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181. Land of the Giants: New York's
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182. Juicing the Game : Drugs, Power,
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183. May the Best Team Win: Baseball
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184. With the Boys : Little League
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185. The Bill James Handbook: 2005
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186. Brooklyn Remembered: The 1955
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187. None but the Braves: A Pitcher,
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188. Pure Baseball: Pitch by Pitch
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189. The Little Team That Could/the
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191. 101 Offensive Softball Drills
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193. The Dodgers : 120 Years of Dodgers
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195. Mickey Mantle: The Yankee Years
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196. Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking
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198. Nine Innings
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199. Total Ballclubs, Revised Edition
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200. Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way

181. Land of the Giants: New York's Polo Grounds
by Stew Thornley
list price: $29.50
our price: $29.50
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Asin: 1566397960
Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
Publisher: Temple University Press
Sales Rank: 537788
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

More than thirty years after its demolition, the Polo Grounds—like some other urban neighborhood parks such as Ebbets Field, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and Wrigley Field—still holds a place in the hearts of baseball fans.

The Polo Grounds was the home of the New York Giants from John McGraw and Christy Mathewson to Carl Hubbell and Mel Ott to Willie Mays and Leo Durocher. It was also home to the Yankees when Babe Ruth's home run production was soaring (which led to "the House that Ruth built") and home to the Mets in their painful early years.

From "Merkle's Boner," which cost the New York Giants a pennant, to Bobby Thomson's homer, which won them one, Stew Thornley retells the legendary events of the park and its legendary personalities. He reveals little-known facts, too:

When the championship Giants and Yankees played in the 1921 and 1922 World Series, it wasn't a "subway series," because the two teams shared the same ballpark.

The team Mays was playing for when he hit his first home run in the Polo Grounds was not the Giants, but the Birmingham Black Barons. The Polo Grounds was also the site for two Negro World Series games in 1946 and 1947.

Fans cherish not only the historic moments and team traditions of these stadiums, but treasure their physical peculiarities. Like the "Green Monster" at Fenway Park, the unusual horseshoe shape of the Polo Grounds made the park a special place to play. Stew Thornley analyzes the effect of the very short porches along the foul lines and a cavernous center field on home run production and hitting in general.

Baseball wasn't the only sport played in the Polo Grounds. The football Giants played here from 1925 to 1955, but the stadium was better known for some of the great college games, including the 1924 Army-Notre Dame game in which the "Four Horsemen" of Notre Dame were christened. Numerous boxing title bouts were held at the Polo Grounds, and it also hosted tennis, rodeo, midget auto racing, outdoor opera, ice skating, and religious rallies. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Once there were Giants
This is a concise but thorough story of one of baseball's most fabled stadiums. As many of the old classic ballparks go the way of the wrecking ball, such accounts become more and more necessary.

The Polo Grounds met its demise as long ago as 1964, but it is likely to continue to have a hold on baseball fans long after some of the newer monstrosities which were built and/or abandoned afterwards (I.e., Riverfront Stadium, Houston Astrodome, Three Rivers Stadium) have been long forgotten.

Many of those who pick up this book will already know that the New York National League baseball team (which was known as the "Mutuals" before it became the "Giants") actually played in four different ballparks known as the Polo Grounds and that polo was never played in any but the first one (the succeeding ones simply kept the name for familiarity's sake).

But this book will add some breadth and scope to that knowledge. The author, Stew Thornley, has nothing new to add concerning the most famous events that took place there. At this late date, what more is there to be said about Merkle's Boner, Zimmerman's Boner, Snodgrass's Muff, Merkle's Second Boner, Hubbell's 1934 All Star Game performance, The Shot Heard Round the World, or Willie's Catch?

On the other hand, would you believe that Willie Mays's first Polo Grounds home run took place before his 1951 rookie season with the Giants? How and when? I didn't know before reading this book.

Thornley also seems to have swallowed the myth that a vengeful Brooklyn Dodgers team beat the Giants in 1934 to spoil their pennant chances and get even for the slight that Bill Terry inflicted when he asked, "Is Brooklyn still in the league?" The story is part of Giant-Dodger lore, and all of those events took place, except that it is likely that Terry's question was really an innocent response to a rumor circulating over that franchises's future.

Thornley's principal contribution concerns the political and business history of the four ballparks, as well as their dimensions and how they affected baseball as it was played there. But while there are some wonderful photographs in the centerpieces of the book, Thornley fails to integrate them with his technical descriptions of the ballparks' dimensions. Some maps of old New York and some diagrams of the four ballparks facing the pages containing the descriptions would have been helpful.

