With inside access and reporting, Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer and FOX Sports analyst Tom Verducci reveals how Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon built, led, and inspired the Chicago Cubs team that broke the longest championship drought in sports, chronicling their epic journey to become World Series champions.
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.
"Excellent Book, Outstanding Narration, Sloppy Edit"
There was a turning point in Michael Lewis' life, in a baseball game when he was 14 years old. The irascible and often terrifying Coach Fitz put the ball in his hand with the game on the line and managed to convey such confident trust in Lewis's ability that the boy had no choice but to live up to it. "I didn't have words for it then, but I do now: I am about to show the world, and myself, what I can do."
Predictably Irrational meets Moneyball in ESPN veteran writer and statistical analyst Keith Law's iconoclastic look at the numbers game of baseball, proving why some of the most trusted stats are surprisingly wrong, explaining what numbers actually work, and exploring what the rise of Big Data means for the future of the sport.
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.
At a 1931 barnstorming exhibition game in Tennessee, a 17-year-old pitcher for the Chattanooga Lookouts struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig back to back. Her name was Jackie Mitchell - "organized baseball's first girl pitcher." In July 1970, a stripper rushed onto the field at Riverfront Stadium to kiss Johnny Bench, temporarily disrupting a game attended by President Nixon and his family. These are just some of the great, quirky, and comic moments in the annals of baseball recorded in The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told.
Before Chipper Jones became an eight-time All-Star who amassed Hall of Fame-worthy statistics during a 19-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.
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"
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"
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!"
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".
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.
"If your a youth coach, get this book"
The Oakland A's of the early 1970s were the most transformative team in baseball history. Never before had an entire organization so collectively traumatized baseball's establishment with its outlandish behavior and business decisions - or with its indisputable winning record: five straight division titles and three straight championships. The high drama that played out on the field was exceeded only by the drama in the clubhouse and front office.
"Great History Book"
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.
"Two Cobb Books, One Review of a Maligned Legacy"
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.
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"
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"
Being the only woman working for a professional baseball team isn't easy. As the San Diego Shock's newest athletic trainer, Allie knows all about long hours, endless travel, and warding off players' advances. Given she's already the subject of a handful of rumors about how "lucky" she was to have earned such a coveted position, she can't so much as flutter an eyelash a player's way if she wants to be taken seriously. But number 11 is doing more than fluttering eyelashes Allie's way. Far more.
"Boring baseball romance"
There was nobody like Casey before him and no one like him since. For more than 50 years, Casey Stengel lived baseball, first as a player (he was the only person in history to play for all the New York teams - the Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, and Mets) and then as a manager (for the Yankees and Mets, among others). He made his biggest mark on the game revolutionizing the role of manager while winning an astounding 10 pennants and seven World Series championships (including five straight!) with the Yankees.
Follow the adventures of Face and his son Richie as they learn about the game of baseball and each other during their first All-Star season. The father-son duo discover how to improve their game despite the bullies and youth league politics. During the season, Richie learns that winning and good sportsmanship are not opposing concepts. More importantly, Richie and his Dad realize the pure joy of participating in America's favorite pastime.
Come along for the ride with the 1999 New York-Penn League Champion Hudson Valley Renegades. Hear from the players and coaches who made it happen, including superstar Josh Hamilton and many other household names! You'll also get the true feel of minor league baseball, going behind the scenes with umpires, front office executives, scouts, former players and many more! Put yourself in the dugout, clubhouse and team bus to see what really goes on with a minor league baseball team!
Ever wonder what minor league baseball is really like behind the scenes? Are you a baseball fan that wants to get closer than ever to the action? This book pulls back the curtain to share the true and (until now) untold tales of America's national pastime. Fans of all ages can read some of the most jaw-dropping, eye-opening stories from life in minor league baseball!
From Major League Baseball's inception in the 1880s through World War II, team owners enjoyed monopolistic control of the industry. Despite the players' desire to form a viable union, every attempt to do so failed. In the mid-1960s, star players Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale staged a joint holdout for multiyear contracts and much higher salaries. Their holdout quickly drew support from the public; for the first time, owners realized they could ill afford to alienate fans, their primary source of revenue.
