Every little kid who's ever taken the mound in Little League dreams of someday getting the ball for Game Seven of the World Series. Ron Darling got to live that dream - only it didn't go exactly as planned. In New York Times bestselling Game 7, 1986, the award-winning baseball analyst looks back at what might have been a signature moment in his career, and reflects on the ways professional athletes must sometimes shoulder a personal disappointment as his team finds a way to win. Published to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the 1986 New York Mets championship season, Darling's book will break down one of baseball's great "forgotten" games - a game that stands as a thrilling, telling and tantalizing exclamation point to one of the best-remember seasons in Major League Baseball history. Working once again with New York Times best-selling collaborator Daniel Paisner, who teamed with the former All-Star pitcher on his acclaimed 2009 memoir Game 7, 1986, Darling offers a book for the thinking baseball fan, a chance to reflect on what it means to compete at the game's highest level, with everything on the line.
Ron Darling is the New York Times bestselling author of Game 7, 1986 and The Complete Game as well as an Emmy Award-winning baseball analyst for TBS, the MLB Network, SNY, and WPIX-TV. He was a starting pitcher for the New York Mets from 1983 to 1991 and the first Mets pitcher to be awarded a Gold Glove.
Daniel Paisner has collaborated with dozens of athletes and public figures on their autobiographies and memoirs, including I Feel Like Going On, with NFL great Ray Lewis; and, Chasing Perfect, with Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Hurley.
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.
In 108 Stitches, Ron Darling offers his own take on the "six degrees of separation" game and knits together a collection of wild, wise, and wistful stories reflecting the full arc of a life in and around our national pastime.
Darling has played with or reported on just about everybody who has put on a uniform since 1983, and they in turn have played with or reported on just about everybody who put on a uniform in a previous generation. Through relationships with baseball legends on and off the field, like Yale coach Smoky Joe Wood, Willie Mays, Bart Giamatti, Tom Seaver and Mickey Mantle, Darling's reminiscences reach all the way back to Babe Ruth and other turn-of-the-century greats.
Like the 108 stitches on a baseball, Darling's experiences are interwoven with every athlete who has ever played, every coach or manager who ever sat in a dugout, and with every fan who ever played hooky from work or school to sit in the bleachers for a day game.
Darling's anecdotes come together to tell the story of his time in the game, and the story of the game itself.