There were not only once baseball giants at Polo Grounds IV but football giants too. Boxing and other athletic events also took place, and, in a separate chapter, Thornley dutifully pays homage to the Grounds's non-baseball history.

Regarding Polo Grounds I, where the Giants played from 1883 to 1888, it is described as a "difficult place to hit home runs". As Thornley states, "Total Baseball lists the home run factor for the east diamond as 71, with 100 being average; this means that home runs were reduced by nearly 30 percent...because of the characteristics of the ballpark itself."

Thornley continues, "However, the Giants had a slugger capable of reaching not just the outfield fences but the property fences that provided the outside border to the stadium itself." The slugger was Hall of Famer Roger Connor, described by another historian as "the premier power hitter of the 'Gaslight Era'", and Thornley recapitulates a contemporary description from 1886 of a Connor home run traveling majestically over the right field stands and into a field across 112th Street.

A Giants baseball team playing its home games in a pitcher's ballpark, stingy with home runs, but having in its lineup the premier home run hitter of the era, a left-handed slugger and future Hall of Famer capable of overcoming the park's dimensions by muscling baseballs entirely out of it.

Thornley deserves thanks for reminding his readers that after 116 years and a move to the West Coast, the more baseball changes, the more it remains the same.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Historic Horseshoe on the Harlem
One ballpark that has fascinated me more than any other has been the Polo Grounds, home of the New York Giants. This is due to my interest in reading books about John McGraw and Christy Mathewson. My only two visits to the site came long after the stadium had been demolished. Author Stew Thornley provides the reader with a concise history of all four arenas called the Polo Grounds. Polo Grounds I was located at 110th Street and 5th Avenue and was the only location that polo was acutally played. Polo Grounds II was located on the site of Manhattan Field where the parking lot for the future arenas was to be located. Polo Grounds III had a short life as fire destroyed the park and the team moved into Hilltop Park after accepting an invitation from the Highlanders (Yankees) to play there while Polo Grounds IV was being rebuilt on the same location. I enjoyed the pictures that were in the book which included a couple views I hadn't seen before and also the history of the plaques in center field. I've often wondered what happened to the Eddie Grant memorial and I've found I'm not alone in this respect. Also of interest to me was the information provided on the Putnam Bridge near center field outside the park and the Macombs Dan Bridge that crosses the Harlem River. Of additional interest is the information provided on groundskeeper Matty Schwab and his family that lived in an apartment in the left field area and his son who had friends who would sleep over with him on the outfield grass. The area around Coogan's Bluff has history dating back to the days of George Washington and the Revolutionary War and two of baseball's most memorable moments in the 1950's took place there, Thompson's homer off Branca in '51 and Mays's catch off Wertz in '54. I remember writing to Tom Meany who worked for the New York Mets in the 1960's, asking him if he could provide me with a piece of concrete from the stadium when it was to be demolished. He sent back a picture with a note saying, "Sending you a piece of concrete would necessitate my using a chisel and I've never been a chiseler in all my life." The history of the Giants and Mets provided in this book can be found in any number of other baseball books, but some of the things I mentioned above I was not familiar with. Thanks, Stew Thornley, for an interesting book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Back to the Polo Gronuds
This book is an one special of its kind. It's like "Lost Ballparks" but enfocused only at the mythic Polo Grounds. The simply evocation of the name of the former field of the baseball's Giants wake up alots of events and personalities all very well descripted there in the book. Highly recommended.
One only thing I didn't like from the book: its binding.

4-0 out of 5 stars A GOOD BOOK ABOUT A STADIUM WITH GREAT MEMORIES
I REALLY LIKE THIS BOOK. THE AUTHOR DOES A GOOD JOB OF DESCRIBING THE HISTORY, APPEARENCE, AND EVENTS OF THIS TRULY A LANDMARK FACILITY. I WISH HE WOULD HAVE ADDED MORE PICTURES AND MORE DESCRIPTION OF THE 4 HOMERUNS THAT WERE HIT INTO THE CENTERFIELD BLEACHERS. AN AWESOME ACCOMPLISHMENT BY 4 MEN. THE ONLY BAD PART OF THIS BOOK IS THAT IT ENDED. WELL WORTH PURCHASING. A MUST FOR NOSTALGIC FANS.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Big Green Bathtub
1963 - my first look at the Polo Grounds as a child. All I remember is that the seats, the facade, and the grass was green. Little esle did I remember Stew Thornly brought it all back. Stew delves into how the stadium grew into that weird horseshoe shape and does a great job highlighting all the great events that took place there. Its an easy read but I wish he included more pictures and blueprints. Nonetheless, its the best work I've ever seen of the big green bathtub in Harlem. ... Read more


