In 1998, Mark McGwire made baseball history by breaking the legendary 61-home-run record set by Roger Maris in 1961. Not only did the outstanding Cardinals player break Maris' mark, he surpassed it by hitting 70 in one season! Find out all the facts on McGwire, from his childhood in Southern California to his time with the Oakland A's, to his major league comeback with the St. Louis Cardinals. Learn what it takes to make baseball superstardom-and how to hit a home run on all of life's playing fields.
With eight pages of photos, plus new information on McGwire's record-breaking season!
The St. Louis Cardinals have long been one of the most successful franchises in the major leagues. They have won 11 World Series titles and some of the most famous players in the history of the game have worn the storied “Birds on the Bat” uniform.
While that on-field success has been well documented, Intentional Walk is the first book which goes beyond the story of what happens on the field to take an in-depth look at the men inside the Cardinal uniforms, and examine how their strong Christian faith is one of the driving forces behind their success.
Intentional Walk features the stories of Adam Wainwright, David Freese, Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran, Jason Motte and other members of the 2012 Cardinals, written as those players and the rest of the team tried to repeat the 2011 world championship. The book talks about how they became Christians and offers their testimony about what it means for them to have God play such a prominent role in their lives.
Playing for first-year manager Mike Matheny, a strong Christian as well, these men talk about their success and failure, about the challenges that come from playing baseball at the highest level, and how thankful and blessed they are to have that God-given ability. In the end, however, what is far more important to them is their life-long relationship they have established with Jesus Christ.
Meet baseball's rookie sensation Ichiro Suzuki...from the top spot in Japan to the Seattle Mariners' right field.
Seven-time batting champion for Japan's Pacific League, he is a paradoxical combination of modesty and ego, calling himself simply "Ichiro." But when the Seattle Mariners signed him to a fourteen-million-dollar contract, scoffers said the 5-foot-9 inch, 156-pound Ichiro wasn't even in the ballpark. He proved them wrong. With fast legs and an even faster bat, he led the Mariners to their best start in franchise history.
Now, sportswriter Rob Rains takes an in-depth look at Ichiro and the new wave of talented Japanese players, including last year's Rookie of the Year, Kazuhiro Sasaki of the Seattle Mariners, and Hideo Nomo of the Boston Red Sox, former Yankee Hideki Irabu and Mets outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo. American fans are learning what the Japanese already know-- these amazing players are already mapping out baseball's future, proving that this grand slam Asian invasion is here to stay...
With 8 pages of thrilling photos.
BEYOND BELIEF details the events that led up to the derailment. Josh explains how a young man destined for fame and wealth could allow his life to be taken over by drugs and alcohol. But it is also the memoir of a spiritual journey that breaks through pain and heartbreak and leads to the rebirth of his major-league career.
Josh Hamilton makes no excuses and places no blame on anyone other than himself. He takes responsibility for his poor decisions and believes his story can help millions who battle the same demons. "I have been given a platform to tell my story" he says. "I pray every night I am a good messenger."
As no book has ever quite done before, Francona escorts readers into the rarefied world of a twenty-first-century clubhouse, revealing the mercurial dynamic of the national pastime from the inside out. From his unique vantage point, Francona chronicles an epic era, from 2004, his first year as the Sox skipper, when they won their first championship in 86 years, through another win in 2007, to the controversial September collapse just four years later. He recounts the tightrope walk of managing unpredictable personalities such as Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez and working with Theo Epstein, the general managing phenom, and his statistics-driven executives. It was a job that meant balancing their voluminous data with the emotions of a 25-man roster. It was a job that also meant trying to meet the expectations of three owners with often wildly differing opinions. Along the way, readers are treated to never-before-told stories about their favorite players, moments, losses, and wins.
Ultimately, when for the Red Sox it became less about winning and more about making money, Francona contends they lost their way. But it was an unforgettable, endlessly entertaining, and instructive time in baseball history, one that is documented and celebrated in Francona, a book that examines like no other the art of managing in today’s game.
Before Chipper Jones became an eight-time All-Star who amassed Hall of Fame–worthy statistics during a nineteen-year career with the Atlanta Braves, he was just a country kid from small town Pierson, Florida. A kid who grew up playing baseball in the backyard with his dad dreaming that one day he’d be a major league ballplayer.
With his trademark candor and astonishing recall, Chipper Jones tells the story of his rise to the MLB ranks and what it took to stay with one organization his entire career in an era of booming free agency. His journey begins with learning the art of switch-hitting and takes off after the Braves make him the number one overall pick in the 1990 draft, setting him on course to become the linchpin of their lineup at the height of their fourteen-straight division-title run.
Ballplayer takes readers into the clubhouse of the Braves’ extraordinary dynasty, from the climax of the World Series championship in 1995 to the last-gasp division win by the 2005 “Baby Braves”; all the while sharing pitch-by-pitch dissections of clashes at the plate with some of the all-time great starters, such as Clemens and Johnson, as well as closers such as Wagner and Papelbon. He delves into his relationships with Bobby Cox and his famous Braves brothers—Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, among them—and opponents from Cal Ripken Jr. to Barry Bonds. The National League MVP also opens up about his overnight rise to superstardom and the personal pitfalls that came with fame; his spirited rivalry with the New York Mets; his reflections on baseball in the modern era—outrageous money, steroids, and all—and his special last season in 2012.
Ballplayer immerses us in the best of baseball, as if we’re sitting next to Chipper in the dugout on an endless spring day.
Mariano Rivera, the man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door, began his incredible journey as the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman. When first scouted by the Yankees, he didn't even own his own glove. He thought he might make a good mechanic. When discovered, he had never flown in an airplane, had never heard of Babe Ruth, spoke no English, and couldn't imagine Tampa, the city where he was headed to begin a career that would become one of baseball's most iconic. What he did know: that he loved his family and his then girlfriend, Clara, that he could trust in the Lord to guide him, and that he could throw a baseball exactly where he wanted to, every time.
With astonishing candor, Rivera tells the story of the championships, the bosses (including The Boss), the rivalries, and the struggles of being a Latino baseball player in the United States and of maintaining Christian values in professional athletics. The thirteen-time All-Star discusses his drive to win; the secrets behind his legendary composure; the story of how he discovered his cut fastball; the untold, pitch-by-pitch account of the ninth inning of Game 7 in the 2001 World Series; and why the lowest moment of his career became one of his greatest blessings.
In The Closer, Rivera takes readers into the Yankee clubhouse, where his teammates are his brothers. But he also takes us on that jog from the bullpen to the mound, where the game -- or the season -- rests squarely on his shoulders. We come to understand the laserlike focus that is his hallmark, and how his faith and his family kept his feet firmly on the pitching rubber. Many of the tools he used so consistently and gracefully came from what was inside him for a very long time -- his deep passion for life; his enduring commitment to Clara, whom he met in kindergarten; and his innate sense for getting out of a jam.
