The End of Baseball
A novel by Peter Schilling Jr.

The End of Baseball. A novel by Peter Schilling Jr.

Reviews of The End of Baseball

The End of Baseball named among Best Fiction of 2008 by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “ …Bill Veeck shines in fiction, just as he did in real life.”

“Forever claiming a lordly spot at the top of my baseball bookshelf, Peter Schilling Jr.’s The End of Baseball is an absolute marvel, a funny, heartbreaking, poetically written yarn that takes a little-known baseball fact and transforms it into something magical, profound, and unforgettable. If you read only one baseball novel in your life, make it this one.”
—Jeff Polman,

The End of Baseball is a rich, moving, and thoroughly entertaining tale that anyone with an interest in the Negro Leagues, Bill Veeck or mid-century baseball in general will definitely dig. The best book I’ve read this year, baseball or otherwise.”
—Dan Epstein, author of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging ’70s
Read Dan’s full review of The End of Baseball on

“To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, some baseball novels see things as they are and ask why; Peter Schilling Jr.’s brilliantly conceived The End of Baseball sees things that weren’t and imagines what could have been. The best baseball novel so far this century.”
—Allen Barra, Baltimore Sun

“Veteran sports journalist and debut novelist Schilling offers a compassionate, enjoyable re-imagining of the early days of baseball. Among the backdrop of patriotic elation, pre-civil rights racism and Cold War paranoia, The End of Baseball offers a deeply inspirational story of faith. A terrific tale.”
Kirkus Reviews

“This exciting, fast-paced story is a fine commentary on baseball lore, race relations, and American sentiment during World War II, and it will have the reader hanging on every pitch, wondering how Veeck and his players will overcome racial discrimination to prove they can play in the major leagues.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“This is not a happy book with a happy ending… it is a book based on a different timeline but the same people, motivations and events during a very dark period in human history—consider yourselves forewarned. Armed with this information it will allow the reader to go through the pages of one of the finest pieces of baseball fiction to come out in a very long time without being disappointed that real life rarely ends on a high note. Peter Schilling Jr. deserves the highest of marks for creating a fictitious history that feels like the genuine article… Thanks to Schilling we understand that change will not be ‘the end of baseball’ but rather that the game is more likely to be destroyed by those fighting the change. If the biggest complaint about a book is that it may be too well written, then it’s safe to say it’s a work of which the author should be proud. Take a bow Mr. Schilling. Bravo.”
—John Brattain, The Hardball Times

“This rollicking read of a book stars such big names as Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Roy Campanella — and Veeck himself, chain-smoking, wheeling and dealing, tossing off ideas like sparks from a transformer gone haywire… In lesser hands than those of novelist Schilling, these ’44 Athletics would breeze to the pennant. But Schilling’s season packs lots of lumps before it reaches a curiously realistic climax… [A]s somebody in baseball puts it, The End of Baseball sails straight down central. As somebody else in baseball used to say, it’s a winner.”
—Harry Levins, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The End of Baseball is a gem of historical fiction, a diamond, if you will. Taking place during World War II, a time in which America was embroiled in a fight against Hitler’s bigotry, it is a well-written, well-needed investigation into the roots and realities of prejudice in our own land’ [It] is a hearty feast for the baseball glutton.” —Wesley Hudson, Winston-Salem Journal

“Schilling hits a home run with his debut novel… while not only doing a solid job transporting the reader back to the mid 1940s, he takes on the enviable task of developing multiple that have tremendous amounts of complexity.”
—Pat Lagreid, The Baseball Book Review

“[A]n imaginative, thought-provoking novel. The book is fiction but is created against a backdrop of real life characters. Just a terrific read!”
—Harvey Frommer, Frommer’s Book Reviews

“[Peter Schilling Jr.]… proceeded to hit one out of the park. The attention paid to each character, making each unique, and making many both hero and villain, will mesmerize any reader… Though baseball fans will certainly love this book, particularly for the edge-of-seat, heart-pounding descriptions of on-feild action, non-baseball fans will love the vivid imagery, the rich character descriptions, and the reactions of those characters watching and listening to those same pitches and innings.”
—Chrissie Bonnes, GameDay (Minnesota)

