Top Baseball Ebook Best Sellers

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Ball Four - Jim Bouton Cover Art

Ball Four

Ball Four by Jim Bouton

The 50th Anniversary edition of “the book that changed baseball” (NPR), chosen by Time magazine as one of the “100 Greatest Non-Fiction” books.   When Ball Four was published in 1970, it created a firestorm. Bouton was called a Judas, a Benedict Arnold, and a “social leper” for having violated the “sanctity of the clubhouse.” Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn tried to force Bouton to sign a statement saying the book wasn’t true. Ballplayers, most of whom hadn’t read it, denounced the book. It was even banned by a few libraries.   Almost everyone else, however, loved Ball Four . Fans liked discovering that athletes were real people—often wildly funny people. David Halberstam, who won a Pulitzer for his reporting on Vietnam, wrote a piece in Harper’s that said of Bouton: “He has written . . . a book deep in the American vein, so deep in fact that it is by no means a sports book.”   Today Ball Four has taken on another role—as a time capsule of life in the sixties. “It is not just a diary of Bouton’s 1969 season with the Seattle Pilots and Houston Astros,” says sportswriter Jim Caple. “It’s a vibrant, funny, telling history of an era that seems even further away than four decades. To call it simply a ‘tell all book’ is like describing The Grapes of Wrath as a book about harvesting peaches in California.”   Includes a new foreword by Jim Bouton's wife, Paula Kurman   “An irreverent, best-selling book that angered baseball’s hierarchy and changed the way journalists and fans viewed the sports world.” — The Washington Post

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24 - Willie Mays & John Shea Cover Art

24

24 Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid by Willie Mays & John Shea

The uplifting New York Times bestseller by the legendary Willie Mays: “Will remind fans of why we love baseball so much.” — The New York Times In this “mix of memoir, self-help, and baseball history” (Booklist), Willie Mays shares the inspirations and influences responsible for guiding him on and off the field. Widely regarded as the greatest all-around player in history because of his unparalleled hitting, defense, and baserunning, the beloved Hall of Famer recounts his lifetime of experience meeting challenges with positivity, integrity, and triumph. Presented in 24 chapters to correspond with his universally recognized uniform number, Willie’s memoir provides more than the story of his major-league career. It tells of a man who values family and community, engages in charitable causes—especially those that help children—and follows a philosophy that encourages hope, hard work, and the pursuit of dreams. “Baseball fans of all ages and anyone seeking inspiration will enjoy memories and motivation shared in a warm, joyous manner by the irrepressible Say Hey Kid.”— Library Journal (starred review) “A salute to what the game used to be . . . back when it was a game played for the love of it, by guys who still lived in the neighborhood.” — New York Daily News Includes photos and a foreword by Bob Costas “I was very lucky when I was a child. My family took care of me and made sure I was in early at night. I didn’t get in trouble. My father made sure that I didn’t do the wrong thing. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for children and their well-being, and John Shea and I got the idea that we should do something for the kids and the fathers and the mothers, and that’s why this book is being published. We want to reach out to all generations and backgrounds. Hopefully, these stories and lessons will inspire people in a positive way.” —Willie Mays “It’s because of giants like Willie that someone like me could even think about running for president.” —Barack Obama

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The Mental Game of Baseball - H.A. Dorfman Cover Art

The Mental Game of Baseball

The Mental Game of Baseball
A Guide to Peak Performance
by H.A. Dorfman

Without a doubt the classic guide to mental performance enhancement for baseball. Here in the third edition, authors H.A. Dorfman and Karl Kuehl present their practical and proven strategy for developing the mental skills needed to achieve peak performance at every level of the game. The theory and applications are illustrated by anecdotes and insights from major and minor league players, who at some point discovered the importance of mastering the inner game in order to play baseball as it should be played. Intended for players, managers, coaches, agents, and administrators as well as fans who want a more in-depth look at the makeup of the complete baseball player.

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The Captain - Ian O'Connor Cover Art

The Captain

The Captain The Journey of Derek Jeter by Ian O'Connor

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Derek Jeter is undoubtedly the most talked about, argued about, cheered, booed and ultimately respected baseball player of his generation. And as public a figure as he has been, he is in many ways the least known. That changes now as Ian O’Connor, one of the best sports writers anywhere, goes deep and does what no one has quite been able to do: Tell us a bit about who Derek Jeter really is.”—Joe Posnanski, author of The Machine "Deftly told.”— The Washington Post In The Captain , Ian O’Connor draws on unique access to Derek Jeter and more than 200 new interviews to reveal how a biracial kid from Michigan became New York’s most beloved sports figure and the face of the steroid-free athlete. O’Connor takes us behind the scenes of a legendary baseball life, from Jeter’s early struggles in the minor leagues, when homesickness and errors threatened a stillborn career, to the heady days of Yankee superiority and nightlife, to the battles with former best friend A-Rod. All along the way, Jeter has made his Hall-of-Fame destiny look easy. But behind that leadership and hero’s grace there are hidden struggles and complexities that have never been explored, until now.

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The Baseball Drill Book - American Baseball Coaches Association Cover Art

The Baseball Drill Book

The Baseball Drill Book by American Baseball Coaches Association

Seventeen of the game’s top collegiate coaches have teamed up with the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) to bring you the game’s most comprehensive assortment of practice activities. The Baseball Drill Book features 198 drills proven to improve individual and team performance. Former Fresno State coach Bob Bennett, Ripon College’s Gordie Gillespie, Lewis-Clark State’s Ed Cheff, Wichita State’s Gene Stephenson, and South Carolina’s Ray Tanner are among the greats who present their best practice drills and insights for improving these skills: • Conditioning and warm-up • Throwing and catching • Base running and sliding • Hitting and bunting • Pitching • Fielding • Offensive and defensive tactics Each drill follows a concise format. First, the primary skill or tactic to be enhanced is identified, then procedure and setup details are provided. Illustrations for proper technique are also included, followed by coaching insight to help you sharpen players’ understanding of the game’s finer points. Glean tactical advice such as how to get a teammate home from third when a key run is needed and how to “sit on” certain pitches while at the plate. Drill modifications are included so that each drill can be modified to fit specific needs. Additional chapters explain how to effectively and efficiently incorporate drills in practice sessions and to simulate game situations. In all, The Baseball Drill Book provides the essential link between initial skill learning and winning performance on the diamond.

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If These Walls Could Talk: Boston Red Sox - Jerry Remy, Nick Cafardo & Sean McDonough Cover Art

If These Walls Could Talk: Boston Red Sox

If These Walls Could Talk: Boston Red Sox
by Jerry Remy, Nick Cafardo & Sean McDonough

A New York Times Sports and Fitness Best Seller The Boston Red Sox are one of the most iconic teams in Major League Baseball, with eight World Series championships and countless greats who have donned the Sox uniform. In If These Walls Could Talk: Boston Red Sox , former player and longtime broadcaster Jerry Remy provides insight into the team's inner sanctum as only he can. Readers will gain the perspective of players, coaches, and personnel in moments of greatness as well as defeat, making for a keepsake no fan will want to miss.

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Baseball - Benjamin G. Rader Cover Art

Baseball

Baseball A History of America's Game by Benjamin G. Rader

In this fourth edition, Benjamin G. Rader updates the text with a portrait of baseball’s new order. He charts an on-the-field game transformed by analytics, an influx of Latino and Asian players, and a generation of players groomed for brute power both on the mound and at the plate. He also analyzes the behind-the-scenes revolution that brought in billions of dollars from a synergy of marketing and branding prowess, visionary media development, and fan-friendly ballparks abuzz with nonstop entertainment. The result is an entertaining and comprehensive tour of a game that, whatever its changes, always reflects American society and culture.

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The First Fall Classic - Mike Vaccaro Cover Art

The First Fall Classic

The First Fall Classic The Red Sox, the Giants and the Cast of Players, Pugs and Politicos Who Re-Invented the World Series in 1912 by Mike Vaccaro

In this wonderful page-turner, veteran sports journalist Mike Vaccaro brings to life a bygone era in cinematic and intimate detail—and re-creates the magic and suspense of the world’s first classic series. Despite a major presidential election, the near-assassination of Teddy Roosevelt, and the most sensational trial of the young century, baseball dominated front-page headlines in October 1912. The Boston Red Sox and the New York Giants of that year—two of the finest ball clubs that had ever been assembled—went head-to-head in a thrilling eight-game battle that ultimately elevated the World Series from a regional October novelty to a national obsession.

