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Filip Bondy is a sports columnist at the New York Daily News, where he has worked since 1993. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife.
The Pine Tar Game: The Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees, and Baseball's Most Absurd and Entertaining Controversy
The New York Times bestseller—“a rollicking account” (The Kansas City Star) of the infamous baseball game between the Yankees and Royals in which a game-winning home run was overturned and set off one of sports history’s most absurd and entertaining controversies.
On July 24, 1983, during the finale of a heated four-game series between the dynastic New York Yankees and small-town Kansas City Royals, umpires nullified a go-ahead home run based on an obscure rule, when Yankees manager Billy Martin pointed out an illegal amount of pine tar—the sticky substance used for a better grip—on Royals third baseman George Brett’s bat. Brett wildly charged out of the dugout and chaos ensued. The call temporarily cost the Royals the game, but the decision was eventually overturned, resulting in a resumption of the game several weeks later that created its own hysteria. The game was a watershed moment, marking a change in the sport, where benign cheating tactics like spitballs, Superball bats, and a couple extra inches of tar on an ash bat, gave way to era of soaring salaries, labor strikes, and rampant use of performance-enhancing drugs.
In The Pine Tar Game acclaimed sports writer Filip Bondy paints a portrait of the Yankees and Royals of that era, replete with bad actors, phenomenal athletes, and plenty of yelling. Players and club officials, like Brett, Goose Gossage, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Sparky Lyle, David Cone, and John Schuerholz, offer fresh commentary on the events and their take on the subsequent postseason rivalry. “A sticky moment milked for all its nutty, head-shaking glory” (Sports Illustrated), The Pine Tar Game examines a more innocent time in professional sports, and the shifting tide that resulted in today’s modern iteration of baseball.
Some watchers of the Royals’ 2015 World Series win over New York’s “other baseball team,” the Mets, may see it as sweet revenge for a bygone era of talent flow and umpire calls favoring New York.
Who's on Worst?: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History
Who were the best ballplayers of all time? It's an endless question, but here's something much more fun: Who was the worst of all time? Who was the lousiest pitcher? The biggest goat? The most despicable owner? The most over-paid bum?
Finally, Filip Bondy answers these questions, wielding his own brand of formidable research, advanced sabermetrics and considerable wit to provide this indispensable guide to the less glorious side of our national pastime. Each chapter is filled with rich and colorful stories about the players unfortunate enough to be chosen in each category--like "Too Fat to Bat" or "Anyone Seen My Mitt." So welcome to the Hall of Shame. It's awesome.
Chasing the Game: America and the Quest for the World Cup
A tantalizing account of the triumphs and travails of the U.S. men’s soccer team in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, set within the historical context of American soccer on the global stage
The U.S. men’s soccer team was a huge disappointment at the World Cup in 2006, but a newly constituted team exceeded all expectations in June 2009 with their inspired play at the Confederations Cup in South Africa—where they upset the number one team in the world, Spain, and lost late in the championship game to a supremely talented Brazilian squad. Their impressive showing gave fans, including the ever-loyal Sam’s Army, a renewed sense of hope that when the team plays up to its capabilities, the Americans can compete with anyone in the world.
In Chasing the Game, Filip Bondy describes the U.S. team’s path to qualifying for this year’s World Cup—to be held on the African continent for the first time ever, in South Africa in June 2010. Bondy also reveals the back-and-forth saga that resulted in the hiring of Bob Bradley as the American coach, and serves up engaging profiles of several core players, including the U.S. national team’s all-time leader in scoring and assists, Landon Donovan, acrobatic goalie Tim Howard, hip-hop devotee and opportunistic goal-scorer Clint “Deuce” Dempsey, up-and-comer Jozy Altidore, and the coach’s son, the reticent yet dependable Michael Bradley.
Chasing the Game also recounts the glorious highlights of past World Cup matches, like the U.S. men’s team’s stunning 1–0 victory over England in 1950 and the 2002 team’s advance to the quarterfinals, as well as heartbreaks like the fiasco in 2006, when the U.S. mustered only four shots on goal in three games. Finally, Bondy also traces the origin of soccer and the evolution of the game in the U.S., chronicling how soccer academies like the one in Bradenton, Florida, have impacted the game at both the youth and national levels.
It’s all here for the first time in one book—the complete story of American soccer on the global stage.
Tip-Off: How the 1984 NBA Draft Changed Basketball Forever
The 1984 NBA draft is most remembered as the one where Michael Jordan slipped to third behind number-one pick Hakeem Olajuwon...and the immortal Sam Bowie. You could understand the Houston Rockets choosing Olajuwon, but how on earth could the Portland Trailblazers pass up Jordan for the injury-prone Bowie? For the first time, Filip Bondy pieces together the entire backstory of the draft: from Michael Jordan's indecision over whether he should declare himself eligible for the NBA draft after his junior year...to Charles Barkley's calculated attempt to avoid being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers and to improve his position at the Olympic trials...to the trades that were considered but fatefully never made.
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