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Three Nights in August
Buzz Bissinger
0618405445
Apr 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bissinger eschews the usual method of writing about baseball in the context of a season or a career, choosing instead to dissect the game by carefully watching one three-game series between the Cardinals and Cubs in late 2003. The Pulitzer-winning journalist and author of Friday Night Lights had unprecedented access to Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, as well as his staff and team, and he used that entrée to pick La Russa's formidable baseball brain about everything from how he assembles a lineup to why he uses certain relievers. As the series unfolds, Bissinger reveals La Russa's history and personality, conveying the manager's intensity and his compulsive need to be prepared for any situation that might arise during " 'the war' of each at-bat." Typical characters—the gamer, the...


Heroes of Baseball : The Men Who Made It America's Favorite Game

0689867417


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From Publishers Weekly
Lipsyte (The Contender) structures this lively history of the National Pastime as a collective biography of, as the subtitle states, "The Men Who Made It America's Favorite Game"—including some of its biggest stars, and a few lesser-known, but equally influential players. He begins with "Big Al" Spalding, a premier pitcher, team owner and sporting goods titan, who spearheaded the early campaign to elevate baseball from just a game into a virtuous and "uniquely American" pursuit. The author contrasts Ty Cobb's style of play ("mean") with Babe Ruth's ("larger-than-life") to chart changes in how the game is played—from "small ball" to an emphasis on Big Bats. Recent congressional hearings may lead some to quibble with his choice to include Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, but Lipsyte makes a persuasive case...


Free Baseball

0525471200


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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–An engaging, well-written story with a satisfying ending. As the son of a Cuban superstar, 11-year-old Felix Piloto has baseball in his blood. He would give anything to be like his father, or know more about him, but his mother wont reveal anything beyond the fact that he risked his life and career to get his wife and baby to America. While attending a local Florida league game, the visiting team mistakes Felix for its batboy. He jumps at the chance to hang out with real ballplayers and hopes to discover more information about his dad. Corbetts love of the game serves her well. The story has an authentic feel, not just in relation to the game, but to the game as it is played in the minor-league ballparks of Florida, where careers are hatched or buried. Felixs journey to discovery is...


Joey Pigza Loses Control
Jack Gantos
0064410226
Mar 2002
Paperback
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Book Review
The loveable, disaster-prone hero of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key is back, this time in charge of his attention deficit disorder and ready to greet the world as a normal kid--with the help of his new and improved meds, of course. Now that Joey has a handle on his actions, he feels prepared to face the most mysterious member of his family--his estranged father, Carter Pigza. He convinces his skeptical mom to let him spend part of his summer vacation getting to know his dad again. The only problem is that Joey's dad is just as wired as Joey used to be: "I looked over at his mouth, which never seemed to close--not even the lips touched together--and it made me dizzy to listen to him." Carter believes that Joey can kick his ADD the way he himself kicked alcoholism--cold turkey. But when Carter flushes his meds, Joey...


The Boy Who Saved Baseball
John H. Ritter
0142402869
Mar 2005
Paperback
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-This novel goes beyond the usual baseball story by introducing the deeper issue of big developers encroaching upon nature and small-town life in rural California. Doc Altenheimer, an 87-year-old apple rancher, seems to be ready to sell his 320 acres of prime real estate that makes up a good part of Dillontown and its baseball field. He surprises young Tom and the rest of the residents by proposing that the decision should ride on a baseball game between the locals and the well-equipped summer-camp team down the road. Despite the odds against Dillontown, a surprise ending is in store. Characters are colorful and intriguing. There is the villainous mayor who believes there will be great prosperity if new roads and expensive houses are built. A mysterious boy, Cruz de la Cruz, arrives on horseback...


86 Years: The Legend of the Boston Red Sox

0976793806


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Stephen King, Author
"This is a terrific little book for Red Sox rooters, young and old. Read...relive...share the joy."

Johnny Damon, Outfielder for the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox
"..an amazing depiction of events....forever read to the young Red Sox faithful. They will know to always ‘Believe.’"

