Lights, Camera, Fastball: How the Hollywood Stars Changed Baseball

Product Details
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 1.0 inches | 1.66 pounds

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About the Author

Dan Taylor is a former award-winning television sportscaster. He is the author of Rise of the Bulldogs, A Scout's Report: My 70 Years in Baseball, and Fate's Take-Out Slide in collaboration with George Genovese. Taylor is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research and the Pacific Coast League Historical Society. He resides in Fresno, California.


Dan Taylor's irresistible storytelling is only made moredelectable by the intersections of the stories of some of America's greatest loves: Hollywood stars, baseball, and food! It's an all-American story of success, failure, and happy little accidents (the "Cobb Salad"!) that combine perfectly for an enticing literary 'main course'!

--Ryan Scott, chef, author, TV personality, and two-time Emmy winner

Younger fans of Major League Baseball are likely unaware that professional baseball existed on the West Coast prior to the arrival of the Giants and Dodgers in 1958. Taylor chronicles the history of the Hollywood Stars, a franchise of the Pacific Coast League that was active years earlier and played for 20 years. The Stars were ahead of their time in their promotional efforts, employing cheerleaders, featuring games on television, and offering refreshingly different food concessions at the game venue. Seeing such noted celebrities as Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart among the fans was not uncommon. Of particular interest are the author's accounts of the league's coping with the shortage of players during the World War II years, as well as its promotional strategies to boost attendance at games. Featuring interviews with former players, this book offers an inside look at a team whose innovations are still seen in professional baseball. Included are archival photos of players and celebrities who supported the team. Recommended.

-- "Choice Reviews"

There was baseball in Los Angeles before the Brooklyn Dodgers moved there after the 1957 season and there was innovative promotion in the game that predated the shenanigans of Bill Veeck. A colourful and important chapter of baseball history is charismatically told, involving the Pacific Coast League's Hollywood Stars. Owned by the Brown Derby restaurateur Bob Cobb, the club was supported by the likes of Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart and Bing Crosby, the crooner who handed out souvenirs on bat day.

-- "The Globe and Mail"

An inside look at the Hollywood Stars, one of the most exciting franchises in the history of the Pacific Coast League, immersing the reader in the culture surrounding it.

--Mark Macrae, director, Pacific Coast League Historical Society

I have the pleasure of calling Dan Taylor a television broadcast partner and friend. If there is anyone who off the top of their head could write a book about the history of the Hollywood Stars or the old Pacific Coast League it's Dan. He is a Star in his own right when it comes to the background of our great game.

--Doug Greenwald, Radio/TV play-by-play broadcaster, Fresno Grizzlies professional baseball

In the Hollywood environment great stories from the past are always possible subject matter, and Dan Taylor has become the producer and director of a wonderful story of a baseball team that carried the perfect name of Stars.

-- "Farther Off The Wall"

A restaurateur known for the famous Brown Derby fine dining establishment and a salad which bears his name, Bob Cobb finally gets his due as a baseball pioneer in Lights, Camera, Fastball; a rollicking account of the 20-year history of the Hollywood Stars.

-- "Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine"