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$1.95 list($18.95)
41. Champions Are Raised, Not Born
$19.77 list($29.95)
42. The Most Glorious Crown: The Story
$15.57 $5.99 list($25.95)
43. Caddy For Life : The Bruce Edwards
$4.95 $0.10
44. On the Court with... Venus and
45. Growing Old Is Not for Sissies
46. The Hogan Mystique
$9.71 $0.55 list($12.95)
47. I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It
$24.95 $17.08
48. The Steve Spurrier Story: From
49. Catcher in the Wry
$5.98 $5.75 list($18.95)
50. How I Play Golf
$16.29 $15.72 list($23.95)
51. The John Wooden Pyramid of Success:
$8.06 $6.07 list($8.95)
53. The Yogi Book: "I Really Didn't
$11.16 $8.45 list($13.95)
54. Hank Aaron And The Home Run That
$16.96 $13.66 list($19.95)
55. The Bruce Lee Story
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56. In Search of the Greatest Golf
$15.96 $6.25 list($19.95)
57. Bobby Bowden's Tales from the
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58. Unforgivable Blackness : The Rise
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59. My Losing Season
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60. Ted Williams: The Biography of

41. Champions Are Raised, Not Born : How My Parents Made Me a Success
list price: $18.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385334214
Catlog: Book (1999-07-06)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Sales Rank: 289409
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For any parent who feels his/her child has exceptional talent but fears pushing them too hard, Nickelodeon and NBC television personality and Olympic champion Summer Sanders has written this warm, accessible book guiding parents through the agony and joy of raising a gifted child, as someone who was once a budding champion herself.

Parents may well remember Summer Sanders as the golden-haired swimmer who stole the hearts of the world at the 1992 Olympic Games at Barcelona, winning four medals. Kids definitely know Summer Sanders as the host of Nickelodeon's wildly popular program Figure It Out! or as co-host of NBC-TV's NBA Inside Stuff. Helping parents find the perfect balance of motivation and active interest to help their gifted child achieve his or her very best, Sanders tells parents what works and what doesn't, using her own upbringing, as well as those of other world-class athletes like Dan Jansen, Bonnie Blair, Dot Richardson, and Debi Thomas, as reference.

Insisting above all that the one thing happy, successful young athletes have in common is that they have fun participating in their sport, Sanders shows that good parenting can be the difference in making a gifted child's experience positive and empowering. With more children than ever before entering competitive sports, this relevant and timely book from an athlete who's been to the top--and knows what it took to get there--makes an important addition to every concerned parent's library. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
As a former swimmer and as a parent of 3 age-groups swimmers I figured this book would provide some insight into success. However, i didn't anticipate how much insight I would take away from it. It is truly amazing how much Ms. Sanders had been able to accomplish in her life and it is refreshing to see that someone so young had everything in the proper perspective.

Hats off to her parents for raising and supporting (without pushing) Summer to accomplish all that she set out to do. I see the parents on the side of the pool who constantly push their kids so much so that they ultimately push them totally out of the pool all together. This is a fantastic how-to book for parents, regardless of what their kids are into.

5-0 out of 5 stars Overachievers
I really enjoyed this book and Summer has helped me keep my daughter's goals in perspective. I have a 9 year old over achiever who doesn't need pushed but needs encourgement and wants us as parents to comment on her achievements. I have learned that not only verbalizing our comments but showing her through our actions that we approve of her achievements. I learned that through this book. I picked this book up because of the attachment to swimming, but it definately carries over into all corners of our lives.

3-0 out of 5 stars Summer's Olympic Wins were a product of her Family's Support
In Summer Sander's book Champions are Raised, not Born she talks about her life and how her parents affected it. Summer believed that the measure of a true champion I show well they take a defeat and Summer was about to take them in stride. Summer believed that her four Olympic medals were not just from her hard work but from the support of her parents and coaches also. Her childhood wasn't easy with the divorce of her parents but no matter whose house she was at she had both of their support. In her childhood swimming was just something she did to make friends and take up time but it ended up changing her whole life.
In this book Summer gives specific examples of how her parents helped her to be successful. What's good about this book it that Summer also talks about how her life was like other Olympians. She talks bout how her life was different or similar to Dot Richardson, Karch Kiraly, and Bonnie Blair. It makes the readers realize that Olympic athletes' childhoods are not very different from the average persons. Summer proves that everyone can become an Olympic athlete you don't have to come from the perfect family.
Another thing that was good about the book was that Summer didn't just talk about the good times but also the bad ones. She didn't give the impression that her life easy perfect because the struggles made her stronger. No on e can live the perfect life because no matter how close they still have problems. Summer talks about the divorce of her parents as well as losses in major swim meets. There are the good times in her life but these are not the only tings that have made her who she is today.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Info
While not the most organized book ever written, Summer Sander's discussion is insightful and balanced. There are no "a-ha" moments that will blow you away, but a whole bunch of minor insights that add up to a lot. Great reading for any parent of an athlete, from a star to an also-ran.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Parents Guide
Every parent should read this book. I am on my third time reading it and learn something new everytime. ... Read more

42. The Most Glorious Crown: The Story Of America's Tripple Crown Thoroughbreds From Sir Barton To Affirmed
by Marvin Drager
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 1572437243
Catlog: Book (2005-03-30)
Publisher: Triumph Books
Sales Rank: 312334
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43. Caddy For Life : The Bruce Edwards Story
by John Feinstein
list price: $25.95
our price: $15.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316777889
Catlog: Book (2004-04-06)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 1053
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Beyond Golf's polished surface, there lies a world not often seen by the average fan. The caddy sees everything- the ambition, the strategy, the rivalries, the jealousies-that occurs behind the scenes. And now for the first time, along with America's favorite sportswriter, one of golf's legendary caddies will reveal the secrets behind one of our most popular sports. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

Bruce Edwards's parents expected their son to attend college and to enter the medical field in a worthy career. After working as a caddy, Edwards took them by surprise with the news that he would seek a career as a caddy. Author John Feinstein tells us how Edwards eventually became the caddy for golf champion Tom Watson. Together, Watson and Edwards brought home many prestigious awards and titles.

After hearing Feinstein's audio book, listeners will discover it wasn't the material things that deemed caddying worthwhile for Bruce Edwards; rather, it was his personal, as well as his professional life in the golf world. Feinstein relays Edwards' relationships, especially with Watson, to show why Edwards was held in high regard by his friends.

The abridged edition goes behind the scenes of professional golf, but not in as much as the book version. Reading the book or listening to the audio, golf fans will appreciate Bruce Edwards's passion for golf, as well as Feinstein's dedication to writing about it, especially when it gets personal.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Life Well Lived - It's Story Well Told
In the days where professional golf seems to be so much about the money, it is refreshing to read a story about another aspect of golf that is not often told. The personal side of the relationship between a player and his caddy. Not just any player - Tom Watson. Not just any caddy - Bruce Edwards. They met by chance and Watson said they would try it for a week and see how it goes. It went for 30 years and ended only because Edwards contracted ALS. This is a charming and well told story that will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye. It isn't all fairways and greens. It also involves a heart and a soul.

5-0 out of 5 stars For the love of the game.
Bruce Edwards was passionate about golf, and he realized at a young age that the itinerant life of a caddy was ideal for him. He worked mostly with one man, the great Tom Watson, who also became his lifelong friend. If Edwards had not been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease when he was in his late forties, this book would not have been written. However, in 2003, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic told Edwards that he had only a short time to live. "Caddy for Life," by John Feinstein, is the poignant, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting story of this courageous man.

Feinstein writes knowledgeably not just about Bruce Edwards, but also about the game of golf. When Edwards started out as a caddy, he worked for peanuts, and his living accommodations were spartan. It was only in later years that Edwards and other caddies gleaned substantial financial rewards for their efforts. People like Edwards completely changed the nature of caddying. Edwards studied each golf course thoroughly and took meticulous notes about every bump and ridge on each green. In many ways, a sharp and experienced caddy can raise a golfer's game to a higher level, and Edwards was one of the best caddies in the game.

"Caddy for Life" is, most of all, an emotional paean to the close friendship that developed between Tom Watson and Bruce Edwards. Since they went through so much during their almost thirty years together on various golf courses, Watson and Edwards knew and loved each other like brothers. Watson cried often in the days and months after Edwards told him the grim news about his fatal illness. Since then, Watson has done his best to raise awareness as well as funds for research that may someday lead to a cure for this horrendous disease.

Edwards's illness devastated his loved ones, including his parents and three siblings. What a cruel fate that a short time after Edwards proposed to the love of life, Marsha, he was diagnosed with ALS. However, he refused to shut himself in his room and brood about his misfortune. Edwards spent the rest of his life caddying with Watson to the best of his ability, and fighting the disease that was robbing him of his speech and his strength.

"Caddy for Life" is not only about the sadness of a man cut down in his prime. It is also an entertaining and often amusing account of how various golfers have struggled to tackle some of the most challenging courses in the world. Feinstein illustrates time and again that golf is as much a mental as a physical game, and few golfers have the psychological makeup to handle the pressure. "Caddy for Life" is an engrossing, moving, and informative look at the world of golf and at one particular individual who has left an indelible mark on the game he loved so much.

5-0 out of 5 stars Take it from a non-golfer... this book is a MUST!!!
I am not a golfer. I don't play golf, watch golf or even play an impressive round of putt putt. This is the third Feinstein golf book I've read and probably the best. I was amazed not only by the power of the story but once again at Feinstein's writing power. I first experienced it when I happened upon my ex-husbands "A Good Walk Spoiled" and thought I'd read a few chapters until I got to the library to pick up something I wanted to read... 544 pages later I was fired up and completely engaged in the world of golf. Since then I have suggested that book to everyone I know who even has a mild interest in golf and many who don't. I was sitting in a hotel room in California when I saw on the news that Bruce Edwards had died. I immediately ordered "Caddy for Life". Feinstein had me hooked after the first page of the introduction. He has helped share the legacy of Bruce Edwards with a non-golfer like me. He treated Edward's life with dignity and compassion while giving the special gift of letting the reader meet the remarkable man which Bruce Edwards embodied. He will be missed not only on the golf green but also on this planet. Read this book... may we all be able to live a life as intentional and giving as Bruce Edwards.

5-0 out of 5 stars walked past this book in every airport but finally.....
I like Feinstein's writing (especially his book about the US Open) but I didn't see a whole book on this subject. Finally stuck in an Omaha airport, I broke down. And it has been an enjoyable read. You really come to care for Edwards and appreciate his love of the game, his profession, the Tour atmosphere and Watson. It is a book that is hard to put down and one that is hard to leave behind once you are done. ... Read more

44. On the Court with... Venus and Serena Williams
by Matt Christopher, Glenn Stout
list price: $4.95
our price: $4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316138142
Catlog: Book (2002-06)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 135483
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Book Description

The Williams sisters have captured the attention of the tennis crowd like no one has in recent years. Taken alone, each is a force to be reckoned with on the court. Each has the skills, the determination, and the strength to make it to the very top of her sport. Yet through all the competition-even times when they face each other on opposite sides of the net-they remain true to each other.