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History of Baseball in 100 Objects - Josh Leventhal Cover Art

History of Baseball in 100 Objects

History of Baseball in 100 Objects by Josh Leventhal

The only book of its kind to tell the history of baseball, from its inception to the present day, through 100 key objects that represent the major milestones, evolutionary events, and larger-than-life personalities that make up the game A History of Baseball in 100 Objects is a visual and historical record of the game as told through essential documents, letters, photographs, equipment, memorabilia, food and drink, merchandise and media items, and relics of popular culture, each of which represents the history and evolution of the game. Among these objects are the original ordinance banning baseball in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1791 (the earliest known reference to the game in America); the "By-laws and Rules of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club," 1845 (the first codified rules of the game); Fred Thayer's catcher's mask from the 1870s (the first use of this equipment in the game); a scorecard from the 1903 World Series (the first World Series); Grantland Rice's typewriter (the role of sportswriters in making baseball the national pastime); Babe Ruth's bat, circa 1927 (the emergence of the long ball); Pittsburgh Crawford's team bus, 1935 (the Negro Leagues); Jackie Robinson's Montreal Royals uniform, 1946 (the breaking of the color barrier); a ticket stub from the 1951 Giants-Dodgers playoff game and Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round The World" (one of baseball's iconic moments); Sandy Koufax's Cy Young Award, 1963 (the era of dominant pitchers); a "Reggie!" candy bar, 1978 (the modern player as media star); Rickey Henderson's shoes, 1982 (baseball's all-time-greatest base stealer); the original architect's drawing for Oriole Park at Camden Yards (the ballpark renaissance of the 1990s); and Barry Bond's record-breaking bat (the age of Performance Enhancing Drugs). A full-page photograph of the object is accompanied by lively text that describes the historical significance of the object and its connection to baseball's history, as well as additional stories and information about that particular period in the history of the game.

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The Pine Tar Game - Filip Bondy Cover Art

The Pine Tar Game

The Pine Tar Game
The Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees, and Baseball's Most Absurd and Entertaining Controversy
by Filip Bondy

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.

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Satchel - Larry Tye Cover Art

Satchel

Satchel The Life and Times of an American Legend by Larry Tye

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The superbly researched, spellbindingly told story of athlete, showman, philosopher, and boundary breaker Leroy “Satchel” Paige “Among the rare biographies of an athlete that transcend sports . . . gives us the man as well as the myth.”— The Boston Globe Few reliable records or news reports survive about players in the Negro Leagues. Through dogged detective work, award-winning author and journalist Larry Tye has tracked down the truth about this majestic and enigmatic pitcher, interviewing more than two hundred Negro Leaguers and Major Leaguers, talking to family and friends who had never told their stories before, and retracing Paige’s steps across the continent. Here is the stirring account of the child born to an Alabama washerwoman with twelve young mouths to feed, the boy who earned the nickname “Satchel” from his enterprising work as a railroad porter, the young man who took up baseball on the streets and in reform school, inventing his trademark hesitation pitch while throwing bricks at rival gang members. Tye shows Paige barnstorming across America and growing into the superstar hurler of the Negro Leagues, a marvel who set records so eye-popping they seemed like misprints, spent as much money as he made, and left tickets for “Mrs. Paige” that were picked up by a different woman at each game. In unprecedented detail, Tye reveals how Paige, hurt and angry when Jackie Robinson beat him to the Majors, emerged at the age of forty-two to help propel the Cleveland Indians to the World Series. He threw his last pitch from a big-league mound at an improbable fifty-nine. (“Age is a case of mind over matter,” he said. “If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”) More than a fascinating account of a baseball odyssey, Satchel rewrites our history of the integration of the sport, with Satchel Paige in a starring role. This is a powerful portrait of an American hero who employed a shuffling stereotype to disarm critics and racists, floated comical legends about himself–including about his own age–to deflect inquiry and remain elusive, and in the process methodically built his own myth. “Don’t look back,” he famously said. “Something might be gaining on you.” Separating the truth from the legend, Satchel is a remarkable accomplishment, as large as this larger-than-life man.

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Why We Love Baseball - Joe Posnanski Cover Art

Why We Love Baseball

Why We Love Baseball A History in 50 Moments by Joe Posnanski

NEW YORK TIMES bestseller Winner of the CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year National Sports Media Association Sports Book of the Year  An NPR "Book of the Day" #1 New York Times bestselling author Joe Posnanski is back with a masterful ode to the game: a countdown of 50 of the most memorable moments in baseball’s history, to make you fall in love with the sport all over again.   Posnanski writes of major moments that created legends, and of forgotten moments almost lost to time. It's Willie Mays’s catch, Babe Ruth’s called shot, and Kirk Gibson’s limping home run; the slickest steals; the biggest bombs; and the most triumphant no-hitters. But these are also moments raw with the humanity of the game, the unheralded heroes, the mesmerizing mistakes drenched in pine tar, and every story, from the immortal to the obscure, is told from a unique perspective. Whether of a real fan who witnessed it, or the pitcher who gave up the home run, the umpire, the coach, the opposing player—these are fresh takes on moments so powerful they almost feel like myth.   Posnanski’s previous book, The Baseball 100 , portrayed the heroes and pioneers of the sport, and now, with his trademark wit, encyclopedic knowledge, and acute observations, he gets at the real heart of the game. From nineteenth-century pitchers’ duels to breaking the sport’s color line in the ’40s, all the way to the greatest trick play of the last decade and the slide home that became a meme, Posnanski’s illuminating take allows us to rediscover the sport we love—and thought we knew.   Why We Love Baseball is an epic that ends too soon, a one-of-a-kind love letter to the sport that has us thrilled, torn, inspired, and always wanting more.

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Perfect Eloquence - Tom Hoffarth Cover Art

Perfect Eloquence

Perfect Eloquence An Appreciation of Vin Scully by Tom Hoffarth

When Vin Scully passed away in 2022, the city of Los Angeles lost its soundtrack. If you were able to deliver a eulogy for him, what might it include? What impact did he have on you? What do you carry forward from his legacy? Sixty-seven essayists—one representing each season of his career calling games for the Los Angeles Dodgers, from 1950 through 2016—reflect on the ways his professional and private life influenced them. The contributions include a range of stories and remembrances from those who knew and followed him. The consensus of the contributions is that Scully’s actions spoke louder than his well-recognized words. This collection includes fellow broadcasters as well as historians, players, journalists, celebrities, and others connected to the game of baseball, with each piece introduced by sports journalist Tom Hoffarth. Readers can consider Scully’s life through common themes: his sincerity, his humility, his professionalism, his passion for his faith, his devotion to his family, his insistence on remembering and giving context to important moments in the history of not just the game but the world in general, all wrapped up in a gift for weaving storytelling with accurate reporting, fellowship with performance art, humor, and connection.  

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Eight Men Out - Eliot Asinof Cover Art

Eight Men Out

Eight Men Out The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series by Eliot Asinof

A “vividly, excitingly written” classic of baseball history: “The most thorough investigation of the Black Sox scandal on record” ( Chicago Tribune ). It was “the most gigantic sporting swindle in the history of America”—the 1919 fix of the World Series and attempted cover-up. Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire scene-by-scene story of the fantastic scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation’s leading gamblers to throw the Series in Cincinnati. Mr. Asinof vividly describes the tense meetings, the hitches in the conniving, the actual plays in which the Series was thrown, the Grand Jury indictment, and the famous 1921 trial. Moving behind the scenes, he perceptively examines the motives and backgrounds of the players and the conditions that made the improbable fix all too possible. Here, too, is a graphic picture of the American underworld that managed the fix, the deeply shocked newspapermen who uncovered the story, and the war-exhausted nation that turned with relief and pride to the Series, only to be rocked by the scandal. Far more than a superbly told baseball story, this is a compelling slice of American history in the aftermath of World War I and at the cusp of the Roaring Twenties. “Dramatic detail . . . an admirable journalistic feat.” — The New York Times “As thrilling as a cops and robbers tome.” — The Boston Globe

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Banana Ball - Jesse Cole & Don Yaeger Cover Art

Banana Ball

Banana Ball The Unbelievably True Story of the Savannah Bananas by Jesse Cole & Don Yaeger

