Robert F. Garratt is an Emeritus Professor of English and Humanities at the University of Puget Sound where he taught courses on modern British and Irish literature, and international modernism. He was the university’s first Dolliver Distinguished Professor of Humanities, taught in the Honors Program for 22 years and is a former Director of the Humanities Program. He has written widely on modern Irish literature, including twentieth century Irish poetry and the contemporary Irish novel. His books include Modern Irish Poetry: Tradition and continuity from Yeats to Heaney and Trauma and History in the Irish Novel: The Return of the Dead.
Rob grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area an ardent fan of the San Francisco Giants. Upon his retirement from full-time teaching at the university, he began research on major league baseball’s move in 1958 to California. That initial research developed into a comprehensive history of the San Francisco Giants and the team’s relationship with the City and the greater Bay Area community. Rob’s latest book, Home Team: The Turbulent History of the San Francisco Giants, describes the move from New York City in 1957, the early years in the Bay Area, the difficulties of playing In Candlestick Park, and the team’s relocation in 2000 to a new downtown stadium where they have been phenomenally successful.
Home Team was honored by the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) as a 2018 Seymour Medal finalist, the award given to the best book on baseball history published in the previous year. Currently, Rob is at work on a biography of Charles A. Stoneham, who bought the Giants in 1919 and owned the team until his death in 1935.
Rob is a member of SABR and his baseball writing has appeared in the journal NINE and in the SABR bio-project and the SABR team histories series.
He lives on Whidbey Island with his wife, Sally.
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The Turbulent History of the San Francisco Giants
In 1957 Horace Stoneham took his Giants of New York baseball team and headed west, starting a gold rush with bats and balls rather than pans and mines. But San Francisco already had a team, the Seals of the Pacific Coast League, and West Coast fans did not immediately embrace the newcomers.
Starting with the franchise’s earliest days and following the team up to recent World Series glory, Home Team chronicles the story of the Giants and their often topsy-turvy relationship with the city of San Francisco. Robert F. Garratt shines light on those who worked behind the scenes in the story of West Coast baseball: the politicians, businessmen, and owners who were instrumental in the club’s history.
Home Team presents Stoneham, often left in the shadow of Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, as a true baseball pioneer in his willingness to sign black and Latino players and his recruitment of the first Japanese player in the Major Leagues, making the Giants one of the most integrated teams in baseball in the early 1960s. Garratt also records the turbulent times, poor results, declining attendance, two near-moves away from California, and the role of post-Stoneham owners Bob Lurie and Peter Magowan in the Giants’ eventual reemergence as a baseball powerhouse. Garratt’s superb history of this great ball club makes the Giants’ story one of the most compelling of all Major League franchises. .