Serena has just won the Wimbledon 2002 singles title by defeating her sister and is currently ranked #1 in the world.Playing as partners, Venus and Serena won the Wimbledon 2002 doubles championship as well. ... Read more

45. Growing Old Is Not for Sissies II: Portraits of Senior Athletes
by Etta Clark
list price: $22.95
our price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0876544782
Catlog: Book (1995-10-01)
Publisher: Pomegranate Communications
Sales Rank: 122261
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must for Anyone Working in Gerontology
This book is a must for anyone who works with older adults. It is a photographic essay of some very special people....people who embrace the robustness of life, and who are disciplined to maintain their capabilities as long as possible. Our world is steeped in ageism, that is, believing that older people are only capable of doing things that are "appropriate" for their age. This book shatters those beliefs and provides living examples of people who continue doing what they love to do physically. I wish that Etta Clark would revise this book with a new set of photos every year! I have seen some of these photos over and over again in lectures that people give about aging. It is a book to be owned, not borrowed.

5-0 out of 5 stars So inspiring, I think I'll run a marathon!
Just one look at the photos and all your excuses for being a couch potato go out the door. This book is filled with inspirational photos of senior athletes. Helen Zechmeister, age 91, works out 3 days a week, deadlifts 200 pounds and can do the full splits. A competitive swimmer, Marie Wilcox-Little at 73 has a much better figure than I could ever hope to have (I'm merely 30). My favorite: Ivor Welch,(Volume 1)was never active until 83 when his wife his wife passed away. To mourn her death he started walking, then running, then running marathons. By the age of 90 he ran five marathons and 2 half marathons! If Ivor can do it, by golly, so can I! A must have for anyone who wants to enjoy life to its fullest!

5-0 out of 5 stars Growing Old Is Not For Sissies II
I bought this book for my parents (72 and 75 years young) and my mother loved it!!! She started taking Yoga this year and feels like "a new woman." She said to me "I don't just get out of my car now, I BOUNCE out of my car!" She thought it was as inspirational as I did. Can't seem to find version I of this, though. Can someone help???


5-0 out of 5 stars Every single one of these athletes is an inspiration.
I've bought the first book for so many friends as they've reached landmark birthdays, (50's) I decided to get book II for our friend's 75th! Both books are great reminder of just how much ability we have at all stages of life. It's about how much you can do, no matter what your age, instead of viewing age as a limitation.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is inspireing and the photographs are incredible!
Growing old is not for Sissies is a wonderful book of black and white photographs of older athletes. I particularly enjoyed the comments which many of the active athletes write. A great gift for all ages!! Etta Clark is truely an incredible photographer. ... Read more

46. The Hogan Mystique
by Martin Davis, Jules Alexander, Dave Anderson, Ben Crenshaw, Dan Jenkins, Ken Venturi
list price: $60.00
our price: $60.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 188014185X
Catlog: Book (1994-06-01)
Publisher: American Golfer
Sales Rank: 463664
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

No one executed a shot with more force or authority than Ben Hogan," begins Ben Crenshaw's vivid recollection. Hogan won all of golf's major tournaments--the Masters, the British Open, the PGA Championship, and a record five U.S. Opens--and his golf swing became the model for generations of golf aficionados.

The unmatched scenes in this rare, elegant archive portray every aspect of Hogan's game, from his signature white linen cap to his Maxwell shoes from England (custom-made with an extra spike), along with thrilling close-ups of some of Hogan's most memorable shots. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Be sure to understand what you are getting
Whether you find this book worth the money will depend on whether you think Ben Hogan was the God of Golf (or at least one member of the Trinity). It is a large-format book, and the quality of the photographs (all black-and white) is excellent. I believe they were all taken on the same day, when Hogan allowed Jules Alexander to accompany him. They pretty much just show Hogan at work on the course, and they do capture who he was. The accompanying comments and essays are interesting, but the photographs are the stars of the book. Just make sure you realize that you are getting a series of photographs taken on one day -- this isn't a retrospective of Hogan's career, and there are no swing sequences or anything like that. If you are a Hogan worshipper, however, this book is a must.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have work for the Hogan fan
This book is appropriately titled. The photos are truly classic and do a wonderful job of portraying the on-course Hogan, particularly his steely focus and gorgeous swing. The accompanying text is solid. I most enjoyed Ken Venturi's comments which accompanied the photos, as well as Dan Jenkin's recounting of the man behind the mystique. I was somewhat disappointed that the photos are all from the late 50s, mostly from the same tournament. Yet, this is only a minor issue. Every true Hogan fan should add this work to his or her collection. ... Read more

47. I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812966287
Catlog: Book (2003-10-14)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 131860
Average Customer Review: 3.55 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Charles Barkley has never been shy about expressing his opinions. Michael Jordan once said that we all want to say the things that Barkley says, but we don’t dare. But even die-hard followers of the all-time NBA great, the star of TNT’s Inside the NBA and CNN’s TalkBack Live, will be astonished by just how candid and provocative he is in this book—and just how big his ambitions are. Though he addresses weighty issues with a light touch and prefers to stir people to think by making them laugh, there’s nothing Charles Barkley shies away from here—not race, not class, not big money, not scandal, not politics, not personalities, nothing. “Early on,” says Washington Post columnist and ESPN talk show host Michael Wilbon in his Introduction, “Barkley made his peace with mixing it up, and decided the consequences were very much worth it to him. And that makes him as radically different in these modern celebrity times as a 6-foot-4-inch power forward.”

If there’s one thing Charles Barkley knows, it’s the crying need for honest, open discussion in this country—the more uncomfortable the subject, the more necessary the dialogue. And if the discussion leader can be as wise, irreverent, (occasionally) profane and (consistently) funny as Charles Barkley, so much the better. Many people are going to be shocked and scandalized by I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It, but many more will stand up and cheer. Like Molly Ivins or Bill O’Reilly, Charles Barkley is utterly his own thinker, and everything he says comes from deep reflection. One way or another, if more blood hasn’t reached your brain by the time you’ve finished this book, maybe you’ve been embalmed.
... Read more

Reviews (44)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
In this book he talks about how he is making the transistion from basketball to something else, political commentator or something like that, now that he has retired from the NBA. He is at his best AWAY from basketball in this book, and even though he talked a lot about wanting to move beyond it he still talked about it a lot.

I recommend this book because of his comments on racism, which I found interesting in that they would be hard to characterize as liberal or conservative. I hope Charles does do something political because based on what he says here I think he could be a valuable inbetween sort of person that both sides could trust to help sort some issues out. He talks frequently about the need for more discussion and I agree with him. This book really did make me think, I tend to be conservative on the race issue, but I did not find his views about where racism lies to be at all race baiting like so many black leaders out there, or excessively small minded, but rather thought provoking and things I have gone back to in my mind since reading the book and noticing racial things on TV, etc.

All in all a good read, easy reading, and enough juicy basketball stuff if that is what you are up for to go with the meatier stuff about social and racial issues.

4-0 out of 5 stars You are mainly right
I really enjoy Charles Barkley. He was an amazing player and he proves to be an entertaining writer and social commentator.

Suprisingly the book makes little reference to his basketball playing times. No inside stories on basketball games won at the buzzer or anything of that nature. His references to hoops are limited to the advice passed onto him by the older players (mainly Moses Malone and Dr J) and some commentary on the young players today (see: comments on Steve Francis and his last year in Houston and the worthlessness of an entourage). I do wish he expanded on the problems which developed on the Suns after losing to the Bulls in the Finals (1993)...he hints at the problems but does not, perhaps to his credit, identify the problem people.

This is a book which, as the title and other reviews foreshadow, are Charles' thoughts on issues (in summary, the interesting analysis of African American culture of success and jealously, racism outside of sports, the power of the NBA owners and being smart before, during and after an NBA life). I did not agree with everything he said but it provoked thought (which is one of his stated objectives).

The negatives to the book, it contains a series of simple spelling mistakes (the ebook). Someone was asleep at the computer (see: Keith Van doesn't have an e on the end).

I would recommend the book to anyone because, as always, Charles has some interesting things to say. Well worth the effort.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book. The Chuckster rules
I really enjoyed this book. Reads quick, but doesn't lack substance as Charles has a lot to say.

My biggest surprise was in the political area: For years, I have heard that Charles is a conservative, and I always see GOP big shots try to capatalize on his fame. After reading the book, however, I don't think Charles is as much as a GOP man as even Charles himself seems to think. His views on race, wealth, big business and several other issues are light years away from anything I hear republicans in power espousing these days. His positions are much more left leaning in everything but name- which is fine.

In the end, its all good no matter what your politics. Charles has much to offer here, and thankfully leaves the nuances of breaking down the pick and roll on the weak side to other books. He talks about things that matter, and for this I thank him and show up here to recommend his book.

4-0 out of 5 stars keep talking
the thing about the book that stands out the most, is that charles barkley took out time to " write a book " on some things that were important; not only to him, but to the average person that relates and understands those concerns. how many pro sports figures even care to do something like this???

3-0 out of 5 stars Depending on what you're looking for....
How much you will enjoy this book depends entirely on you. If you are a basketball fan looking for playing-days anticdotes, this is not for you! If you are a Charles Barkley fan seeking a little more understanding of this wondefully open individual, you are likely to enjoy this book.
Contrary to reviews of the book, what Charles has to say is by no means offensive but rather quite logical and fair. He has a wonderfully down to earth view of the world and his views on children are absolutely superb. He does drag on a little too much about racism but beyond that, what he has to say is interesting.
However, unless you disagree with his views, this book is not likely to make you think, and except for the intro, it is not particularly funny. Charles uses the book as a platform to discuss serious issues he can not speak about on television.
A great book, truly, but being a basketball fan I was dissapointed by the lack of basketball content and hence only 3 stars! But this does not mean it is a 3 star book, I can understand someone other than myself loving it.
Also, 250 pages of double spaced print, pretty short book, can be read in no time at all. ... Read more

48. The Steve Spurrier Story: From Heisman to Head Ballcoach
by Bill Chastain
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0878333169
Catlog: Book (2002-11)
Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
Sales Rank: 82056
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Growing up in Florida in the 1960's I can remember how all kids loved Steve Spurrier, glamorous star quarterback for the University of Florida. Nobody stood taller than the Gator's No. 11, who became the epitome of a college football hero: good looking, talented and capable of leading miraculous comebacks.

Looking back, it's funny how the memories of Spurrier's playing carreer manage to get blurred. While doing the research for this book, I rediscovered the fact that Spurrier truly was the real deal as an athlete, which I belive has been obscured by his coaching success.

Spurrier didn't get on by guile and intelligence as an athlte, though they were part of the package; he did it with athltic ability that he began to develop at an early age. Peeling through the archives of Spurrier's life reaffirmed what he had been as an athlete and became the most enjoyable aspect of writing this biography.