When Rivera retired, the whole world watched -- and cheered. In The Closer, we come to an even greater appreciation of a legend built from the ground up.
It’s the ultimate in fantasy baseball: You get to pick the roster, set the lineup, and decide on strategies -- with real players, in a real ballpark, in a real playoff race. That’s what baseball analysts Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller got to do when an independent minor-league team in California, the Sonoma Stompers, offered them the chance to run its baseball operations according to the most advanced statistics. Their story in The Only Rule is it Has to Work is unlike any other baseball tale you've ever read.
We tag along as Lindbergh and Miller apply their number-crunching insights to all aspects of assembling and running a team, following one cardinal rule for judging each innovation they try: it has to work. We meet colorful figures like general manager Theo Fightmaster and boundary-breakers like the first openly gay player in professional baseball. Even José Canseco makes a cameo appearance.
Will their knowledge of numbers help Lindbergh and Miller bring the Stompers a championship, or will they fall on their faces? Will the team have a competitive advantage or is the sport’s folk wisdom true after all? Will the players attract the attention of big-league scouts, or are they on a fast track to oblivion?
It’s a wild ride, by turns provocative and absurd, as Lindbergh and Miller tell a story that will speak to numbers geeks and traditionalists alike. And they prove that you don’t need a bat or a glove to make a genuine contribution to the game.
Rick Ankiel had the talent to be one of the best pitchers ever. Then, one day, he lost it.
The Phenomenon is the story of how St. Louis Cardinals prodigy Rick Ankiel lost his once-in-a-generation ability to pitch--not due to an injury or a bolt of lightning, but a mysterious anxiety condition widely known as "the Yips." It came without warning, in the middle of a playoff game, with millions of people watching. And it has never gone away.
Yet the true test of Ankiel's character came not on the mound, but in the long days and nights that followed as he searched for a way to get back in the game. For four and a half years, he fought the Yips with every arrow in his quiver: psychotherapy, medication, deep-breathing exercises, self-help books, and, eventually, vodka. And then, after reconsidering his whole life at the age of twenty-five, Ankiel made an amazing turnaround: returning to the Major Leagues as a hitter and playing seven successful seasons.
This book is an incredible story about a universal experience--pressure--and what happened when a person on the brink had to make a choice about who he was going to be.
After six years in the minors, pitcher Dirk Hayhurst hopes 2008 is the year he breaks into the big leagues. But every time Dirk looks up, the bases are loaded with challenges--a wedding balancing on a blind hope, a family in chaos, and paychecks that beg Dirk to answer, "How long can I afford to keep doing this?"
Then it finally happens--Dirk gets called up to the Majors, to play for the San Diego Padres. A dream comes true when he takes the mound against the San Francisco Giants, kicking off forty insane days and nights in the Bigs.
Like the classic games of baseball's history, Out of My League entertains from the first pitch to the last out, capturing the gritty realities of playing on the big stage, the comedy and camaraderie in the dugouts and locker rooms, and the hard-fought, personal journeys that drive our love of America's favorite pastime.
"A rare gem of a baseball book." --Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated
"A fun read. . .This book shows why baseball is so often used as a metaphor for life." --Keith Olbermann
"Entertaining and engaging. . .reminiscent of Jim Bouton's Ball Four." --Booklist
"Observant, insightful, human, and hilarious." --Bob Costas
Acclaimed New Yorker writer Roger Angell’s first book on baseball, The Summer Game, originally published in 1972, is a stunning collection of his essays on the major leagues, covering a span of ten seasons. Angell brilliantly captures the nation’s most beloved sport through the 1960s, spanning both the winning teams and the “horrendous losers,” and including famed players Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Willie Mays, and more. With the panache of a seasoned sportswriter and the energy of an avid baseball fan, Angell’s sports journalism is an insightful and compelling look at the great American pastime.
Mike Matheny was just forty-one, without professional managerial experience and looking for a next step after a successful career as a Major League catcher, when he succeeded the legendary Tony La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012. While Matheny has enjoyed immediate success, leading the Cards to the postseason four times in his first four years−a Major League record−people have noticed something else about his life, something not measured in day-to-day results. Instead, it’s based on a frankly worded letter he wrote to the parents of a Little League team he coached, a cry for change that became an Internet sensation and eventually a “manifesto.”
The tough-love philosophy Matheny expressed in the letter contained his throwback beliefs that authority should be respected, discipline and hard work rewarded, spiritual faith cultivated, family made a priority, and humility considered a virtue. In The Matheny Manifesto, he builds on his original letter by first diagnosing the problem at the heart of youth sports−it starts with parents and coaches−and then by offering a hopeful path forward. Along the way, he uses stories from his small-town childhood as well as his career as a player, coach, and manager to explore eight keys to success: leadership, confidence, teamwork, faith, class, character, toughness, and humility.
From “The Coach Is Always Right, Even When He’s Wrong” to “Let Your Catcher Call the Game,” Matheny’s old-school advice might not always be popular or politically correct, but it works. His entertaining and deeply inspirational book will not only resonate with parents, coaches, and athletes, it will also be a powerful reminder, from one of the most successful new managers in the game, of what sports can teach us all about winning on the field and in life.
Phil Pepe explores Yogi Berra as a boy, player, hero, coach, manager, husband, and father, and jokester, including all of the ‘Yogi-isms,’ in an absorbing treatment that is simultaneously comical, thoughtful, and biographical.
Famous Yogi-isms: About a popular restaurant: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." On Little League Baseball: "I think it's wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house." On why NY lost the 1960 series to Pittsburgh: "We made too many wrong mistakes."
Could Yoda block the plate?
Can the Dalai Lama dig one out of the dirt?
No, there is only one Zen master who could contemplate the circle of life while rounding the bases.
Who is this guru lurking in the grand old game? Well, he's the winner of ten World Series rings, a member of both the Hall of Fame and the All-Century Team, and perhaps the most popular and beloved ballplayer of all time. And without effort or artifice he's waxed poetic on the mysteries of time (“It gets late awful early out there”), the meaning of community (“It's so crowded nobody goes there anymore”), and even the omnipresence of hope in the direst circumstances (“It ain't over ‘til it's over”).
It's Yogi Berra, of course, and in What Time Is It? You Mean Now? Yogi expounds on the funny, warm, borderline inadvertent insights that are his trademark. Twenty-six chapters, one for each letter, examine the words, the meaning, and the uplifting example of a kid from St. Louis who grew up to become the consummate Yankee and the ultimate Yogi.
