Veeck As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck

University of Chicago Press
7
Free sample

Bill Veeck was an inspired team builder, a consummate showman, and one of the greatest baseball men ever involved in the game. His classic autobiography, written with the talented sportswriter Ed Linn, is an uproarious book packed with information about the history of baseball and tales of players and owners, including some of the most entertaining stories in all of sports literature.
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About the author

Bill Veeck (William Louis Veeck, Jr.) (1914-1986) learned the baseball business from the ground up at Wrigley Field when his father was at first general manager and then president of the Chicago Cubs. Bill went on to become the owner of the Cleveland Indians, the St. Louis Browns, and the Chicago White Sox-twice. In 1991, Veeck was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ed Linn (1922-2000), a well respected sports-writer, was the author of 17 books, including Hitter: The Life and Turmoils of Ted Williams, Nice Guys Finish Last, and Where the Money Is.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
May 24, 2012
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780226027210
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Sports
Sports & Recreation / Baseball / General
Sports & Recreation / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, perhaps the most scrutinized team in all of sports. During that time, every home game was a sellout. Every play, call, word, gesture—on the field and off—was analyzed by thousands. And every decision was either genius, or disastrous. In those eight years, the Red Sox were transformed from a cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history—only to fall back to last place as soon as Francona was gone. Now, in Francona: The Red Sox Years, the decorated manager opens up for the first time about his tenure in Boston, unspooling the narrative of how this world-class organization reached such incredible highs and dipped to equally incredible lows. But through it all, there was always baseball, that beautiful game of which Francona never lost sight.

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.
From profanity-laced clubhouse tirades and outspoken opinions on the state of the game to tears at an emotional funeral for his murdered granddaughter, Dallas Green tells his story for the first time in this autobiography. In his nearly 60 years in baseball as a pitcher; manager of three franchises, including both New York squads, the Mets and Yankees; general manager; and executive, Dallas Green has never minced words or shied away from making enemies. Though many bristled at his gruff style, nobody could argue with the result of his leadership: as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, he led the team to a World Series championship in 1980 and as general manger of the Chicago Cubs, he pulled off one of the most lopsided trades in the history of the sport by dealing journeyman Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies in exchange for Larry Bowa and future Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. This larger-than-life baseball personality shares insights from the mound, the dugout, and the front office as well as anecdotes of some of the game s biggest stars and encounters with the press, player agents, and the unions. Dallas Green also shares his feelings about his granddaughter, Christina-Taylor Green, who was shot and killed by a deranged stalker in Tucson, Arizona, during an assassination attempt on the life of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Knowing that the loss of his beloved granddaughter has irrevocably changed him, Green discusses how, in the wake of her death, baseball became a coping mechanism for him."
"One of the best baseball books ever written. It is probably one of the best American diaries as well."—New York Times

A timeless classic from baseball's golden era, legendary pitcher Jim Brosnan's witty and candid chronicle of the 1959 Major League Baseball season, which set the standard for all sports memoirs to follow.

The Long Season was a revelation when it was first published in 1960. Here is an insider's perspective on America's national pastime that is funny, honest, and above all, real. The man behind this fascinating account of baseball and its players was not a sportswriter but a self-proclaimed "average ballplayer"—a relief pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. Called "Professor" by his teammates and "Meat" by his wife, Jim Brosnan turned out to be the ideal guide to the behind-the-scenes world of professional baseball with his keen observations, sharp wit, and clear-eyed candor.

His player's diary takes readers on the mound and on the road; inside the clubhouse and most enjoyably inside his own head. While solving age-old questions like "Why can't pitchers hit?" and what makes for the best chewing tobacco, Brosnan captures the game-to-game daily experiences of an ordinary season, unapologetically, "the way I saw it"—from sweating it out in spring training to blowing the opening game to a mid-season trade to the Cincinnati Reds.

In The Long Season, Brosnan reveals, like no other sportswriter before him, the human side of professional ballplayers and has forever preserved not only a season, but a uniquely American experience.

“I believe in rules. Sure I do. If there weren't any rules, how could you break them?”

The history of baseball is rife with colorful characters. But for sheer cantankerousness, fighting moxie, and will to win, very few have come close to Leo “the Lip” Durocher. Following a five-decade career as a player and manager for baseball’s most storied franchises, Durocher teamed up with veteran sportswriter Ed Linn to tell the story of his life in the game. The resulting book, Nice Guys Finish Last, is baseball at its best, brimming with personality and full of all the fights and feuds, triumphs and tricks that made Durocher such a success—and an outsized celebrity.

Durocher began his career inauspiciously, riding the bench for the powerhouse 1928 Yankees and hitting so poorly that Babe Ruth nicknamed him “the All-American Out.” But soon Durocher hit his stride: traded to St. Louis, he found his headlong play and never-say-die attitude a perfect fit with the rambunctious “Gashouse Gang” Cardinals. In 1939, he was named player-manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers—and almost instantly transformed the underachieving Bums into perennial contenders. He went on to manage the New York Giants, sharing the glory of one of the most famous moments in baseball history, Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard ’round the world,” which won the Giants the 1951 pennant. Durocher would later learn how it felt to be on the other side of such an unforgettable moment, as his 1969 Cubs, after holding first place for 105 days, blew a seemingly insurmountable 8-1/2-game lead to the Miracle Mets.

All the while, Durocher made as much noise off the field as on it. His perpetual feuds with players, owners, and league officials—not to mention his public associations with gamblers, riffraff, and Hollywood stars like George Raft and Larraine Day—kept his name in the headlines and spread his fame far beyond the confines of the diamond.

A no-holds-barred account of a singular figure, Nice Guys Finish Last brings the personalities and play-by-play of baseball’s greatest era to vivid life, earning a place on every baseball fan’s bookshelf.
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