The Savannah Bananas have peeled back the game of baseball and made it fun again. This is their story.   For his entire childhood, Jesse Cole dreamed of pitching in the Majors. Now, he has a life in baseball that he could have only imagined: he met the love of his life in the industry; they shaped Savannah, Georgia’s professional team into the league champion Savannah Bananas; and now the Bananas have restyled baseball itself into something all their own: Banana Ball.    Fast, fun, and outrageously entertaining, Banana Ball brings fans right into the game. The Bananas throw out a first banana rather than a ball. Their first-base coach dances to "Thriller" or Britney between innings. Players run into the crowd to hand out roses. And the rules themselves are bananas: if a fan catches a foul ball it’s an out; and players might go to bat on stilts or wearing a banana costume. And their fans absolutely love it.    But the reason this team is on the forefront of a movement is less about the play on the field and more about the atmosphere that the team culture creates. For the first time in this book, Jesse reveals the ideas and experiences that allowed him to reimagine America’s oldest sport by creating a phenomenon that is helping fans fall in love with the game all over again.    This is a story that’s bigger than baseball and bigger than the yellow tuxedo Jesse wears as the “ringmaster” of every game. And to understand the movement, you have to understand the story at its core. In Jesse’s telling, it takes heart, innovation, and joy (and a bit of tropical fruit) to make something wholly original out of one of America’s great traditions. His story is part Moneyball , part Field of Dreams , part The Greatest Showman . It is a personal story, a creativity story, and the story of a business scrapping for every success. And it has several distinct love stories—love stories like Jesse and his father, Jesse and his wife, the team and the sport of baseball, the team and the fans.   This is Jesse calling his dad from the outfield after each Bananas game, and putting unending creativity into a team with the ultimate goal of bringing the Bananas to the professional ballparks he himself never got to play in. This is his story of baseball, love, leadership, and going just a bit bananas for all.

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The Glory of Their Times - Lawrence S. Ritter Cover Art

The Glory of Their Times

The Glory of Their Times The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It by Lawrence S. Ritter

“Easily the best baseball book ever produced by anyone.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer “This was the best baseball book published in 1966, it is the best baseball book of its kind now, and, if it is reissued in 10 years, it will be the best baseball book.” — People From Lawrence Ritter, co-author of The Image of Their Greatness and The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time, comes one of the bestselling, most acclaimed sports books of all time. Baseball was different in earlier days—tougher, more raw, more intimate—when giants like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb ran the bases. In the monumental classic The Glory of Their Times, the golden era of our national pastime comes alive through the vibrant words of those who played and lived the game. It is a book every baseball fan should read!

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Out of My League: - Dirk Hayhurst Cover Art

Out of My League:

Out of My League: A Rookie's Survival in the Bigs by Dirk Hayhurst

The New York Times bestseller from the author of The Bullpen Gospels . “ A humorous, candid and insightful memoir . . . Grade: Home Run.”— Cleveland Plain Dealer After six years in the minors, pitcher Dirk Hayhurst hopes 2008 is the year he breaks into the big leagues. But every time Dirk looks up, the bases are loaded with challenges—a wedding balancing on a blind hope, a family in chaos, and paychecks that beg Dirk to ask, “How long can I afford to keep doing this?”  Then it finally happens—Dirk gets called up to the Majors, to play for the San Diego Padres. A dream comes true when he takes the mound against the San Francisco Giants, kicking off forty insane days and nights in the Bigs.  Like the classic games of baseball’s history,  Out of My League  entertains from the first pitch to the last out, capturing the gritty realities of playing on the big stage, the comedy and camaraderie in the dugouts and locker rooms, and the hard-fought, personal journeys that drive our love of America’s favorite pastime.  “A rare gem of a baseball book.”—Tom Verducci,  Sports Illustrated “Observant, insightful, human, and hilarious.”—Bob Costas   “A fun read . . . This book shows why baseball is so often used as a metaphor for life.”—Keith Olbermann “Entertaining and engaging . . . reminiscent of Jim Bouton’s  Ball Four .”— Booklist “The book is a terrific read. If you loved Bullpen Gospels (I’d have a hard time believing you are a baseball fan if you didn’t) you will love Out of My League too.”—Bluebird Banter

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Nolan Ryan - Rob Goldman Cover Art

Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan The Making of a Pitcher by Rob Goldman

To any baseball fan, Nolan Ryan’s name still conjures up images of blistering 100-mile-per-hour fastballs and knee-buckling curveballs. During his 27-year career, “The Ryan Express” was named an eight-time All-Star and amassed seven no-hitters and more than 5,700 strikeouts—more than any other pitcher in major-league history. This comprehensive biography of Nolan Ryan follows the baseball legend’s journey from the start of his professional career in 1965 to his retirement in 1993. Hall of Famers, journeymen, clubhouse workers, coaches, and trainers offer their own unique take on Ryan in this book filled with never-before-told anecdotes and personal recollections and peppered with eyewitness accounts of his greatest games. In the pages of this history, readers will discover what made Nolan Ryan one of the most revered and respected athletes and citizens of his time.

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Game of Edges: The Analytics Revolution and the Future of Professional Sports - Bruce Schoenfeld Cover Art

Game of Edges: The Analytics Revolution and the Future of Professional Sports

Game of Edges: The Analytics Revolution and the Future of Professional Sports by Bruce Schoenfeld

The story of how a new generation of tech-savvy franchise owners is reshaping every aspect of professional sports. In the last two decades, innovation, data analysis, and technology have driven a tectonic shift in the sports business. Game of Edges is the story of how sports franchises evolved, on and off the field, from raggedly run small businesses into some of the most systematically productive companies around. In today’s game, everyone from the owners to the marketing staff are using information—data—to give their team an edge. For analysts, an edge is their currency. Figuring out that bunting hurts your offense? That’s an edge. So is discovering metrics that can predict the career arc of your free agent shooting guard. Or combing through a decade of ticket-buying data to target persuadable fans. These small, incremental steps move a sports franchise from merely ordinary to the leading edge. Franchises today are more than just sports; they integrate a whole suite of other businesses—television and digital content, gambling and real estate, fashion and apparel, entertainment, catering and concessions, and much more. But an optimized franchise has no room for error. Teams must do what the numbers say, reducing the element of chance, limiting those random moments of athletic heroism that make sports thrilling to watch. Optimization also means the franchise’s main goal isn’t championships anymore; it’s keeping you, the viewer, engaged with the product. Drawing on extensive interviews with franchise owners, general managers, executives, and players, Bruce Schoenfeld introduces dynamic leaders who are radically reimagining the operations of these decades-old teams—and producing mind-boggling valuations. He joins the architects of the Golden State Warriors dynasty for an exclusive reception before tip-off. He stands among the faithful at Anfield, watching Liverpool’s analytics guru size up a prized midfielder. And he watches the president of the Chicago Cubs break ground on a new DraftKings gambling parlor at Wrigley Field, not ten miles from the site of the original Black Sox betting scandal. Essential reading for anyone interested in sports, business, or technology, Game of Edges explores a world where winning the game is only the beginning.

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The Hidden Language of Baseball - Paul Dickson Cover Art

The Hidden Language of Baseball

The Hidden Language of Baseball How Signs and Sign-Stealing Have Influenced the Course of Our National Pastime by Paul Dickson

Baseball is set apart from other sports by many things, but few are more distinctive than the intricate systems of coded language that govern action on the field and give baseball its unique appeal. During a nine‑inning game, more than one thousand silent instructions are given—from catcher to pitcher, coach to batter, fielder to fielder, umpire to umpire—and without this speechless communication the game would simply not be the same. Baseball historian Paul Dickson examines the rich legacy of baseball’s hidden language, offering fans everywhere a smorgasbord of history and anecdote. Baseball’s tradition of signing grew out of the signal flags used by ships and hand signals used by soldiers during battle and were first used in games during the Civil War. The Hartford Dark Blues appear to be the first team to steal signs, introducing a larcenous obsession that, as Dickson delightfully chronicles, has given the game some of its most historic—and outlandish—moments. In this revised and expanded edition through the 2018 season, Dickson discusses recent developments and incidents, including the illegal use of new technology to swipe signs. A roster of baseball’s greatest names and games, past and present, echoes throughout, making The Hidden Language of Baseball a unique window on the history of our national pastime.  