“I believe that a man’s race, color, and religion should never constitute a handicap. The denial to anyone, anywhere, any time of equality of opportunity to work is incomprehensible to me. Moreover, I believe that the American public is not as concerned with a first baseman’s pigmentation as it is with the power of his swing, the dexterity of his slide, the gracefulness of his fielding, or the speed of his legs.”—From Foreword by Branch Hickey
The Summer Game, originally published in 1972, is a stunning collection of Angell’s essays on the major leagues, covering a span of ten seasons. Angell brilliantly captures the nation’s most beloved sport through the 1960s, spanning both the winning teams and the “horrendous losers,” and including famed players Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Willie Mays, and more. With the panache of a seasoned sportswriter and the energy of an avid baseball fan, Angell’s sports journalism is an insightful and compelling look at the great American pastime.
In Five Seasons, New Yorker sportswriter Roger Angell calls 1972 to 1976 “the most important half-decade in the history of the game.” The early to mid-1970s brought unprecedented changes to America’s ancient pastime: astounding performances by Nolan Ryan and Hank Aaron; the intensity of the “best-ever” 1975 World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox; the changes growing from bitter and extended labor strikes and lockouts; and the vast new influence of network television on the game. Angell, always a fan as well as a writer, casts a knowing but noncynical eye on these events, offering a fresh perspective to baseball’s continuing appeal during this brilliant and transformative era.
And in Season Ticket, Roger Angell once again journeys through five seasons of America’s national pastime—chronicling the larger-than-life narratives and on-field intricacies of baseball from 1982 to 1987. Angell’s collected New Yorker essays, written in his unique voice as a fan and baseball aficionado, cover the development of the game both on the diamond and off. While diving into subjects such as Sparky Anderson’s ’84 Detroit Tigers, the legendary 1986 World Series and the Curse of the Bambino, and the increasingly pervasive issue of player drug use, Angell reveals the craft and technique of the game, and the unforgettable stories of those who played it.
The 33-Year-Old Rookie is like a real-life Rocky, an unforgettable and inspirational story of one man’s unwavering pursuit of a lifelong goal. Beginning in a single-parent home in Fargo, North Dakota, and ending behind home plate on the flawless diamond of the Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park–where fans and teammates call him “Chris Clutch” because of his knack for getting timely hits–this intimate account of Coste’s baseball odyssey is a powerful story of determination, perseverance, and passion.
For eleven seasons, Coste hustled, fought, and gritted his way to his breakthrough–and never lost faith in his abilities. Along the way, he gained the affection and admiration of baseball fans from Ottawa and Scranton to various Mexican and Venezuelan cities. Battered by years spent behind a catcher’s mask, and faced with bracing realities–there were bills to pay, and his young daughter was entering first grade–Coste decided to give it one last shot in 2006. But that year, during the Phillies’ major-league spring training, Coste was demoted to the minors at the last minute to make room for a utility outfielder, despite having hit a blistering .463 and earning the trust of the team’s pitchers. Later that season, though, Coste finally got the call-up, and he hit .364 during the Phillies’ furious battle to nail down the final postseason berth.
Coste takes us through the 2006 spring training season–with its pulse-quickening moments and close calls–and into his first season as a major-league catcher with the Phillies. From tense stretch-run games that kept Phillies’ fans on the edge of their seats to moments of intimate personal reflection, Coste’s saga offers baseball aficionados an inside look at a remarkable life and career. In this stirring, wry, and candid look at the life of a professional baseball nomad who never surrendered his dream, we savor the sometimes bittersweet fruits of victory against seemingly insurmountable odds.
From the Hardcover edition.
—Roland Hemond, 2011 Baseball Hall of Fame Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award
“One of the most remarkable books to come out in years is called Intangibles by Geoff Miller.”
“Intangibles is filled with lessons and tools for helping baseball players in all stages of their development.”
—Fredi Gonzalez, Manager, Atlanta Braves
“Geoff Miller is insightful in explaining the mental aspect of baseball with real issues, simple terms and practical solutions.”
—Dave Littlefield, Chicago Cubs, Special Asst. to the General Manager, Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager (2001-2007)
“I am convinced that this book is one of the best compositions written on the mental aspects within the game of baseball.”
—College Baseball Lineup
“A must read for athletes looking to gain a mental edge or simply better identify their own strengths.”
—Bryan Minniti, Assistant General Manager, Washington Nationals
Foreword by Vince Gennaro, author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball
A must read for all baseball players, coaches, and fans…
Mental skills coach Geoff Miller has spent years helping professional baseball players improve their mental toughness—both on and off the field. Now, he’s making these invaluable lessons available to everyone who loves the game of baseball.
From high school to the Major Leagues, all baseball players struggle with competition, pressure, and their own personal challenges. This book, through inspiring stories about professional baseball players in various stages of their careers, as well as hands-on tips and questionnaires, will help players evaluate and improve the mental skills that are necessary for that competitive edge.
In Intangibles, you’ll find stories, instruction, and practical applications that teach players and coaches how to put forth their best mental games—portrayed through the eyes of those who have experienced those learning moments firsthand in their quests to become Major Leaguers. From a local park’s baseball diamond to dusty minor league dugout benches to the musty concrete tunnels under Major League stadiums, Intangibles meets players where they are, offering specific ways to improve performance and outlook.
Players features in the book include Brandon Moss, Nyjer Morgan, Nate McLouth, Ryan Vogelsong, Jason Bay, Adam LaRoche, Matt Capps, among others.
Whether you hope to be a big league player someday, or whether you simply want to play your best game, this book is essential for all athletes who want to learn how to overcome fear, build confidence, and develop a mental framework for success.
“Pedro the book is as smart, as funny, and as diva-esque as Pedro the pitcher . . . Buy the book. Read the book. Celebrate a golden era in Boston baseball.” — Boston Globe
“There is little the eight-time All-Star holds back about any subject as he offers a revealing look at a colorful career . . . The intimate details Martinez offers up from both inside and outside the clubhouse make the book a winner.”—Washington Post
Pedro Martinez entered the big leagues a scrawny power pitcher with a lightning arm who they said wasn’t “durable” enough, who they said was a punk. Yet Martinez willed himself to become one of the most intimidating pitchers to have ever played the game, an eight-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award winner, World Series champion, and Hall of Famer.
In Pedro, the always colorful pitcher opens up to tell his remarkable story. From his days in the minor leagues clawing for respect; to his early days in lonely Montreal; to his legendary run with the Red Sox when, start after start, he dazzled with his pitching genius; to his twilight years on the mound as he put the finishing touches on a body of work that made him an icon, this memoir by one of baseball’s most enigmatic figures will entertain and inspire generations of fans to come.