I remembered many of Spurrier's successes from myy childhood reading accounts written by Rom McEwen of the Tampa Tribune, a man I later work with while a sportswriter for that same newspaper. Other accounts of Spurrier's wizardry were new to me; Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy, but I had never realized the depth of his success dating back to high school days - when he competed in everything and rarely lost at anything - to the miracle comebacks playing for Florida. Confidence and competitiveness have been his curse and his blessing.

Those special qualities complemented his athletic ability on one hand while casting him as an arrogant figure on the other.

Unlike many gifted athletes who excelled playing the games but couldn't coach a lick, Spurrier took to coaching football games to another dimension, making him the exception.

There is no gray to Spurrier; the man is as black and white as they come, and he is passionate, which echoes over and over in what his friends and associateds say about him. Whether you consider spurrier an "evil" genius or simply a genius, you can't dispute the fact that he is a football artist, given the creative things he has done as a coach.

Steve Spurrier has led an interesting life, and this is the story of that life. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best sports bios I've ever read
With all the media buzz about this book, I was afraid it wouldn't live up to the hype, but I gotta admit that it's one very good book. Chastain really gets into the mind and heart of a remarkable and complex man. ... Read more

49. Catcher in the Wry
by Bob Uecker
list price: $23.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0515090298
Catlog: Book (1988-05-01)
Publisher: Jove Books
Sales Rank: 498429
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Funny Basball Memoir
From my childhood, I recall seeing Bob Uecker all time on those Miller Lite commercials. And I continue to quote his, "I must be in the front row..." to this day.
Anyone who knows anything about Uke, knows he is a very humorous indvidual. He also had an interesting career as a back up catcher for the Braves, Phillies and Cards.
This book details Uecker's years in the minors, majors and after baseball.
His sense of humor is apparent throughout this one. There were many out loud laughs and chuckles in this book.
If you love baseball and need a laugh, read Catcher in the Wry. Bob Uecker, the master of mediocrity, really shines in this one!

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny
I picked this book up at a little old bookshop and I couldn't stop laughing. Bob's humor is great and any baseball fan will and should enjoy this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars An insider's look at the lighter side of baseball
Althought it has been many years since I read it, this book recounts the career of Bob Uecker. From his struggles in the minor leagues to his appearance in "The Show", it's an insider's look at the game from a practical joker's point of view. Uecker's tongue-in-cheek style of self-effacing humor is hillarious. The book is filled with accounts of his friendships with many hall of fame players and the the antics they came up with to pass the time. Be warned, however...Uecker himself says the book is full of half-truths, and outright lies...but only the true baseball fan will know which is which! An outstanding effort! ... Read more

50. How I Play Golf
by Tiger Woods
list price: $18.95
our price: $5.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446529311
Catlog: Book (2001-10-09)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 3073
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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No athlete has changed his sport the way Tiger Woods has transformed theworld of golf. The Tiger phenomenon has created a new legion of golfers, seducedby Woods's almost effortless mastery of this most difficult game. In How IPlay Golf Woods reveals the many facets of his game and offers a plethora oftips and advice aimed at all levels of play. Unlike most golf guides, andperhaps somewhat surprising from a player best known for his long game, How IPlay Golf begins with the short game--putting, chipping, andpitching--before moving onto swing mechanics and hitting off the tee. Producedin conjunction with the editors of Golf Digest, the book is lavishlyphotographed and illustrated and offers a gold mine of useful ideas and mentalimages Tiger has collected over the years. Throughout, Tiger recounts memorableshots from his relatively brief career; for example, his only "perfect" shot (a3-wood on No. 14 at St. Andrews) and his first putt at the 1995 Masters (a20-footer for birdie on No. 1 that missed and rolled off the green). How IPlay Golf is not only a first-rate instructional guide, it also communicatesa passion and respect for the game that beginners, hackers, and low handicappersshould find inspiring. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
My husband and I took up golf a couple of years ago for fun, and to introduce our eight year old son to a sport we could all play together. My son is now plays in tournaments each week. The problem is he never listens to any advice I give him! Obviously I am no Earl Woods but now I have Tiger by my side! My son can read the book, look at the photos and see exactly what he should be doing. The book is easy to read and contains precise instructions. The photos are superb and guide the reader through every step of the swing. Tiger's thoughts about the game are inspiring and insightful. I also recommend you read 'Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: A Little Book of Eastern Wisdom' by Taro Gold, which contains many great quotations and inspiring messages based on the Buddhist teachings that Tiger practices.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tiger Watching: Lessons in Patience and Perseverance!
If you are like me, your golf swing will never be confused with Mr. Tiger Woods’s magnificent arcs. On the other hand, I enjoy watching him on television (even a lot of nongolfers do, too), and How I Play Golf is a very valuable, detailed look a how he eats, exercises, practices, prepares mentally, thinks through shots, sets up, and executes. I found this book to be the most revealing look at one golfer’s game that it has ever been my pleasure to look at and read about. Even if I can never learn anything from his game, I will certainly watch his game with a more educated eye in the future!

One of my major complaints about the photographs in most golf books is that the images do not illuminate what the text describes. These photographs are both well coordinated with the text, and easy to evaluate from an amateur perspective. I especially enjoyed seeing the details of the different grips Mr. Woods uses. I got several ideas for experiments to try in order to cure faults in my swing with those grip examples.

Another complaint about books by famous golfers is that they encourage too many people to emulate them. Mr. Woods makes it clear that this is how he plays golf, and why. In several places, he points out that his solutions will not be right for you. On the other hand, he plays with a lot of amateurs in pro-ams and studies with top teaching professionals. From those perspectives, he has a lot to say for the amateur, weekend golfer.

A great strength of this book is that it shows you and describes each element of the game from many different perspectives. You often see very large color photographs, from different angles. In other places, the degree of grip pressure is explored in considerable detail, with useful calibrations to experience. The text also describes why one approach works in a given situation and another one does not. For example, there are almost as many illustrations of common faults as of proper practice and performance. Seeing the “wrong” and the “right” side-by-side makes the message much clearer. In a few places, Mr. Woods also explains how his special physical skills permit him to do things that won’t work for very many other people. For example, he can feel the degree of “squareness” of the club head as it approaches the hitting zone and can make fine adjustments with his hands just before contact. He uses a grip that takes advantage of that talent. On the other hand, he cautions the reader to model the full swing on a golfer who has a similar physique and stature to oneself.

The book contains a lot of sound advice of the sort that you would eventually pick up by reading about 50 issues of Golf Digest. Those who want to see basics outlined all in one place will like this book. It has a lot of the richness of a Dave Pelz book, but is simplified to make the material easier to absorb and remember.

I also liked the way that key points are repeated throughout the book, in order to help drive them home.

Having watched a lot of Mr. Woods’s tournament rounds, I was pleased to see that he used many references to shots that I remember to make certain points. I was particularly impressed by his assessment that he seldom hits a “perfect shot” in remembering only one in the 12 tournaments he won in 2000.

Perhaps the most interesting advice in the book is to swing at only 80 percent of the effort you can make.

I have always found that it makes sense to build my game from the putting green back towards the tee. I was delighted to see that this book takes the same approach. Naturally, you will be tempted to skip ahead to the “blast away with the driver” sections, but do read all of the book. There’s lots of good information here. I have played with a number of pros who love to hit their drivers from the fairway. Imagine my fascination when I saw that the book has a section on how to do that.

If you are like me, you will come away with increased respect for the dedication that it has taken to develop this amazing level of skill and coolness. As Mr. Woods says, there are no short cuts. In fact, he has added a lot of discipline since first winning on the tour at 21.

No matter what happens to you on the course, or in life . . . keep your chin up and relax!

5-0 out of 5 stars A great golf book from a great golfer
In How I Play Golf, Tiger Woods covers the basics as well as more advanced technique. The illustrations in his book are outstanding. I recommend this book to those who want to improve their golf game or to those who simply want learn how Tiger plays.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Book Of Golf
Tiger Woods does an amazing job with this book His 306 pages of great golf is unbelievable.Tiger takes you from being on the green to having to hit through the trees.

Chose this book to learn golf or to improve your golf game. He'll tell you about his life and the situations he was in too.

5-0 out of 5 stars How I Play Golf
Tiger Woods does an amazing job with this book. His 306 pages of great golf lessons is unbelievable. Tiger takes you from being on the green to having to hit through trees. Woods will also talk about his life for a bit. ... Read more

51. The John Wooden Pyramid of Success: The Authorized Biography, Philosophy and Ultimate Guide to Life, Leadership, Friendship and Love of the Greatest Coach in the History of Sports
by Neville L. Johnson
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0967392020
Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
Publisher: Cool Titles
Sales Rank: 9529
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The John Wooden Pyramid of Success features the words and values of the master: the official Pyramid of Success Lecture, Coach's favorite maxims, interviews with him about his life and philosophy, and 30 photos of Wooden throughout his life. Wooden is the consummate businessman, who during the last twelve years of his job obtained a virtual monopoly on the national title for collegiate basketball. Learn how he did so as the master strategist, psychologist, motivator, and example. Husband, father, friend, educator, poet, athlete, Hoosier, and just plain great guy, Coach Wooden¹s story and approach to life is an inspiration for all ages. At last, the complete story is told. For the inside story of a true hero in sports and life, this is indispensable and joyous reading. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Deep Look at Coach Wooden's Life and Philosophy
Technically, much improved over the first, I highly recommend the second edition of this book. The author, Neville Johnson, presents a wide variety of interviews with family members, friends, former players, and others associated with John Wooden throughout the coach's influential life. Mr. Johnson also takes great effort in presenting a "balanced" look at Mr. Wooden's philosophy embodied in the Pyramid of Success and its effect on the friends, family, and players who know "Coach". The interviews (which cover at least half the book's content) are candid and revealing. The interviews alone are worth the purchase price. Many years of work went into the research for the book and the reward is for those who read it. Each reader will discover information about John Wooden and his philosophy of life not found anywhere else. I would not describe this as a "how-to" book, but, rather, a very deep look at a man who has influenced more people than he will ever know. The insights gained may well translate into a practical outlook on all aspects of individual lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and No Typos!
I think Mr. Willingham is reviewing the first edition of this book. I have seen a copy of that and there are many typos in that edition. I should know as I am a professional proofreader. But I have a copy of the second edition, the one that has the cover shown on this page, and I have found very, very few typos, and most of those small grammar things that you might find in any book. Considering this book is well over 400 pages I think it is presented very well. I do agree with Mr. Willingham that this book gives a lot of new information about the people around Coach during the Wooden Era. All in all, I find it an excellent read and a must for any Wooden follower.

3-0 out of 5 stars Informative, but what's the deal with the typos and errors ?
This book has a great deal of information about John Wooden, UCLA basketball, and many of the people who were involved with Coach Wooden during the "Wooden Era". However, this book is also FULL of typographical errors, grammar problems, and such. While it does not severly impact the content, it is frustrating and irritating for such a product that has so much potential.

