War, Plague, and the World Series
Regnery History 2018
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Today we are joined by Skip Desjardin, author of the book September 1918: War, Plague, and the World Series (Regnery History, 2018). In this work, which blends sports and history together, Desjardin looks at the historic and turbulent events of September 1918 that affected Boston. The Red Sox won their fourth World Series in seven years, but the specter of World War I had shortened the baseball season. Players, disgruntled by the idea that they would be shortchanged in the regular season and the World Series, went on a brief strike before Game 4. A young Babe Ruth was a masterful pitcher but coming into his own as a hitter, but during the World Series, manager Ed Barrow was reluctant to use his left-handed star in the lineup when he was not pitching. Overseas, a Massachusetts volunteer unit led the first unified U.S. fighting unit into battle in France, while teenager David Putnam established himself as America’s flying ace during his short life. At home, an outbreak of Spanish influenza erupted in Boston and its suburbs, causing death at an alarming rate. Desjardin also touches on the women’s suffrage movement, spearheaded by Maud Park, who gained an audience with President Woodrow Wilson; the actions of Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Calvin Coolidge; and baseball players’ exemption from the “work or fight” order until after the World Series.
Bob D’Angelo earned his master’s degree in history from Southern New Hampshire University in May 2018. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and spent more than three decades as a sportswriter and sports copy editor, including 28 years on the sports copy desk at The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. He can be reached at [email protected]. For more information, visit Bob D’Angelo’s Books and Blogs.