“This is the beauty of this book, the machinations of a modern pitcher's mind . . . Knowing and gritty, this memoir should’ve been printed on rawhide.”—Los Angeles Times
story of America's pastime is rooted in our history. The most commonly
told stories of baseball are no mystery. They can easily be found in any
of the thousands of books on this team or that player. In 100 Years of Baseball, we get to look even further into the past at the stories that didn't make the headlines.
through the years as baseball grew, Lee Allen traces the development...
the New York knickerbockers of yesteryear; Jackie Robinson; the dark
days of 1919, to the shenanigans of Durocher and MacPhail, and the New
York Yankee world series monopoly.
For a full-fledged history of professional baseball with all its crises, climaxes and heroes 100 Years of Baseball is a book that will excite you like no other.
BOSTON GLOBE JANUARY 6, 1920
RED SOX SELL RUTH FOR $100,000 CASH
Demon Slugger of American League, Who Made 29 Home Runs Last Season, Goes to New York Yankees
FRAZEE TO BUY NEW PLAYERS
The Yankees vs. the Red Sox. Each baseball season begins and ends with unique intensity, focused on a single question: What's ahead for these two teams? One, the most glamorous, storied, and successful franchise in all of sports; the other, perennially star-crossed but equally rich in baseball history and legend. In The Rivals sports writers of The New York Times and The Boston Globe come together in the first-ever collaboration between the two cities' leading newspapers to tell the inside story of the teams' intertwined histories, each from the home team's perspective.
Beginning with the Red Sox's early glory days (when the Yankees were perennial losers), continuing through the Babe Ruth era and the notorious trade that made the Yankees champions (and marked the Sox with the so-called "Curse of the Bambino"); to Ted Williams vs. Joe DiMaggio; Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk; Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez; down to last year's legendary playoff showdown, The Rivals captures the drama of key eras, events, and personalities of both teams.
And who better to tell the story than the baseball writers of the two rival cities? For The New York Times, it's Dave Anderson, Harvey Araton, Jack Curry, Tyler Kepner, Robert Lipsyte and George Vecsey who report on the Yankee view of the rivalry, while The Boston Globe
loch's Gordon Edes, Jackie MacMullan, Bob Ryan and Dan Shaughnessy recount the view from the Hub. And their stories are richly illustrated with classic photographs and original articles from the archives, capturing the great moments as they happened. For Red Sox fans, Yankees fans, or anyone interested in remarkable baseball history, The Rivals is an expert, up-close look at the longest, and fiercest of all sports rivalries.
Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroid Scandal That Rocked Professional by award-winning investigative journalists Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, is a riveting narrative about the biggest doping scandal in the history of sports, and how baseball’s home run king, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants, came to use steroids. Drawing on more than two years of reporting, including interviews with hundreds of people, and exclusive access to secret grand jury testimony, confidential documents, audio recordings, and more, the authors provide, for the first time, a definitive account of the shocking steroids scandal that made headlines across the country.
The book traces the career of Victor Conte, founder of the BALCO laboratory, an egomaniacal former rock musician and self-proclaimed nutritionist, who set out to corrupt sports by providing athletes with “designer” steroids that would be undetectable on “state-of-the-art” doping tests. Conte gave the undetectable drugs to 28 of the world’s greatest athletes—Olympians, NFL players and baseball stars, Bonds chief among them.
A separate narrative thread details the steroids use of Bonds, an immensely talented, moody player who turned to performance-enhancing drugs after Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals set a new home run record in 1998. Through his personal trainer, Bonds gained access to BALCO drugs. All of the great athletes who visited BALCO benefited tremendously—Bonds broke McGwire’s record—but many had their careers disrupted after federal investigators raided BALCO and indicted Conte. The authors trace the course of the probe, and the baffling decision of federal prosecutors to protect the elite athletes who were involved.
Highlights of Game of Shadows include:
A look at how Bonds was driven to use performance-enhancing drugs in part by jealousy over Mark McGwire’s record-breaking 1998 season. It was shortly thereafter that Bonds—who had never used anything more performance enhancing than a protein shake from the health food store—first began using steroids. How Bonds’s weight trainer, steroid dealer Greg Anderson, arranged to meet Victor Conte before the 2001 baseball season with...
During that tumultuous summer, the Great War in Europe cast an ominous shadow over the national game, as enlistments and the draft wreaked havoc with every team's roster. Players and owners fought bitterly over contracts and revenue, the parks were infested with gamblers, and the Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs almost called off the World Series. And a Boston player known as The Colossus -- 23-year-old Babe Ruth -- began his historic transformation from pitching ace to the game's greatest slugger.
Wood also poses a chilling question: Was the 1918 World Series fixed?
Sports Illustrated called the book "an entertaining and exhaustive account of a tumultuous season" and Robert W. Creamer, author of the definitive biography of Ruth, said "Mr. Wood has lit upon one of the most turbulent and important and at the same time least known years in baseball history. He has done remarkable, revelatory research, and he has a clean, clear way of writing."
Growing up in the 60s and 70s, Tom Stanton lived for his Detroit Tigers. When Tiger Stadium began its 88th and final season, he vowed to attend all 81 home games in order to explore his attachment to the place where four generations of his family have shared baseball. Join him as he encounters idols, conjures decades past, and discovers the mysteries of a park where Cobb and Ruth played. Come along and sit beside Al Kaline on the dugout bench, eat popcorn with Elmore Leonard, hear Alice Cooper's confessions, soak up the warmth of Ernie Harwell, see McGwire and Ripken up close, and meet Chicken Legs Rau, Bleacher Pete, Al the Usher, and a parade of fans who are anything but ordinary. By the autumn of his odyssey, Stanton comes to realize that his anguish isn't just about the loss of a beloved ballpark but about his dad's mortality, for at the heart of this story is the love between fathers and sons--a theme that resonates with baseball fans of all ages.
Hailed by critics as one of the great books about baseball, Odd Man Out captures the gritty essence of our national pastime as it is played outside the spotlight. Matt McCarthy, a decent left-handed starting pitcher on one of the worst squads in Yale history, earned a ticket to spring training as the twenty-sixth-round draft pick of the 2002 Anaheim Angels. This is the hilarious inside story of his year with the Provo Angels, Anaheim's minor league affiliate in the heart of Mormon country, as McCarthy navigates the ups and downs of an antic, grueling season, filled with cross-country bus trips, bizarre rivalries, and wild locker-room hijinks.
They said it was the “Curse of the Bambino.” They said “the bad guys won.” Now one of baseball’s all-time good guys, New York Mets legend Mookie Wilson, tells his side of the story—from the ground ball through Bill Buckner’s legs that capped the miraculous 1986 World Series Game Six rally against the Boston Red Sox to the rise and fall of a team that boasted such outsize personalities as Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Dwight Gooden, Gary Carter, Lenny Dykstra, and Davey Johnson.