5-0 out of 5 stars The John Wooden Pyramid of Success
I am a licensed psychotherapist practicing in San Francisco for the past twenty years. I am always looking for books that give people a healthy and motivational structure for living life.
John Wooden's Pyramid of Success is one of those books that I recommend to my clients. This book was recommended to me and although I did not know much about John Wooden, I was very inspired by his life and his work. His ability to educate, and help others build character, gain wisdom and expand their capacity to live a life of integrity, service and love is remarkable.
Most people come into therapy because there is some area of their life that they are dissatisfied with. Therapy is about bringing into consciousness deeper emotional truths that can keep us from achieving a truly satisfying and meaningful life.
The Pyramid clearly defines the actions we are taking and the decisions we are making when we are living life to the fullest. John Wooden is an important role model and teacher for us all. This book is an excellent resource for living on purpose and for reaching the upper limits of what is available to us all in life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Wooden!
This is by far the most comprehensive book on Wooden yet. About half the book is interviews with former Wooden players, with Wooden's family, his friends, and even his former teachers. These interviews prove Wooden truly walks what he talks. The biography section is as in-depth as anything I've seen on Wooden and the amount of new information revealed is daunting. If you are a Wooden fan, or want to learn more about the former UCLA coach, this is the book for you. ... Read more

52. WHEN PRIDE STILL MATTERED : A Life of Vince Lombardi
by David Maraniss
list price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684844184
Catlog: Book (1999-10-07)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 132396
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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As coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1959 to 1967, Vince Lombardi turned perennial losers into a juggernaut, winning back-to-back NFL titles in 1961 and 1962, and Superbowls I and II in 1966 and 1967. Stern, severe, sentimental, and paternal, he stood revered, reviled, respected, and mocked--a touchstone for the '60s all in one person. Which adds up to the myth we've been left with. But who was the man? That's the question Pulitzer Prize-winner David Maraniss tackles. It begins with Lombardi's looming father, a man as colorful as his son would be conservative. Still, from his father Vince Lombardi learned a sense of presence and authority that could impress itself with just a look. If a moment can sum up and embrace a man's life--and capture the breadth of Maraniss's thoroughness--it is one that takes place off the field when the Packers organization decides to redecorate their offices in advance of the new head coach's arrival: "During an earlier visit," Maraniss reports, "he had examined the quarters--peeling walls, creaky floor, old leather chairs with holes in them, discarded newspapers and magazines piled on chairs and in the corners--and pronounced the setting unworthy of a National Football League club. 'This is a disgrace!' he had remarked." In one moment, one comment, Lombardi announced his intentions, made his vision and professionalism clear, and began to shake up a stale organization. It reveals far more about the man than wins and losses, and is the kind of moment Maraniss uses again and again in this superb resurrection of a figure who so symbolized a sporting era and sensibility. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Reviews (121)

5-0 out of 5 stars Possibly the greatest sports biography ever written
If you are thinking about passing on this book because you've read a hundred other things on Lombardi, don't.

I almost did. Amongst other things, I'm a football junkie, a bit of an amateur historian on the subject, and felt that I knew enough about Vince--regardless of how fascinating a subject he is. I bought the book on the basis of its good reviews, and let me tell you every other book I have about Vince has been replaced by this book.

It is probably the best sports biography ever written. First off Maraniss is a world class writer, and this isn't written at the Junior High level as many sports books are. Second, the quality of his research--the dates, details, quotes and interviews--is staggering. An objective look at Lombardi as a family man, a father gives us a real taste of his life. It puts the times and Vince's achievements into perspective, and I never once felt that the airing of what technically could be considered "dirty laundry"(although it is tame by 1990s standards) lessened Lombardi in my eyes. On the contrary, it made him more of a realistic, vunerable person who's life becomes all the more remarkable for it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best sports book I've ever read!
I've always admired Vince Lombardi ever since his name was instilled in my conscious. When you think of the greatest coaches of all time, of any era, of any sport, Lombardi comes to mind. No coach ever gave so much of his blood, heart and dedication to win than Vince Lombardi; and all those traits are exhibited in this great biography of a man who transformed football, who brought football to the forefront. Maraniss has written a heartwarming, accurate account of a man who still lives in the public's conscious after his death almost 30 years ago. If you want a book about pure sports and strategy, then this isn't exactly your book. It's also about family and the desire to win. It's about determination. I've read King of the World by David Reminick which was also an excellent book, but this book tops it. When you finish this book you'll appreciate who Lombardi is and the sacrafice he gave to win. Most men wouldn't dare sacrafice so much of their time to do what Lombardi did, but after you finish this book you appreciate his love and why he did it. If there is one sports book you are ever going to get, this is it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
As a long-time Packer fan, about anything substantative would have been an interesting and fun read. But this one surprised me because it eclipsed long-established accounts of the Packers successes and failures and took an especially thorough look at the man who made Green Bay famous.

Who would have known, for example, that the Coach's brother was gay. Or that he could relate one-to-one to his team and his players in a way he never could to his family. The book shares more of these insights than it does such strategic things as how Jerry Kramer and Ken Bowman combined to throw "the" block. In fact, the on the field tactics and discussions almost become a distraction in a broader book that emphasizes what made the man tick.

Like Wisconsin's other 1960s era sports hero, Al McGuire, everybody thinks they know everything about Coach Lombardi. This book lends an exciting perspective on a man dead now for almost 35 years. It's fascinating and long overdue.

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic!
First, a few low points... While not written in the jargon of the field, Maraniss clearly approaches the subject of Vince Lombardi from a post-modern point of view. He opens with a contrived and somewhat galling introduction, in which he explains that he has borrowed the title from another author and uses it (of course!) "ironically." At various points throughout the book, Maraniss attempts to "de-construct" Lombardi, which is to some extent the mark of any good biography, but the author takes it too far at times, especially in his frequent references to the "fallacy of the innocent past." Moreover, this is not a political book, but because Lombardi was mildly politically active, politics enters the picture. And a subtle bias pervades Maraniss's discussion of politics. When lifelong Democrat (but always pretty conservative) Lombardi begins drifting toward Nixon and Republicans in the turbulent sixties, Maraniss attributes Lombardi's conservatism not to a heartfelt belief in those principles but to an inability to cope with rapidly changing times. The 60s is a favorite topic for Maraniss, as his latest book indicates, but his digressions into the protests, while tangentially important to Lombardi's story (particularly his philosophy of freedom), are overdone.

Nevertheless, despite those faults, I still give this book a five. Immediately after that disappointing introduction, Maraniss redeems himself with probably the most stunning first line I have read in any book of nonfiction (and perhaps in fiction, too): "Everything begins with the body of the father." It is a starting point for a discussion of Lombardi's immigrant father, but it brings together elements that appear throughout the book: family (especially Lombardi's relationship with his son); Catholicism; the physical violence of football. From his youthful desire to be a priest and his high school and college football career, Maraniss follows Lombardi to Fordham and beyond to his first coaching job at a small Catholic high school in New Jersey and to an assistant's job at West Point, under Red Blaik. It was then to the Giants, where he was an assistant with Tom Landry, and finally across the country to Green Bay, where the legend was born.

The book is not just a biography of Vince Lombardi; it is a look at American life and culture and at the history of professional football. It is amazingly written, and the descriptions of football games are wonderful--particularly the Ice Bowl, which another reviewer has mentioned. Flaws and all, this is a fantastic read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Power Sweep
_That William Verneli Wood was challengig for a place on the Packers at all was a meaure of his mental strength and perseverance. It also underscored the determination of Lombardi and his personnel man, Jack Vainisi, to ignore the prejudices then prevalent in most NFL front offices in their search for the most talented players...Wood was a black quarterback in an era when black athletes were seldom allowed the opportunity to play that position_ (p237). Willie Wood went on to play 12 seasons for the NFL Green Bay Packers and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989 In this biography WHEN PRIDE STILL MATTERED, David Maraniss identifies _race relations_ as an issue that revealed Coach Vincent Lombardi's character.

I understood very little about the American version of football. Part of my confusion was that the foot is seldom used, and the object of the competition resembles a ball like no other. Even so, after reading WPSM, Mr Maraniss has provided me an appreciation for the athletes and the unmatched accomplishments of Coach Lombardi. Mr Maraniss chronicles football's mythical beginnings at US colleges in the first half of the twentieth century culminating in its zenith in the decade of the 1960s. The Packers were the team of that turbulent decade and Coach Lombardi became an icon.

I was not surprised by this aspect of the biography. I don't feel I am alone in anticipating a captivating telling of the history and personalities of the NFL. Where Mr Maraniss exceeds my expectations is in his ability to weave disparate details together as they powerfully manifest at a critical time. The Packer Sweep is the most prominent example. So too is the complex and often contradictory character of Coach Lombardi.

Mr Maraniss tells us that Vincent Lombardi had a rare quality of leadership that enhances the confidence of those around him. He was able to lift their spirits and they in turn responded with an effort that exceeded even what they themselves thought possible. This is a spiritual gift.

Part of this gift found expression when Coach Lombardi was intolerant of racial prejudice. _The Jim Crow discrimination that black Packers faced when the team played exhibition games in the South enraged Lombardi, and at the end of the 1960 preseason he decided that he would never again allow his team to be split by segregation; from then on, he said, any hotel that would not accomodate all Packers would get no Packers_ He applied the same standard to the establishments in hometown Green Bay, Wisconson.

Even before Willie Wood came to Green Bay, Lombardi brought Em Tunnell with him from the NY Giants, and paid for his lodgings, _Lombardi respected and needed Tunnell's experience that much_. (p240). Tunnell and Wood returned the respect. Wood said that Lombardi was _perhaps the fairest person I ever met_

Coach Lombardi carried this same attitude to the issues of homosexuality and pre-marital pregnancy. These are typically, emotionally laden issues for Christians. Whatever reservations Lombardi may have held personally, he let his team know that a gay player deserved respect, _if I hear one of you people make reference to his manhood you'll be out of here before your ass hits the ground_ (p471).

The coach's daughter and her fiance agreed to get married but they did not want her parents to know that she was pregnant. Their parish priest helped the young couple with the details of securing a marriage license and with their permission, contacted Vince and Marie Lombardi who were enjoying the success of a Super Bowl victory in Florida (GB 33 Oakland 14). Lombardi had become a national symbol of old-fashioned discipline and moral rectitude. Upon hearing the news, _at first, Lombardi was 'extremely angry, of course, but then calmed down and began drafting a game plan._ (p430). As soon as Vince and Marie returned to Green Bay, they paid a visit to the newlyweds. Susan remembers, _He stuck out his hand to Paul and said welcome to the family and asked him about his education and his plans_.

Mr Maraniss tells us of a complex Coach in this biography of Vincent Lombardi. There is never any doubt about his shortcomings. Through his unique determination Lombardi overcame these shortcomings and applied his will to hold a faith in the positive nature of us all. _Winning is the ony thing_ is the most famous quotation from Coach Lombardi, but winning was not the only thing at which Vincent Lombardi excelled.

