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Mar 29, 2021

Author Dan Taylor ("Lights, Camera, Fastball: How the Hollywood Stars Changed Baseball") joins the pod for an in-depth look at one of baseball's most uniquely inventive teams - known for its star-studded celebrity ownership structure (including the likes of Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, George Burns, and Cecil B. DeMille) - and warm embrace of movie industry publicity during the 1940s/50s heyday of Hollywood's "Golden Age."

Long before Brooklyn's relocated Dodgers colonized Los Angeles with "major league" status in 1958, the Hollywood Stars (along with its fierce cross-town rival LA Angels) pioneered a host of innovations with a promotional flair that was the envy of its "near-major" Pacific Coast League competitors.

Led by Robert Cobb, owner of the legendary Brown Derby restaurant chain (and Cobb salad namesake), the Stars routinely challenged baseball conventions with a litany of paradigm-changing initiatives such as: uniforms with short pants, in-stadium cheerleaders and movie star beauty queens, between-innings infield-dragging (to boost concession sales), high-end ballpark food, and professional baseball's first regularly broadcast televised home games.
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