Growing up in rural South Carolina in the 1960s, Mookie took to heart the lessons of his father, a diligent sharecropper who believed in the abiding power of faith—and taught his son the game that would change his life.
When Mookie landed in Shea Stadium in 1980, the Mets were a perennial cellar-dweller overshadowed by the crosstown Yankees. But inspired by Mookie’s legendary hustle, they would soon become the toast of New York. And even when their off-field antics—made famous by a contingency of the team called “the Scum Bunch”—eclipsed their on-field successes, Mookie stayed above the fray.
In 1986, the Mets were a juggernaut, winning 108 games during the regular season and edging the Houston Astros for the National League pennant following a grueling 16-inning Game Six classic. In the World Series against Boston, in an epic at-bat that led to the Buckner error, Mookie would ignite a fire under the Mets, helping to force a Game Seven. New York would win to become World Champions.
In an era when role models in sports were hard to come by, some tarnished by their own hubris and greed, Mookie Wilson remained the exception: a man of humility and honor when it mattered the most.
WITH A FOREWARD BY KEITH HERNANDEZ
"An astounding memoir--haunting and touching, courageous and wise." - Jeremy Schaap, bestselling author, Emmy award-winning journalist, ESPN
In 1996, R.A. Dickey was the Texas Rangers’ much-heralded No. 1 draft choice. Then, a routine physical revealed that his right elbow was missing its ulnar collateral ligament, and his lifelong dream—along with his $810,000 signing bonus—was ripped away. Yet, despite twice being consigned to baseball’s scrap heap, Dickey battled back. Sustained by his Christian faith, the love of his wife and children, and a relentless quest for self-awareness, Dickey is now the starting pitcher for the Toronoto Blue Jays (he was previously a star pitcher for the New York Mets) and one of the National League’s premier players, as well as the winner of the 2012 Cy Young award.
In Wherever I Wind Up, Dickey eloquently shares his quintessentially American tale of overcoming extraordinary odds to achieve a game, a career, and a life unlike any other.
After nearly a decade in the minors, Dirk Hayhurst defied the odds to climb onto the pitcher's mound for the Toronto Blue Jays. Newly married, with a big league paycheck and a brand new house, Hayhurst was ready for a great season in the Bigs.
Then fate delivered a crushing hit. Hayhurst blew out his pitching shoulder in an insane off-season workout program. After surgery, rehab, and more rehab, his major-league dreams seemed more distant than ever.
From there things got worse, weirder, and funnier. In a crazy world of injured athletes, autograph-seeking nuns, angry wrestlers, and trainers with a taste for torture, Hayhurst learned lessons about the game—and himself—that were not in any rulebook. Honest, soul?searching, insightful, hilarious, and moving, Dirk Hayhurst's latest memoir is an indisputable baseball classic.
Praise for The Bullpen Gospels and Out of My League
"Dirk Hayhurst writes about baseball in a unique way. Observant, insightful, human, and hilarious." —Bob Costas
"A fun read. . .This book shows why baseball is so often used as a metaphor for life." —Keith Olbermann
"Entertaining and engaging. . .reminiscent of Jim Bouton's Ball Four." —Booklist
"A rare gem of a baseball book." —Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated
"A humorous, candid, and insightful memoir of Hayhurst's rookie season in the majors. . .Grade: Home Run." —Cleveland Plain Dealer
In the late 1950s, acclaimed sportswriter Pat Jordan was a young pitching phenom, blowing away opposing batters for his Fairfield, Connecticut, high school baseball team. Fifteen major league clubs offered him a contract, but it was the Milwaukee Braves who won out, signing Jordan to a $45,000 bonus—one of the largest paid to any new player by the organization—and shipping him off to McCook, Nebraska, to play for their Class D ball club.
It did not take long, however, for Jordan to realize he was out of his depth in professional baseball’s backwoods. He battled with inconsistency and a lack of control for three dismal seasons in such far-flung locales as Keokuk, Iowa, and Palatka, Florida, before the Braves released him and he gave up his dreams of big league greatness.
Declared “unforgettable” by the Los Angeles Times and “a major triumph” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, A False Spring is a powerful and deeply affecting memoir about the gift of athletic talent and the heartbreak of unfulfilled promise.
brings to life the greatest games to be played in the game's early
years. From the "prisoner of war" game that took place among captive
Union soldiers during the Civil War, to the first intercollegiate game
(Amherst versus Williams), to the first professional no-hitter, the
games in this volume span 1833–1900 and detail the athletic exploits of
such players as Cap Anson, Moses "Fleetwood" Walker, Charlie Comiskey,
Mike "King" Kelly, and John Montgomery Ward.
2014 is the 20th anniversary of the strike that killed baseball in Montreal, and the 10th anniversary of the team's move to Washington, DC. But the memories aren't dead--not by a long shot. The Expos pinwheel cap is still sported by Montrealers, former fans, and by many more in the US and Canada as a fashion item. Expos loyalists are still spotted at Blue Jays games and wherever the Washington Nationals play (often cheering against them). Every year there are rumours that Montreal--as North America's largest market without a baseball team--could host Major League Baseball again.
There has never been a major English-language book on the entire franchise history. There also hasn't been a sportswriter as uniquely qualified to tell the whole story, and to make it appeal to baseball fans across Canada AND south of the border. Jonah Keri writes the chief baseball column for Grantland, and routinely makes appearances in Canadian media such as The Jeff Blair Show, Prime Time Sports and Off the Record. The author of the New York Times baseball bestseller The Extra 2% (Ballantine/ESPN Books), Keri is one of the new generation of high-profile sports writers equally facile with sabermetrics and traditional baseball reporting. He has interviewed everyone for this book (EVERYONE: including the ownership that allowed the team to be moved), and fans can expect to hear from just about every player and personality from the Expos' unforgettable 35 years in baseball. Up, Up, and Away is already one of the most anticipated sports books of next year.
Everyone dreams of Cooperstown. It's a hallowed name in baseball, for players as well as their fans. It's a house where legends live; it's everything that's great about the game.
Never before has the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum published a complete registry of inductees with plaques, photographs, and extended biographies. In this unique, 75th anniversary edition, read the stories of every player inducted into the Hall, organized by position. Each section begins with an original essay by a living Hall of Famer who played that position: Hank Aaron, George Brett, Orlando Cepeda, Carlton Fisk, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Morgan, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken Jr., Nolan Ryan, and Robin Yount.
Every year, Major League Baseball spends more than $1.5 billion on pitchers—five times more than the salary of every NFL quarterback combined. Pitchers are the game’s lifeblood. Their import is exceeded only by their fragility. One tiny band of tissue in the elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament, is snapping at unprecedented rates, leaving current big league players vulnerable and the coming generation of baseball-playing children dreading the three scariest words in the sport: Tommy John surgery.