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Sol White's Official Base Ball Guide - Sol White Cover Art

Sol White's Official Base Ball Guide

Sol White's Official Base Ball Guide by Sol White

First published in 1907, the Sol White Guide is the only known document devoted to the early years of organized Black Ball.  Much of what is known about the era comes from this book.  The SGB publication includes a wealth of background information about White, his teammates, and other star players, plus a fascinating Who’s Who section, compiled by award-winning Negro Leagues historian Gary Ashwill.   Sol White was a star player and manager in the early years of organized black baseball.  In 1907 he teamed with sports writer and team owner Walter Schlichter to publish the first and only history of the stars, teams, and great feats of the era.  The writing is all White’s; Schlicter provided the backing.   This unique window into the important chapter in baseball history includes descriptions of the skills and feats of the top players, accounts and box scores of championship matches, and 57 invaluable photographs.  Also included are essays by luminaries of the time:  Art and Science of Hitting, by “Home Run” Johnson, and How to Pitch, by 1981 Hall of Fame inductee Rube Foster.  The SGB edition of The Sol White Guide is the first in nearly 20 years.  Gary Ashwill’s introduction and text notes include newly-discovered information about the players and events recounted in the book, much of which was uncovered by Gary’s own painstaking research into the era.   The Who’s Who Section provides fascinating thumbnail biographies of the star players covered in White’s guide.  From the classic poses struck by the players, to the early 20th century baseball language of the text, to the ads from local merchants included to pay for the book’s production, The Sol White Guide is a time capsule of a nearly forgotten but very important era in the history of baseball.  With that in mind, Summer Game Books has made every effort to be true to the original, both with the wording and spelling of the text and the positioning and cropping of the photos.   

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My Team - Larry Dierker Cover Art

My Team

My Team Choosing My Dream Team from My Forty Years in Baseball by Larry Dierker

Mantle or Mays? A-Rod or Jeter? Biggio or Morgan? Clemens, Maddux, and Randy Johnson -- or Pedro, Palmer, and Carlton? These are questions baseball fans can spend endless hours debating. Former All-Star pitcher and National League Manager of the Year Larry Dierker has his own opinions, and he shares them in My Team, his fascinating discussion of the greatest players he has seen in his four decades in the major leagues. Dierker selects twenty-five players for My Team and another twenty-five for the opposition, the Underdogs, or "Dogs." There are two players at each position, five starting pitchers, and four relievers. (When your starters are the likes of Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, and Juan Marichal, you don't worry about bullpen depth.) All are players that Dierker has played with or against or watched in his years as player, coach, manager, and commentator. Each athlete must have played at least ten years in the major leagues to qualify, and players are judged on their ten best seasons. Leadership skills and personality -- critical components of team chemistry -- are highly valued. So how is it possible to select two teams composed of outstanding ballplayers from the past forty years and not have room for Sandy Koufax, Reggie Jackson, Carl Yastrzemski, or Cal Ripken Jr.? Dierker explains his choices, analyzing each position carefully, always putting the team ahead of the individual player. He provides statistics to back up his selections, and often relates personal anecdotes about the players. (From his first All-Star Game in 1969, Dierker offers a wonderful anecdote about Hank Aaron, by then an All-Star veteran.) My Team may start more debates than it settles, but Dierker's insights, and his passion for the game, will enlighten and fascinate true baseball fans.

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Season of '42 - Jack Cavanaugh Cover Art

Season of '42

Season of '42 Joe D., Teddy Ballgame, and Baseball's Fight to Survive a Turbulent First Year of War by Jack Cavanaugh

Big league baseball would seem to have been a hard sell in 1942. World War II was not going well for the United States in the Pacific and not much better in Europe. Moreover, the country was in drastically short supply of ships, planes, submarines, torpedoes, and other war materials, and Uncle Sam needed men, millions of them, including those from twenty-one through thirty-five years of age who had been ordered to register for the draft, the age range of most big league baseball players. But after a “green light” from President Roosevelt, major league baseball played on in 1942 as it would throughout the war. It turned out to be an extraordinary season, too, spiced by a brash, young, and swift St. Louis Cardinal team that stunned the baseball world by winning the World Series. The 1942 season would be overshadowed by war, though, with many people wondering whether it was really all right for four hundred seemingly healthy and athletic men to play a child’s game and earn far more money than the thousands of young Americans whose lives were at risk as they fought the Germans and Japanese abroad.  In Season of ’42 , veteran sportswriter Jack Cavanaugh takes a look at this historic baseball season, how it was shaped and affected by the war and what, ultimately, it meant to America.

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162-0: Imagine a Mets Perfect Season - Howie Karpin Cover Art

162-0: Imagine a Mets Perfect Season

162-0: Imagine a Mets Perfect Season A Game-by-Game Anaylsis of the Greatest Wins in Mets History by Howie Karpin

Imagining a year in which the New York Mets never lose a single game, this idealistic resource identifies the most memorable victory in the team's history on every single day of the baseball calendar season, from late March to late October. Ranging from games with incredible historical significance and individual achievement to those with high drama and high stakes, the book envisions the impossible: a blemish-free Mets season. Evocative photos, original quotes, thorough research, and engaging prose and analysis add another dimension.

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Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert - Timothy M. Gay Cover Art

Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert

Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball Before Jackie Robinson by Timothy M. Gay

Before Jackie Robinson integrated major league baseball in 1947, black and white ballplayers had been playing against one another for decades—even, on rare occasions, playing with each other. Interracial contests took place during the off-season, when major leaguers and Negro Leaguers alike fattened their wallets by playing exhibitions in cities and towns across America. These barnstorming tours reached new heights, however, when Satchel Paige and other African- American stars took on white teams headlined by the irrepressible Dizzy Dean. Lippy and funny, a born showman, the native Arkansan saw no reason why he shouldn’t pitch against Negro Leaguers. Paige, who feared no one and chased a buck harder than any player alive, instantly recognized the box-office appeal of competing against Dizzy Dean’s "All-Stars." Paige and Dean both featured soaring leg kicks and loved to mimic each other’s style to amuse fans. Skin color aside, the dirt-poor Southern pitchers had much in common. Historian Timothy M. Gay has unearthed long-forgotten exhibitions where Paige and Dean dueled, and he tells the story of their pioneering escapades in this engaging book. Long before they ever heard of Robinson or Larry Doby, baseball fans from Brooklyn to Enid, Oklahoma, watched black and white players battle on the same diamond. With such Hall of Fame teammates as Josh Gibson, Turkey Stearnes, Mule Suttles, Oscar Charleston, Cool Papa Bell, and Bullet Joe Rogan, Paige often had the upper hand against Diz. After arm troubles sidelined Dean, a new pitching phenom, Bob Feller—Rapid Robert—assembled his own teams to face Paige and other blackballers. By the time Paige became Feller’s teammate on the Cleveland Indians in 1948, a rookie at age forty-two, Satch and Feller had barnstormed against each other for more than a decade. These often obscure contests helped hasten the end of Jim Crow baseball, paving the way for the game’s integration. Satchel Paige, Dizzy Dean, and Bob Feller never set out to make social history—but that’s precisely what happened. Tim Gay has brought this era to vivid and colorful life in a book that every baseball fan will embrace.

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Downright Filthy Pitching Book 1: The Science of Effective Velocity - Perry Husband Cover Art

Downright Filthy Pitching Book 1: The Science of Effective Velocity

Downright Filthy Pitching Book 1: The Science of Effective Velocity by Perry Husband

Downright Filthy Pitching - The Science of Effective Velocity - This is a study of baseball and softball pitching speeds and how location dramatically changes the reaction time of pitches to the hitter. This is the first in a series of three books covering this fascinating new science that has already changed the game at every level. This series is about answering some questions that have been a mystery since the very first at bat in organized baseball. Major League pitchers, hitters, pitching coaches and managers have embraced Effective Velocity to help them enhance their approach to the game sine 2004. Collegiate coaches in both baseball and softball have revamped both their hitting and pitching philosophies based on this exciting new concept. NCAA championships - MLB Division Championships and countless other milestones have been accomplished using the laws that govern the confrontation between pitcher and hitter; Effective Velocity. Discover the reason why pitchers can execute a pitch in what is thought of as a perfect location and it ends up a homerun. Find out why hitters swing and miss belt high fastballs right down the middle of the plate one day and hit out of the park the next. Are taller pitchers really more Filthy? Is outside fastball really the best pitch in baseball? Is movement the most crucial factor in a pitcher's success? These and many other answers await you in this series describing this brand new paradigm for baseball and softball.

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Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game - Michael Lewis Cover Art

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis’s instant classic may be “the most influential book on sports ever written” (People), but “you need know absolutely nothing about baseball to appreciate the wit, snap, economy and incisiveness of [Lewis’s] thoughts about it” (Janet Maslin, New York Times). One of GQ's 50 Best Books of Literary Journalism of the 21st Century Just before the 2002 season opens, the Oakland Athletics must relinquish its three most prominent (and expensive) players and is written off by just about everyone—but then comes roaring back to challenge the American League record for consecutive wins. How did one of the poorest teams in baseball win so many games? In a quest to discover the answer, Michael Lewis delivers not only “the single most influential baseball book ever” (Rob Neyer, Slate) but also what “may be the best book ever written on business” (Weekly Standard). Lewis first looks to all the logical places—the front offices of major league teams, the coaches, the minds of brilliant players—but discovers the real jackpot is a cache of numbers?numbers!?collected over the years by a strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts: software engineers, statisticians, Wall Street analysts, lawyers, and physics professors. What these numbers prove is that the traditional yardsticks of success for players and teams are fatally flawed. Even the box score misleads us by ignoring the crucial importance of the humble base-on-balls. This information had been around for years, and nobody inside Major League Baseball paid it any mind. And then came Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics. He paid attention to those numbers?with the second-lowest payroll in baseball at his disposal he had to?to conduct an astonishing experiment in finding and fielding a team that nobody else wanted. In a narrative full of fabulous characters and brilliant excursions into the unexpected, Michael Lewis shows us how and why the new baseball knowledge works. He also sets up a sly and hilarious morality tale: Big Money, like Goliath, is always supposed to win . . . how can we not cheer for David?

