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The Pitcher and the Dictator


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Table of Contents

Preface: Recovery of a Lost History
1. Trujillo City
2. Time to Get a Job
3. Show Me the Money
4. Chapita
5. The Americans
6. A Long, Lanky Black Boy by the Name of Satchell
7. Trujillo Es El Jefe
8. Opening Day Away
9. Royal Prerogative
10. Total Catastrophe
11. The Stars Arrive
12. Despues de la Victoria
13. Nuevos Rumbos
14. Black Babe Ruth
15. Fiesta de la Chapita
16. The Maestro's Coda
17. The Heartbreaking End of Josh Gibson
18. The Fall of Trujillo
19. The Persevering Paige
20. "El Gamo"
21. Y Otras
Epilogue: Tenth Inning
Appendix: Notes on Paige's Magical Pitching

About the Author

Averell "Ace" Smith is a political consultant and lifelong baseball fanatic. He is a thirty-year veteran of state and national politics and has directed winning campaigns from district attorney to president of the United States. He has been profiled in the Los Angeles Times, the New Republic, and the San Francisco Chronicle.


"While baseball is at the heart of the book, The Pitcher and the Dictator-the pitcher being the legendary Satchel Paige-the story is about much more, including gunboat diplomacy, the blood-drenched history of the Dominican Republic and, not least, the prevalence of racism and repression in mid-twentieth century America."-Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times -- Mark Z. Barabak * Los Angeles Times *
"This short, action-packed narrative illuminates one of those footnotes that dot the history of the game but are seldom explored in depth. Here the footnote explodes with unexpected vitality."-Paul Dickson, Wall Street Journal -- Paul Dickson * Wall Street Journal *
"This is a baseball book but it is so much more. It deals with history, politics, and power. . . . I encourage baseball fans and history aficionados to get this book for a good read."-Tom Knuppel, KNUP Sports -- Tom Knuppel * KNUP Sports *
"Smith offers a breezy account of an unusual episode in baseball history that was just one of many colorful moments in Paige's lengthy career."-Missouri Historical Review * Missouri Historical Review *
"The Pitcher and the Dictator is an entertaining read, and Smith goes to great pains to describe the mood, the weather, the fans' enthusiasm and the sinister specter of Trujillo looking over the all-stars' shoulders. The detail is exquisite."-Bob D'Angelo, Sports Bookie blog -- Bob D'Angelo * Sports Bookie *
"If a reader wishes to learn more about this season in the Dominican Republic for three of the greatest stars of the Negro Leagues as well as the first Cuban player inducted into the American Baseball Hall of Fame, this is a good book to start that journey."-Guy Who Reviews Sports Books * Guy Who Reviews Sports Books *
"I was nineteen years old when I played with Satchel Paige in 1968. He knew my name but called me Daffy-and I was happy to let him. By then Satchel had lived one of the most extraordinary lives of our times, and Ace Smith captures his spirit with his compelling true story of the one adventure that could have ended it all, a deal to pitch in the Dominican Republic, under military watch, when losing was not an option. The Pitcher and the Dictator paints a rich portrait of one of the greatest barnstorming baseball teams."-Dusty Baker, legendary Major League Baseball player and manager -- Dusty Baker
"The Pitcher and the Dictator is a gripping account of Satchel Paige's travels to an island run by a dictator-during which he faces the harsh obstacles of racism, power, and politics in the 1930s."-Lance Williams, award-winning journalist and coauthor of Game of Shadows -- Lance Williams

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