Sullivan, Dean A(lan) 1963-
SULLIVAN, Dean A(lan) 1963-
PERSONAL: Born June 20, 1963, in Oklahoma City, OK; son of Donald A. (a human relations executive) and Ruth (Maiers) Sullivan. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: College of William and Mary, B.A., 1985; George Mason University, M.A., 1989; doctoral study at University of Maryland at College Park. Religion: Roman Catholic.
ADDRESSES: Home—3508 Queen Anne Dr., Fairfax, VA 22030.
CAREER: Historian and writer.
MEMBER: North American Society for Sport History, Organization of American Historians, American Studies Association, Society for American Baseball Research.
(Editor) Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825-1908, introduction by Benjamin G. Rader, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1995.
(Editor and compiler) Middle Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1900-1948, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1998.
(Editor and compiler) Late Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1945-1972, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 2002.
Contributor to Journal of Sport History.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Editing Sports in North America: A Documentary History, Volume VII: Sports in the Jazz Age, 1921-1930, and Volume VIII: Sports in the Depression, 1931-1940, for Academic International Press (Gulf Breeze, FL); From Campus to Canton: A Documentary History of American Football to 1920; research on the relationship between sports coverage in newspapers and radio in the 1920s and 1930s.
SIDELIGHTS: Baseball historian Dean A. Sullivan's trilogy of baseball histories provides a comprehensive accounting of the sport from its earliest days in the 1800s to its glory days in the 1970s. The three volumes are titled, respectively, Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825-1908; Middle Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1900-1948; and Late Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1945-1972. They use primary source documents such as newspaper stories, books, magazine articles, and other material to trace in detail the development of the game, its rules, its scandals, and its blossoming into the "national pastime."
Early Innings opens with a newspaper story from 1825, the earliest known "bass-ball" challenge issued from one club to another. Using more than 120 primary documents such as letters, folk poetry, annual guides, songs, and published articles, the book "takes us back to the events themselves" at the birth of baseball, wrote James DiGiacomo in America. "Like all well-told histories of the game, it evokes what life was like in America during that era," DiGiacomo observed. "Those who teach baseball history will find Dean Sullivan's Early Innings a joy," declared Reed Browning in the Historian. Douglas A. Noverr, writing in American Culture, observed, "The documents are well selected for variety as well as representation of the various facets and significant developments of the game." Early Innings covers topics such as the emergence of professionalism, the geographical areas in which the game was played, segregation and its enforcement, and the course of antagonism between players and owners (salary disputes are not a modern phenomenon). The documents collected by Sullivan show that racism was rampant during baseball's early years, but other sources in the book suggest that fans of the game did not approve of the exclusion of African Americans. Steve Gietschier, writing in Sporting News, noted, "Readers who spend some time with [Early Innings] will get a first-hand look at baseball history unfolding before their eyes." Similarly, Browning remarked, "Early Innings will be a useful volume to almost all students of the early game."
Middle Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1900-1948 covers what might be termed the adolescence of the game during years when baseball's popularity was steadily rising toward a prolonged peak. Sullivan provides 105 pieces of first-hand documentation covering notorious errors (such as the Merkle Boner, in which the New York Giants first basemen neglected to touch second base after a decisive single, which deprived the team of the pennant that year); fierce competition for wins; playoff matchups of famous players; the death of Babe Ruth; the Black Sox scandal; and the prime years of baseball legends such as Lou Gehrig, Dizzy Dean, and Ty Cobb. "This is an absolute must-read for fans of turn-of-the-century baseball," remarked Wayne M. Barrett in USA Today.
Sullivan's third collection, Late Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1945-1972, again collects more than a hundred primary source documents, newspaper reports, legal decisions, and other material covering the events in baseball during the middle years of the twentieth century. The volume covers pivotal events such as newly elected baseball commissioner Albert "Happy" Chandler's decision to ignore team owners' wishes to keep baseball segregated and sign Jackie Robinson as the first African American to play Major League Baseball. Sullivan includes documents such as the 1945 report from the Major League steering committee on the "race question"; the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding baseball's antitrust exemption; and information on the teams' willingness to accept independent arbitration. A Kirkus Reviews critic noted that Late Innings may be "a bit specialized for general readers," but that the book remains "a gold mine for students and fans of baseball history, as well as readers with interests in mid-twentieth-century race and labor issues."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America, June 17, 1995, James DiGiacomo, review of Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825-1908, pp. 34-35.
Historian, winter, 1996, Reed Browning, review of Early Innings, pp. 385-389.
Journal of American Culture, spring, 1996, Douglas A. Noverr, review of Early Innings, p. 113.
Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2002, review of Late Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1945-1972, p. 94.
Library Journal, April 15, 1995, William O. Scheeren, review of Early Innings, p. 82; February 1, 2002, Paul Kaplan, review of Late Innings, p. 103.
Sporting News, May 29, 1995, Steve Gietschier, review of Early Innings, p. 8.
USA Today, July, 2000, Wayne M. Barrett, review of Middle Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1900-1948, p. 80.*