recent books with the benefit of distance and compassion shed a lot of light on the period.

Read the full article here: https://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/last-innocents-and-playing-tigers-illuminate-baseball-1960s

Originally published: October 18, 2017. Last Updated: October 18, 2017.