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"
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".
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.
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"
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.
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!"
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"
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"
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"
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"
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….
This is a story about young men who learned to play baseball during the 1930s and 1940s, and then went on to play for one of the most exciting major-league ball clubs ever fielded, the team that broke the color barrier with Jackie Robinson. It is a story by and about a sportswriter who grew up near Ebbets Field, and who had the good fortune in the 1950s to cover the Dodgers for the Herald Tribune. This is the story about what happened to the team when their glory days were behind them.
"Hear from those who were a part of history"
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"
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"
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.
Moneyball is a quest for something that money can't buy: the secret of success in baseball. The real jackpot is a cache of numbers collected by a brotherhood of baseball enthusiasts: software engineers, statisticians, Wall Street analysts, and physics professors. These numbers prove that the traditional measure of success for players and teams are fatally flawed. This information has been around for years, and nobody paid it any mind. And then came Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland A's.
"Best Audible Book Yet"
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"
Drawing on more than 500 interviews with friends and family, teammates, and opponents, she delivers the definitive account of Mantle's life, mining the mythology of The Mick for the true story of a luminous and illustrious talent with an achingly damaged soul.
"Exceptional - a real must read for baseball fans"
What does it mean to play heads-up baseball? A heads-up player has confidence in his ability, keeps control in pressure situations, and focuses on one pitch at a time. His mental skills enable him to play consistently at or near his best despite the adversity baseball presents each day.
"Up your mental game"
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"
General managers and fans alike have pondered this most important of baseball questions. The Moneyball strategy is not the first example of how new ideas and innovative management have transformed the way teams are assembled. Pursuit of Pennants examines and analyzes a number of compelling, winning baseball teams over the past 100-plus years, focusing on their decision making and how they assembled their championship teams.
"Disappointing To This Baseball Fan"
The first of Plimpton's remarkable forays into participatory journalism, Out of My League chronicles with wit, charm, and grace what happens when a self-professed amateur has the chance to answer every fan's question: could he strike out a major league star? Plimpton's inspired idea - to get on the mound and pitch a few innings to the All-Stars of the American and National Leagues - begins as a fun-filled stunt and comes to a deeply hellish, nearly humiliating end.
In One for the Record, George Plimpton recounts Hank Aaron's thrilling race to become the new home run champion. Amid media frenzy and death threats, Aaron sought to beat Babe Ruth's record. In 1974 he finally succeeded.
Released tells the remarkable story of the birth, growth, and development of a unique Christian outreach to the world of pro baseball - Unlimited Potential Inc. Beginning with a phone call from Hank Aaron, the fledgling work has grown to a world-wide ministry that has impacted thousands with the Gospel message through baseball clinics and instruction.
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."
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"
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"
Celebrated sports writer Roger Kahn casts his gaze on the golden age of baseball, an unforgettable time when the game thrived as America's unrivaled national sport. The Era begins in 1947, with Jackie Robinson changing major league baseball forever by taking the field for the Dodgers. Dazzling, momentous events characterize the decade that followed....
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.
In 2010 the New York Mets were in trouble. One of baseball's most valuable franchises, they had recently suffered an embarrassing September collapse and two bitter losing seasons. Their GM had made costly mistakes. And their principle owners were embroiled in the largest financial scam in American history. To whom did they turn? Sandy Alderson, a former marine who served in Vietnam and graduated from Harvard Law.
"Mostly good, but goes off topic at times"
Few men in sports history have accomplished more than Yogi Berra: three MVP Awards, 21 World Series appearances as a player, coach, and manager, and a plaque in Cooperstown honoring him as arguably the greatest catcher to ever play the position. Off the field, the man often derided for his appearance has become one of the most beloved and enduring sports figures of all time, as well as a successful pitchman and the source of some of the most-repeated expressions in the English language.
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.
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 !!!!"
The philosopher Jacques Barzun thought that "whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball". And whoever wants to know baseball had better learn about umpires. As Larry Gerlach points out in The Men in Blue, these arbiters transform competitive chaos into organized sport. They make it possible to "play ball", but nobody loves them.Considering the abuse meted out by fans and players, why would any sane person want to be an umpire? Many reasons emerge in conversations with a dozen former major-league arbiters.
"A Classic Sports 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"
Jackie Robinson heroically broke the color barrier in 1947. But how—and, in practice, when—did the integration of the sport actually occur? Bill Madden shows that baseball’s famous black experiment” did not truly succeed until the coming of age of Willie Mays and the emergence of some star players—Larry Doby, Hank Aaron, and Ernie Banks—in 1954. And as a relevant backdrop off the field, it was in May of that year that the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled, in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, that segregation be outlawed in America’s public schools.
"Great for history buff"
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.
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."
Every year, hundreds of thousands of children play “Cal Ripken Baseball” in the largest division of Babe Ruth League, Inc. Play Baseball the Ripken Way is the ultimate guide to playing the game, by one of the sport’s living legends.
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"
Step up to the plate as Detroit legends share their greatest stories—newly updated!The Detroit Tigers Old English "D" is one of the most recognized symbols in sports. Now fans of this indomitable franchise can relive the passion and excitement that has come to define the Tigers in this newly updated edition of Tales from the Detroit Tigers Dugout. Veteran sportswriter Jack Ebling brings to life four World Championships, five other World Series appearances, and so much more.
"Highlights of the team; no stories."