In Mental Conditioning for Baseball, Brian Cain, the foremost authority on mental toughness on the diamond, takes you through the process of developing mental toughness in yourself, your players, and your program as you learn how to truly play one pitch at a time. Matt Morse, former D1 baseball player and student of Brian Cain Peak Performance, brings his experiences in the mental game to Mental Conditioning for Baseball.
Eddie Robinson's career lasted 65 years and spanned the era before and during World War II, integration, the organization of the players union, expansion, use of artificial turf, free agency, labor stoppages, and even the steroid era. He was a Minor League player, a Major League player, a coach, a farm director, a general manager, a scout, and a consultant.
As star players for the 1955 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers, and prior to that as the first black players to be candidates to break professional baseball's color barrier, Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella would seem to be natural allies. But the two men were divided by a rivalry going far beyond the personality differences and petty jealousies of competitive teammates. Behind the bitterness were deep and differing beliefs about the fight for civil rights.
"Great History Lesson,"
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"
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.
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 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.
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 1884, Providence Grays pitcher Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn won an astounding 59 games - more than anyone in major-league history ever had before, or has since. He then went on to win all three games of baseball's first World Series. Fifty-nine in '84 tells the dramatic story not only of that amazing feat of grit but also of big-league baseball two decades after the Civil War - a brutal, bloody sport played barehanded, the profession of uneducated, hard-drinking men who thought little of cheating outrageously or maiming an opponent to win.
"A Baseball Record that will never be beaten"
Chris Von der Ahe knew next to nothing about baseball when he risked his life’s savings to found the St. Louis Browns, the franchise that would become the St. Louis Cardinals. Yet the German-born beer garden proprietor would become one of the most important - and funniest - figures in the game’s history.
"This is Great History!"
Eerily prescient of times to come, this expos examines drug use in Major League Baseball (MLB)during the mid-1980s and one of the biggest drug trials in baseball history. Through a series of exclusive interviews with FBI agents, U.S. attorneys, defense lawyers, journalists, former baseball executives, physicians, and the dealers themselves, the narrative provides a behind-the-scenes look into how the players managed their habits, the effect of the drugs on their athletic performance, and the ruses the players concocted to keep their drug consumption from becoming public knowledge.
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.
Red Sox Nation is the finest, most comprehensive history of this storied franchise, told from the point of view of the people who lived it. From every disappointment to each triumph, culminating with the 2004 World Championship, Red Sox Nation takes you into the dugout and onto the field to relive each moment.
New York Daily News reporter Madden and Klein, of the Newark Star-Ledger, who have covered the Yankees for years, here join forces on a history that may send fans to their handkerchiefs and opponents into laughter. The authors chiefly discuss the period 1977 to 1989, when principal team owner George Steinbrenner converted a stable, conservative, successful franchise into a club characterized by "chaos, confusion, and craziness'' to the point that some top players refuse to sign with the team.
"Entertaining look at the Steinbrenner Era"
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.
"I Am Not A Yankees Fan..."
In these essays, written between 1954 and 1990, bestselling author Roger Kahn touches on locker-room controversies and politics, while inviting readers to share in the passion, grace, energy, and intense concentration involved in playing sports. Kahn pays warm tribute to his special heroes, Jackie Robinson, Roger Maris and Carl Furillo, along with those he particularly admired in the press box, John Lardner and Red Smith. Kahn also esteems football lineman Merlin Olsen, hockey goalie Glenn Hall, cager Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, outfielder Mickey Mantle, boxing promoter Don King, and Pete Rose.
The summer of 2012 has become the Summer of 43 - as in the summer of R. A. Dickey, the 37-year-old knuckleball pitcher who wears Number 43 on the mound for the New York Mets. As his knuckleballs flutter and drop through the strike zone, befuddling batters and producing a 12-1 record by the All Star break, Dickey has become one of the greatest feel-good stories of baseball history: the man who found redemption, after years of adversity, by mastering one of the strangest and most difficult pitches in the game.
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"
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."
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.
In The Team That Changed Baseball: Roberto Clemente and the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates, veteran baseball writer Bruce Markusen tells the story of one of the most likable and significant teams in the history of professional sports. In addition to the fact that they fielded the first all-minority lineup in major league history, the 1971 Pirates are noteworthy for the team's inspiring individual performances.
"An amazingly inspirational story."
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 !!!!"