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Released November 24, 2003

SOUTHERN MISS PROFESSOR PROLIFIC WRITER
OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HISTORY
By David Tisdale

HATTIESBURG - A love for history and sports has inspired a series of books on professional baseball by a member of The University of Southern Mississippi faculty.

In addition to publishing in his academic field, Dr. Doug Feldmann, a professor in the Southern Miss Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education, first produced Dizzy Dean and the Gas House Gang: The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals and Depression-Era Baseball in 2000. He followed that with Fleeter than Birds: The 1985 St. Louis Cardinals and Small Ball's Last Hurrah in 2002 and this year's September Streak: The 1935 Chicago Cubs Chase the Pennant.

"I love history and I love baseball, so that makes for a natural combination," Feldmann said.

In Dizzy Dean and the Gas House Gang, Feldmann chronicles the Cardinals team that became known as "The Gas House Gang" and details the era and team, as well the contributions of player-manager Frankie Frisch and Dean brothers Dizzy and Paul, who combined for 49 wins in the season.

Fleeter than Birds tells the story of the uncertainty surrounding the 1985 Cardinals team, predicted to finish last in the National League East Division. While dealing with low expectations for the Cardinals, professional baseball was dealing with negative publicity from drug abuse and a threatened player's strike, which Feldmann addresses in the book. He also provides background information on the 1985 World Series, Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog and characteristics particular to base running at St. Louis' Busch Stadium.

September Streak looks at a time when the Chicago Cubs, the loveable losers of Major League Baseball and perennial underdogs, were expected to produce a winner in 1935. The team responded with a 21-game winning streak and was the last Cubs team to win 100 or more games.

"It's great see some of the history of the game covered so thoroughly in these works, especially on two of the most storied teams in the majors," said Southern Miss Sports Information Director Mike Montoro.

Feldmann, a Chicago native, lettered in football and baseball at Northern Illinois University. He joined the Southern Miss faculty this fall. He said he immediately recognized upon arriving in Hattiesburg that area residents shared his love for sports. "From little league through all levels of baseball, college football and NASCAR, the passion is there (for sports in the area)," he said.

Feldmann also recently published Curriculum and the American Rural School in May with University Press of America, in which he examines the origins of American school curriculum, and subsequently contextualizes it within the history or rural school curriculum in the United States since the mid-1800s.

In addition to his duties as a professor and his work as an author, Feldmann is also a part-time scout for the Cincinnati Reds baseball organization.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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