Reviews for Fame and Fortune in The Show

In Fame and Fortune in The Show, Art Black takes us on a wondrous tour of that time in America’s history when baseball truly was the National Pastime. As is the case with the best sports writing, the players and games do not exist in a vacuum but are presented against the background of events that shaped — and reshaped — our country. Thus, we are introduced not only to the minor-league Birmingham Barons but also to their Negro League counterparts, and we meet both famous and lesser-known individuals, many of whom helped to integrate and to unify our beloved sport and, by extension, brought needed change to our nation. The cast of characters and the attention to detail make this book a compelling read. — Frederick C. Bush, Co-Editor, Negro League histories: Bittersweet Goodbye and The Newark Eagles Take Flight

Art Black takes the history of Rickwood Field and the Birmingham Barons to a higher level. Instead of retelling the same old stories we’ve heard many times before, Art provides rich details and facts long forgotten from the past. Read Fame and Fortune in The Show and go to the next level of understanding baseball in Birmingham. — Clarence Watkins, Director, Friends of Rickwood

Art Black possesses the rare gift of breathing three dimensions into his characters while connecting them within the framework of a vastly larger story. In this book, he has written the perfect sequel to Showdown at Rickwood. He uses a familiar character, Walter, and the ball park to tell the compelling history of Birmingham, the Barons, and the Black Barons from the 1930s to the mid-’60s. He has rediscovered long-forgotten heroes of Birmingham’s past and found fresh stories about the players we remember. — Jeb Stewart, Biography Project Research Committee, Society for American Baseball Research

As one of Birmingham’s iconic destinations, Vulcan Park & Museum welcomes visitors from across the country who are looking for a piece of Birmingham to take with them. Through our gift shop, The Anvil, Art Black’s first book, Showdown at Rickwood, has been one of our most popular titles. It is with this sentiment that I believe Fame and Fortune will do just as well. His storytelling is amazing and because of Art, the name of Rickwood Field continues to spread across the country. — Emily Meyer, Anvil Gift Shop Supervisor, Vulcan Park and Museum

Reviews for Showdown at Rickwood

“Take your time reading Showdown at Rickwood. Skipping a page, or a paragraph, is not an option. It would be like going to the concession stand with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game — you might miss a game-changing event. And it is that way from Prologue to Epilogue. This book is so entertaining that it reads like a novel that is so good you’re sort of sad when you finish.” Wayne Martin, Former Sportswriter, Birmingham News

“This is a story you wish would never end. Thank you to the author for making a reader feel like he is on the field and in the stands. Somewhere Pop Boy is smiling and saying, ‘Finally someone has recognized what I did.’” — Chuck Stewart, Author and Rickwood Field Historian

“This is a story about a city, a nation, and the lives of individuals whose paths crossed at Rickwood Field. The author masterfully intertwines world events into the history of Rickwood. I applaud the vivid descriptions of the men who journeyed through Birmingham and beyond. It is more than a history to me because it allowed me to peer into the lives of people who made Rickwood Field the legend it is today.” — Kelley Gulledge, Professional Baseball Player, 2000-2011

“The account of the Dixie Series game made the pages whirl. What a great moment — a 43-year-old grandfather!” — Jim Palmer, Teacher, Altamont School

“Birmingham baseball is defined by Rickwood Field and the 1931 Dixie Series. Art Black tells these stories again through the lives of the players. So often we see players only by their statistics and what they accomplish on the diamond. Black gives us a more complete story — a story of players who are also men with lives beyond the baseball field.” — Clarence Watkins, Author and Member, Friends of Rickwood

“In Showdown at Rickwood, Art Black has done a wonderful job of weaving in events of the past to put the story in historical context. The result is an engrossing tale about America’s oldest ballpark.” — Joe Niese, Author, Burleigh Grimes: Baseball’s Last Legal Spitballer

“Showdown at Rickwood contributes invaluably to the body of literature available on Rickwood Field. The storytelling style is both highly readable and engaging, and brings to life the fascinating characters who populate the story. An ambitious researcher, Art Black establishes effectively the context, and illuminates masterfully the details, while presenting a story that is simply hard to put down.” — David Brewer, Former Director, Friends of Rickwood