PEACE ... Read more

53. The Yogi Book: "I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said"
by Yogi Berra
list price: $8.95
our price: $8.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0761110909
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Workman Pub Co
Sales Rank: 14961
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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If the subtitle of this delicious collection of Yogi-isms has you scratching your head, it has done its job as stunningly as Berra used to do his behind the plate at Yankee Stadium. The Hall of Fame MVP catcher for the pinstriped dynasties of the late 1940s through the '50s and into the '60s, Berra was about as quick with his witticisms as he was with his bat and glove. But if his observations hit the heart of the plate, his grammar tended to pop out of left field, hence the creation of a unique mode of malapropism dubbed the Yogi-ism.To truly understand the title, you need to know that not every mot ascribed to Yogi actually emanated from his mouth--they only sounded like they should have. Thus, he really didn't say everything he said, which makes The Yogi Book absolutely necessary (see page 10).

To the things that Yogi did say, The Yogi Book does both service and justice. It gathers the witticisms in a single convenient volume, adds a scrapbook of photos, then lets their progenitor riff, filling in color commentary on what was happening beyond his mind and what was going through it when the famous phrases were dispatched into the public domain.He deservedly takes credit for such immortal pronunciamentos as "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." (page 16); "It's deja vu all over again." (page 30); "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." (page 48); "The future ain't what it used to be." (page 118); "It gets late early out there." (page 64); and "Ninety percent of this game is half mental." (page 69). All, like the sacred texts they happen to be, are appropriately parsed for your edification, as is the greatest Yogi-ism of them all: "It ain't over 'til it's over." (page 121). ... Read more

Reviews (22)

3-0 out of 5 stars Classic Yogi
This book is a great, but short read. It has most of Yogi's famous quotes and some that are not so famous, like something he may have said to his wife. If you are a Yogi Berra fan from way back or you just like him because of his different way of putting things, this is a must have. I got it yesterday and I finished it in a half-hour or so. So like I said it is not a long read but very enjoyable and will make you chuckle.

2-0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the read, but don't take this book as historical fact
Yogi really DIDN'T say everything that's attributed to him. A whole cottage industry for sports writers has sprung up inventing way too clever stuff and putting it in Yogi's mouth.

Unfortunately, it may be too late to correct the record. How can Yogi disown such gems as "It's deja vu all over again" when everybody WANTS to believe he said it?

In the early 1980's I read an interview with Berra in which a journalist walked him through the fifty best known Berraisms, and Yogi disowned about half of them. Included in the spurious Berraisms was the world-renowned "It's deja vu all over again."

Sorry to be a spoilsport, but let's have a little truth here. Does anyone seriously believe that during his playing days this guy, who had such a shaky command of basic English, had the French expession "deja vu" in his word stock to draw upon when needed?

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun and Nicely Done
What I liked about The Yogi Book is that it was a book about the man, by the man and for the man. It is a very simple book with a promising concept that had great pictures and timeless memories. The cut and dry attitude answers and explains the questions about his famous quotes in a way that is most delightful. The lack of nonsense and filler made the experience much more enjoyable and, combined with the fact that it was actually Yogi talking, made everything feel much more authentic and pure.

The one factor that seems to be a downside of the book is that is a very quick read. I was able to finish it in one hasty sitting and, being about as cheap as the day is long, I saw no need to purchase the book. For those that are fans as frugal as myself, I would recommend not purchasing but definitely reading.

Don't get me wrong, sure I'm a cheap [expletive], but that doesn't take away from this great read. You will be smiling the entire time you are reading and will be pleased that you took the time to go through all the classic quotes and great memories. Short and sweet, there's nothing wrong with that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny, Funny
This was the funniest book I have read in years. It was quick to read. I laughed so hard that I cried. Must read for anyone who needs a laugh.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Know He Didn't Say All Those Things He Said
This book has a lot of Yogi's famous sayings and how they first originated. While I was too young to see Yogi play, I've always admired him. Not just because of his apparent intent to destroy the English language with all of his malaprops, but also because of his Hall of Fame baseball career and his overall intelligence. When I was young and first heard some of his now famous quotes, I used to derive hours of giggles from them. Now that I am much older and hopefully wiser, I realize that Yogi makes a tremendous amount of sense with his observations. Essentially he's saying things in a short sentence that most of us spend an hour saying.

For example, "When You Come To a Fork in the Road, Take it," he's saying if you have a great chance for something, go after it and don't look back. Or when he says "It Ain't Over Til It's Over," he's saying the game is never over until the final out or the clock runs out on you. Or "You Can Observe A Lot By Watching," he's telling his former Yankee players to pay attention to the game they're playing in! After having read this short but fascinating and at times hilarious book, I've gained a new respect for Yogi as one of the truly great minds and people major league baseball has ever been lucky enough to have. While his quotes may prompt English teachers to jump out windows, I hope we get to hear a lot more of them. ... Read more

54. Hank Aaron And The Home Run That Changed America
by Tom Stanton
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060722908
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 376731
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Baseball has witnessed more than 125,000 major-league home runs. Many have altered the outcomes of games, and some, swatted into the stands on dramatic last swings, have decided pennants and won reputations. But no home run has played a more significant role in influencing American society than Hank Aaron's 715th.

Aaron's historic blast -- and the yearlong quest leading up to it -- not only shook baseball but the world at large. It exposed prejudice, energized a flagging civil rights movement, inspired a generation of children, and also called forth the dark demons that haunted Aaron's every step and turned what should have been a joyous pursuit into a hellish nightmare. In Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America, Tom Stanton, author of the prize-winning The Final Season, penetrates the burnished myth of Aaron's chase and uncovers the compelling story behind the most consequential athletic achievement of the past fifty years.

The tale takes place during tumultuous times, the years of 1973 and 1974, as the Watergate scandal unfolds and the Vietnam War sputters to an end. It's the era of Ali and Archie Bunker, of Wounded Knee and Patty Hearst, of Roe v. Wade and Billie Jean King versus Bobby Riggs, of oil shortages, and of a nation struggling with deep divisions. At the center of the social storm stands a private, dignified man -- Hank Aaron -- who rises to accept the mantle of his recently deceased idol, Jackie Robinson, and becomes emboldened by the purpose of his mission: to break the record of sport's greatest legend, Babe Ruth, not only for himself but for the advancement of all African Americans and for the good of his country.

Along the way, Aaron endures bigots, zealous fans, hate mail, FBI investigations, bodyguards, the ambivalence of his adopted hometown, a batting slump unlike any other, the sniping comments of Babe Ruth's widow, the slights of baseball's commissioner, a string of controversies, and constant threats to his and his children's lives. The story features a rich cast of characters: a friend and sometime rival, Willie Mays, who must come to terms with the end of his own career; Aaron's hard-as-iron protector, manager Eddie Mathews; a young, self-assured, occasionally cocky protégé, Dusty Baker; a future president, Jimmy Carter; a preacher of rising prominence, the Reverend Jesse Jackson; stars like Willie Stargell and Tom Seaver; and a roster of equally colorful, lesser-known peers.

But at the heart of the narrative is Hank Aaron, a class player who refused to preen at home plate or strut shamelessly around the bases even as he reached the pinnacle of the national pastime. Three decades later, Tom Stanton brings to life on these pages the elusive spirit of an American hero.

... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A book as important as the record itself
Anyone who has ever read one of my reviews, may notice a theme. The fact that I am 25 years old makes me rely heavily on reading books such as "Hank Aaron and the Home Run that Changed America" in order to comprehend the historical significance of many of the greatest sports moments of the 20th Century.

Obviously, I was aware of what 715 was (and eventually 755) and what it meant, but it wasn't until reading Tom Stanton's book that I truly could grasp what it meant for the whole country, not just the baseball community. Reading about the turbulent times of America and the racial injustice that was going on in the 1970's during Aaron's pursuit, makes his accomplishment even greater.

Receiving death threats in the mail, the fear of having one of his children harmed, and being called some of the ugliest names imaginable, were all things that he had to endure the entire time his quest was going on.

This book is wonderfully written and truly captures the importance of Hank Aaron's record-breaking season. This book is an important part of not only baseball history, but American history as well and should become part of any teacher's curriculum when teaching about civil rights.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Antidote to Steroid Scandals
Barry Bonds may eventually break Hank Aaron's record, but he will never displace him as a hero worthy of a child's adulation. This book is a dramatic and entertaining portrait of a dignified and decent man who overcame great obstacles while dethroning the most mythologized sports legend in American history, Babe Ruth. I thought I knew everything about Aaron's pursuit of the record, but Tom Stanton surprised me over and over again. It's a great read and the perfect antidote for the disappointing news about players on steroids.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Story of a Legend
What makes a legend? Is it their talent? Is it their presence? Must one possess a little of both in order to be revered?Hank Aaron, a talented baseball player from Mobile, Alabama became a legend when he broke Babe Ruth's home run record, but before that, he was a talented all-around player for the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves.

Hank's journey to beat the Babe's record was not without obstacles and setbacks.While pursuing the record and playing for Atlanta, a losing team at the time, the stands were nearly empty.He received degrading mail that threatened his life and that of his children. He heard boos emanating from the stands. But why? Wasn't this man a great baseball player who was on his way to claiming the home run record? He was, but he was African-American, and many baseball fans did not take kindly to the thought of a black man stomping on Babe Ruth's record. But despite the racial slurs, discouraging letters, and enormous pressure to knock them out of the park, Hank Aaron remained a calm force and an admirable role model. Hank Aaron's career home run record, set in 1973, is yet to be broken.

Tom Stanton did a nice job of reviewing the history of Aaron, while adding a personal element to the textbook stats, players' names, and chronology. The reader is allowed to know Hank, to support him, to root for him, to feel for him.A true baseball fan will love this recount of baseball history. (RAWSISTAZ Rating: 3.5)

Reviewed by CandaceK
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

5-0 out of 5 stars THE HAMMER AT HIS FINEST HOUR

5-0 out of 5 stars A Quest For Baseball Immortality And Human Equality
The subtitle of this book, "The Home Run That Changed America," may seem a bit lofty to those born too soon to remember this record-breaking blow. But in these pages, Tom Stanton does a fine job of interweaving the story of Henry Aaron's chase of baseball's most hallowed record with the tale of the impact of that pursuit on the larger society. Stanton's love for the game shines through in this narrative, as does his sense of shame for those elements of the public who greeted Aaron's achievement not with praise, but scorn and hatred.

The narrative begins in the fall of 1972 with Aaron among thosein attendance at the funeral of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in modern baseball. The bulk of the book tells the story of the 1973 season, which saw Aaron surpass Willie Mays for second place on the career home run list and finally fall one short of Ruth's magic total of 714. Over the course of that season Aaron had to endure the ravages of age (he was thirty-nine), a steadily intensifying media circus, and most disheartening of all, a vocal stream of hatred and abuse, most (if not all) of it racially motivated.

