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Updated by Dan Kaple on Feb 21, 2016
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Dead Ball Era Baseball

Deadball Era - BR Bullpen | Baseball-Reference.com

The Deadball Era (also sometimes Dead Ball Era) was a period in the early 20th Century characterized by low scoring and an emphasis on pitching and defense. While its boundaries are not concrete, it is generally recognized to have stretched from the founding of the American League in 1901 to the elimination of the spitball in 1920.

Deadball Era Baseball Game Footage (1900-1920)

Footage from the Deadball Era including footage from the 1910 World Series and the 1919 "Black Sox" World Series. All Rights to MLB media.

Ban Johnson

The most powerful figure of the Deadball Era, Ban Johnson's rise to prominence in the national pastime was as improbable as it was meteoric. Relying neither on athletic renown (his amateur catching career was abruptly cut short by a thumb injury) nor inherited wealth (he dropped out of law school to become a journalist), the talented Johnson maneuvered his way into becoming president of the Western League in 1893, then skillfully transformed the fledgling circuit into one of the most formidable minor leagues of the late nineteenth century. At the turn of the twentieth century, Johnson renamed the Western League the American League, declared major league status, and then succeeded in challenging the one-league supremacy of the National League. Johnson's triumph marked a turning point in baseball history, cementing the modern two-league system and setting the stage for the unparalleled financial successes of the coming years.

More Faces and Voices of Baseball's Deadball Era

A slideshow featuring pictures of baseball stars, mostly from 1911-1913. The background song is Scott Joplin's "Fig Leaf Rag." Lawrence Ritter interviews for...

The Ballplayer

A video about Gene Madden. A baseball player during the dead ball era. He played in the majors for one season, 1916. He appeared in one game, with one plate appearance and at bat and no hits.
[Gene Madden stats can be found here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.cgi?id=madden001eug]

You Know Me, Al by Ring Lardner

Free eBook: You Know Me, Al by Ring Lardner. Letters written by Jack Keefe, a professional baseball player, to his friend Al, at home, give a blow-by-blow account of Keefe's tribulations in the big leagues. Originally bought by the Chicago White Sox, he is sold to San Francisco, re-bought by Chicago, and eventually passed on to the New York Giants. Through it all Jack complains, boasts, makes excuses, talks too much, and thinks too little.

Pitching in a Pinch by Christy Mathewson

Free eBook: Pitching in a Pinch by Christy Mathewson. A tale of the Big leaguers, their habits and their methods of playing baseball written by one of their number, a pitcher of national reputation.

Chapters: The most dangerous batters i have met; "Take him out!"; Pitching in a pinch; Big league pitchers and their peculiarities; Playing the game from the bench; Coaching� good and bad; Honest and dishonest sign stealing; Umpires and close decisions; The game that cost a pennant; When the teams are in spring training; Jinxes and what they mean to a ball-player; Base runners and how they help a pitcher to win; Notable Instances where the "inside" game has failed.

"To the baseball enthusiast who knows the men or has seen the games described it will be very entertaining reading. Contains less theory and more personal recital and anecdote than Evers' 'Touching second.' "

Rare Ty Cobb radio interview

This is a rare radio interview between Ty Cobb and Grantland Race recorded during the 1930's.

Famous Baseball Firsts in the Dead Ball Era by Baseball Almanac

Baseball Almanac researches and chronologically lists famous baseball firsts that occurred in the Dead Ball Era, between 1901-1919.

Position Players by WAR (Wins Above Replacement): Deadball Era

The WAR stat is a non-standardized sabermetric baseball statistic developed to sum up "a player’s total contributions to his team".[1] The WAR value calculated for a player is claimed to be the number of additional wins his team has achieved above the number of expected team wins if that player was substituted by a replacement level player: a player that may be added to the team for minimal cost and effort.

Hugh Fullerton

In 1919 it was Hugh S. Fullerton’s detective work that unraveled the web of fact and rumor and exposed the crooked work of the ‘Black Sox.’ He believed that at least four or five world series’ were fixed.

Ray Chapman, Killed by Pitched Ball August 17, 1920

On August 16, 1920, in the late afternoon at the Polo Grounds, Ray Chapman stepped into the batter’s box for what would be the very last time.  The 29 year old Cleveland Indians’ shortstop, known as “Chappie”,  squared around to bunt off the Yankee’s Carl Mays.  The submariner’s pitch was inside, Chapman was unable to duck and the pitch hit him on the temple.  The ball struck so loud and with such a sound that Mays thought it had hit Chapman’s bat and threw the rolling ball to first for an out.

TheDeadballEra.com :: THE DEADBALL ERA: INDEX

The Only Website Dedicated To Deceased Major League Players! Where Every Player Is Safe At Home!

AND FINALLY...Conan O'Brien 'Plays Old fashioned Baseball '1864

Okay, so this isn't really specifically "Dead Ball Era" related; but it does concern vintage baseball and...well...it's really very funny. Enjoy.