In Peyton Manning: A Biography, sportswriter Lew Freedman chronicles Manning's life, from his childhood as the son of New Orleans Saints' quarterback Archie Manning through the many laurels won during his high school and college careers to his record-setting play with the Colts. The book also covers Manning's off-the-field activities as a product spokesperson, as well as his PeyBack Foundation, designed to help underprivileged children. Finally, it looks at the Manning football dynasty, including brother Eli Manning's success as the Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the New York Giants.
From the early years as an upstart sport in a big city heading into financial chaos, to the team’s triumph in the 1930s (including 1934’s famous “Sneakers Game” against the Chicago Bears); its return to glory in the 1950s behind the talents of Frank Gifford, Sam Huff, and Roosevelt Brown; and its pair of championship seasons in 1986 and 1990---these are the New York Giants, moment by colorful moment, right up to their upset victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Crammed with player statistics and team records, and brilliantly illustrated with vintage and up-to-the-minute photographs, the book is a fitting celebration of a team whose name is synonymous with football in America.
This work is the most up-to-date examination of Pelé's life, covering his personal history from childhood, his star-studded career as a multi-time World Cup champion playing for Brazil, his experiences in the United States playing for the New York Cosmos, as well as Pelé's more recent, current, and future activities as ambassador for Brazil when it hosts the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016. All readers—ranging from the completely uninitiated who do not even recognize Pelé's name, to die-hard soccer fans and players—will gain a full appreciation of the greatest soccer player of all time.
Hyped relentlessly from the time he was a high school sophomore in Ohio, James has lived up to all advance billing and with his charm, smile, and extraordinary basketball skills. James' all-around talent and unselfishness on the court are the trademarks of his play that have made him one of the most feared scorers in the league, but also one of its most versatile rebounders and passers. This biography offers a well-rounded portrait James from the difficulties encountered being raised by a single mother and overcoming poverty, which at times caused the family to move from home to home. Lew Freedman of the Chicago Tribune chronicles the milestones in the life of LeBron James during his dizzying rise to fame. Also highlighted are James' remarkable endorsement deals, particularly his $90 million deal with Nike. The volume is rounded out with a timeline and a bibliography of print and electronic sources to provide suggested readings for students and sports fans alike.
The entries document the importance of baseball in Latin American culture and the way it has evolved in the players' home countries, but the encyclopedia does more than that. Its profiles also expose the difficulties faced by Latino players who are forced to overcome both a language barrier and the discrimination they face because of their skin color. And they demonstrate how proficiency with a bat and ball has become a great engine that can lift families out of poverty and provide hope for indigent youths.
This biography of Louis outlines his rise from poverty in Alabama to become the best-known African American of his time and describes how an uneducated man, simple at his core, became so articulate and ended up on the side of right in the battles he fought, with fist or voice.
This quote, by pitcher and coach Charlie Hough, is the best way to understand baseball’s most baffling and mysterious pitch. Not even the best practitioners of the art of throwing a knuckleball know where it is going most of the time. As a pitch that floats and comes into the plate in what appears to be slow motion, it is miraculous that those who employ the pitch don’t get creamed all over the park by batters who seem to know that it’s coming.
Including interviews with Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, former All-Stars Wilbur Wood and Tim Wakefield, as well as other famed knuckleballers, Lew Freedman (Clouds over the Goalpost, A Summer to Remember), breaks down the history of this infamous pitch, which it seems can be traced back to Chicago White Sox pitcher Ed Cicotte, as well as its effect on baseball as a whole.
With pitcher R. A. Dickey, who rejuvenated his career from castoff to 2011 Cy Young Award winner, the knuckleball is still a topic of conversation in the sport, and it continues to be one of the many marvels of our national pastime.
The Quest trail boasts fewer checkpoints, longer wilderness runs, and more campouts. The trail crosses three mountain passes, including the dreaded 3,685-foot Eagle Summit, a killer of mushers' dreams. Outdoor survival skills and self reliance are on a par with commercial sponsorships and high-tech sleds and mushing gear.