182. Juicing the Game : Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball
by HowardBryant
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0670034452
Catlog: Book (2005-07-07)
Publisher: Viking Adult
Sales Rank: 53140
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Book Description

From the respected sports journalist and author of Shut Out comes agroundbreaking history of steroid use in major league baseball

Despite enjoying an era of unprecedented prosperity and on-field accomplishments,Major League Baseball is in crisis as its greatest players find themselves defending theirachievements instead of celebrating them. The reason: steroids and other performance- enhancing drugs. Singled out by the president and Congress, threatened with punitivelegislation by Senator John McCain, and under siege as part of the growing BALCOinvestigation, baseball is desperately trying to get its own house in order after years ofwillful ignorance that have brought into question the sport’s very integrity.

In Juicing the Game, award-winning journalist Howard Bryant raises the mostimportant question the league faces today: In its desperation to recover from the crippling1994 strike, did baseball ignore warning signals that might have prevented the biggestscandal since the Chicago White Sox threw the 1919 World Series?

Combining hard-hitting investigative journalism with a compelling narrative filled withentertaining anecdotes, as well as interviews with baseball heavyweights such as JasonGiambi, Commissioner Bud Selig, union head Donald Fehr, and Hall of Famer ReggieJackson, among many others, Juicing the Game promises to be the bombshellbook of the season. ... Read more


183. May the Best Team Win: Baseball Economics and Public Policy
by Andrew Zimbalist
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Asin: 081579729X
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Sales Rank: 169757
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

NEW EXPANDED AND UPDATED PAPERBACK EDITION

Received ForeWord Magazine's Silver Book of the Year Award in Business and Economics

The business of baseball stands in sharp contrast to the game’s wholesome image as America’s favorite pastime. Major league baseball is a deeply troubled industry, facing chronic problems that threaten its future: persistent labor tensions, competitive dominance by high-revenue teams, migration of game telecasts to cable, and escalating ticket prices. Amid the threat of contraction, existing franchises are demanding public subsidies for new stadiums, while viable host cities are begging for teams. The game’s core base of fans is aging, and MLB is doing precious little to attract a younger audience.

According to Andrew Zimbalist, these problems have a common cause: monopoly. Since 1922 MLB has benefited from a presumed exemption from the nation’s antitrust laws. It is the only top-level professional baseball league in the country, and each of its teams is assigned an exclusive territory. Monopolies have market power, which they use to derive higher returns, misallocate resources, and take advantage of consumers. Major league baseball is no exception.

In May the Best Team Win, Zimbalist provides a critical analysis of the baseball industry, focusing on the abuses and inefficiencies that have plagued the game since the 1990s, when franchise owners appointed their colleague Bud Selig as MLB’s "independent" commissioner. Run by a shrinking and self-selecting group of owners subject to no oversight, MLB suffers from a lack of competitive pressure. Several large franchises are owned by media companies that have shackled their teams to lucrative broadcast and cable contracts—often making it impossible for fans to see games on television. Others own entities that do business with the teams, charging inflated prices for facility management, concessions, and catering. Complex intracompany transactions can reduce franchise revenues substantially, causing operating losses for teams while the owners still make millions. Zimbalist estimates that tens of millions of dollars are sheltered from MLB revenue each year—more than enough to eliminate the operating losses that led Selig to claim contraction and other radical remedies as fiscal necessities.Zimbalist believes that many of baseball’s problems would be effectively addressed by removing the industry’s presumed antitrust exemption. He urges reconsideration of baseball’s antitrust status, encouraging legislation to force monopoly cable providers to de-bundle their services, along with private initiatives to cultivate the game’s fan base, such as offering special ticket prices for families, allowing fans on the field after games, and involving players more in community events. Zimbalist also provides MLB with guidelines to reconstruct the incentive system underlying its revenue sharing policies.Zimbalist believes that consumers need an industry that is subject to judicial checks and competitive pressures. Only then will baseball fans be able to put the traumas of the 1990s and early 2000s behind them and utter freely the simple and enduring exhortation: May the best team win! ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Baseball¿s Business Side Revealed
Andrew Zimbalist's "May the Best Team Win" explains to the reader just how much the game aspect of baseball has dwindled over the years. Many owners nowadays seem to want to maximize profits out of their teams, not wins.

He goes into detail about the history of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and their fights against ownership. It is interesting to note that while the union is portrayed as the goat for many of the past labor work stoppages, after reading this book one can understand why the union's grievances with ownership are what they are. They have also harbored feelings of distrust not just against the owners, but against commissioners as well: Ueberroth and his role in the collusion scandal of the 1980s, and Selig and his ludicrous demands thrown on the bargaining table along with his claim after the 2001 season that Major League Baseball was in the red by millions of dollars.

