Tales from the Special Forces Club

Tales from the Special Forces Club

Stories of real-life bravery and courage-under-fire contribute to a unique and poignant record of a club created for heroes.

Tales from the Deadball Era

Ty Cobb, Home Run Baker, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and the Wildest Times in Baseball History

Tales from the Deadball Era

The Deadball Era (1901û1920) is a baseball fanÆs dream. Hope and despair, innocence and cynicism, and levity and hostility blended then to create an air of excitement, anticipation, and concern for all who entered the confines of a major league ballpark. Cheating for the sake of victory earned respect, corrupt ballplayers fixed games with impunity, and violence plagued the sport. Spectators stormed the field to attack players and umpires, ballplayers charged the stands to pummel hecklers, and physical battles between opposing clubs occurred regularly in a phenomenon known as ôrowdyism.ö At the same time, endearing practices infused baseball with lightheartedness, kindness, and laughter. Fans ran onto the field with baskets of flowers, loving cups, diamond jewelry, gold watches, and cash for their favorite players in the middle of games. Ballplayers volunteered for ôbenefit contestsö to aid fellow big leaguers and the country in times of need. ôJoke gamesö reduced sport to pure theater as outfielders intentionally dropped fly balls, infielders happily booted easy grounders, hurlers tossed soft pitches over the middle of the plate, and umpires ignored the rules. Winning meant nothing, amusement meant everything, and league officials looked the other way. Mark Halfon looks at life in the major leagues in the early 1900s, the careers of John McGraw, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson, and the events that brought about the end of the Deadball Era. He highlights the strategies, underhanded tactics, and bitter battles that defined this storied time in baseball history, while providing detailed insights into the players and teams involved in bringing to a conclusion this remarkable period in baseball history.

The Scourge of Soho

The Controversial Career of SAS Hero Detective Sergeant Harry Challenor MM

The Scourge of Soho

The Scourge of Soho describes the dramatic and eventful life of Detective Sergeant Harry Challenor MM and at the same time lifts the lid on front-line policing and the murky world of Soho criminals in the 1950s and 1960s.??Born into grinding poverty in 1922, Challenor fought with the Special Air Service during the Second World War, being parachuted behind enemy lines, captured twice, escaping twice. He was awarded the Military Medal.??Joining the post-war Metropolitan Police, challenor spent four years with the elite Flying Squad, before being sent to clear up crime in Soho. Pimps, racketeers and crooks were rounded-up and often found themselves in possession of a bewildering assortment of armaments of which they denied all knowledge. More sensible gangsters, like Reg and Ron Kray, took off as soon as his name was mentioned.??Challenor could not be frightened or bought-off, so the gang leaders put up a £1,000 reward to anyone who could frame him. In the end, it was not needed. During a political demonstration in 1963, half-bricks were planted on innocent protesters and three young policemen were imprisoned and Challenor certified as a paranoid schizophrenic and sent to a succession of psychiatric hospitals and care homes. Policeman-turned-author, Dick Kirby has interviewed former friends and colleagues of this determined but flawed character and has meticulously studied court records and official documents. The result is a sensational and gripping account of the man who became The Scourge of Soho.??As featured in the East Anglian Daily Times, Bury Mercury and Wolverhampton Magazine.