Yukon Quest is an exciting, inspirational story full of bigger-than-life characters told by Lew Freedman, best-selling author of eight books about sled-dog racing. Includes a list of race champions, names of all finishers, and 16 pages of photos.
Revised and updated to include the latest seasons on the gridiron, Chicago Bears: The Complete Illustrated History brings the team’s vibrant history to life. Beginning with the franchise’s 1919 origins as the Decatur Staleys, this lavishly illustrated book presents the highs and lows from more than nine decades of football. Here is the story of the first dynasty under George “Papa Bear” Halas; the “Monsters of the Midway” of the 1940s; the team’s resurgence in the late 1960s; its 1985 Super Bowl win; and the run for the title in 2006. Former Chicago Tribune sportswriter and longtime Bears aficionado Lew Freedmen highlights the legends who have donned Bears uniforms, outsize characters like Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski, Sid Luckman, Mike Ditka, Dick Butkus, Gayle Sayers, Walter Payton, Mike Singletary, Brian Urlacher, and many more. He includes the numbers behind the stories---the stats and team records---as well as pivotal plays in Bears’ history, from Halas’ T-formation to William “The Refrigerator” Perry’s touchdown runs. The book presents a key chapter of sports history and offers a fitting tribute to one of football’s most beloved teams.
The most accomplished of the brothers, Ken, became a perennial National League All-Star and won the 1964 Most Valuable Player award. For a period of time in the 1960s, Ken Boyer was the face of the St. Louis Cardinals and after his playing days ended he returned to manage the team. Clete Boyer gained prominence as a regular for the perennial American League-champion New York Yankees and competed in five World Series before starring in the National League and concluding his career in Japan.While they did not make it to the top, the four other brothers enrich the story with their own baseball histories and help illustrate how the closeness of the family helped everyone succeed.
Altman played baseball at all the kids' levels, played college baseball at Tennessee State, played for the Kansas City Monarchs during the waning days of the Negro Leagues, played for the U.S. Army in service competition, played winter league ball in Cuba and Panama, spent nine years with the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets, a two-time All-Star outfielder--then played in Japan as a regular All-Star. Altman has seen it all and he offers illuminating observations about teams, fans and the game.
From NFL Championships in 1958, 1959, and 1968, to triumphs in Super Bowls V and XLI, the Colts are one of the NFL’s most successful and beloved teams. All their most memorable moments come to life on these pages in iconic vintage and vibrant modern photos, classic memorabilia, and captivating stories. The history of the Colts has been written on the field in gridiron battles with NFL foes such as the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, and New England Patriots. Celebrate the ultimate experience in Colts fandom with Indianapolis Colts: The Complete Illustrated History.
From the Cincinnati Reds’ inception, the team has been creating lasting memories for its devoted fans. Since the days of the Red Stockings, Cincinnati has featured Hall of Famers, such as Tony Pérez and Frank Robinson, both of whom are included in this book. Most recently, Barry Larkin, a member of the 1990 championship team, was inducted as part of the Class of 2012, and Freedman highlights Larkin’s memories of his Hall of Fame induction.
From Joe Morgan and the Big Red Machine days of the 1970s, to Tom Browning’s heroics in the late ’80s, and Joey Votto and Bronson Arroyo’s recent brilliance, readers can relive many of the most exciting games in Reds history with some of the Reds’ most beloved players. This is a must-have for any fans of the Cincinnati ball club, past and present.
As play began in September, the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened its doors in Canton, Ohio, the same town where the National Football League was founded in 1921 and inducted its first class. Also, the war for players and prestige raged with the upstart American Football League trying to obtain equal footing in the public eye.On the field, it was to be the year the Chicago Bears and their aging owner-coach George Halas knew glory once more, fighting off the latest dynasty Green Bay Packers led by Vince Lombardi in a season-long chase for the Western Division title. Yet even that was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. While the nation mourned and other sports leagues suspended activity, the NFL played on with its regular season that sad weekend—a choice commissioner Pete Rozelle later called the worst mistake of his tenure.