“Skillfully drawn with all his flair (and all his faults), Schilling does a near-masterful job of constructing Veeck. In this portrayal, Veeck is penned with appropriate complexity and humor: he’s smart, he smokes, he drinks, he thinks, he reads, he works behind-the-scenes, he’s pained (futzing with his nascent prosthetic of a leg, having lost the limb as a Marine in WWII) and oftentimes, he’s very much alone. And this last description is what makes him so very human, what makes the reader feel that he too is living this season, with all its balls and strikes of life, right along with the protagonist… Schilling has surely done a wealth of commendable research to reconstruct the cities, stadiums, people, and personal histories of this time. But above all the legwork stands the literary interworkings of a one-legged man, with Bill Veeck wonderfully looming, and laughing between the lines and above the words — smoking and drinking his way through a season that never was.”
—Judd Spicer, City Pages (Minneapolis)

“In this fun, roller-coaster "what if" tale, Schilling makes Veeck’s dream come true… This is easily the most interesting team since Philip Roth concocted the homeless Rupper Mundys of 1943 in The Great American Novel. Unlike Roth, however, whose characters had great names like Gil Gamesh, John Baal and his father, Spit, Schilling uses the real players to his advantage… Schilling succeeds mightily. He knows his baseball and weaves an entertaining story.”
Bob D'Angelo, MSNBC.Com

“Required reading—readers are sure to cheer both Veeck and players such as Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige in this alternate take on baseball history.”
New York Post

“Of all sports, rivalled perhaps only by boxing, baseball has the strongest links with literature. Philip Roth, Mark Harris, Bernard Malamud and W. P. Kinsella are among the game’s literati. They’re joined by Peter Schilling Jr. in The End of Baseball.”
Toronto Globe & Mail

“The world of baseball during World War II provides the atmospheric background for this inspired debut novel that mingles fact and fantasy. Schilling’s what-if tale brilliantly re-creates a bygone era.”
—John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Brilliant. Baseball has a rich history of novels written about it, but this one might just be its finest.”

“Schilling’s alternate-history pushes baseball’s integration ahead by four years [SIC—actually three], but the pages turn on the larger-than-life characterization of Veeck, who emerges here every bit as flamboyant as he was in the real world. In the ultimate ‘woulda-coulda-shoulda’ story, the vaunted color line is no match for Veeck’s showmanship and unquenchable spirit.”

“A delightful historical novel.”
Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

The End of Baseball is so engaging and convincing that it accomplishes something truly special: it makes you wish desperately it were true.”
Brad Zellar, The Rake

The End of Baseball is a blast. Like a Satchel Paige flutter ball, it amuses and beguiles with every sharp turn. It’s perfect for baseball lovers, but it will entertain anyone who loves a good story. Filled with wonderful characters and lively writing, this is the best baseball novel I've read in years.”
Jonathan Eig, New York Times bestselling author of Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season

The End of Baseball reminded me of the books on the shelf at my Grandfather’s house. Schilling captures the period beautifully. A wonderful story.”
Jim Bouton, author of Ball Four and Foul Ball: My Life and Hard Times Trying to Save an Old Ballpark

The End of Baseball captures the mood and feel of a time like no other baseball novel I have ever read. You are hooked quickly and for the duration. It reminds me of the thrill I got when I first read E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime.”
Paul Dickson, author of The Bonus Army, An American Epic and The Hidden Language of Baseball

“I always wished I could have spent time in the Negro Leagues, and I always wanted to hang out with Bill Veeck. In Peter Schilling’s work of inventive history, The End of Baseball, I was allowed to do both, and I thank him for that. If you ever wondered what might have happened if Veeck had succeeded in his attempt to buy the A’s and fill the roster with Negro League stars, here’s a chance to find out. Enjoy the journey.”
Peter Golenbock, author of 7: The Mickey Mantle Novel and Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Dynasty: the New York Yankees, 1949-1964

“Peter Schilling takes one of the great ‘what-might-have-been’ episodes in baseball history and brings it to life. This is best baseball novel I’ve read about this era since Mark Winegartner’s Veracruz Blues. A fine achievement.”
Brad Snyder, author of A Well-Paid Slave: Curt Flood’s Fight for Free Agency in Professional Sports (Viking Oct. 2006) and Beyond the Shadow of the Senators: The Untold Story of the Homestead Grays and the Integration of Baseball

“A fascinating work, The End of Baseball is a powerful ‘What-If’ novel”
Arnold Hano, bestselling author of A Day in the Bleachers (My choice for the greatest baseball book ever written.)

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The End of Baseball by Peter Schilling Jr.

The End of Baseball by Peter Schilling Jr. is now available in paperback from publisher Ivan R. Dee.