Now and Then E-Single Looks Back at Baseball's History of Violence

'Don't Kill the Umpire' explains how baseball evolved from a bloodthirsty game to our national pastime.

LOS ANGELES, March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- From Now and Then Reader, the digital publisher of original nonfiction books and essays, comes the new e-single Don't Kill the Umpire: How Baseball Escaped Its Violent Past, by renowned baseball historian Peter Morris.  The 28-page digital single provides a fascinating history of violence in and around our national pastime. A far cry from the safeguarded game of today, baseball once featured reckless, aggressive play in front of ballpark fans who seethed with intimidation toward opposing players and umpires.  Don't Kill the Umpire guides us through baseball's fascinating and violent past.


While modern baseball still has incidents of violence, Morris explains, the game is serene when compared with its earliest days. "In many ways this danger helped baseball catch on. Nineteenth-century Americans expected their recreations to feature at least the possibility of violence, and it is inconceivable that men who traveled miles to watch a public hanging would have been captivated by a pastime such as golf or tennis," he writes.

Morris, the author of award-winning books on baseball history, shows that the game's complex relationship with violence remains.  Baseball's pro-active approach to curbing fights and injuries still leaves grey areas of questionable but acceptable behavior—a hard slide to break up a double play, or a knockdown pitch to a locked-in batter.  The key to understanding this paradox lies in the long history of the sport. 

"This is a great read on baseball and its roots in American culture," says Chandos Erwin, co-founder of Now and Then.  "Morris writes with a clear love of the game but also as a skilled historian." 

Peter Morris is the author of A Game of Inches: The Stories Behind the Innovations That Shaped Baseball, the first book ever to win both the coveted Seymour Medal of the Society for American Baseball Research and the Casey Award from Spitball magazine as the best baseball book of the year.  His other books include But Didn't We Have Fun?, Catcher, and Level Playing Fields.  With Bill James, Lawrence Ritter, and five others, he was among the first group of baseball researchers to be honored by the Society for American Baseball Research with the Henry Chadwick Award for lifetime achievement.

This e-single, now available to purchase through Amazon's Kindle Books, Apple's iBookstore and Barnes & Noble Nook Books for $2.99, joins Now and Then's growing list of original nonfiction titles. Releasing new short-form nonfiction books and essays each week, the digital-only publishing house focuses on writings that are historically based bus also have relevance for today.  

Among its recent offerings are How Iran Got the Bomb: The Twisted Path to a Nuclear Weapon by Jeremy Bernstein, John F. Kennedy's Women: The Story of a Sexual Obsession by Michael O'Brien, and Artificial Epidemics: How Medical Activism Has Inflated the Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer and Depression by Stewart Justman currently available through Amazon Kindle Singles.  Now and Then is also reissuing a selection of free books to complement their list of paid titles.  The full list is available at

Direct links to purchase Don't Kill the Umpire can be found at  Review copies of this and other titles are available upon request.

Now and Then publishes both original nonfiction titles and excerpts from forthcoming and previously published books.  Their titles range in length from 5,000 to 25,000 words, or approximately 15 to 60 book pages, and are available for purchase through Kindle Books, Nook Books, iPad Books and other e-bookstores.

Ivan R. Dee, Now and Then's co-founder and chief editor, is the former president and chief editor of Ivan R. Dee, Inc., publishers of serious nonfiction books founded in 1989. Before that he was chief editor at Quadrangle Books, and also worked in newspapers, newspaper syndicates, and magazines.

Chandos Erwin, Now and Then Reader's co-founder and marketing director, manages the publisher's technology and marketing efforts.

Media Contact: Scott Manning of Scott Manning & Associates, +1-212-614-7892,

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SOURCE Now and Then Reader LLC



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