Clouds over the Goalpost is filled with controversy not only on the field, but off it as well. From the various suspensions to an exciting championship game between the Bears and Giants, 1963 was a year that the NFL would never forget—for both the good and the bad.
The Rise of the Seminoles is not just about Bobby Bowden; it is about the season that started it all: 1976. Before Bowden took over and the University of Miami gained its notoriety, college football in the state of Florida consisted of the University of Florida. Florida State wasn’t even on the radar. Today, FSU is a football powerhouse and recently won the 2013 National Championship.
Through the writing talents of Lew Freedman, one of only two reporters covering FSU during Bowden’s time, this book follows the incredible journey the Seminoles have taken through history. Drawing from firsthand experience and Bowden himself, Freedman is the perfect author to bring this story to life. No matter their age, fans of the FSU football program can enjoy and take pride in their team’s very own rags-to-riches story.
Player-manager Lou Boudreau would not only lead his team to the playoffs, but would also become the first shortstop to ever win the American League’s Most Valuable Player award. He also relied on pitchers Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, and Negro leagues legend Satchel Paige (then forty-one years old), as well as second baseman Joe Gordon and right fielder Larry Doby, who followed Jackie Robinson by only a few weeks in breaking the color barrier in baseball.
The Indians finished the ’48 season at 97–58 and were tied with Joe McCarthy’s Boston Red Sox, which led to the first-ever one game playoff in American League history. The Indians were victorious and would then defeat the Boston Braves in six games to win the World Series.
The Monsters of Municipal Stadium is a fantastic look at one of the greatest teams ever to play the game, and at how everyone involved in this extraordinary season—from the players to management—made 1948 a memorable year for baseball and the city of Cleveland.
After the National Hockey Association (NHA), which had been founded in 1909, ceased operations, the NHL took over and became a mainstay for the sport. While there had been teams that dated back to the 1800s and many that came and went through the years, there are six teams which are considered to be the Original or Traditional Six: the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Detroit Red Wings.
In The Original Six, Lew Freedman (Clouds Over the Goalpost, A Summer to Remember) takes readers on a trip down memory lane, not only introducing the NHL’s humble beginnings, but how far the game has actually come.
Broken up into six sections, Freedman tells the history and stories of the teams that represent the heart and soul of the NHL. From how these teams came to be and the steps that were taken to get them established to their early years and how they helped shape the game we love today, The Original Six is not only for lover’s of these teams, but for the sport itself.
Whether you’re a diehard supporter or fair-weather fan, learn how this incredible sport began and of the teams that helped it grow into one of the most entertaining and enjoyable games in the world.
Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.
Whether you are a New York Yankees fan or hail from Red Sox nation; whether you are a die-hard Green Bay Packers or Dallas Cowboys fan; whether you root for the Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, UCLA Bruins, or Kansas Jayhawks; whether you route for the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, or Los Angeles Kings; we have a book for you. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
An introduction discusses the history of sports and explains the criteria for choosing the 100 sporting events in the book. Fascinating, little-known facts punctuate entries, such as how the athletic accomplishments of Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis helped ease racial tensions in the United States; why the passage of Title IX changed gender relations in the United States forever; and which technologies have altered the way Americans view sport. Content also traces the tremendous advancements of safety gear in sports, from the batting helmet and catchers' shin guards in baseball, to the hardshell helmet and face guard in football, to the face mask for goalies in hockey.
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.
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.
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.
“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
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
This introduction to the basics of sabermetric analysis explains concepts including normalization, peak versus career performance, linear weights and runs created, as well as popular calculations like OPS (On-Base plus Slugging), WHIP (Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched), PF (Park Factor) and others increasingly used by baseball fans.