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The Mental ABCs of Pitching - H.A. Dorfman Cover Art

The Mental ABCs of Pitching

The Mental ABCs of Pitching A Handbook for Performance Enhancement by H.A. Dorfman

Author H.A. Dorfman brings his years of expertise as instructor/counselor with the A's, Marlins, and Devil Rays to provide an easy-to-use, A-to-Z handbook which will give insight and instruction on how to pitch to peak performance at every level of the game. Perfect for pitchers who need that extra edge or hitters who want to better understand the mental moves on the mound. With a new foreword by Rick Wolff!

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The Wax Pack - Brad Balukjian Cover Art

The Wax Pack

The Wax Pack On the Open Road in Search of Baseball's Afterlife by Brad Balukjian

A Los Angeles Times Best Seller A 2020 NPR Best Book of the Year Is there life after baseball? Starting from this simple question, The Wax Pack ends up with something much bigger and unexpected—a meditation on the loss of innocence and the gift of impermanence, for both Brad Balukjian and the former ballplayers he tracked down. To get a truly random sample of players, Balukjian followed this wildly absurd but fun-as-hell premise: he took a single pack of baseball cards from 1986 (the first year he collected cards), opened it, chewed the nearly thirty-year-old gum inside, gagged, and then embarked on a quest to find all the players in the pack. On Balukjian’s trip in the summer of 2015, he spanned 11,341 miles through thirty states in forty-eight days. Actively engaging with his subjects, he took a hitting lesson from Rance Mulliniks, watched kung fu movies with Garry Templeton, and went to the zoo with Don Carman. In the process of finding all the players but one, he discovered an astonishing range of experiences and untold stories in their post-baseball lives. While crisscrossing the country, Balukjian retraced his own past, reconnecting with lost loves and coming to terms with his lifelong battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Alternately elegiac and uplifting, The Wax Pack is part baseball nostalgia, part road trip travelogue, and all heart, a reminder that greatness is not found in the stats on the backs of baseball cards but in the personal stories of the men on the front of them.

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Southern League - Larry Colton Cover Art

Southern League

Southern League A True Story of Baseball, Civil Rights, and the Deep South's Most Compelling Pennant Race by Larry Colton

Bestselling and award-winning author and former major league pitcher Larry Colton shares the story of the Birmingham Barons, the first racially-integrated team of any sport in the state of Alabama, just few months after the horrific 1964 Birmingham church bombing which killed four young black girls.  Anybody who is familiar with the Civil Rights movement knows that 1964 was a pivotal year. And in Birmingham, Alabama - perhaps the epicenter of racial conflict - the Barons amazingly started their season with an integrated team. Johnny "Blue Moon" Odom, a talented pitcher and Tommie Reynolds, an outfielder - both young black ballplayers with dreams of playing someday in the big leagues, along with Bert Campaneris, a dark-skinned shortstop from Cuba, all found themselves in this simmering cauldron of a minor league town, all playing for Heywood Sullivan, a white former major leaguer who grew up just down the road in Dothan, Alabama. Colton traces the entire season, writing about the extraordinary relationships among these players with Sullivan, and Colton tells their story by capturing the essence of Birmingham and its citizens during this tumultuous year. (The infamous Bull Connor, for example, when not ordering blacks to be blasted by powerful water hoses, is a fervent follower of the Barons and served as a long-time broadcaster of their games.) By all accounts, the racial jeers and taunts that rained down upon these Birmingham players were much worse than anything that Jackie Robinson ever endured. More than a story about baseball, this is a true accounting of life in a different time and clearly a different place. Seventeen years after Jackie Robinson had broken the color line in the major leagues, Birmingham was exploding in race riots....and now, they were going to have their very first integrated sports team. This is a story that has never been told.

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Invisible Men - Donn Rogosin Cover Art

Invisible Men

Invisible Men Life in Baseball's Negro Leagues by Donn Rogosin

On Feb. 13, 1920, a group of independent black baseball team owners held a meeting at a YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri. While they couldn’t have known at the time that they were about to change the course of American history, it was out of that meeting that the Negro National League was born.   The league flourished throughout the 1920s and beyond, becoming the first successful, organized professional black baseball league in the country. By providing a playing field for African American and Hispanic baseball players to showcase their world-class baseball abilities, it became a force that provided cohesion and a source of pride in black communities. Among them were the legendary pitchers Smokey Joe Williams, whose fastball seemed to “come off a mountain top,” Satchel Paige, the ageless wonder who pitched for five decades, and such hitters as Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, and Oscar Charleston, whose talents as players may have even been surpassed by their total commitment to their profession and hardiness.  Leading the leagues were memorable characters like Gus Greenlee of the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Effa Manley of the Newark Eagles.   Although their games were ignored by white-owned newspapers and radio stations, black ballplayers and their teams became folk heroes in cities such as Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York, and Washington DC, where the teams drew large crowds and became major contributors to the local community life, with influence extending far beyond the baseball fields. This memorable narrative, filled with the memories of many surviving Negro League players, pulls the veil off these “invisible men” who were forced into the segregated leagues. What emerges is a glorious chapter in African American history and an often overlooked aspect of our American past.

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The Franchise: Atlanta Braves - Mark Bowman Cover Art

The Franchise: Atlanta Braves

The Franchise: Atlanta Braves by Mark Bowman

In The Franchise: Atlanta Braves, take a more profound and unique journey into the history of an iconic team. This thoughtful and engaging collection of essays captures the astute fans' history of the franchise, going beyond well-worn narratives of yesteryear to uncover the less-discussed moments, decisions, people, and settings that fostered the Braves' one-of-a-kind identity. Through wheeling and dealing, mythmaking and community building, explore where the organization has been, how it got to prominence in the modern major league landscape, and how it'll continue to evolve and stay in contention for generations to come.Braves fans in the know will enjoy this personal, local, in-depth look at baseball history.

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Ballplayer - Chipper Jones & Carroll Rogers Walton Cover Art

Ballplayer

Ballplayer by Chipper Jones & Carroll Rogers Walton

Atlanta Braves third baseman and National Hall of Famer Chipper Jones—one of the greatest switch-hitters in baseball history—shares his remarkable story, while capturing the magic nostalgia that sets baseball apart from every other sport.   Before Chipper Jones became an eight-time All-Star who amassed Hall of Fame–worthy statistics during a nineteen-year career with the Atlanta Braves, he was just a country kid from small town Pierson, Florida. A kid who grew up playing baseball in the backyard with his dad dreaming that one day he’d be a major league ballplayer.     With his trademark candor and astonishing recall, Chipper Jones tells the story of his rise to the MLB ranks and what it took to stay with one organization his entire career in an era of booming free agency. His journey begins with learning the art of switch-hitting and takes off after the Braves make him the number one overall pick in the 1990 draft, setting him on course to become the linchpin of their lineup at the height of their fourteen-straight division-title run.   Ballplayer takes readers into the clubhouse of the Braves’ extraordinary dynasty, from the climax of the World Series championship in 1995 to the last-gasp division win by the 2005 “Baby Braves”; all the while sharing pitch-by-pitch dissections of clashes at the plate with some of the all-time great starters, such as Clemens and Johnson, as well as closers such as Wagner and Papelbon. He delves into his relationships with Bobby Cox and his famous Braves brothers — Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, among them—and opponents from Cal Ripken Jr. to Barry Bonds. The National League MVP also opens up about his overnight rise to superstardom and the personal pitfalls that came with fame; his spirited rivalry with the New York Mets; his reflections on baseball in the modern era—outrageous money, steroids, and all — and his special last season in 2012.   Ballplayer immerses us in the best of baseball, as if we’re sitting next to Chipper in the dugout on an endless spring day.