Jeff Passan traveled the world for three years to explore in-depth the past, present, and future of the arm, and how its evolution left baseball struggling to wrangle its Tommy John surgery epidemic. He examined what compelled the Chicago Cubs to spend $155 million on one arm. He snagged a rare interview with Sandy Koufax, whose career was cut short by injury at thirty, and visited Japan to understand how another baseball-mad country treats its prized arms. And he followed two major league pitchers, Daniel Hudson and Todd Coffey, throughout their returns from Tommy John surgery. He exposes how the baseball establishment long ignored the rise in arm injuries and reveals how misplaced incentives across the sport stifle potential changes.
Injuries to the UCL start as early as Little League. Without a drastic cultural shift, baseball will continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually to damaged pitchers, and another generation of children will suffer the same problems that vex current players. Informative and hard-hitting, The Arm is essential reading for everyone who loves the game, wants to keep their children healthy, or relishes a look into how a large, complex institution can fail so spectacularly.
NEWSWEEK once called him "The guru of baseball," and Bill James, for nearly forty years, has led the vanguard of how we measure the game. From Sabermetrics to his Baseball Abstracts, James has influenced even the casual fan all the way up to the top brass. Somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, however, is the manager, and Bill James has penned a guide on some of the most innovative and renowned men to ever hold that position.
Some of the game's greatest managers have been Hall-of-Fame players who put down a bat and picked up a lineup card: Frank Robinson, Mel Ott, Joe Cronin, Tris Speaker, Rogers Hornsby. Others have achieved greatness from their ability to assemble legendary teams: Billy Martin, Tommy Lasorda, Connie Mack, Joe McCarthy, Dick Williams, Leo Durocher. Here, Bill James explores the history of the manager, and its evolution from 1870-1990, in a decade-by-decade chronicle, examining the successes, the failures, and what baseball fans can learn from both.
THE BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS is a thought-provoking, entertaining, and seminal guide to a vital part of the national pastime, written by one of its most groundbreaking iconoclasts.
Fran Zimniuch gives a lively team-by-team chronicle of how the franchises were awarded, how existing teams protected their players, and what the new teams? winning (or losing) strategies were. With its account of great players, notable characters, and the changing fortunes of teams over the years, the book supplies a vital chapter in the history of Major League Baseball.ø
During the four seasons the U.S. was at war in World War II (1942-1945), 533 players made their major-league debuts. There were 67 first-time major leaguers under the age of 21 (Joe Nuxhall the youngest at 15 in 1944). More than 60 percent of the players in the 1941 Opening Day lineups departed for the service. The 1944 Dodgers had only Dixie Walker and Mickey Owen as the two regulars from their 1941 pennant-winning team.
The owners brought in not only first-timers but also many oldsters. Hod Lisenbee pitched 80 innings for the Reds in 1945 at the age of 46. He had last pitched in the major leagues in 1936. War veteran and former POW Bert Shepard, with an artificial leg, pitched in one game for the 1945 Senators, and one-armed outfielder Pete Gray played for the St. Louis Browns.
The war years featured firsts and lasts. The St. Louis Browns won their first (and last) pennant in 1944 — a feat made more amazing by the fact that they had not finished in the first division since 1929. The 1944 team featured 13 players classified as 4-F. The Chicago Cubs appeared in the 1945 World Series but have not made it back since.
Some 53 members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) have contributed to this volume. We invite you to sit back and relax as you learn Who's on First?
Includes contributions by: Alan Cohen, Ashlie Christian And Armand Peterson, Bill Nowlin, Bob Brady, Bob Lemoine, Bob Mayer, Bob Webster, Charles Faber, Charlie Weatherby, Chris Rainey, Cort Vitty, David Finoli, David M. Jordan, David Raglin And Barb Mantegani, David W. Pugh, Don Zminda, Duke Goldman, Greg Erion, Gregg Omoth, Gregory H. Wolf, J. G. Preston, James D. Smith, Iii, Jay Hurd, Jeff Marlett, Jeff Obermeyer, Jim Sweetman, Joanne Hulbert, John Shannahan, Leslie Heaphy, Lyle Spatz, Marc Lancaster, Marc Z Aaron, Mark S. Sternman, Mel Marmer, Merrie A. Fidler, Michael Huber, Michael Huber And Rachel Hamelers, Mike Mcclary, Peter C. Bjarkman, Rex Hamann, Rich Bogovich, Richard Cuicchi, Richard Moraski, Rory Costello And Lou Hernández, Seamus Kearney, Sidney Davis, Steve Smith, Thomas Ayers, Tom Hawthorn, Walter Leconte
Table of Contents:
Introduction MARC Z AARON
The Business of Baseball During World War II JEFF OBERMEYER
“But Where is Pearl Harbor?” Baseball and the Day the World Changed, December 7, 1941 BOB LEMOINE
The Tri-Cornered War Bond Baseball Game MICHAEL HUBER AND RACHEL HAMELERS
How the Boston Braves Survived the War But Lost the Battle for Boston BOB BRADY
Ben Cardoni BY MARK S. STERNMAN
Buck Etchison BY ALAN COHEN
Butch Nieman BY SIDNEY DAVIS
Mystery Member of the ‘45 Braves BOB BRADY
The Brooklyn Dodgers in Wartime MICHAEL HUBER
John “Fats” D’Antonio RICHARD CUICCHI
Bill Hart BOB LEMOINE
Lee Pfund BOB WEBSTER
The Cubs in Wartime THOMAS AYERS
Jorge Comellas RICH BOGOVICH
Billy Holm BILL NOWLIN
Walter Signer GREGORY H. WOLF
The Cincinnati Reds During World War II JAY HURD
Tomás de la Cruz PETER C. BJARKMAN
Buck Fausett J. G. PRESTON
Dick Sipek CHARLES FABER
New York Giants
The New York Giants in Wartime BOB MAYER
Al Gardella CHARLIE WEATHERBY
Frank Seward JEFF MARLETT
Roy Zimmerman JOANNE HULBERT
The Phillies in Wartime SEAMUS KEARNEY
Chet Covington STEVE SMITH
Hilly Flitcraft JIM SWEETMAN
Lee Riley MEL MARMER
The Pirates in Wartime DAVID FINOLI
Xavier Rescigno DAVID FINOLI
Len Gilmore DAVID FINOLI
Frankie Zak DAVID FINOLI
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals in Wartime GREGORY H. WOLF
Jack Creel GREGORY H. WOLF
Gene Crumling GREGORY H. WOLF
Bob Keely GREGORY H. WOLF
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox in Wartime BILL NOWLIN
Otey Clark BILL NOWLIN
Ty LaForest BILL NOWLIN
Stan Partenheimer JOHN SHANNAHAN
The Frostbite League: Spring Training 1943 - 1945 BILL NOWLIN
The 1944 Red Sox: What Could Have Been DUKE GOLDMAN
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox in Wartime DON ZMINDA
Vince Castino DAVID RAGLIN AND BARB MANTEGANI
Guy Curtright DON ZMINDA
Floyd Speer REX HAMANN
World War II and the Cleveland Indians DAVID W. PUGH
Otto Denning CHRIS RAINEY
Jim McDonnell ASHLIE CHRISTIAN AND ARMAND PETERSON
Mickey Rocco GREGG OMOTH
