Eclipsing the traditional sports memoir, House of Nails, by former world champion, multimillionaire entrepreneur, and imprisoned felon Lenny Dykstra, spins a tragicomic tale of Shakespearean proportions - a relentlessly entertaining American epic that careens between the heights and the abyss. Nicknamed "Nails" for his hustle and grit, Lenny approached the game of baseball - and life - with mythic intensity.
"WOW! JUST WOW!!!"
Moneyball reveals a quest for something as elusive as the Holy Grail, something that money apparently can't buy: the secret of success in baseball. The logical places to look would be the giant offices of major league teams and the dugouts. But the real jackpot is a cache of numbers collected over the years by a strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts: software engineers, statisticians, Wall Street analysts, lawyers, and physics professors.
"No need to be a baseball fan"
Yahoo's lead baseball columnist offers an in-depth look at the most valuable commodity in sports - the pitching arm - and how its vulnerability to injury is hurting players and the game, from Little League to the majors.
"A MUST READ for every youth baseball parent and coach"
Most people who resist logical thought in baseball preach "tradition" and "respecting the game". But many of baseball's traditions go back to the 19th century, when the pitcher's job was to provide the batter with a ball he could hit and fielders played without gloves. Instead of fearing change, Brian Kenny wants fans to think critically, reject outmoded groupthink, and embrace the changes that have come with the "sabermetric era".
"Wonderful detail on baseballs past and future"
It's the ultimate in fantasy baseball: You get to pick the roster, set the lineup, and decide on strategies - with real players, in a real ballpark, in a real playoff race. That's what baseball analysts Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller got to do when an independent minor-league team in California, the Sonoma Stompers, offered them the chance to run its baseball operations according to the most advanced statistics.
"Narrarators have never watched baseball. Ever!"
Clarinda, Iowa, population 5,000, sits two hours from anything. There, between the cornfields and hog yards, is a ball field with a bronze bust of a man named Merl Eberly, a baseball whisperer who specialized in second chances and lost causes. The statue was a gift from one of Merl's original long-shot projects, a skinny kid from the ghetto in Los Angeles who would one day become a beloved Hall of Fame shortstop: Ozzie Smith.
"I wanted to live it but---"
Mike Matheny was just 41, without professional managerial experience and looking for a next step after a successful career as a Major League catcher, when he succeeded the legendary Tony La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012. While Matheny has enjoyed immediate success, leading the Cards to the postseason three times in his first three years, people have noticed something else about his life, something not measured in day-to-day results.
"One heck of a read"
Twelve-year-old Michael Arroyo lives in the shadows of Yankee Stadium, home of his heroes, but a place that might as well be on a different continent since he can't afford to see the inside. He also lives in the shadows of his Bronx neighborhood, hiding from the bill collectors and the officials who would separate him from his 17-year-old brother if they knew the two boys were living on their own. Baseball is Michael's only salvation.
"Great baseball read"
Whatever happened to Calico Joe? It began quietly enough with a pulled hamstring. The first baseman for the Cubs AAA affiliate in Wichita went down as he rounded third and headed for home. The next day, Jim Hickman, the first baseman for the Cubs, injured his back. The team suddenly needed someone to play first, so they reached down to their AA club in Midland, Texas, and called up a 21-year-old named Joe Castle. He was the hottest player in AA and creating a buzz....
"Baseball fans only"
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was old school and stubborn. But after 20 straight losing seasons and his job on the line, he was ready to try anything. So when he met with GM Neal Huntington in October 2012, they decided to discard everything they knew about the game and instead take on drastic "big data" strategies.
"The Science of Baseball Choices"
Ty Cobb is baseball royalty, maybe even the greatest player who ever lived. His lifetime batting average is still the highest of all time, and when he retired in 1928, after twenty-one years with the Detroit Tigers and two with the Philadelphia Athletics, he held more than ninety records. But the numbers don't tell half of Cobb's tale. The Georgia Peach was by far the most thrilling player of the era: "Ty Cobb could cause more excitement with a base on balls than Babe Ruth could with a grand slam," one columnist wrote.
