Diamonds in the Coalfields: Remarkable Baseball Players, Managers and Umpires from Northeast Pennsylvania
By William C. Kashatus
183 pp. Photographs, tables, notes, statistics, appendix, bibliography, index
ISBN: 0-7864-1176-7 $24.95 soft cover 2002.
Between 1876 and 1960, nearly 100 northeastern Pennsylvanians played, managed, coached or umpired in the major leagues. Many were the sons of immigrant coal miners and living and working conditions in America were quite different from what they had been used to. Baseball became an important part of the assimilation process and it thrived as a church-sponsored form of recreation and entertainment for the coal miners and their families. Diamonds in the Coalfields explores the childhood, and minor and major league experiences of Christy Mathewson, Stan Covelski, Stanley “Bucky” Harris, Hughie Jennings, Ed Walsh, Nestor Chylak, Joe Bolinsky, Jake Daubert, John “Buck” Freeman, Mike Gazella, Pete Gray Wyshner, John Edward Murphy, Steve O’Neill, John Picus Quinn, Joe “Lefty” Shaute, Steve Bilko, Harry Dorish, Bob Duliba, Joe “Professor” Ostrowski, and Stan Pawloski — 21 players, managers, and umpires who exemplify the great talent, dedication, humility and hardship that many northeastern Pennsylvanians experienced.
“Diamonds in the Coalfields is a solid piece of history . . . While the coal, the railroads, the factories, and even the baseball that dominated northeast Pennsylvania are long gone, Kashatus skillfully brings this era back to life.” – The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Diamonds in the Coalfields is a gem to be treasured by any baseball fan hungry to learn about the game’s past.” – The Scranton Times
“Kashatus’s twin passions for baseball and the history of Northeastern Pennsylvania can be felt throughout the book.” – The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader