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Swinging Away

How Cricket and Baseball Connect

Beth Hise, Introduction by Matthew Engel

ISBN: 978 1 85759 644 1
Size: 248 x 200 mm / 7.9 x 9.8 in.
Binding: softcover
Pages: 192
Images: 150

UK £20.00 / US $35.00


  • Illustrated with historic sporting objects and vintage images from the MCC Museum at Lord's cricket ground in London and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, as well as the historic collection of the CC Morris Cricket Library and Museum in Haverford, Pennsylvania
  • Accompanies an exhibition at the MCC Museum at Lord's, opening in April 2010, and travelling to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 2011


Cricket and baseball are usually thought of as having little in common, two great summer sports attracting their own devoted followers, oceans apart. And yet, as this beautifully illustrated comparative survey of the two games reveals, they share intertwined histories. From 1840 to 1855 cricket was actually America’s leading ball game. WG Grace tried his hand at baseball, and Babe Ruth at cricket. Each sport came to symbolise a version of national identity, and each was spread around the world with a kind of missionary impulse. In an age when Major League Baseball is becoming ever more international, and the phenomenally successful Twenty20 format has introduced baseball-like elements to cricket, Beth Hise’s timely and engrossing book will appeal to those interested in the history of either sport.


Beth Hise is curator of the exhibition Swinging Away. A Yale-educated Cleveland Indians fan, she previously curated the MCC Travelex Ashes Exhibition tour to Australia in 2006-7. She works as curator at the Historic Houses Trust in Sydney, Australia. Matthew Engel is a journalist who has reported cricket from almost every imaginable country, including the United States, and edited 12 editions of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He is also a baseball-lover who has covered three World Series.


"A delightfully informative history of two cultures divided by different forms of the same summer game (TLS BOOKS OF THE YEAR)"
Times Literary Supplement

"[a] fascinating account of the connections between the two bat-and-ball games…[Hise] writes with wit and erudition - BOOK OF THE WEEK"
The Independent

"Beautifully illustrated…[it] combines rigorous scholarship and verve"
The Sunday Times

"a thorough and fascinating history…[Hise] shows complete understanding of both games"
New York Journal of Books

"Few works have attempted to address the pattern of themes tackled in this book…Hise raises the bar in the small genre of books comparing baseball and cricket"
NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture