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Publisher's Summary

Tris Speaker: The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend is the first book to tell the full story of Speaker’s turbulent life and to document in sharp detail the grit and glory of his pivotal role in baseball’s dead-ball era. 

Playing for the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians in the early part of the 20th century, Tris “Spoke” Speaker put up numbers that amaze us even today: his record for career doubles - 792 - may never be approached, let alone broken. Tris Speaker explores the colorful life behind the statistics, introducing listeners to a complex and contradictory Texan whose cowboy mentality never left him as he brawled his way through two decades in the big leagues. 

Speaker’s career put him in the company of Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Honus Wagner, and in describing it Timothy M. Gay gives a rousing account of some of the best baseball ever played - and some of the darkest moments that ever tainted a game and hastened the end of a career.

The book is published by University of Nebraska Press. The audiobook will be published by University Press Audiobooks.

©2005 Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

“This should be required reading for any serious baseball fan.” (Sport Literature Association)

"A richly detailed biography, the first on Speaker to succeed in situating him within an epoch of great promise and of great shame." (Library Journal) 

 "Carefully researched and documented, engagingly written, and very illuminating." (Booklist) 

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This book is sort of about Tris Speaker

If you were to cull from the book the pages devoted to Tris Speaker, the book would be about half as long. The story would more accurately be titled, "The Dead Ball Era in Baseball, featuring Tris Speaker." The author spends a lot of time writing bios about a number of other players from the era. That would be fine if the synopsis of the story was more accurate in describing the focus of the book. I was continually frustrated by the amount of time the story was not about Speaker. Maybe there isn't enough source material to fill out a full book. The book was published in 2005. Consequently, the author repeats several myths about Ty Cobb and his so-called racist and violent incidents that have been debunked by more recent bios of The Peach. "Ty Cobb, A Terrible Beauty," published in 2015, should be read if you want a more accurate telling of Cobb's story. The presentation of the book was adequate. The reader mispronounces several words. The most egregious is referring to Nap Lajoie as "la-JOY." Ugh.

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