See all Editorial Reviews


Clemente : The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero
David Maraniss
0743217810
April 25, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. If ever a baseball player were deemed worthy of canonization, right fielder Roberto Clemente might be the one. Jackie Robinson may have suffered greater hardships during his career, but Clemente's nobility, charity and determination make him far more appropriate for a postage stamp than a Nike commercial. After 18 distinguished seasons, the Pirate star with the astonishing throwing arm died in a 1972 plane crash while en route to deliver relief supplies to Nicaraguan earthquake victims. Considering the potential for hagiography, Washington Post staffer and Clinton biographer Maraniss sticks to the facts in this respectful and dispassionate account. Clemente is a deceptively easy subject for a biographer: his acquired halo tinges past events and the accounts of his colleagues (although close...


Moneyball
Michael M. Lewis
0393324818
Jan 2004
Paperback
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Book Review
Billy Beane, general manager of MLB's Oakland A's and protagonist of Michael Lewis's Moneyball, had a problem: how to win in the Major Leagues with a budget that's smaller than that of nearly every other team. Conventional wisdom long held that big name, highly athletic hitters and young pitchers with rocket arms were the ticket to success. But Beane and his staff, buoyed by massive amounts of carefully interpreted statistical data, believed that wins could be had by more affordable methods such as hitters with high on-base percentage and pitchers who get lots of ground outs. Given this information and a tight budget, Beane defied tradition and his own scouting department to build winning teams of young affordable players and inexpensive castoff veterans.

Lewis was in the room with the A's top management as they spent...



Heat
Mike Lupica
0399243011
April 11, 2006
Hardcover
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-When Michael Arroyo is on the baseball diamond, everything feels right. He's a terrific pitcher who dreams of leading his South Bronx All-Stars to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. It's a dream he shared with his father, one they brought with them as they fled Cuba and wound up living in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Michael's ultimate dream is to play in the major leagues like his hero, El Grande, Yankee star and fellow Cuban refugee. Tragically, Papi died of a heart attack a few months back, leaving Michael and his older brother, Carlos, to struggle along on their own. Afraid of being separated, they hide the news of their father's death from everyone but a kindly neighbor, Mrs. Cora, and Michael's best friend, Manny Cabrera. When a bitter rival spreads rumors that Michael is...


Now I Can Die in Peace
Bill Simmons
1933060050
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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From Booklist
*Starred Review* Thirtysomething Simmons, author of the witty "Sports Guy" column on espn.com, tells of his life as a Red Sox fan in this hilarious, irreverent account. Simmons recalls reading the Boston Globe sports pages before he was in grade school, taking in as much Red Sox lore as he could garner. When he came across a copy of Al Hirschberg's What's the Matter with the Red Sox? in first grade, he didn't want to believe that his beloved team was cursed. But as owners and players made one bonehead move after another, he could only sit back and wallow in the collective suffering. The reversal of the curse began, according to Simmons, with the acquisition of Pedro Martinez, the first sign that the front office was after young players approaching their prime rather than looking back at it. From that fateful day in 1997,...


Baseball Between the Numbers
Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts, et al
0465005969
March 6, 2006
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Who deserves recognition as the best baseball player of all time--Barry Bonds or Babe Ruth? The stuff of endless debates among baseball fans, such questions come into sharp focus when the experts of Baseball Prospectus start parsing their trove of statistics. Looking, for instance, at the Bonds-versus-Ruth issue, the BP statisticians systematically adjust the two stars' numbers to reflect changes in parks, in level of competition, and in training technology as they establish that although Ruth still holds the overall edge, Bonds could overtake him with a couple more good seasons. But these baseball mavens look beyond the performance of individual players, as they examine entire teams (the '04 Red Sox and '01 Diamondbacks, for instance) and even whole epochs (the golden era of 1949--57). BP numbers...