The retrospective distance of three decades makes it clear that if anyone was prepared to endure this great strain, it was Henry Aaron. While other players in bigger media markets like Mays and Mickey Mantle had captured the public's imagination with flashier performances, Aaron had been toiling away in Milwaukee and Atlanta, steadily building up career totals that would place him in the first rank of baseball's Hall of Fame...and humanity's as well.

Aaron came back for the 1974 season determined to put the quest for the record behind him as quickly as possible. This couldn't come without controversy, either. Atlanta officials found themselves embroiled in conflict with then-Commissioner Bowie Kuhn when they threatened to hold Aaron out of the opening three games at Cincinnati so he could achieve the record at home. Under pressure from Kuhn, the Braves played Aaron in Cincinnati, where he tied the record. Fittingly, though, he saved the blast that put him alone in the baseball universe for the home fans. Appropriately, this is where Stanton's narrative ends. There's a brief afterword on what's happened to Aaron and the other key players (including a young acolyte of Aaron's, Dusty Baker) in the decades since. But the heart of the story is in that year and a half recounted in these pages....when, as Stanton puts it, Aaron placed an exclamation mark on Jackie Robinson's great achievement and helped further erode the barriers standing in the way of full equality for all Americans.--William C. Hall ... Read more

55. The Bruce Lee Story
by Linda Lee, Mike Lee, Jack Vaughn
list price: $19.95
our price: $16.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0897501217
Catlog: Book (1989-06-01)
Publisher: Ohara Publications
Sales Rank: 54823
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Here is the complete story of the great martial artist/actor Bruce Lee, told with great personal insight by Linda Lee with hundreds of photos from Lee’s personal albums. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Totally changed my perception of the Dragon
Not factual? How can someone say that! It was written by Linda Lee, Bruce's wife! How can it not be factual? I personally found this book very good. It is an easy read, and it is very informative. This book changed my perception of Bruce. Where I once saw a wonderful martial artist, which I still saw, I now see someone who was of profound mind and good heart. His intentions were great, his mind and philosophies greater, and his legacy shall live on forever. If you are a Bruce Lee fan, three words for you: READ THIS BOOK!

5-0 out of 5 stars A touching insite into an amazing family
As a UK housewife with young children I have virtually no martial arts knowledge and read the book out of curiosity. I found a truly real book about an amazing marriage and an amazing couple. I think Linda Lee is as extraodinary as her husband. I am left feeling inspired about my own life and shall pass on little nuggets of knowledge to my own kids. This book is for people interested in fellow human beings and not just martial arts followers. It is testimony in itself that nearly 30 years after his death Bruce Lee has inspired an ordinary British woman.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good an interesting book about an interesting man!
Bruce Lee. Some things the average reader will not know about this man: Bruce Lee only made four movies in his lifetime. Bruce Lee was an intellectual. Bruce Lee revolutionized the martial arts. Bruce Lee brought the martial arts to the masses.

This book is written by Bruce Lee's wife. It is a short and loving memory to an extraordianry man who is still famous. Why exactly is a mystery. Perhaps it is the outstanding artistry Bruce Lee brought to the martial arts.

Bruce Lee had been a child actor in Hong Kong before coming to the United States and studying at the University of Washington. Ironically, he was a philosophy major. However, Lee transformed himself into a tremendous human specimen through his physical discipline, and a intellectual regarding his sport. He introduced "the way of the moving fist," which was a new methodology in the training of martial arts. He also dared to tech the subject to non-Asians, a idea which was tremendously disturbing to many and resulted in a fistfight with a young challenger in Lee's studio in Oakland, California.

Linda Lee comes across as a traveler who feels luck in being able to travel (for a brief while) on the road with Bruce Lee. He was convinced to move to Hollywood, where he began training stars like James Coburn, and later Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Unfortunnately, Bruce Lee had to fight racism and stereotypes. At home, his wife's family rejected him because of his Asian heritage. Hollywood rejected him because he didn't want to play the 'chop-suey' roles Hollywood routinely put forth in portraying Asians in film and television. However, a searing performance in the late 1960's on a detective show cemented his star quality,and he made some appearences on "the Green Hornet."

Finally, he made some pictures in the Hollywood system such as "Enter the Dragon."

Unfortunately, his most interesting and allusionary work, "The Game of Death," which was supposed to be a representation of his philophy of his art was never completed. I believe an assembled film was cobbeld together after his death, but the film was never finished. Interestingly, Kareem Abdul Jabbar played the ultimate obstacle in the movie.

Linda Lee's book has many interesting pictures, and I think gives an interesting look at Bruce Lee's life and impact that will have even the most casual reader satisfied.

If you are looking for lurid details, conspiracies and the like this book is not for you. Understandably, Ms. Lee does not cover the topic of Bruce Lee's supposed drug use and the unusual circumstances of his death, but what would you expect, this is a loving portrait by a woman who obviously loved Bruce Lee very much. Cheers for her!

Interestingly, several weeks ago, I watched a Turkish film in which a charecter kept repeating the line, " I will chop them up like Bruce Lee." In a Turkish film for crying out loud.

Obviously, Bruce Lee ahd a great impact on the world for his incredible talent which was taken from us before Bruce Lee could intepret it for the rest of us. In this way, he reminds me of Jimi Hendrix; Bruce Lee was a shooting star across the heavens.

This is a good book, and I believe you will like it as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Better Than You Think!
Like many Bruce Lee fans, I was dubious when picking up this book, suspecting it would be too sentimental and one-sided, glossing over the "true facts." However, don't be misled-- this book is GREAT. Easily among the two or three best Bruce Lee biographies, if not the best. Very well written, well organized, great rare photos. Linda does a fantastic job of giving us an idea of who Bruce Lee was, from the singular perspective of the person who truly knew him best. Sure, it glosses over the more controversial topics that have surfaced over the years (e.g., alleged drug use, personality problems, the circumstances surrounding his death). But you'll come away with a profound respect for the integrated depth of Bruce's genius, his commitment to his family, and his profound sense of integrity and character. And you'll notice that the qualities Linda chooses to highlight are in fact the ones that come out in his art as well as his screen persona. For example, here's a man who, feeling the weight of racial prejudice against himself, was nonetheless willing to physically fight a fellow Chinese for the right to teach Kung Fu to whites! That story is well-known, but the way Linda captures it illustrates Bruce's commitment to principles and his global perspective. Linda does a great job of balancing Bruce Lee as a profound philosopher as well as a uniquely gifted physical specimen. She makes you understand that it was more than simply his physical gifts that made him who he was. Perhaps Karate master Ed Parker said it best: Bruce was "one in two billion." In Linda's book, you'll be amazed at how disciplined, far-seeing, and erudite Bruce Lee was-- at such a young age. He was simply WAY ahead of his time. One could easily say that, through the medium of film, Bruce Lee singlehandedly effected a paradigm shift in the world's perception of martial arts, Asian males, eastern philosophy, and action films. This book is a very illuminating and satisfying read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Basically informative, with some mythmaking thrown in
An OK book, as far as propaganda biographies go. But if you want to read one genuinely great book about Bruce Lee, make it THE TAO OF BRUCE LEE by Davis Miller, which I recommend over any other biography of Lee. Davis Miller's book is beautiful, funny, sad, a pageturner, and it's the only book to sort through all the hokum and myths to give us something real-world and true. ... Read more

56. In Search of the Greatest Golf Swing: Chasing the Legend of Mike Austin, the Man Who Launched the World's Longest Drive and Taught Me to Hit Like a Pro
by Philip Reed, Mike Austin
list price: $20.00
our price: $13.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786713666
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers
Sales Rank: 77281
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The tale of an eager golf disciple and Mike Austin, the sport’s most legendary long-driver and keeper of the secret to the perfect golf swing

"Can you teach an ordinary golfer like me to drive the ball 300 yards?" With this question Philip Reed’s search for the greatest golf swing begins, and so does his unanticipated journey through the triumphs, rumors, boasts, and heartaches in the life of ninety-one-year-old golf legend Mike Austin.As a middle-aged journalist striving to learn the simple task of driving a golf ball for distance, Reed discovers the complex soul of the man who has driven it farther and better than anyone else—and did it in his own inimitable way.

When Reed met Mike Austin, he already knew that the elder man held the record for the longest drive ever—recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records—an awesome 515-yard shot during the 1974 U.S. National Seniors Open.But what Reed didn’t know was that his enrollment in the Mike Austin school of golf would offer him a degree in history, Austin-style—turning pro at age eighteen; winning wagers on miraculous trick shots and earning the nickname of the "golfing bandit"; sharing a Hollywood apartment with Errol Flynn; giving secret golf lessons to Howard Hughes; matching shots against Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, and Chandler Harper; and training today’s long-drive champions, such as the mighty Mike Dunaway.

In this book, Reed chronicles his tutelage under the cantankerous Austin as his drives get longer and longer while his understanding of Austin’s prodigious legend grows.More than a revealing tale of golfing secrets, this is a story about a great man in the twilight of life handing down a legacy of extraordinary stories, hard-earned lessons, and tough love.In the end, one man’s search for the greatest golf swing leads him to a treasured friendship and the secrets of living life to the fullest. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read!
This is a wonderful book about a relationship that begins as golfer and teacher and later develops into friendship. I've been interested in Mike Austin since I discovered that he taught Mike Dunaway, a former world long drive champion, how to swing. Although Mike Austin's videos provide incredible golf instruction, I got the impression from watching them that Mike Austin is a very interesting character as well. After reading Phil Reed's book, I feel like I know the man who hit the world's longest drive.

