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AMERICAN GLADIATOR: The Life And Times Of Pete Browning by Philip Von Borries

AMERICAN GLADIATOR: The Life And Times Of Pete Browning

by Philip Von Borries

184 pages
First biography of Pete Browning, namesake of the Louisville Slugger bat.

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Category: Sports
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About the Book
The first biography on one of baseball’s most fabled figures, AMERICAN GLADIATOR: The Life And Times Of Pete Browning is rich in both baseball history and the human experience.

During a storied 13-year career, Louis Rogers “Pete” Browning logged a lifetime .341 batting average; batted over .400 once; and captured three major-league batting titles in two different circuits.

As colorful as he was talented, Browning was nicknamed “The Gladiator” for his constant battles with the press, flyballs and alcohol (“I can’t hit the ball until I hit the bottle!”).

Further adding to the legend were his numerous eccentricities, among them keeping his average on his cuffs; staring into the sun to improve his vision; and naming his bats, then “retiring” them after they had produced their quota of hits.

But, there was another Browning, and AMERICAN GLADIATOR: The Life and Times Of Pete Browning brings that Browning into sharp historical focus: a tragic figure relentlessly pursued all his life by a crudely-treated mastoidal condition that turned him into a raging alcoholic; prematurely shortened his career; and left him dead at age 44, just weeks after being released from an insane asylum and less than a decade after his final professional game.

Along the way, AMERICAN GLADIATOR: The Life And Times Of Pete Browning also thoroughly backgrounds Browning’s times and his contemporaries; separates fact from long-accepted medias embellishment and “cartoon history”—such as the popular story that Browning died in an insane asylum; and conclusively proves (via a number of “web gem” accounts) that Browning was anything but a defensive liability.

AMERICAN GLADIATOR: The Life And Times Of Pete Browning also explores Browning’s continued exclusion from Cooperstown despite legitimate Hall-of-Fame credentials, which includes being the namesake of an American icon—the famed Louisville Slugger bat.

Vivid proof that baseball is a metaphor for life and vice versa, AMERICAN GLADIATOR: The Life And Times Of Pete Browning also includes numerous vintage photographs.

 

 

About the Author
Philip Von Borries The author of Louisville Diamonds, Philip Von Borries has written for such baseball publications as The Oakland Athletics Magazine, The Chicago Cubs Program Magazine, The Washington Times, Sports Collectors Digest and Oldtyme Baseball News. A nationally award-winning turfwriter as well, his horse racing books include Racelines.

 

 

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