Praying for Gil Hodges
Thomas Oliphant
0312317611
July 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Driving over a bridge on an Indiana highway named after Hodges, a star first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, sets off a chain of memories from the Dodgers' only World Series victory for Oliphant. His memoir's main narrative thread is his recollection of being allowed to skip school to watch Brooklyn take on the Yankees in the seventh game of the 1955 Series with his father, but the story takes a decidedly circuitous path; retellings of Jackie Robinson's breaking of baseball's color line and other significant moments in Dodger history appear between stories of growing up in a small Manhattan apartment as the Oliphants coped with the long-term effects of illnesses his father contracted during WWII. The Pulitzer-winning columnist interviews the pitchers for both teams, broadcaster Vin Scully and other baseball...


Smithsonian Baseball
Stephen Wong
0060838515
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Readers who want to see Mickey Mantle's uniform from the 1968 season, Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball from 1998, or a Satchel Paige autographed glove will find them among scores of treasures in this oversized book, vividly illustrated with color photographs of the most exceptional private baseball memorabilia collections, many of which contain items that have not been seen in public for decades. More than simple eye candy for the baseball fetishist, the book includes thoughtful essays that delve into collectors' backgrounds, introducing the reader to an array of people, their quirks and their motivations for collecting. Some of the collectors are well known: one chapter is devoted to the collection of Todd McFarlane, creator of the comic book character Spawn; another displays the baseball folk art collection of...


Love Me, Hate Me : Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero
Jeff Pearlman
0060797525
April 18, 2006
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Pearlman, former staff writer with Sports Illustrated and Newsday, delivers a fully realized, if hardly appealing, portrait of baseball slugger Barry Bonds, who has perplexed teammates, fans, and the press for years with sometimes-indifferent play, an almost-joyful cruelty toward seemingly everyone (except kids), and a near-total disregard for the rules of the game, if allegations of his use of performance-enhancing drugs are true. At the same time, Pearlman's Barry Bonds is a man of astonishing talent and, on occasion, humanity. Bonds' career is fully traced here--from his pampered boyhood as the son of another gifted but troubled player (Bobby Bonds) through his successes at Arizona State, through his years as a superstar with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants, including his pursuit of Hank...


High Heat
Carl Deuker
0060572485
Mar 2005
Paperback
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-Shane Hunter's life of privilege disintegrates when his dad is arrested for money laundering and commits suicide. The teen, his mother, and his younger sister are forced to move out of their palatial home and into subsidized housing in a tough part of Seattle. Shane has a difficult time adjusting, and is eventually arrested for stealing beer from a convenience store. As part of his probation, he must help repair a local baseball diamond. There, he meets the coach of his public school's baseball team, who encourages him to try out. A crucial moment comes when Shane, a relief pitcher with a blazing fastball, faces the team from his old private school. His anger rises to the surface, and he delivers a fastball directly at the head of Reese Robertson, the kid whose family bought Shane's house. Reese...


Fantasyland: A Season on Baseball's Lunatic Fringe
Sam Walker
0670034282
March 2, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
When Walker, a senior writer for the Wall Street Journal, enters his first fantasy baseball tournament, he aims high: Tout Wars, a competition for guys who make a career out of analyzing stats to find the best Major League hitters and pitchers. He figures that because he can get to the ballparks in his journalistic capacity and talk to the players and coaches, he'll be in a better position to judge the intangibles and pull one over the pure numbers crunchers. But even with the help of a young research assistant and a NASA scientist, things quickly head south. This hilarious diary of the 2004 season includes several encounters with the players Walker has picked; from Jacque Jones's struggle to refute predictions of mediocrity to David Ortiz's razzing Walker for trading him away. Along the way there are...


Coach
Michael Lewis
0393060918
May 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Lewis (Liar's Poker; Moneyball) remembers his high school baseball coach, Coach Fitz, a man so intense a room felt "more pressurized simply because he was in it." At the New Orleans private school Lewis attended in the late 1970s, Coach Fitz taught kids to fight "the natural instinct to run away from adversity" and to battle their way through all the easy excuses life offers for giving up. He was strict, but he made such an impression on his students that now, 25 years later, alumni want to name a new gym after him. But the parents of today's students aren't as wowed by Coach Fitz's tough love. They call the headmaster with complaints, saying Coach Fitz is too mean to their children and insisting on sitting on his shoulder as he attempts to coach. A desire to set these new parents straight may be the underlying...