5-0 out of 5 stars In Search of the Greatest Golf Swing
This book was fascinating. As an avid golfer, I am always searching through golf magazines and books for some magic kernel of information or instruction that would straighten out my golfing woes. This book was an exciting find because it offered intriguing information about a swing technique and body mechanics I had not heard of or read about before. The book was so enjoyable because it is not a technical manual but a colorful account of Mike Austin; golf legend, inventor and the Guinness World record holder for the longest drive (515 yards). Mike accomplished this feat in a 1974 tournament with a persimmon, steal shafted driver at the age of 64. Mike divulges some of the secrets he employed in his golf swing to unleash unbelievable power, distance and accuracy. Phil Reed captures some of Mike's incredible life adventures that most of us only dream about. Mike's talents and larger than life exploits seem endless. In writing this book, Phil gave to those who love golf, a great story of a man who lived life large.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hole in One!
Okay, I don't play golf but this book was the perfect gift for the men and women on my gift giving list. (golf is big where I live) I loved the cover and they adored the book. Well written, lots of information. Giving this book to avid golfers was like making a hole in one! Thanks Philip Reed.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful book!
Early this year, while scanning the forthcoming golf books on Amazon, I noticed that Mr. Reed was due to have his book on Mike Austin published in April. I noted the date in my Outlook calendar, set a reminder, and awaited it eagerly. I have been a big fan of Mike Austin's ever since he fielded a phone call from me some years ago and was generous enough to spend several hours on the phone with me. I was a fan for life and a book about Mike seemed almost too good to be true. The advance editorial review sounded promising but they all do so I really didn't know what to expect. Well, the book exceeded all of my expectations. Different from any golf book I have read and I believe that I own almost every one in print and quite a few out of print as well. There's some instruction and discussion about Mike's way to swing for those of you who are looking for that. And that is certainly worth the price of the book in and of itself. But there is so much more than that to the book. There's the story of Mike Austin's life and what an interesting one it is. There's the story of Mr. Reed's growing relationship with Mike and what a warm one it turns out to be. And there's also the story of Mr. Reed's quest for a 300 yard drive and his questioning of his own relationships with others as seen through his ever evolving relationship with Mike. It is a very good read. One that I hated to see end I was enjoying it so. I'm sure that you'll enjoy it as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Swing of All Time
Mike Austin is the longest and biggest hitter in golf history. Not only that, he swung the golf club better than anyone in recorded history. In addition, he may be one of the greatest athletes in world history, in league with Jim Thorpe, Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan.
How can someone say that? Simple. Go to the tape. Order any of Austin's instructional videos and you can see for yourself. Most of todays long drive players swing the club so violently that most of us remain unimpressed, thinking that if we had the luxury of spraying the driver we could figure out how to swing like a gorilla too. But this is not the case with Austin. His swing reminds you of Snead and Els, easy, graceful, fluid and apparantly EFFORTLESS, and you get the sense, "hey, I could do that too". The difference between Austin and the two golfers I've mentioned is that Austin is 30-40% BETTER and 30-40% LONGER. His effortless action produced 400+ yard drives routinely with the old balls and the old wooden clubs, and was able to acheive this kind of length well into his sixties. (He hit his world record at 64. He even played in the wooden shaft era and was reportedly able to get 300 yards out of them). Even in his seventies he could threaten 350, while most golfers would be happy to get 180.
So why haven't you heard of Mike Austin? He can't putt. He came from the era of Hogan, Snead, and Nelson and could do better in long drive exhibitions and the like than playing the low paying (at that time) tour.
What Mr. Reed gives is a priceless insight into the life and mind of a human being of enormous accomplishment. He is apparantly abrasive, intelligent, and enormously confident, capable, and accomplished. He may be the actual Shivas Irons. What is so terribly unfortunate is that there is so little film of him, and so little about him is available in print. Thankfully we have this book to fill that gap. Mr. Reed does a spectacular job, but Austin always leaves us wanting more.
To the non-golfer I say here is the opportunity to learn about a legendary athlete equal to anyone in history. To the golfer, I say forget Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. Forget Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. Forget Sam Snead and Ben Hogan. Forget Butch Harmon and David Leadbetter. Mike Austin surpasses them all. In fairness, he may not have won what these gentlemen have, but it doesn't change the fact that he swung the club better than them all. ... Read more

57. Bobby Bowden's Tales from the Seminole Sideline
by Bobby Bowden, Steve Ellis
list price: $19.95
our price: $15.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582614067
Catlog: Book (2004-08)
Publisher: Sports Publishing
Sales Rank: 60200
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Book Description

"Telling stories—I enjoy that. It comes with growing older. But I don’t see the day where I’m sitting on the porch rocking with a bunch of guys around me and I’m telling stories. I can’t see that. It’s just like golf. People say, ‘Aren’t you going to the Masters?’ No. I don’t care anything about going to the Masters. I’d rather go play than see those great players. I’m not a good spectator. I want to play, and that’s the way I am. I would rather still be doing this if I can." —Bobby Bowden

Bobby Bowden is spending what should be his retirement years gathering victories and collecting more fodder for stories that must be told between staff meetings, film study, cross-country recruiting trips, and even the tackling of hundreds of footballs and posters that daily await the signature of NCAA Division I-A’s all-time winningest coach. For the architect of one of college football’s great dynasties—14 consecutive seasons of Associated Press top five finishes—his rocker is a swivel chair that swings easily to his right so that even with the next season six months away, he can study opponent’s game tape that almost always fills the large projection screen that dominates his office. His porch is an office crammed with more than 300 books he uses to break from the pressures as the coach of one college football’s most recognized programs. It boasts a view of Doak Campbell Stadium, where as an assistant coach and head coach he has been a Seminole for more than 31 years. It is down there and on legendary road trips to Nebraska, Clemson, Florida, and so many other places that gutsy trick plays were called and executed, leading to Bowden’s nickname a the "Riverboat Gambler." It is where plays that only Bowden would dare try, including some he now regrets attempting, have unfolded. It is also where the final results of amusing and unexpected events on the recruiting trail were written. They are substance for stories that should not, and will not, wait for retirement. Readers will be among the group that gathers around as Bowden tells his Tales from the Seminole Sideline. ... Read more

58. Unforgivable Blackness : The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
list price: $26.95
our price: $16.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375415327
Catlog: Book (2004-10-26)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 1434
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59. My Losing Season
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553381903
Catlog: Book (2003-08-26)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 3572
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars A 'Losing' Inspiration
I'm not a sports fan (okay, I like some hockey but that hardly counts). I never have been a sports fan and, at this point in my life, I think I might have run out of time to make myself into a sports fan. However, while I was reading this book and ever since, I think I finally get the amazing complexity of truly loving a sport. I think I just might have missed out on something by never learning to adore basketball.

But I didn't have to miss out on this book. Having a knowledge of basketball might have enhansed my appreciation of this book but I don't see how anything could have enhansed my enjoyment. This is a story about passion in it's purest form. Not passionate romantic love but a passion just as valid, just as beautiful and, often, just as heart-breaking. And it's written as only Pat Conroy can write: honest and without needless window dressing. It's a story that could have been so mediocre in the hands of anyone else. But Pat Conroy, who lived and loved and hurt this season, delivers a novel that is so compelling anyone can love it.

I'm still not a sports fan but, I have to admit, lately, when one of the men in my life flips the channel to a basketball game, I'm more inclined to pat him on the head and cluck lovingly than beat him with the remote control.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Rivetting, Intriguing Memoir
Mr. Conroy is arguably one of the best writers living. This memoir focuses on his senior year at The Citadel, The Military College of SC-recently in the headlines for the losing battle to remain all-male. It offers keen insights into his life through writing of the highest level.

Conroy's tale follows his senior year but also delves into his life as it centers around his basketball and academic careers. At the forefront of the scenes from his life is the maniacal behavior of his father, an abusive, sadistic marine who was a tortuous figure throughout Conroy's youth.

I found the story of Conroy's development as a lover of books and as a writer extremely interesting. One could even surmise that all the events of his life served as ingredients to making him a great novelist.

One cannot help but to ride on the emotional rollercoaster that this book creates as it follows Conroy's ups and downs on and off the basketball court. As he writes about specific games he played, it reads like the play-by-play to the NCAA championship game, which every game was to Conroy.

The book offers great details about his relationships to other players and people in his life, including teachers, who made a lasting mark on him.

As a Citadel graduate and athlete, I found the memoir to paint accurate illustrations of life as a Citadel athlete, trying to excel in a sport when everything seems to be against you-the school, the coach, the students-everything.

I don't think any reader will be disappointed in this book. I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not enough stars for this one, folks . . .
As with all of Conroy's books, he makes you love the story even if you're not interested in the subject material. The only other author I know of that does this is Jackson McCrae. "My Losing Season" is a true story of how a college basketball player trying to get the approval of his father. Yet, getting that approval is hard due to his father's expectations. Conroy tells a wonderful story that may leave some teary-eyed. One cannot help but to ride on the emotional rollercoaster that this book creates as it follows Conroy's ups and downs on and off the basketball court. As he writes about specific games he played, it reads like the play-by-play to the NCAA championship game, which every game was to Conroy. As usual, this novel is brilliantly constructed and well-done---as all his novels are.

Also recommended: "The Bark of the Dogwood," and "Prince of Tides."

4-0 out of 5 stars Lacerating. . .
There's a scene in a 1970s movie in which Gene Hackman tries to grind up a broken wine glass in a garbage disposal. Reading this book is a lot like that.

I picked up "My Losing Season" not as a great fan of Pat Conroy or as a former athlete. I was attracted more by the theme of loss and its lessons. And I expected a different personal story than the one Conroy tells. The losing basketball season in his last year as a cadet at The Citadel in Charleston, SC, is a pretext for a much deeper theme - survival in the face of humiliation.

And it's not the losses of the games that are humiliating. On the one hand is the brutal and unrelenting contempt of his marine colonel father, a child abuser and wife beater. On the other hand is the withering scorn of Conroy's arbitrary and capricious coach, Mel Thompson. Both, in Conroy's account, do their best to beat the spirit out of the boy who has grown into an indomitable (though undersized and modestly talented) point guard for his team. And all of this takes place in the regimented, fierce, all-male environment of The Citadel in the 1960s, where incoming boys are routinely broken by the merciless hazing of their upperclassmen.

Humiliation is a much more difficult subject than loss to deal with. Loss leaves scars, but humiliation remains an open wound, and in writing about it there is the risk of slipping into the tug of war between self-pity and self-blame. Conroy takes us there sometimes, and those are the parts of his story that are lacerating. But win or lose, the ups and downs of the season are fascinating and the accounts of the games are thrilling. As a writer, he has a gift for hustling the reader with suspense and drama and sudden shifts of mood. As an observer of character, he vividly brings to life the individual boys who make up the team. As someone deeply wounded, he is able to freely and convincingly express the many articulations of the heart - especially love, admiration, and gratitude.

Once I started into this book, I could not put it down. It kept me reading late into the night. And when I wasn't reading, it filled my thoughts, as I'm sure it will for a long time. It's a troubling book that wants to resolve a host of dark memories. And it may well want to show the reader how to do the same. I'm not sure that it's completely successful in either regard. And maybe that's the point. It's enough to recast humiliation as loss. That is a wound that can eventually heal.

5-0 out of 5 stars My losing Season
Pat Conroy's book My Losing Season Is about Pat in his early years trying to take his basketball team to the championship but he finds it hard. He has to determine whether or not his family is more important to him than basketball. He deals with his father's abuse and disapproval of what he is doing. This has been one of the best book that I have ever read. Anyone who likes basketball or has played any sport would love this book. ... Read more

60. Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero
by Leigh Montville
list price: $26.95
our price: $16.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385507488
Catlog: Book (2004-04-13)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 1147
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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Leigh Montville's Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero is the definitive biography that baseball fans have been waiting for. Montville, who was a sports columnist for the Boston Globe and then a senior writer for Sports Illustrated is an admitted Red Sox and Williams fanatic, and his passion for his hero rings clearly from every page, along with his clear baseball expertise. But Montville does not hide Williams's flaws. The young Williams was temperamental and justified bad behavior with batting prowess that could excuse just about anything. Quick to anger, "the Kid" had a gift for foul language, too.

