Branch Rickey by Jimmy Breslin

Evidently Breslin was asked to write a Penguin Biography, then allowed to select his subject. I can understand that, but it seems an odd way to edit a series.

This is an odd book. It’s more a “Scenes from a Life” than a proper biography, and it largely concentrates on Rickey’s efforts to integrate baseball and his relationship with Jackie Robinson. There’s too little about Rickey’s other major impacts on the game, as the development of the minor league farm system is only lightly touched and Rickey’s involvement in the Continental League is only barely mentioned. Nor is there any serious discussion of the way Rickey actually assembled and administered baseball teams.

Frankly, I was hoping for something with more substance. That said, this book’s well-written, shows evidence of serious research, and tells the story Breslin wanted to share quite well. Worth reading, but incomplete.

This review was originally published on LibraryThing.

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