"The Best Ever Account of Ty Cobb"
Best-selling author George Vecsey is an esteemed and award-winning sports journalist for the New York Times. In Baseball, he recounts the history of America's national pastime. Baseball has been around in various forms for thousands of years, but only within the last 200 years has it become an American institution. Growing from a sport played in open fields and big-city streets, baseball has seen its share of innovators and detractors, heroes and villains.
Dean Evers, an elderly widower, sits in front of the television with nothing better to do than waste his leftover evenings watching baseball. It’s Rays/Mariners, and David Price is breezing through the line-up. Suddenly, in a seat a few rows up beyond the batter, Evers sees the face of someone from decades past, someone who shouldn’t be at the ballgame, shouldn’t be on the planet. And so begins a parade of people from Evers’s past, all of them occupying that seat behind home plate. Until one day Dean Evers sees someone even eerier….
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.
"Author's reading provides new insight into classic"
John Feinstein is one of the most influential sportswriters of the last three decades. In his masterful new audiobook, Where Nobody Knows Your Name, Feinstein delivers a fascinating account of the mysterious proving ground of America’s national pastime, pulling back the veil on the minor leagues of baseball.
"Living on the Cusp of a Dream"
Ten years after graduation, Jake "the jock" Campbell and Brandon "the nerd" Bartlett are teaching at their old high school and still living in separate worlds. When Brandon is thrown into a coaching job on Jake's baseball team, they find themselves learning more about each other than they'd ever expected. High school is all about image - even for the teachers. Brandon and Jake have to get past their preconceived notions to find the friendship needed to work together.
"Narrator ruined a good story"
In the most famous scandal of sports history, eight Chicago White Sox players - including Shoeless Joe Jackson - agreed to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for the promise of $20,000 each from gamblers reportedly working for New York mobster Arnold Rothstein. Heavily favored, Chicago lost the Series five games to three. Although rumors of a fix flew while the series was being played, they were largely disregarded by players and the public at large.
From famed manager Terry Francona, a lively, unvarnished narrative of his tenure with the storied Boston Red Sox... From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, the most talked-about, scrutinized team in all of sports. In Francona the legendary manager opens up for the first time about his eight years there, as they went from cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history. He takes listeners inside the rarefied world of a 21st-century clubhouse.
"I enjoyed it a lot,"
Everyone knows that baseball is a game of intricate regulations, but it turns out to be even more complicated than we realize. What truly governs the Major League game is a set of unwritten rules, some of which are openly discussed (don’t steal a base with a big lead late in the game), and some of which only a minority of players are even aware of (don’t cross between the catcher and the pitcher on the way to the batter’s box).
"Anyone who loves the game"
Since their breakthrough championship season in 1923, when Yankee stadium opened, the New York Yankees have been baseball’s most successful, decorated, and colorful franchise. Home to Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Berra, Mantle, Jackson, and Mattingly; and later Torre, Jeter, Rivera, and Rodriguez, the team has been a fixture in our national consciousness.
How hard could it be to coach a kid's rec league baseball team in the small town of Stonefield? Matt was about to find out. When Matt's buddy asked for help coaching the team, it sounded like fun. No pressure. Then his friend was unexpectedly transferred out of town, and the team now belonged to Matt. Matt was unaware of the challenges waiting for him.
Has anyone ever told you that baseball is more than a game, that it's really a metaphor for life? Have you ever wondered what they meant? This story imagines the answer. A single mother moves to Kansas City with her young daughter and notices that everyone she meets - her new colleagues, neighbors, even the mailman - can't stop talking about baseball. "It's more than just a game," they tell the mother. "It's so much more. What you need is to come to a game and experience it."