Built to Win : Inside Stories and Leadership Strategies from Baseball's Winningest GM
John Schuerholz, Larry Guest
0446578681
April 2, 2006
Hardcover
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Book Description
DESCRIPTION: In 2005, the Atlanta Braves won their unprecedented 14th straight National League East title. And behind this success has been the genius of John Schuerholz, whose anti-Moneyball philosophies kept the Braves among the elite teams in baseball for over a decade. Now, Schuerholz pulls back the curtain for the first time, revealing everything from how the Braves traded for Barry Bonds in the early '90s to dealing with John Rocker's hateful comments in 1999 to losing pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine to the recent acquisition of superstar Tim Hudson, and, against all odds, how he helped keep the Braves at the top of the baseball mountain. Offering a remarkable and candid view inside one of the most incredible minds in all sports, BUILT TO WIN will make baseball fans worldwide look at the game in a whole new...


Believe It White Sox
Chicago Tribune
1572438584
Nov 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
Eighty-eight years after their last World Series win, the Chicago White Sox made up for lost time by sweeping the Houston Astros to become the 2005 world champions of baseball. With 99 regular-season wins, the Sox brought the second-best record in baseball to the postseason. Only one loss to the Angels prevented a complete sweep in every phase of their postseason play (Division, ALCS, and World Series) to win with an impressive 11–1 record. Believe It! celebrates the White Sox’s championship season, its players, its manager, and its rich history. This book features the writing of Tribune columnists John Kass, Rick Morrissey, and Mike Downey, who provide a narrative of the season and World Series win. There are exclusive interviews with key contributors—Guillen, Konerko, Buerhle, and more—in which...


The Big Bam : The Life and Times of Babe Ruth
Leigh Montville
0385514379
May 2, 2006
Hardcover
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From Booklist
In this day of overamped salaries, statistics, and physiques, it's useful to be reminded of the singular talent and impact Babe Ruth brought to baseball during his career (1914-35). He owned most of the hitting records for decades, including single-season and career home runs--and all this during the "dead ball" era. Even now, the baseball fan can only be awed by what Ruth accomplished, not to mention the adulation he engendered. And if Robert Creamer's highly readable Babe (1974) is still the benchmark biography, Montville (Ted Williams, 2004) brings fresh observations to his subject, one being that Ruth probably suffered from attention-deficit disorder, which accounts for his inexhaustible energy for everything from baseball to food to alcohol to sex, not necessarily in that order. And in his vivid account...


THE BOOK - Playing The Percentages In Baseball
Tom M. Tango (Author), et al
B000EW872M

Paperback
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Book Description
An in-depth analysis of: the sacrifice bunt, the intentional base on balls, optimizing a batting lineup, hot and cold streaks, clutch performance, platooning strategies, batter/pitcher matchups, much more. A must-read for any coach, manager, or front office executive. The casual to the obsessed baseball fan will also find this book jam-packed with the most complete analysis of baseball strategies ever compiled in one volume. Written by three esteemed sabermetricians, The Book continues where the legendary Bill James Abstracts and Palmer and Thorn's The Hidden Game of Baseball left off over twenty years ago. A revolutionary way to think about baseball, with principles that can be applied at every level, from high school to the major leagues.


The Glory of Their Times
Lawrence Ritter (Primary Contributor), et al
1565112539
April 1, 1998
Audio CD
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Book Review
The voices of the game's distant past continue to reverberate with a distinct freshness in Lawrence S. Ritter's The Glory of Their Times. An oral history of the game in the first two decades of the century, Glory sends out its impressive roster of players to tell their own stories, and what stories they tell--the story of their times as well as of their game; the scorecard includes Rube Marquard, Babe Herman, Stan Coveleski, Smoky Joe Wood, and Wahoo Sam Crawford. A delight from cover to cover, Glory is the next best thing to having been there in the days when the ball may have been dead, but the personalities were anything but. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal
Shortly after the death of legendary baseball player Ty...

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