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.
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"
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"
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!"
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"
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 Real Ty Cobb is Standing"
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"
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---"
Mariano Rivera, the man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door, began his incredible journey as the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman. When first scouted by the Yankees, he didn't even own his own glove. He thought he might make a good mechanic. When discovered, he had never flown in an airplane, had never heard of Babe Ruth, spoke no English, and couldn't imagine Tampa, the city where he was headed to begin a career that would become one of baseball's most iconic.
"Awesome memoir, I only wish it was longer"
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."
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"
In the fall of 1992, America's national pastime is in crisis and already on the path to the unthinkable: cancelling a World Series for the first time in history. The owners are at war with each other, their decades-long battle with the players has turned America against both sides, and the players' growing addiction to steroids will threaten the game's very foundation.
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"
An ex-Wall Street trader improved on Moneyball’s famed sabermetrics to place bets that would beat the Vegas odds on Major League Baseball games - with a 41 percent return in his first year. Trading Bases explains how he did it. After the fall of Lehman Brothers, Joe Peta was out of a job. He found a new one but lost that, too, when an ambulance mowed him down. In search of a way to cheer himself up while he recuperated, Peta started watching baseball again. That’s when inspiration hit: Why not apply his outstanding risk-analysis skills to improve on sabermetrics, the method made famous by Moneyball?
"A fascinating book, but buy the print version."
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"
In 1971, a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to become the smallest school in Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands. There, sporting long hair, and warming up to "Jesus Christ Superstar", the Ironmen would play a dramatic game that would change their lives forever.
"Great story well-told"
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.
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"
William Louis 'Bill' Veeck, Jr. (1914-1986) is legendary in many ways - baseball impresario and innovator, independent spirit, champion of civil rights in a time of great change. Paul Dickson has written the first full biography of this towering figure, in the process rewriting many aspects of his life and bringing alive the history of America's pastime.
"Baseball at it's best!"
The only Major League ballplayer whose baseball card is on display at the headquarters of the CIA, Moe Berg has the singular distinction of having both a 15-year career as a catcher for such teams as the New York Robins and the Chicago White Sox and that of a spy for the OSS during World War II. Here, Dawidoff provides "a careful and sympathetic biography" (Chicago Sun-Times) of this enigmatic man.
"Baseball & Espionage: A Few of my Favorite Things"
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"
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."
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"
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"
A thrilling collection of Cubs stories for America's most devoted fans. Amazing Stories From the Cubs Dugout is crammed with stories, quotes, and anecdotes about the greatest Cubs players of past and present. The story of the Cubs is part legend, part pathos; heroic and, on occasion, hilarious. Enjoy the heartbreak and joy of unforgettable afternoons at Wrigley Field. Without a doubt Amazing Stories From the Cubs Dugout is a must for any Chicago Cubs fan.
One of the most endearing of American heroes, Casey Stengel guided the New York Yankees to ten pennants in twelve seasons. Here is the brilliant manager stripped naked - the person underneath all the clowning, mugging, and double-talking.
Robert Creamer shows us Casey at twenty-two, famous from his very first day in the big leagues. We see Casey's playing career fall apart as he is traded, shunted to last-place teams, hampered by injuries, considered finished - until he bats a glorious home run in the 1923 World Series.
"The Old Professor"
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 !!!!"
In November 1934 as the United States and Japan drifted toward war, a team of American League all-stars that included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, future secret agent Moe Berg, and Connie Mack barnstormed across the Land of the Rising Sun. Hundreds of thousands of fans, many waving Japanese and American flags, welcomed the team with shouts of Banzai! Banzai Babe Ruth! The all-stars stayed for a month, playing 18 games, spawning professional baseball in Japan.
"Excellent story, reader needs pronunciation chart"
A tribute to America's favorite past time, Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fan's Soul is written by people at every level of competition, from World Series champions to tee-ball moms. Their inspiring stories highlight the best of baseball, the importance of sportsmanship and a love of the game. Whether these stories take place on the field of a local YMCA or under the bright lights of a major league ballpark, the focus is the same: The Love of the Game.
In The Wit and Wisdom of Yogi Berra, author Phil Pepe takes Yogi from St. Louis to New York's Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium, including all the stops along the way - from the days he put soles on women's shoes to his induction into the Baseball's Hall of Fame, when he coined one of his most remembered phrases: "I thank everybody for making this day necessary." Phil Pepe explores Yogi Berra as a boy, player, hero, coach, manager, husband, and father, a buffoon and a human being. He relates all of the Berraisms in an absorbing treatment that is simultaneously comical, thoughtful, and biographical.
Seventy baseball seasons ago, on a May afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Joe DiMaggio lined a hard single to left field. It was the quiet beginning to the most resonant baseball achievement of all time. Alongside the story of DiMaggio's dramatic quest, Kennedy deftly examines the peculiar nature of hitting streaks and with an incisive, modern-day perspective gets inside the number itself, as its sheer improbability heightens both the math and the magic of 56 games in a row.
"Rough start but worth it..."
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"
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.
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....