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Our Team - Luke Epplin Cover Art

Our Team

Our Team The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball by Luke Epplin

The riveting story of four men — Larry Doby, Bill Veeck, Bob Feller, and Satchel Paige — whose improbable union on the Cleveland Indians in the late 1940s would shape the immediate postwar era of Major League Baseball and beyond. In July 1947, not even three months after Jackie Robinson debuted on the Brooklyn Dodgers, snapping the color line that had segregated Major League Baseball, Larry Doby would follow in his footsteps on the Cleveland Indians. Though Doby, as the second Black player in the majors, would struggle during his first summer in Cleveland, his subsequent turnaround in 1948 from benchwarmer to superstar sparked one of the wildest and most meaningful seasons in baseball history. In intimate, absorbing detail, Luke Epplin's Our Team traces the story of the integration of the Cleveland Indians and their quest for a World Series title through four key participants: Bill Veeck, an eccentric and visionary owner adept at exploding fireworks on and off the field; Larry Doby, a soft-spoken, hard-hitting pioneer whose major-league breakthrough shattered stereotypes that so much of white America held about Black ballplayers; Bob Feller, a pitching prodigy from the Iowa cornfields who set the template for the athlete as businessman; and Satchel Paige, a legendary pitcher from the Negro Leagues whose belated entry into the majors whipped baseball fans across the country into a frenzy. Together, as the backbone of a team that epitomized the postwar American spirit in all its hopes and contradictions, these four men would captivate the nation by storming to the World Series--all the while rewriting the rules of what was possible in sports.

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The 34-Ton Bat - Steve Rushin Cover Art

The 34-Ton Bat

The 34-Ton Bat The Story of Baseball as Told Through Bobbleheads, Cracker Jacks, Jockstraps, Eye Black, and 375 Other Strange and Unforgettable Objects by Steve Rushin

An unorthodox history of baseball told through the enthralling stories of the game's objects, equipment, and characters. No sport embraces its wild history quite like baseball, especially in memorabilia and objects. Sure, there are baseball cards and team pennants. But there are also huge balls, giant bats, peanuts, cracker jacks, eyeblack, and more, each with a backstory you have to read to believe. In The 34-Ton Bat , Sports Illustrated writer Steve Rushin tells the real, unvarnished story of baseball through the lens of all the things that make it the game that it is. Rushin weaves these rich stories -- from ballpark pipe organs played by malevolent organists to backed up toilets at Ebbets Field -- together in their order of importance (from most to least) for an entertaining and compulsive read, glowing with a deep passion for America's Pastime. The perfect holiday gift for casual fans and serious collectors alike, The 34-Ton Bat is a true heavy hitter.

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Welcome to the Circus of Baseball - Ryan McGee Cover Art

Welcome to the Circus of Baseball

Welcome to the Circus of Baseball A Story of the Perfect Summer at the Perfect Ballpark at the Perfect Time by Ryan McGee

A gloriously funny, nostalgic memoir of a popular ESPN reporter who, in the summer of 1994, was a fresh-out-of-college intern for a minor league baseball team. Madness and charm ensue as Ryan McGee spends the season steeped in sweat, fertilizer, nacho cheese sauce, and pure, unadulterated joy in North Carolina with the Asheville Tourists. "A sweet and funny book that reminds us it’s not just the game itself that draws us. It’s also the people." —Tom Verducci, MLB Network, Fox & Sports Illustrated, and New York Times bestselling author of The Yankee Years In the spring of 1994, Ryan McGee (new college graduate) bombed his coveted interview with ESPN--the only place he ever wanted to work. But he did receive one job offer: to work for $100 a week for the Asheville Tourists, a proud minor league baseball team in the heart of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. McCormick Field, home to the Tourists, had once been graced by Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Jackie Robinson. What could go wrong? Welcome to the Circus of Baseball is McGee’s hilarious, charming memoir of his first summer working in the sporting world. He has since risen the ESPN ranks to national TV, radio, and Internet host, but his time in Asheville still looms large. Among the many jewels of his experience. . . McGee recounts one of the most entertaining on-field brawls you’ll ever witness (between the fourteen league mascots who had assembled for the all-star game--an eight-foot-tall foam-costumed crustacean, a pudgy red fox, a giant skunk . . . and they were really fighting), as well as the nervous moment he oversaw the game-day entertainer known as "Captain Dynamite and His Exploding Coffin of Death." Most important, McGee details a magical summer of baseball, of learning the ropes, of the ins-and-outs of running a minor league team, and of coming to understand how the pulse of a community can beat gloriously through a minor league ball club. Welcome to the Circus of Baseball is a baseball classic in the making.

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Juicing the Game - Howard Bryant Cover Art

Juicing the Game

Juicing the Game Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball by Howard Bryant

In  Juicing the Game , award-winning journalist Howard Bryant offers the only big-picture look at the insidious manner in which performance-enhancing drugs infested baseball as the game’s leaders stood idly by, reaping the rewards. Combining hard-hitting investigative journalism with interviews with baseball heavyweights such as Jason Giambi, Commissioner Bud Selig, union head Donald Fehr, and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson among many others,  Juicing the Game  is the definitive book on both the steroid scandal and the era it has irreversibly tainted. BACKCOVER: “A rich and measured tale of the last dishonest decade . . . No more comprehensive, balanced or fair account exists. Bryant carefully and powerfully builds his case. The self-inflicted catastrophe could have no better chronicler.” —Los Angeles Times   “If there ever was a ‘must read’ sports book of its time, this is it. Because of the undeniable truths it tells, Bryant’s book is essential reading.” —The Washington Post Book World

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Joy in Tigertown - Tom Gage Cover Art

Joy in Tigertown

Joy in Tigertown A Determined Team, a Resilient City, and our Magical Run to the 1968 World Series by Tom Gage

The 1968 World Series remains one of the most iconic in major league history. Featuring Bob Gibson in MVP form, Al Kaline, and Mickey Lolich, it was baseball at its best. Told with the vibrant first-hand perspective of Lolich himself and the expertise of award-winning Detroit journalist Tom Gage, this is the remarkable saga of that 1968 season which culminated in Tigers glory. Incorporating new reflections from players and personnel, Joy in Tigertown traces such achievements as Denny McClain's 31-win season as well as the remarkable slugging performances of Kaline, Norm Cash, Willie Horton, and Bill Freehan.

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Strength Training for Baseball - NSCA - National Strength & Conditioning Association Cover Art

Strength Training for Baseball

Strength Training for Baseball by NSCA - National Strength & Conditioning Association

Baseball programs at all levels recognize the competitive edge that can be gained by their athletes through targeted resistance training programs. Every Major League Baseball team, most minor league teams, the top 25 ranked college baseball teams, and even some high schools (depending on the level and size) have a full-time strength and conditioning professional on staff. With Strength Training for Baseball , you will gain insights into to how amateur to professional baseball players are trained, and you will learn to apply those best practices with your own team to gain a winning advantage. Developed with the expertise of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Strength Training for Baseball explains the value of resistance training for baseball athletes—backed by practical experience, evidence-based training methodologies, and research. The book will help you understand the specific physical demands of each position—pitchers, catchers, middle infielders, corner infielders, center fielders, and corner outfielders—so you can design program that translate to performance on the field. You will also find the following: • 13 detailed protocols to test baseball athletes’ strength, power, speed, agility, body composition, and anthropometry • 11 total body resistance exercises with 13 variations • 19 lower body exercises with 29 variations • 28 upper body exercises with 38 variations • 23 anatomical core exercises with 11 variations • 34 sample programs for off-season, preseason, in-season, and postseason resistance training Each resistance training exercise consists of a series of photos and a detailed list of primary muscles trained, beginning position and movement phases, modifications and variations, and coaching tips to guide you in selecting the right exercises for a program. You’ll also learn how to structure those programs based on the goals and length of each season and for each position. Backed by the NSCA and the knowledge and experience of successful high school, college, and professional baseball strength and conditioning professionals, Strength Training for Baseball is the authoritative resource for creating baseball-specific resistance training programs to help your athletes optimize their strength and successfully transfer that strength and power to the baseball field. Earn continuing education credits/units! A continuing education course and exam that uses this book is also available. It may be purchased separately or as part of a package that includes all the course materials and exam.

