This loving tribute to the defunct minor league teams of New Mexico and west Texas resurrects a forgotten period of baseball history. Through oral histories of players, umpires, fans, sportswriters, and team officials, Toby Smith brings to life the West Texas-New Mexico League, the Longhorn League, the Southwestern League, and the Sophomore League from 1946 to 1961, when the last of them folded. Star players Joe Bauman and Bob Crues get special attention, along with assorted brawls, a fatal beaning incident, home runs, and marriages conducted at home plate. Anyone who loves baseball will enjoy this delightful book.
"An honest, thorough look at a forgotten corner of New Mexico history. [Smith's] attention to detail and knack for finding quirky, untold stories will be engaging to baseball fans and history buffs alike. . . . Bush League Boys gives baseball in New Mexico a new voice in the sport's rich history."--New Mexico Magazine
"[Smith] paints a very vivid picture of a bygone era that should never be forgotten. These small towns and teams are what modern baseball is built upon."--Gregg's Baseball Bookcase
"Those expecting a solid, colorfully-written account of baseball in small-town America during the postwar years are in for a treat. Bush League Boys is a loving, well-crafted tribute to a forgotten time, a game, and its players."--Journal of Arizona History
"In Bush League Boys sportswriter Toby Smith relies upon fascinating oral histories to recall the home runs, screen money, and dust storms that characterized the glory days of post-World War II baseball in the Southwest."--Ron Briley, author of The Baseball Film in Postwar America: A Critical Study, 1948-1962
"I've been a fan of Toby Smith's writing for a long time. Toby hasn't lost his zest for writing, nor the way he crafts his sentences. He's not 'Toby Smith,' he's more like 'Word Smith.' Reading Toby's story of old-time baseball is delightful, and I found the book hard to put down, consuming it in a matter of hours."--Gary Herron, author of Duke City Diamonds: Baseball in Albuquerque