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.
"Great for Cub fans and even those that are not "
The Phenomenon is the story of how St. Louis Cardinals prodigy Rick Ankiel lost his once-in-a-generation ability to pitch - due not to an injury or a bolt of lightning but to a mysterious anxiety condition widely known as "the Yips". It came without warning in the middle of a playoff game, with millions of people watching. And it has never gone away.
"story is great, performance ok"
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.
"Best book ever, grew up watching Chipper and the B"
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.
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"
Journalist and baseball lover Ed Henry reveals for the first time the backstory of faith that guided Jackie Robinson into not only the baseball record books but the annals of civil rights advancement as well. Through recently discovered sermons, interviews with Robinson's family and friends, and even an unpublished book by the player himself, Henry details a side of Jackie's humanity that few have taken the time to see.
"How Christian Conviction Triumphed Over Social Convention"
In 2016 the Cubs snapped a 108-year curse, winning the World Series in a history-making, seven-game series against the Cleveland Indians. Of the many storylines to Chicago's fairytale season, one stood out: the late-career renaissance of David Ross, the 39-year-old catcher who had played back-up for 13 of his 15 pro seasons. Beyond Ross's remarkably strong play, he became the ultimate positive force in the Cubs locker room, mentoring and motivating his fellow players, some of them nearly 20 years his junior.
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."
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.
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"
No metaphor is necessary; the Chicago Cubs have been the living example of disappointment and failure for more than a century - until now. The Cubs' 2016 World Series win marked the end of a 108-year drought in the team's history, and Game Seven will forever be remembered as one of the most thrilling, monumental moments in sports history. For Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday and a lifelong Cubs fan, it was a moment he never thought he'd live to see.
Griff Montgomery is the headline-making, heart-breaking star quarterback of the Kings - a six-foot-four-inch, 33-year-old womanizer. Lauren Farraday is a beautiful young interior designer, bitterly scarred by divorce, whose life is falling apart. Though they violently oppose one another in court over her beloved pug (she thinks he's arrogant and conceited, and he thinks she's a bitch on wheels), something happens....
"Wow! This was a good one."
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"
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"
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"
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"
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.
"Not what I was expecting... at all"
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".
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"
Baseball's Golden Age comes alive through the voices of men who were there. Selected from the original tapes on which Lawrence S. Ritter based his classic book of baseball history, The Glory of Their Times is a collection of wonderful tales that paint a vivid and evocative picture of a lively young America and the giants who starred on her ballfields, legends like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, and many others.
"A Game Winning, Grand Slam!!!"
If you are a baseball junkie, this program is for you. Producers Moira Rankin and Dan Collison explore the baseball fan's addiction to the game as they follow two die-hard enthusiasts to see how they endure the off-season. Along the way, they find solace in winter trade news, visit a psychologist, drop in on a support group, and reach nirvana and spring training.
Arriving in Chicago from England, reporter Judith Kampfner had to learn quickly that in order to have a conversation with a stranger in Chicago, you have to be up to date on the city’s teams. So she visits with local sports talk host Dan Bernstein, iconic Cubs announcer Harry Caray, and gets advice and insight from Cubs, White Sox, Bears and Northwestern fans. It’s an initiation into what it means to be a native Chicagoan.
What does clinical hypnosis that cured a 12-year old's bed wetting and the wisdom of a Persian Holy Man's book have to do with major league pitching? A phenomenal rookie pitcher and an over-the-hill bullpen catcher invent "weasel ball", which employs the power of suggestion rather than common trash talk to affect opposing hitters. The pitcher, a used bookstore junkie and student of ancient wisdom, carries a mysterious book in his hip pocket.
"RESPECTED VETERAN REPORTER SAYS IT BEST!"
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.
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"
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.
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"
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"
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"
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 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....
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.
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.
In Tales from the Minnesota Twins Dugout, this fan favorite looks back at his playing career in Minnesota. Many stories revolve around the championship seasons of 1987 and 1991. Hrbek also shares his memories of the late Kirby Puckett and of his close friendship with third baseman Gary Gaetti. Kent Hrbek’s Tales from the Minnesota Twins Dugout is a humorous, insightful, and at times heartbreaking story of one of the most memorable eras in team history, from one of Minnesota’s very own.
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."
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!"
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.
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.
"Baseball Executive, Harvard Lawyer, Marine Pilot"
After nearly a decade in the minors, Dirk Hayhurst defied the odds to climb onto the pitcher's mound for the Toronto Blue Jays. Newly married, with a big league paycheck and a brand new house, Hayhurst was ready for a great season in the Bigs. Then fate delivered a crushing hit. Hayhurst blew out his pitching shoulder in an insane off-season workout program. After surgery, rehab, and more rehab, his major-league dreams seemed more distant than ever.
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.
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..."
As Sports Illustrated’s lead baseball writer since 1993, Verducci has witnessed the achievements of the game’s greatest heroes and told their inspiring stories with unmatched passion and sophistication. He has enriched SIs readers with an insider’s perspective on the game, examining subtle shifts in the ever-changing balance between pitchers and hitters, between slumps and streaks, between sacred records and the athletes trying to break them. Despite his deep affection for baseball, however, Verducci has never shied away from the hard truth about the game.
"Practice, Practice, Practice"
Highlights in this set include "The Night Manny Mota Tied the Record", "The Battery", and "The Thrill of the Grass". In a plot that preceded anything written by Mitch Albom, "The Night Manny Mota Tied the Record" explores the feelings after the death of Yankee catcher Thurmon Munson. Would a hardcore (non-Yankee) baseball fan give his life to save Munson's? "The Battery" takes readers to Santo Domingo where a wizard created in the vein of author Terry Pratchett sees the birth of baseball playing twins.