Jackie Robinson may have smashed Major League Baseball's color ceiling in 1947, but segregation in the sport had not been entirely eliminated. The preseason ritual of spring training in Florida remained racially restrictive. Black players could not room, eat, or socialize with their white teammates. The only time teams were fully together? On the diamond. Then, two weeks before players reported to spring training, Dr. Ralph Wimbish announced that it was time for a change.
Bret Boone made history in 1992 as the first third-generation major leaguer in baseball history. A five-foot-ten firecracker who was spurned by scouts for his small size, supposed lack of power, and temper tantrums (one scout called him a "helmet-throwing terror"), Bret didn't care about family legacy; he wanted to make his own way. He did just that, building a 14-year career that included three all-star appearances, four Gold Gloves, a bout with alcoholism, and the ignominy of being traded for the infamous "player to be named later."
"Good stories, but bad story teller"
Every spring, Little Leaguers across the country mimic his stance and squabble over the right to wear his number, 2, the next number to be retired by the world’s most famous ball team. Derek Jeter is their hero. He walks in the footsteps of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle, and someday his shadow will loom just as large. Yet he has never been the best player in baseball. In fact, he hasn’t always been the best player on his team. But his intangible grace and Jordanesque ability to play big in the biggest of postseason moments make him the face of the modern Yankee dynasty, and of America’s game.
"Names on audio book"
This best-selling, highly-acclaimed account is a hilarious but scathing baseball tell-all. After being voted the 1977 American League Cy Young Award winner, Sparky Lyle was rewarded for his efforts by being benched. The Yankees, a leader of free agency, signed Goose Gossage as their closer. Things only went downhill from there and the 1978 season turned out to be one of controversy, firings, fights, and acrimony. In short, it was a zoo.
"My second time through just great"
When Sports Illustrated was launched in 1954, baseball was, indisputable, the national pastime, its stars America's epic heroes, its rivalries the era's mythology. As baseballs fortunes rose and fell over the next 50 years - and then rose again to new heights, drawing more than 65 million fans to ballparks in 2004 - the game never failed to produce great drama and inspired storytelling.
"Baseball fan book"
In The Old Ball Game, Frank Deford, NPR sports commentator and Sports Illustrated journalist retells the story of an unusual friendship between two towering figures in baseball history.
"Great stories from baseball's beginnings"
Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson has always been one of baseball's most uncompromising stars. Gibson's no-holds-barred autobiography recounts the story of his life, from barnstorming around the segregated South with Willie Mays' black all-stars to his astonishing later career as a three-time World Series winner and one of the game's all-time greatest players.
"Good story despite poor reading"
In the pageantry of baseball, one select group is virtually unknown in the outside world, derided by fans, faced with split-second choices that spell victory or defeat. These men are up-close observers of the action, privy to inside jokes, blood feuds, benches-clearing brawls, and managers’ expletive-filled tirades. In this wonderful memoir, Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey takes us within baseball as you’ve never seen it, with unforgettable inside stories of baseball greats such as Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, and Whitey Herzog.
"The Best? Possibly."
The Kansas City Monarchs, the Chicago American Giants, the St. Louis Stars, the Birmingham Black Barons, the Homestead Grays, and the Indianapolis Clowns; for over 50 years, they were the Yankees, Cardinals, and Red Sox of black baseball in America. And for over a decade beginning in the late 1940s, umpire Bob Motley called balls and strikes for many of their games, working alongside such legends as Satchel Paige, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Willie Mays.
"An Umpire Once Forgotten, Now Memorialized"
Offering wonderful perspectives on dozens of unique (and likely never-to-be-seen-again) baseball personalities, Seasons in Hell recounts some of the most extreme characters ever to play the game and brings to life the no-holds-barred culture of major league baseball in the mid-'70s.
"If you followed MLB in the 70's or 80's !!!!"
Robert Frost, Claudio Arrau, John Lardner, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Leo Durocher, Bobby Thomson, Al Rosen, Jascha Heifetz, and other heroic figures in their years of glory, in their times of trial. This is a book about people to be remembered, and what it was like in America at a very special time.