Zimbalist studies Major League Baseball's exemption from antitrust legislation, how it came about, and how it is congressionally and judicially deemed today. While it seems baseball will retain exemption so long as they can police themselves, given the bevy of problems plaguing the game (or, rather, business) today, it seems that the government must sooner or later step in and right the many wrongs. If baseball were not exempt from antitrust legislation, notwithstanding the fact that owners could sell a team to municipalities and amateurs could challenge the right of a team to withhold exclusive rights to their services for up to seven years, one would find out just how much money ownership really lost and by how much the number would differ from Selig's number.

He writes with a viewpoint that seems to place most of the blame, right or wrong, on ownership and the commissioner's office. Labor problems aside, if the owners and commissioner would be open and honest with the union and the government while striking accord between themselves over what issues they should bring to the bargaining table, Zimbalist seems to rightly conclude this would lead to amicable relations between the union and management. He cannot be wrong in blaming management-because of their antitrust exemption, they are given a lot of liberty that many corporations in this country do not enjoy. In addition, the owners who own other businesses (John Hart, Ted Turner, et al) can rearrange their books to categorize revenue earned from the team under their other business ventures.

He proposes many rational solutions to be implemented: a promotion/relegation system similar to the English Premier League where the worst team moves down into a second-tier league and the best team in that league moves up to the premier league; an international draft, along with more early draft picks for low-revenue teams; and an adjustment to the revenue sharing system that discourages excessive spending but will not reward low-revenue teams that simply pocket the money they receive. If the government chose to intervene, he suggests splitting MLB into the American League and the National League as two separate leagues. This, Zimbalist believes, would bring down team revenues, player salaries, and costs to attend games while at the same time resolving competitive-balance issues. These solutions are certainly not without merit, yet given the myopia of the current caretakers of the game (or, rather again, business), it is unlikely any of them will be enacted, and if so, reach remotely successful fruition.

It seems really unfortunate to think about the idea that baseball really has become less of a game and more of a business. Given the "new wave" of GMs who feel they can put a team together on the basis of sound sabermetrics, it appears that the players are seen more as commodities than they are as people. They say baseball is a game of numbers. While common numbers used to center around batting average, home runs, and runs batted in, numbers studied in the "game" today seem to include expected rate of return, comparative advantage, and cost-benefit analysis.

4-0 out of 5 stars Darn clear thinking
Good book. Read it after listening to the interview
on First Voice. Detailed, specific, thoughtful.

The interview is online at
http://www.7to7.net/zim.html

There's a transcript for those using dial up.

--J. R.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great insight..
This was a great view into the inner workings of baseball's front offices. Not only does it give the reader a foundation for understanding the complexities of baseball labor negotiations, but it also gives insight into foundations of free agency and many of the arcane laws that give the sport its monopoly status.

Its a quick read and a great reference for any student of the financial aspects of the game, especially those interested in reform.

4-0 out of 5 stars Terrific work on the state of baseball
Bob Costas's popular "Fair Ball" was an examination of baseball from the fan's perspective. "May the Best Team Win" is a similar work, but is written from the point of view of a professor of economics. Mr. Zimbalist's writing style is often just what you would expect from an economist; the text is very dense and may turn off some readers. Luckily, the book's fault is also its strength. The well-researched analysis provides irrefutable arguments in favor of making changes in the game, and educates the reader far better than other authors' attempts.

This deeply probing work uncovers the abuses and inefficiencies in the baseball industry, and concludes that baseball's monopoly is the devil in the details. Team owners use their monopoly power to "derive higher returns, misallocate resources, and take advantage of consumers." Any fan who has paid $5 for a ballpark hot dog will definitely empathize with his findings.

"May the Best Team Win" addresses the competitive balance (or competitive imbalance), the myth of non-profitability, the collective bargaining agreements, and how teams convince cities to foot the bill for new stadiums.

In the end, Mr. Zimbalist outlines some possible solutions to help improve the game. Some of his ideas seem workable, while others seem idealistic and unrealistic. However, all of his suggestions are well worth reading. This is an ambitious effort, and fans with serious concerns about the future of the sport will definitely appreciate this analytical endeavor. Zimbalist has taken on a difficult issue, and shown that he has more than just warning track power.