The Tigers in Wartime MIKE MCCLARY
Chuck Hostetler MARC LANCASTER
Bobby Maier MARC LANCASTER
Charlie Metro TOM HAWTHORN
New York Yankees
The Yankees in Wartime MARC Z AARON
Joe Buzas MARC Z AARON
Mike Garbark MARC Z AARON
Bud Metheny MARC Z AARON
The Wartime Philadelphia Athletics DAVID M. JORDAN
Orie Arntzen GREGORY H. WOLF
Jim Tyack ALAN COHEN
Woody Wheaton ALAN COHEN
St. Louis Browns
The St. Louis Browns in World War II GREG ERION
Milt Byrnes GREG ERION
Charley Fuchs GREG ERION
Pete Gray MEL MARMER
The Washington Senators in Wartime RICHARD MORASKI
Ed Butka CORT VITTY
Jug Thesenga BOB LEMOINE
Tony Zardón RORY COSTELLO AND LOU HERNÁNDEZ
Senators Who Died in Combat RICHARD MORASKI
The All-Star Games in the War Years LYLE SPATZ
Wartime Baseball: Minor Leagues, Major Changes (San Diego to Buffalo) JAMES D. SMITH, III
Impact of WWII on the Negro Leagues LESLIE HEAPHY
Baseball’s Women on the Field During WWII MERRIE A. FIDLER
In-season Exhibition Games During Wartime WALTER LECONTE
The Double Victory Campaign and the Campaign to Integrate Baseball DUKE GOLDMAN
A Cy Young Award-winner, future Baseball Hall of Famer, and currently a broadcaster for his former team, the Atlanta Braves, Smoltz delivers a powerful memoir with the kind of fascinating insight into game that made Moneyball a runaway bestseller, plus a heartfelt and truly inspiring faith and religious conviction, similar to what illuminates each page of Tim Tebow’s smash hit memoir, Through My Eyes.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In Hardball Retrospective, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original teams. Using a variety of advanced statistics and methods, I generated revised standings for each season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition. Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the real-time or “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.
Edited by Marianne Landrum. Foreword by Don Daglow.
I enjoyed the visualizations, maybe a little too much, and would stop only when I felt I'd centered myself. . .or after one of my teammates hit me in the nuts with the rosin bag while my eyes were closed.
Hilariously self-effacing and brutally honest, Hayhurst captures the absurdities, the grim realities, and the occasional nuggets of hard-won wisdom culled from four seasons in the minors. Whether training tarantulas to protect his room from thieving employees in a backwater hotel, watching the raging battles fought between his partially paralyzed father and his alcoholic brother, or absorbing the gentle mockery of some not-quite-starstruck schoolchildren, Dirk reveals a side of baseball, and life, rarely seen on ESPN.
My career has crash-landed on the floor of my grandma's old sewing room. If this is a dream come true, then dreams smell a lot like mothballs and Bengay.
Somewhere between Bull Durham and The Rookie, The Bullpen Gospels takes an unforgettable trot around the inglorious base paths of minor league baseball, where an inch separates a ball from a strike, and a razor-thin margin can be the difference between The Show or a long trip home.
"It's not often that someone comes along who is a good pitcher and a good writer." --King Kaufman, Salon
"After many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years spent in the bullpen, I can verify that this is a true picture of baseball."
"There are great truths within, of the kind usually unspoken. And as he expresses them, Dirk Hayhurst describes himself as 'a real person who moonlights as a baseball player.' In much the same manner, while The Bullpen Gospels chronicles how all of us face the impact when we learn reality is both far meaner and far richer than our dreams--it also moonlights as one of the best baseball books ever written."
"A bit of Jim Bouton, a bit of Jim Brosnan, a bit of Pat Jordan, a bit of crash Davis, and a whole lot of Dirk Hayhurst. Often hilarious, sometimes poignant. This is a really enjoyable baseball read."
"Fascinating. . .a perspective that fans rarely see."
--Trevor Hoffman, pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers
"The Bullpen Gospels is a rollicking good bus ride of a book. Hayhurst illuminates a baseball life not only with wit and humor, but also with thought-provoking introspection."
--Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated
"Dirk Hayhurst has written a fascinating, funny and honest account on life in the minor leagues. I loved it. Writers can't play baseball, but in this case, a player sure can write."
--Tim Kurkjian, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine, analyst/reporter ESPN television
"Bull Durham meets Ball Four in Dirk Hayhurst's hilarious and moving account of life in baseball's glamour-free bush leagues."
--Rob Neyer, ESPN.com
"If Holden Caulfield could dial up his fastball to 90 mph, he might have written this funny, touching memoir about a ballplayer at a career--and life--crossroads. He might have called it 'Pitcher in the Rye.' Instead, he left it to Dirk Hayhurst, the only writer in the business who can make you laugh, make you cry and strike out Ryan Howard."
--King Kaufman, Salon
"The Bullpen Gospels is a funny bone-tickling, tear duct-stimulating, feel-good story that will leave die-hard baseball fans--and die-hard human beings, for that matter--well, feeling good."
--Bob Mitchell, author of Once Upon a Fastball
When Joe Torre took over as manager of the Yankees in 1996, they had not won a World Series title in eighteen years. In that time seventeen others had tried to take the helm of America’s most famous baseball team. Each one was fired by George Steinbrenner. After twelve triumphant seasons—with twelve straight playoff appearances, six pennants, and four World Series titles—Torre left the Yankees as the most beloved manager in baseball. But dealing with players like Jason Giambi, A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson is what managing is all about. Here, for the first time, Joe Torre and Tom Verducci take readers inside the dugout, the clubhouse, and the front office, showing what it took to keep the Yankees on top of the baseball world.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
As a major and not-so-major league pitcher, Dirk Hayhurst has learned to master more than striking out batters. While waiting for his name to be called in the bullpen, he honed his gifts as a storyteller, one the New York Times calls the "best writer in a baseball uniform." In this often hilarious collection of adventures on and off the diamond, Dirk details the intricacies of pulling off an epic team prank, even if it's at his own expense; the art of creating the perfect professional baseball nickname; his comically ineffective attempts at writing romance novels; and the bizarre tale in which a bear gets punched in the face (yes, really). No matter how wild his story, Dirk proves once again he knows that it's all in the delivery.