Montville's study offers insides accounts of Williams's obsessive development as a hitter and his constant struggle to perfect his swing (mistakenly called "natural" by sports writers with little understanding of his extensive preparation). The chapter on 1941, perhaps the greatest year in his career, draws on research and interviews never before published. Montville lets whole passages stand uninterrupted--from Williams's manager, Joe Cronin, from his teammate Dom DiMaggio, and from other players and baseball officials who tell the story of Williams's quest for a .400 batting average. The tale of the final day of the season (when he refused to be benched and went six for eight in a double header to jump from .39955 to his final total, .406) is as pulse-pounding as any thriller.

Alongside its essential focus on Williams's baseball life, the book also delves into his military service during both World War II and the Korean War, his passion for sports fishing, and his commitment to helping children through the Jimmy Fund. Finally, Montville devotes a chapter to the controversy after Williams's death, exposing the back-and-forth among Williams's heirs in the bizarre decision to freeze his body in a cryogenic warehouse in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Montville's biography makes a good case that Williams was, if not the greatest hitter ever to play the game, certainly among them. For his focused, scientific approach to hitting, Williams is unmatched in the history of the game. His life, marred perhaps by a temper and occasional immaturity that soured his reputation in Boston, is one of true sports greatness. Early in the book, Montville argues that Williams is less appreciated today than he might be because he played out most of his 19-year career in the era before televised highlights. But with Montville's efforts to capture first-hand accounts of Williams's achievements, The Splendid Splinter's legacy is assured. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

Reviews (19)

2-0 out of 5 stars The Life Of Ted Williams
Ted Williams is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. His .406 batting average stands as of the game's greatest accomplishments and is still the benchmark average that modern players aim towards. Leigh Montvale's Ted Williams: The Biography Of An American Hero is the most extensive book about the Splendid Splinter. Despite the fanfare, the book is a disappointment. Mr. Montvale spends far too much time on Mr. Williams' life after baseball than his time within the game. To any reader of any sports biography, the most important aspect of the book should be the subject's athletic career. No one wants to read just an expanded stat sheet, but Mr. Montvale concentrates too much of the book on Mr. Williams' life outside of baseball. The 1941 season has some detail, but the 1946 is almost written as an afterthought. That season ended in Mr. Williams' only trip to the World Series in his long career. His two Triple Crown seasons of 1942 & 1947 are mentioned in passing. Mr. Montvale does do an excellent job of explained the bitter rivalry between Mr. Williams and the Boston sportswriters. But again, he spends too much time into the background of the writers (one doesn't really care about the life history of Mr. Williams' fiercest critic, Dave Egan, but we get that). Mr. Montvale does go into great detail about Mr. Williams' three marriages and his fishing life on the Florida Keys and Canada. This is interesting, to a point, but these aspects of his life should have been given the secondary nature that his career received. Mr. Montvale also conveys Mr. Williams as an impetuous, foul-mouthed crank and relays countless stories from acquaintances and loved ones who hammer this point home. Included is a word for word interview with Mr. Williams' third wife Dolores that was conducted in 1969 but never released that makes this point abundantly clear. Mr. Montvale ends the book with a sort of biography within a biography as he details the life and exploits of Mr. Williams' only son, John Henry. Again, this is interesting and shows how sad of an end that Mr. Williams' life had, but he goes overboard in his tales of John Henry's transgressions. This book is not without merit as it does provide some detailed insights into one of the 20th Century's greatest athletes, but it falls short of its potential greatness.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great biography, depressing ending
This is a fascinating and illuminating book about a talented baseball player, a military hero, and a cantankerous curmudgeon - Ted Williams. Montville does a terrific job of encapsulating the Splendid Splinter's eventful 83 years into a fascinating 500-page book, complete with nearly a hundred black-and-white photographs, many never before seen. If you're looking for a biography of Ted Williams this is probably the one to get; it covers his entire life, something that his 1969 autobiography doesn't do (obviously).

Montville doesn't shine much new light onto the Public Ted - any true baseball fan is already familiar with his battles with the media, his 406 average in 1941, his weak performance in the 1946 World Series, the two military interruptions to his baseball career, his storybook home run in his final at-bat, etc. We already knew that stuff. Where the book truly shines is in illuminating the Private Ted...

The selfish Ted, who'd drag uninterested wives along with him on fishing trips, and who'd rather be alone in a boat somewhere than be present for his children's births; his lustful enjoyment of his hobbies was more important than his family. The angry and blasphemous Ted, who'd spit at fans and frequently (and colorfully) take the Lord's name in vain with a smattering of the f-word and his favorite modifier, "syphilitic." The lonely Ted, who married three beautiful trophy wives, had teammates and friends all over the country, yet still lacked the unconditional love he desperately needed. Somehow Montville manages to paint Williams as sympathetic, lovable, and even heroic, while still telling the story of a bitter and cranky man.

Thankfully, there were at least a few caring people in Ted's life to help diffuse his negativity and give him unconditional love: Louise Kaufman, the grandmotherly woman who became Ted's longtime companion after his three failed marriages to younger women, and the male nurses who took care of him during his final decade on Earth.

Sadly, the book (like Williams's life) ends on an unavoidable down-note. Montville frightens us with the awful tale of Ted's money-grubbing son, John-Henry. Here the author fairly throws objectivity aside, painting the younger Williams in tones reminiscent of Shakespeare's Iago. John-Henry's underhanded machinations and obvious treatment of Ted as a meal ticket rather than a beloved father left me feeling sad and depressed at the story's end. Junior was more concerned with his progenitor's ability to sign and sell valuable autographs than his comfort and welfare during his declining years. The demon seed of Ted Williams kept his father's friends and loved ones from calling and visiting, and then - in an act which violated Ted's wish for cremation, as per his will - John-Henry had his father cryogenically frozen after his death. Thus began the fighting and infinite court proceedings between Ted's offspring - an embarrassing and surreal coda to a life otherwise lived with integrity and dignity.

A great book about a great man. As sports biographies go, it's surely one of the best - just like Ted.

(News update: John-Henry Williams, 35, died of leukemia in March 2004. Perhaps now the legal maneuvering will stop; perhaps Ted can at last be cremated and have his ashes spread across the waters of Florida, just as he wanted. Meanwhile, thanks to John-Henry, the decapitated head of Ted Williams remains in a frozen vat in Arizona.)

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read for Williams fans...
This book is a must read for Williams fans, Red Sox fans and baseball fans in general. I felt this book was one of the most balanced books I have read aboout Williams. Not only does it pay tribute to his success on the field and in the air during WW II and Korea, but also decribes his many faults. I have always been a fan of Montville and this book, simply put, is a great one.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good, honest look at a good, honest man...
I recently read Cramer's bio of Joe DiMaggio and thought this would be a good complement. And it was. While the more one finds out about DiMaggio during and after baseball, the less one likes him; the more one reads about Williams, the more one likes HIM. He was the anti-Joe with his time and genuine concern for people, especially those less fortunate (in particular, children and the Jimmy Fund in Boston).

For baseball fans, this book is not too deep on his accomplishments on the field. But then again, his career is so well-documented that baseball fans are probably very familiar with it. Montville does shed light on his early days in the minors, the majors, the .400 season, the service years, his bad relationship with the Boston sportswriters and his refusal to tip his cap when he homered in his last career bat. All things that we are familiar with, but about which it was good to know more.

For those who are not baseball fans, the book offers more of a look at this man who had achieved so much in his profession, served his country in the middle of his career (in two separate wars) and delved into the complex relationship he had with his family yet how easy it was to be his friend...on his terms.

I think the author gives a good and balanced account of how this man went from a not-so-popular player in his own hometown and even with some of his teammates, to the much-adored icon he was in the last 10-15 years of his life. There are some truly touching passages about his innate goodness that was sometimes overshadowed by occasional and irrepressible bouts of anger. Looking around at today's ballplayers, once hopes for someone like Barry Bonds to have the same fate. To be misunderstood and unpopular while putting up one of the best careers even seen in the game and to be redeemed in the later years of his life. Might be too much to hope for in that case...

5-0 out of 5 stars What a life Teddy Ballgame had!
This book describes greatness, a quest for perfection, deep and long-term friendships between men; heroism and personal sacrifice for country; some of the inside details of baseball, a deep love for the game, betrayal and exploitation; and ultimately one of the most bizarre aftermath's to the life of a legend. There is no doubt that Ted Williams was one of the best hitters who ever lived. In fact, it can be argued, something that I often do, that he was the best hitter to ever play the game. On that note, while he was blessed with incredible skills, like so many successful athletes, he practiced as if he was a religious fanatic and that was his daily devotions. He was also a very intelligent man, some of the facets of hitting that Williams discussed had never been considered before. He studied pitchers with a precision that probably has never been duplicated.
Under the social classifications now used, Ted was a Hispanic, his father was Mexican and his mother Caucasian. Growing up in San Diego, he was worshipping baseball and making it his field of study at a very early age. Unfortunately, his skill at hitting a baseball did not translate into maturity. He became a star at an early age, and he never managed to mellow a ferocious temper, which many of his friends said was the key to his success. Like so many people who accomplished so much, he was a perfectionist. He would hit a homerun and then criticize himself for swinging at a pitch that was not in the strike zone. Montville criticizes Williams for this, but it is not totally justified. A mistake that turns out right is still a mistake, and if you are satisfied with that, then over the long haul, the mistakes will sum to a point that will overwhelm you.
It is amazing to think that he pulled two tours of duty as a Marine Corps pilot, flying combat missions in the Korean War and having a plane shot out from under him. There is no greater testament to his hitting ability than what happened after he returned from Korea at the age of 35. Having almost no time to readjust to the baseball world, he managed to hit over .400 for the remainder of the season and have a slugging percentage over .900. A close second is when he hit .388 at the age of 38, which put him within a few hits of .400. Over the course of the season, that many hits would have been generated by legs even a few years younger.
His later years were spent in and out of baseball, fishing, hunting and enjoying himself. It is here where we also see the consequences of celebrity. His relationships with women were strained, often a consequence of the fact that he could have so many. Women seemed to roll in and out of bed with him at a regular pace and there is a somewhat substantiated rumor that he caught an STD while in Korea. His relationships with his children were poor, which led to his being exploited, manipulated and mistreated in his last years. Those who knew him best and had looked after him were shut out of his life when he needed them most. After his death, his body was frozen, something that was almost certainly the consequence of a forgery that was somehow accepted as legal.
Ted Williams did many things at the highest level. He lived fast, enjoyed the good life of women, fame, adulation and monetary rewards. At the end, it seemed that his only regret was that he did not build familial relationships. Which is probably correct, because he maintained close relationships with friends for decades, old buddies to shoot piles of BS with.
Montville captures Ted Williams as a great man with great flaws. Some criticized him because they could and because it sold papers. Nevertheless, Williams often went out of his way to antagonize others, spitting at and cursing fans and sportswriters when he felt like it. As is so often the case, the very qualities that make someone great also make their flaws great. However, he was also willing to help people in need. There are many stories of his charity work and how he would stop and give a total stranger a tip on hitting. This is a book that all baseball fans should read. ... Read more

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