The amazing stories behind the 35 seventh games of baseball's World Series
The World Series has gone to a thrilling "game seven" only 35 times, and each one comes alive in The Seventh Game, a rich collection of compelling stories and statistics, offering a unique perspective of baseball at its greatest, when there is truly no tomorrow for either side.
From the 1909 marquee match-up of Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner, to the thrilling confrontation of Pete Alexander and Tony Lazzeri with the bases loaded in 1926, to Bill Mazeroski's improbable walk-off home run to beat the Yankees in 1960, all the way to 2002's "Giant disappointment" between the inspired Angels and the hard-luck Giants, each game is brought to light as Levenson provides:In-depth analyses of the teams--their hitting, pitching, and defensive strategies A quiz to challenge readers' seventh-game knowledge Box scores of every game, filled with baseball facts A controversial ranking of the games from best to worst Full-color photos of rare ticket stubs from all 35 games And much more
The next in a long line of vaunted Most Wanted™ books from Potomac. THE The World Series Most Wanted™ tells the tale of October glory and heartbreak, of heroes and goats, and of the thin line between success and failure on baseball’s grandest stage. With a hopping sixty top-ten lists of World Series trivia, you’ll find all the trivia from the fall classic you can ask for.
Everyone knows about the infamous Curse of the Bambino, but what other teams have been similarly cursed when it comes to winning the big one? Don Larsen’s perfect game is etched into baseball lore, but what other mound masterpieces has October provided? Red Sox fans will never forget the sight of that ground ball rolling between Bill Buckner’s legs, but what other teams have been six outs or fewer from popping champagne—and lost?
You’ll be introduced to players who came off the bench for an injured star and stole the spotlight. You’ll meet families who can compare rings over Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll find out who went oh-for-the-Series, who set records, who hit back-to-back homers, and who did things that were one-of-a-kind or just plain weird. The World Series Most Wanted™ is a grand slam of October fun.
This work considers baseball players whose careers have been defined and misrepresented by one moment in which they botched a play, costing their teams an important victory (often a pennant or World Series win), and ever since have taken most of the blame for the team's breakdown.
It covers Fred Merkle, whose controversial failure to tag second base after a game-winning single lost the pennant for the Giants in 1908; Fred Snodgrass whose dropped fly ball contributed to the Red Sox's second championship in the 1912 series; Mickey Owen, whose passed ball resulted in the Dodgers losing Game 4 of the 1941 World Series to the Yankees; Ralph Branca, who delivered one of the most talked about home runs in history to Bobby Thomson in the 1951 NLCS; Mike Torrez, whose home run pitch to Bucky Dent was the final, improbable event in the Sox' great collapse of '78; Tom Niedenfuer, whose blown save in the 1985 NLCS cost the Dodgers the pennant; Donnie Moore, the California Angels pitcher remembered for giving up a home run in Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS; Bill Buckner, whose E-3 caused him to be blamed for the Red Sox's World Series loss in 1986; and Mitch Williams, blamed for his three-run home run pitch to Joe Carter in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series that lost the world championship for the Phillies.
During this period baseball was forced to make a number of painful choices. From 1949 to 1954, attendance dropped more than 30 percent, as once loyal fans turned to other activities, started going to see more football, and began watching television. Also, the sport had to wrestle with racial integration, franchise shifts and unionization while trying to keep a firm hold on the minds and emotions of the public.
This work chronicles how baseball, with imagination and some foresight, survived postwar challenges. Some of the solutions came about intelligently, some clumsily, but by 1960 baseball was a stronger, healthier and better balanced institution than ever before.
Is elite status revealed through statistics? Though the author of this book considers statistics of both the traditional and sabermetric sort, he argues that the greats are proved not by broad statistical comparison with all other pitchers, but by their record against one another.
In a thoughtful discussion of the evidence of head-to-head matchups, he finds the nine pitchers who make up the true elite: Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Grover Alexander, Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn, Tom Seaver, Roger Clemens, and Greg Maddux. For each pitcher the book provides biographical information, career highlights, and a list of the feats that put him in the record books.
There have been only fourteen perfect games pitched in the modern era of baseball; the great Cy Young fittingly hurled the first, in 1904, and David Cone pitched the most recent, in 1999. In between, some great pitchers -- Sandy Koufax, Catfish Hunter, Jim Bunning, and Don Larsen in the World Series -- performed the feat, as did some mediocre ones, like Len Barker and the little-known Charlie Robertson. Fourteen in 150,000 games: The odds are staggering.
When it does happen, however, the whole baseball world marvels at the combination of luck and skill, and the pitcher himself gains a kind of baseball immortality. Five years ago, Michael Coffey witnessed such an event at Yankee Stadium, and the experience prompted this expansive look at the history of these unsurpassable pitching performances. He brings his skills as a popular historian and poet to an appraisal of both the games themselves and of the wider sport of baseball and the lives of the players in it. The careers of each of the fourteen perfect-game pitchers are assessed, not only as to their on-the-field performances but with a regard for their struggles to persevere in an extremely competitive sport in which, more often than not, the men and women who run the game from the owners' boxes are their most formidable adversaries. Along the way, Michael Coffey brings us right into the ballparks with a play-by-play account of how these games unfolded, and relates a host of fascinating stories, such as Sandy Koufax's controversial holdout with Don Drysdale and its chilling effect on baseball's owners, Mike Witt's victimization by the baseball commissioner, and Dennis Martinez's long struggle up from an impoverished Nicaraguan childhood.
Combining history, baseball, and a sweeping look at the changing face of labor relations, 27 Men Out is a new benchmark in sports history.