Exploring a pitching career that began with a complete-game victory over Hall of Famer Don Drysdale in 1964 and ended when he could no longer control his pitches, this book details the life of Pittsburgh Pirates great Steve Blass. This insider's view of the humorous and bizarre journey of a World Series champion pitcher turned color commentator will delight Pirates and baseball fans alike.
"Vey good story"
Essential for armchair umpires and scorekeepers, this guide challenges aficionados on every significant part of the Official Baseball Rules. Few sports lovers are as obsessed with rules and statistics as baseball fans. In So You Think You Know Baseball?, lifelong baseball enthusiast Peter E. Meltzer catalogues every noteworthy baseball rule from the Major League rulebook and illustrates its application with actual plays, from the historical to the contemporary. You can listen to the book from start to finish or consult it while watching a game to understand the mechanics of a play or how it should be scored.
"A Good look into the ARBITERS book."
In Past Time, Tygiel gives us a seat behind home plate, where we catch the ongoing interplay of baseball and American society. We begin in New York in the 1850s, where pre-Civil War nationalism shaped the emergence of a "national pastime." We witness the true birth of modern baseball with the development of its elaborate statistics - the brainchild of English-born reformer, Henry Chadwick. Chadwick, Tygiel writes, created the sport's "historical essence" and even imparted a moral dimension to the game with his concepts of "errors" and "unearned" runs.
For 53 years, San Francisco waited. Waited for a team like the 2010 Giants to come along. Waited for a team that could end a title drought that started in New York and carried on for more than five decades after a move to the West Coast. Waited for that one magical postseason run that could unleash more than a half-century of pent-up frustration. At long last, the 2010 Giants hopped on that magic carpet and made it happen. San Jose Mercury News beat reporter Andrew Baggarly captured the 2010 Giants' incredible run through the regular season, playoffs and World Series in his new book.
Pete Rose played baseball with a singular and headfirst abandon that endeared him to fans and peers, even as it riled others--a figure at once magnetic, beloved and polarizing. Rose has more base hits than anyone in history, yet he is not in the Hall of Fame. Twenty-five years ago he was banished from baseball for gambling, then ruled ineligible for Cooperstown; today, the question "Does Pete Rose belong in the Hall of Fame?" has evolved into perhaps the most provocative in sports, a layered, slippery and ever-relevant moral conundrum.
"Good book, not so good production."
In "one of the funniest and most heartfelt baseball stories in recent memory" (Publishers Weekly), Howard Frank Mosher returns to Kingdom Common, Vermont, to spin a touching coming-of-age tale in an America that has almost disappeared. From this remote village, noted for its fervent devotion to the Red Sox, comes Ethan “E. A.” Allen, a young man with a chance to change baseball history. Homeschooled, fatherless, and living on the wrong side of the tracks, E. A. is haunted by a dark mystery in his family’s past until a drifter named Teddy arrives in his life, determined to teach E. A. everything he knows about baseball.
Every summer, in ten small towns across Cape Cod, the finest college baseball players in the country gather in hopes of making it to "The Show." The hopes are justifiably high: The Cape Cod Baseball League is the best amateur league in the world, producing one out of every six major league players. Over the last decade, baseball's hard truths became evident for the Chatham stars who went on to play professionally, and the final chapter of their story can now be written.
"Jim Collins: Great American Storyteller"
Offering listeners more than just a sneak peek into the dugout, Bob Forsch's Tales from the Cardinals Dugout takes fans into the clubhouse, out to the bullpen, onto the mound, up to the batter's box, around the base paths, along for the ride to spring training, and maybe even on a fishing trip or two in this tribute to the long and storied tradition of St. Louis Cardinals baseball. In his own witty style, Bo Forsch, known to many as "Forschie" during his playing days, has drawn from his exciting history with the Cardinals to bring fans stories that are laugh-out-loud funny.