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Penguin Power - Ron Cey & Ken Gurnick Cover Art

Penguin Power

Penguin Power Dodger Blue, Hollywood Lights, and My One-in-a-Million Big League Journey by Ron Cey & Ken Gurnick

Mention "The Penguin" to any Dodgers fan and you're sure to evoke not just memories of the beloved third baseman Ron Cey, but also of the glory years of modern Dodgers baseball, a rollicking run through the '70s and '80s highlighted by the loquacious Tommy Lasorda, Fernandomania, a historic infield anchored by Cey, and an unforgettable 1981 World Series title. In Penguin Power: Dodger Blue, Hollywood Lights, and a One-in-a-Million Big League Journey , "The Penguin" Ron Cey and veteran Dodgers scribe Ken Gurnick take fans on an amazing ride from Cey's formative years in the Pacific Northwest through his stardom on and off the field in Los Angeles and beyond. As part of the longest running infield in MLB history, six-time All Star and 1981 co-World Series MVP Cey joined Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, and Bill Russell to help the Dodgers triumph after years of postseason heartbreak, and bring the first World Series back to Los Angeles since Sandy Koufax and the Boys of Summer of 1965. Featuring charming stories from Cey's time in a memorable clubhouse alongside Dodger legends Lasorda, Garvey, and Fernando Valenzuela, with Vin Scully and Jaime JarrÍn in the booth, as well as tales of the life of a star during a magical time in Los Angeles, Penguin Power is a must-read for fans of an unforgettable era of Dodgers baseball.

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Beauty at Short - Tom Alesia Cover Art

Beauty at Short

Beauty at Short Dave Bancroft, the Most Unlikely Hall of Famer and His Wild Times in Baseball's First Century by Tom Alesia

The most unlikely Hall of Famer Dave Bancroft should not be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He emerged from his Iowa hometown as an undersized shortstop without batting skills. Signed by one of the 300-plus minor league teams at age 17 in 1909, he lasted only three weeks before being cut, then joined another team and was released again. His rise to become enshrined in Cooperstown as one of baseball's all-time greats was unfathomable. More importantly, baseball placed Bancroft at the game's best vantage point across nearly one century. This view allowed him to observe the modern evolution of the game through international travel, the fallout of two world wars, racism, women's rights and the Great Depression. He met practically every renowned person connected to pro baseball . . . and countless others with astounding backgrounds and fates. He greeted royalty and presidents, film stars and music sensations, boxing champs and snake oil chumps, needy kids and spoiled moguls. Along the way, Bancroft: --Changed how shortstop was played --Became a groundbreaking switch hitter --Earned the flattering but bizarre nickname "Beauty" --Delivered the most precise support of the designated hitter 50 years before it happened --Played in a 51-minute, 9-inning game --Managed three women's professional baseball league teams --Suffered one the sport's most vicious attacks from another player during a game --Appeared on what may have been baseball's first TV broadcast --Played every inning in four World Series, including three extraordinary matchups between the New York Giants and New York Yankees in the early 1920s --Attended several of the earliest night-game experiments --Holds the longest-standing season record for fielding chances by a shortstop --Remains the only player to hit six singles in a nine-inning game and score in four straight innings. Bancroft thrived as a major New York sports hero and languished on dangerous bus rides as manager of the minor league St. Cloud Rox. With his health failing on January 31, 1971, he ate a chicken dinner with his devoted wife, Edna, of 60 years when the phone rang at their modest northern Wisconsin home. Dave listened and spoke softly. "Oh, my God," he told the caller, "that's the nicest thing I've ever heard." He made the Hall of Fame.

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Opening Day - Jonathan Eig Cover Art

Opening Day

Opening Day The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season by Jonathan Eig

This bestselling account of the most important season in baseball history, 1947, tells the dramatic story of how Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and changed baseball forever. April 15, 1947, marked the most important opening day in baseball history. When Jackie Robinson stepped onto the diamond that afternoon at Ebbets Field, he became the first black man to break into major-league baseball in the twentieth century. World War II had just ended. Democracy had triumphed. Now Americans were beginning to press for justice on the home front—and Robinson had a chance to lead the way. In Opening Day , Jonathan Eig tells the true story behind the national pastime’s most sacred myth. He offers new insights into events of sixty years ago and punctures some familiar legends. Was it true that the St. Louis Cardinals plotted to boycott their first home game against the Brooklyn Dodgers? Was Pee Wee Reese really Robinson’s closest ally on the team? Was Dixie Walker his greatest foe? How did Robinson handle the extraordinary stress of being the only black man in baseball and still manage to perform so well on the field? Opening Day is also the story of a team of underdogs that came together against tremendous odds to capture the pennant. Facing the powerful New York Yankees, Robinson and the Dodgers battled to the seventh game in one of the most thrilling World Series competitions of all time. Drawing on interviews with surviving players, sportswriters, and eyewitnesses, as well as newly discovered material from archives around the country, Jonathan Eig presents a fresh portrait of a ferocious competitor who embodied integration’s promise and helped launch the modern civil-rights era. Full of new details and thrilling action, Opening Day brings to life baseball’s ultimate story.

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Tris Speaker - Timothy M. Gay Cover Art

Tris Speaker

Tris Speaker The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend by Timothy M. Gay

A three-time World Series winner and an early inductee into the Hall of Fame, lauded by Babe Ruth as the finest defensive outfielder he ever saw and described as "perfection on the field" by the great Grantland Rice, Tris Speaker enjoys the peculiar distinction of being one of the least-known legends of baseball history. Tris Speaker: The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend is the first book to tell the full story of Speaker’s turbulent life and to document in sharp detail the grit and glory of his pivotal role in baseball’s dead-ball era.   Playing for the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians in the early part of the twentieth century, Tris “Spoke” Speaker put up numbers that amaze us even today: his record for career doubles—792—may never be approached, let alone broken. Tris Speaker explores the colorful life behind the statistics, introducing readers to a complex and contradictory Texan whose cowboy mentality never left him as he brawled his way through two decades in the big leagues.   Speaker’s career put him in the company of Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Honus Wagner, and in describing it Timothy M. Gay gives a rousing account of some of the best baseball ever played—and some of the darkest moments that ever tainted a game and hastened the end of a career. His four years of research on Speaker unearthed a document that suggests that cheating induced by gambling was far more widespread in early baseball than officials have acknowledged. Gay’s book captures the bygone spirit of the big leagues’ rough-and-tumble early years and restores one of baseball’s true greats—and a truly larger-than-life personality—to his rightful place in the American sports pantheon.

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The Baseball 100 - Joe Posnanski Cover Art

The Baseball 100

The Baseball 100 by Joe Posnanski

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Winner of the CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year “An instant sports classic.” — New York Post * “Stellar.” — The Wall Street Journal * “A true masterwork…880 pages of sheer baseball bliss.” — BookPage (starred review) * “This is a remarkable achievement.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review) A magnum opus from acclaimed baseball writer Joe Posnanski, The Baseball 100 is an audacious, singular, and masterly book that took a lifetime to write. The entire story of baseball rings through a countdown of the 100 greatest players in history, with a foreword by George Will. Longer than Moby-Dick and nearly as ambitious, The Baseball 100 is a one-of-a-kind work by award-winning sportswriter and lifelong student of the game Joe Posnanski. In the book’s introduction, Pulitzer Prize–winning commentator George F. Will marvels, “Posnanski must already have lived more than two hundred years. How else could he have acquired such a stock of illuminating facts and entertaining stories about the rich history of this endlessly fascinating sport?” Baseball’s legends come alive in these pages, which are not merely rankings but vibrant profiles of the game’s all-time greats. Posnanski dives into the biographies of iconic Hall of Famers, unfairly forgotten All-Stars, talents of today, and more. He doesn’t rely just on records and statistics—he lovingly retraces players’ origins, illuminates their characters, and places their accomplishments in the context of baseball’s past and present. Just how good a pitcher is Clayton Kershaw in the 21st-century game compared to Greg Maddux dueling with the juiced hitters of the nineties? How do the career and influence of Hank Aaron compare to Babe Ruth’s? Which player in the top ten most deserves to be resurrected from history? No compendium of baseball’s legendary geniuses could be complete without the players of the segregated Negro Leagues, men whose extraordinary careers were largely overlooked by sportswriters at the time and unjustly lost to history. Posnanski writes about the efforts of former Negro Leaguers to restore sidelined Black athletes to their due honor and draws upon the deep troves of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and extensive interviews with the likes of Buck O’Neil to illuminate the accomplishments of players such as pitchers Satchel Paige and Smokey Joe Williams; outfielders Oscar Charleston, Monte Irvin, and Cool Papa Bell; first baseman Buck Leonard; shortstop Pop Lloyd; catcher Josh Gibson; and many, many more. The Baseball 100 treats readers to the whole rich pageant of baseball history in a single volume. Engrossing, surprising, and heartfelt, it is a magisterial tribute to the game of baseball and the stars who have played it.