"I find his writing both entertaining and thought provoking. . .unlike his fastball." —Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays All-Star
"Dirk Hayhurst writes about baseball in a unique way. Observant, insightful, human, and hilarious." —Bob Costas
"Hayhurst delivers an entertaining story for more than just sports fans." —Jordan Bastian, MLB.com
"Hayhurst explains life in the minors and the major leagues like you've never read it before." —J. J. Cooper, Baseball America
"Insight and humor from the pitcher's mound." —Businessweek
Dustin Pedroia, at five feet seven inches and 170 pounds, is not the biggest, the strongest, or the fastest player in the game of baseball, but in just two years of major-league play he was named Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and helped the Boston Red Sox win a World Championship. At a time when steroid scandals dominate media coverage of America’s beloved pastime, Pedroia has proven to the world that a good baseball player is more than size and statistics. His success comes from the heart.
In Born to Play, Pedroia shares the story of his difficult and uplifting journey to prove himself at every turn. More than anything, his love of the game and desire to win, not just for himself but for his teammates, defines Pedroia as an athlete—but his dedication, his perseverance, and of course, his monster swing have made him a beloved new symbol of baseball and offer hope for the future of America’s favorite game.
The bestselling, inside-the-clubhouse story of two tumultuous years when the Los Angeles Dodgers were re-made from top to bottom, becoming the most talked-about and most colorful team in baseball. “It’s as if Molly Knight ushers you behind the closed clubhouse doors.” (Buster Olney, ESPN)
In 2012 the Los Angeles Dodgers were bought out of bankruptcy in the most expensive sale in sports history. Los Angeles icon Magic Johnson and his partners hoped to put together a team worthy of Hollywood: consistently entertaining. By most accounts they have succeeded, if not always in the way they might have imagined.
In The Best Team Money Can Buy, Molly Knight tells the story of the Dodgers’ 2013 and 2014 seasons with detailed, previously unreported revelations. She shares a behind-the-scenes account of the astonishing sale of the Dodgers, as well as what the Dodgers actually knew in advance about rookie phenom and Cuban defector Yasiel Puig. We learn how close manager Don Mattingly was to losing his job during the 2013 season—and how the team turned around the season in the most remarkable fifty-game stretch of any team since World War II. Knight also provides a rare glimpse into the in-fighting and mistrust that derailed the team in 2014 and paints an intimate portrait of star pitcher Clayton Kershaw, including details about the record contract offer he turned down before accepting the richest contract any pitcher ever signed.
Exciting, surprising, and filled with juicy details, “a must-read for fans of the Dodgers and all Los Angeles sports teams….Knight’s undercover work is like none other” (Library Journal). The Best Team Money Can Buy is filled with “fascinating perspectives” (Los Angeles Times) and “interesting anecdotes about some of baseball’s most compelling figures” (The Sacramento Bee).
"Charlie takes an unorthodox approach to an emotional week and succeeds at finding the heart of both the tension of the World Series and the technical foundations of the baseball profession. This is a different book, in a very good way."
-Howard Bryant, the Washington Post, and author of Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball
"The lengthy description of game 7 makes for dramatic reading, and the interviews with key players from that game add a human dimension."
"I enjoyed Charles's book. It's an interesting read, rich in thought-provoking detail and context, in the manner of Malcolm Gladwell. He deftly pulls off a difficult double play: educating the serious fan while entertaining the casual one."
-Tom Verducci, Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated
"The Last Nine Innings is entertaining, engaging and enlightening. You'll never watch a baseball game the same way."
-Andrew Zimbalist, author of Baseball and Billions: A Probing Look Inside the Big Business of Our National Pastime and Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College
"Memo to ESPN analysts, FOX color announcers and daily baseball scribes: stop telling us about who had a haircut, who didn't have a haircut and who collects stamps. Rip out the red thread on the baseball, peel back the cowhide and talk about all the stuff that's wound up inside the game. That's what Charles Euchner does in The Last Nine Innings and it's fascinating."
-Leigh Montville, author of Ted Williams, Biography of an American Hero and Why Not Us?: The 86-Year Journey of the Boston Red Sox Fans from Unparalleled Suffering to the Promised Land of the 2004 World Series
The Great American Pastime has changed. For the first time in the history of the game, the three major forces that drive the evolution of modern pro baseball-The Triple Revolution-is revealed:
The Triple Revolution:
(1) Globalization of Recruiting and Business
(2) Scientific Analysis & Reduction of Physical Baseball Movements
(3) Evolution Effect of Modernized Stat-Crunching
Charles Euchner uses a dramatic moment-by-moment narrative of the seventh game of the 2001 World Series between the Yankees and the Diamondbacks to display the Triple Revolution; and to reveal the hidden dimensions of the "game within the game": From pitching motions to batting styles, from fielding and base-running, to training and strategy.
Euchner uses extensive interviews with all the players from this modern classic to produce a comprehensive view of the game that will fascinate casual fans, and stimulate baseball experts. The insider narrative includes Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Luis Gonzalez and Curt Schilling, along with the game's coaches, managers, support staff, even medical researchers and top game stats experts.
Among the questions answered: What is the ideal pitching motion? How can we judge defensive performance? What makes managers succeed and fail? What changes the odds over the course of the game? And much more. Whether a recreational fans, or serious student of the game, The Last Nine Innings enlightens; as baseball author Andrew Zimbalist writes, "You'll never watch a baseball game the same way."
Ty Cobb is baseball royalty, maybe even the greatest player ever. His lifetime batting average is still the highest in history, and when he retired in 1928, after twenty-one years with the Detroit Tigers and two with the Philadelphia Athletics, he held more than ninety records. But the numbers don’t tell half of Cobb’s tale. The Georgia Peach was by far the most thrilling player of the era: When the Hall of Fame began in 1936, he was the first player voted in.
But Cobb was also one of the game’s most controversial characters. He got in a lot of fights, on and off the field, and was often accused of being overly aggressive. Even his supporters acknowledged that he was a fierce competitor, but he was also widely admired. After his death in 1961, however, his reputation morphed into that of a virulent racist who also hated children and women, and was in turn hated by his peers.
How did this happen? Who is the real Ty Cobb? Setting the record straight, Charles Leerhsen pushed aside the myths, traveled to Georgia and Detroit, and re-traced Cobb’s journey from the shy son of a professor and state senator who was progressive on race for his time to America’s first true sports celebrity. The result is a “noble [and] convincing” (The New York Times Book Review) biography that is “groundbreaking, thorough, and compelling…The most complete, well-researched, and thorough treatment that has ever been written” (The Tampa Tribune).