Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-4433-7 • Paperback • February 2015 • $59.00 • (£45.00)
978-1-4422-4434-4 • eBook • February 2015 • $56.00 • (£43.00)
Bill Deane was the Senior Research Associate at the National Baseball Hall of Fame from 1986 to 1994 and was managing editor of Total Baseball. He has authored eight books, including Baseball Myths: Debating, Debunking, and Disproving Tales from the Diamond (2012), and has written more than 200 book-chapters and articles about baseball. In 1989, Deane won the SABR-Macmillan Baseball Research Award for his SABR book, Award Voting.
IntroductionWhat is the Hidden-Ball Trick?History of the TrickMasters of the Trick … and Their Victims1876-89: The Early Tricks1890-99: Gaiety in the ’90s1900-09: Coughlin Corner Tricks1910-19: Ban Tries to Ban It1920-29: A Decade Dominated by Babe Who?1930-39: The Crow Flies High1940-49: Pesky Holding the Ball1950-59: Step off the Base a Minute, Will Ya?1960-69: Stick Was Slick1970-79: Elementary, My Dear Watson1980-89: Happy Birthday, Kid!1990-99: Master Matt2000-Present: A Dying Art?Tricks Gone AwryUnsubstantiated PossibilitiesOdds and EndsChronological ListingAppendix A: Successful Executions of the Hidden Ball TrickAppendix B: Unsubstantiated PossibilitiesBibliographyNotesIndexAbout the Author
I met Bill Deane at the Baseball Hall of Fame library in 1991, when he was the Senior Researcher there, and I've been marveling at his research expertise ever since. He's in the handful of top researchers (by that I mean dogged, tireless, and ingenious). . . .This treasure-trove of baseball tales makes for a fast, entertaining read. . . .I recommend Deane's book for many reasons: the sheer wealth of lore he excavated; the shrewd way he organized it; his compelling quest for documentation, and the sometimes glowing, sometimes grumbling accounts by generations of reporters.
— Never Too Much Baseball
Baseball is full of quirky little tricks and gimmicks. The Hidden Ball Trick takes a look at the history of this dying art form. . . .It truly is an art-form to get this trick to work in today’s modern game, but it is a fun look at how it can be conducted. Rowman & Littlefield made a fun book with this one and fans should check it out.
— Gregg's Baseball Bookcase
For those of you who live for the more overlooked aspects of the game, here is Bill Deane’s latest scholarly probe into baseball’s only legal deception. Enjoy!
— Wes Parker, Dodger first baseman, 6-time Gold Glove Award winner, and 1965 World Series champion
Finding the Hidden-Ball Trick is an encyclopedic treatise on this most unusual of baseball plays. Not only has Bill Deane documented the more than 200 known cases of this ancient ruse, he has also provided remarkable historical context and discusses the evolution of the play over the years. Everyone interested in the subtleties of baseball will find this book informative and fun to read and it will be sure to bring new information to everyone who picks it up.
— David W. Smith, founder of Retrosheet
Bill Deane is a magician. Spinning out the story of baseball's most ancient sleight of hand, he draws your attention to a game, a date, a perpetrator, and a victim. Yet all the while he is weaving his way—and yours—to a unique view of the game's whole history. Devilishly ingenious, this is a gem of a book.
— John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball
As surprising as the hidden-ball trick has been for so many unwary base runners, the rest of us get a wonderful surprise with Bill Deane’s latest gem.
— Rob Neyer, author of Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Legends