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The Last Manager - John W. Miller Cover Art

The Last Manager

The Last Manager How Earl Weaver Tricked, Tormented, and Reinvented Baseball by John W. Miller

“Baseball books don’t get any better than this...Earl Weaver has at last been given his due.” —George F. Will The first major biography of legendary Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver—who has been described as “the Copernicus of baseball” and “the grandfather of the modern game”— The Last Manager is a wild, thrilling, and hilarious ride with baseball’s most underappreciated genius, and one of its greatest characters. Long before the Moneyball -era, the Earl of Baltimore reigned over baseball. History’s feistiest and most colorful manager, Earl Weaver transformed the sport by collecting and analyzing data in visionary ways, ultimately winning more games than anybody else during his time running the Orioles from 1968–1982. When Weaver was hired by the Orioles, managers were still seen as coaches and inspirational leaders, more teachers of the game than strategists. Weaver invented new ways of building baseball teams, prioritizing on-base average, elite defense, and strike throwing. Weaver was the first manager to use a modern radar gun, and he pioneered the use of analytical data. By moving 6’4” Cal Ripken, Jr. to shortstop, Weaver paved the way for a generation of plus-sized superstar shortstops, including Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. He foreshadowed almost everything that Bill James, Billy Beane, Theo Epstein, and hundreds of other big brain baseball types would later present as innovation. Beyond being a great baseball mind, Weaver was a rare baseball character. Major League Baseball is show business, and Weaver understood how much of his job was entertainment. Weaver’s outbursts offered players cathartic relief from their own frustration, signaled his concern for the team, and fired up fans. In his frequent arguments with umpires, he hammed it up for the crowds, faked heart attacks, ripped bases out of the ground, and pretended to toss umpires out of the game. Weaver also fought with his players, especially Jim Palmer, but that creative tension contributed to a stunning success, and a hilarious clubhouse. During his tenure as major league manager, the Orioles won the American League pennant in 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1979, each time winning over 100 games. The Last Manager uncovers the story of Weaver’s St. Louis childhood with a mobster uncle, his years of minor league heartbreak, and his unlikely road to becoming a big league manager, while tracing the evolution of the game from the old-time baseball of cross-country trains and “desk contracts” to the modern era of free agency, video analysis, and powerful player agents. Weaver’s career is a critical juncture in baseball history. He was the only manager to hold a job during the five years leading up to, and five years after, free agency upended baseball in 1976. Weaver was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996. In his retirement, he even admitted that “if he had been an umpire, he would have thrown himself out of more games than he actually was.” Belligerent, genius, infamous— The Last Manager tells the story of one man who left his mark on the game for generations.

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K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches - Tyler Kepner Cover Art

K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches

K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches by Tyler Kepner

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From The New York Times baseball columnist, an enchanting, enthralling history of the national pastime as told through the craft of pitching, based on years of archival research and interviews with more than three hundred people from Hall of Famers to the stars of today. The baseball is an amazing plaything. We can grip it and hold it so many different ways, and even the slightest calibration can turn an ordinary pitch into a weapon to thwart the greatest hitters in the world. Each pitch has its own history, evolving through the decades as the masters pass it down to the next generation. From the earliest days of the game, when Candy Cummings dreamed up the curveball while flinging clamshells on a Brooklyn beach, pitchers have never stopped innovating. In K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches , Tyler Kepner traces the colorful stories and fascinating folklore behind the ten major pitches. Each chapter highlights a different pitch, from the blazing fastball to the fluttering knuckleball to the slippery spitball. Infusing every page with infectious passion for the game, Kepner brings readers inside the minds of combatants sixty feet, six inches apart. Filled with priceless insights from many of the best pitchers in baseball history--from Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, and Nolan Ryan to Greg Maddux, Mariano Rivera, and Clayton Kershaw-- K will be the definitive book on pitching and join such works as The Glory of Their Times and Moneyball as a classic of the genre.

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Situation Baseball - Steve Gelfius Cover Art

Situation Baseball

Situation Baseball Basics of Knowing What to Do With the Ball by Steve Gelfius

Have you ever watched young ball players field A baseball and then hesitate? One of the coaches yells 2nd, a team mate yells go home and where ever the player throws, there is no positive result for his team. Those developing baseball players from the ages of six to twelve need to have more smarts about the game. If the ball is hit to me - what do I do with it is the most fundamental area of the game following physical skills. Developing this skill can make the difference between a mediocre and a good baseball player. It can give them the edge, it can mean being a starter or a sub, its the little things that make the big difference. This book gives infielders and outfielders the basic solutions to every base running situation. It gives situations that make them think to develop that instinctive sense of what to do with the ball. This book can be used in the field by coaches, in the backyard by dads, between players on the way to the game to build confidence. It is a basic tool for every player.

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The Roger Angell Baseball Collection - Roger Angell Cover Art

The Roger Angell Baseball Collection

The Roger Angell Baseball Collection The Summer Game, Five Seasons, and Season Ticket by Roger Angell

From “the clear-eyed poet laureate of baseball”—a definitive collection of three nonfiction classics chronicling MLB into the modern age ( New York Post ). In these three classic volumes, legendary New Yorker sportswriter Roger Angell chronicles the triumphs, travails, heroes, and history of America’s favorite pastime.   In The Summer Game, Angell covers ten seasons in the major leagues from the 1960s to the early 1970s. With his signature panache, Angell captures the flavor of the game and the spirit of legends such as Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, and Willie Mays.   In Five Seasons , Angell covers the mid-1970s, which he calls “the most important half-decade in the history of the game.” From the accomplishments of Nolan Ryan and Hank Aaron to the rising influence of network television, Angell offers a fresh perspective on this transformative period.   And in Season Ticket , Angell recounts the larger-than-life narratives of baseball in the mid-1980s. Diving into subjects including the notorious 1986 World Series and the Curse of the Bambino, Sparky Anderson’s Detroit Tigers, and performance-enhancing drug use, Angell offers insights that are crucial to understanding the game as we know it today.  

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The 1998 Yankees - Jack Curry Cover Art

The 1998 Yankees

The 1998 Yankees The Inside Story of the Greatest Baseball Team Ever by Jack Curry

Discover the inside story of the 1998 Yankees' unprecedented talent with this gripping account from a reporter who was there for the team's dominating 125 wins.​  The visiting clubhouse in San Diego was soggy, sweaty and sticky after the 1998 Yankees swept the Padres in four games and celebrated winning their 24th World Series title. The players raised bottles of Champagne, sprayed the bubbly on each other and reveled in a baseball season that might have been more memorable than any in history. Jack Curry was part of that unforgettable scene as a reporter, navigating around the clubhouse to ask the same, pertinent question. After winning an unprecedented 125 games and pummeling teams along the way, were these Yankees, the Yankees of Jeter, Mariano, Posada, Pettitte, Bernie, O’Neill, Tino and so many other vital players, the best team ever? “Right now, you would have to call them the best team ever,” said owner George Steinbrenner. Twenty five years later, Curry revisits that season to discuss how that team was built and why the Yankees were such a talented, refreshing and successful club. This book includes new interviews with more than 25 players, coaches and executives, who revealed some behind-the-stories about the magical journey and who also discussed the depth of this historic squad.   “From the first man to the 25th man on the roster, I don’t think there’s a team that had more talent and a team whose players knew their roles as well as our players did,” said pitcher David Cone. “If you’re using that as a barometer for the best team of all-time, then I think you can call us the best team of all-time.” During that wondrous season, Don Zimmer, a Yankee coach and a baseball lifer who began his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954, told associates there would never be another team like the 1998 Yankees. Zimmer was right. Twenty five years later, Curry describes how and why that Yankee team could be the best ever. "The 1998 Yankees were a perfectly constructed team. Jack Curry does an amazing job of telling the tales of that phenomenal group." —David Cone

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Stealing Home - Eric Nusbaum Cover Art

Stealing Home

Stealing Home Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between by Eric Nusbaum

A story about baseball, family, the American Dream, and the fight to turn Los Angeles into a big league city. Dodger Stadium is an American icon. But the story of how it came to be goes far beyond baseball. The hills that cradle the stadium were once home to three vibrant Mexican American communities. In the early 1950s, those communities were condemned to make way for a utopian public housing project. Then, in a remarkable turn, public housing in the city was defeated amidst a Red Scare conspiracy. Instead of getting their homes back, the remaining residents saw the city sell their land to Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Now LA would be getting a different sort of utopian fantasy -- a glittering, ultra-modern stadium. But before Dodger Stadium could be built, the city would have to face down the neighborhood's families -- including one, the Aréchigas, who refused to yield their home. The ensuing confrontation captivated the nation - and the divisive outcome still echoes through Los Angeles today.

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