Highly recommended. ... Read more


184. With the Boys : Little League Baseball and Preadolescent Culture (Chicago Original Paperback)
by Gary Alan Fine
list price: $15.00
our price: $15.00
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Asin: 0226249379
Catlog: Book (1987-03-15)
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 314284
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Book Description

What are boys like? Who is the creature inhabiting the twilight zone between the perils of the Oedipus complex and the Strum und Drang of puberty? In With the Boys, Gary Alan Fine examines the American male preadolescent by studying the world of Little League baseball. Drawings on three years of firsthand observation of five Little Leagues, Fine describes how, through organized sport and its accompanying activities, boys learn to play, work, and generally be "men."


... Read more

185. The Bill James Handbook: 2005
by Bill James, Baseball Info Solutions
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
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Asin: 0879462744
Catlog: Book (2004-11)
Publisher: ACTA Sports
Sales Rank: 1204
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Book Description

AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 1, 2004!

Simply put, the Bill James Handbook: 2005 is the best and most complete annual reference guide available today.It includes informative introductions to the different sections and an extensive glossary that includes explanation and even mathematical formulas for the multitude of statistics now used in baseball-many of them developed by Bill James himself.This books contains a myriad of stats on every hit, pitch and catch in Major League Baseball's 2004 season.Some of the most unique data include the Managers Record, which gives readers an edge in understanding the differences between managers during a game, and Win Shares, a statistic developed by Bill James evaluating a player's individual contribution to his team's wins.The Bill James Handbook releases November 1, months before any similar books.Buy it early and get an edge over the competition. ... Read more


186. Brooklyn Remembered: The 1955 Days of the Dodgers
by Maury Allen
list price: $24.95
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Asin: 1582619433
Catlog: Book (2005-03)
Publisher: Sports Publishing
Sales Rank: 187461
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Book Description

In Brooklyn Remembered: The 1955 Days of the Dodgers, Allen has captured the emotion, the drama and the sweet reverie of what many baseball people and fans consider the greatest sports triumph ever, the 1955 Brooklyn Series win over the Yankees. It was the one and only Brooklyn championship for the team filled with Hall of Famers like Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Sandy Koufax and even fringe lefty Tommy Lasorda. Two years after the title the team moved from Brooklyn’s cozy Ebbets Field to laconic Los Angeles.

All of the 11 surviving members of that historic baseball team contributed their poignant and personal recollections of that season that warmed the baseball world and sent millions of memorable moments across America, memories that last to this day in millions of homes across the country. Two game winner Johnny Podres, the handsome bachelor, recalls how he drove to the game from his aunt’s home in nearby Staten Island a few days after his 23rd birthday and promised his aging teammates a World Series victory. He delivered with a 2-0 triumph. Historic baseball figure Jackie Robinson and supportive teammate Pee Wee Reese, knowing their time for titles was short, reached their ultimate goal. Duke Snider, Carl Erskine, Clem Labine, Don Newcombe and all the rest of Dem Bums eased the pain of Brooklyn’s millions with that emotional victory. Allen has talked to all of the Brooklyn 1955 survivors and to the women who carry the torch today for the fallen Dodgers, such as Rachel Robinson and Joan Hodges, for memories of that moment and the impact on their lives half a century later. Other significant figures, such as broadcaster Tom Brokaw, opera legend Robert Merrill, opponents Willie Mays, Whitey Ford and Stan (The Man) Musial recall their days as Brooklyn fans, opposing players or just Ebbets Field fanatics.

This is the stirring, funny, romantic, touching, historic story of one team in one town in one time that has lasted across the decades. The Brooklyn Dodgers of 1955 were an epic collection of talented athletes and heroic men. ... Read more


187. None but the Braves: A Pitcher, a Team, a Champion
by Tom Glavine, Nick Cafardo, Greg Maddux
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060186496
Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Sales Rank: 484321
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In a city that had almost given up on the idea of a world championship, pitcher Tom Glavine turned dreams into reality when he pitched one of the greatest games in World Series History. The 1-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians in game six of the 1995 World Series clinched Atlanta's first world championship and made Glavine a hero.

In None But the Braves, Glavine tells the story that led up to this moment of glory, giving readers an insight into what it takes to build a championship team. As the winningest pitcher in baseball in the last five years, he also describes what makes an exceptional pitching staff. He offers an in-depth look at many of the personalities on the team, including Greg Maddux, his fellow pitcher and four-time Cy Young award-winner; former teammate Deion Sanders; and, of course, owner Ted Turner. He also tells his own story from growing up in a working-class family, pushing himself to succeed and his decision to turn down a chance to play pro hockey, opting for baseball instead.

Fans of the Braves, and of baseball, will love Glavine's book. It is filled with all the drama and inspiration that make the game America's passion.

... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars The greatest book I ever read
This book is a must for Atlanta Braves fans, baseball fans, or sports fans. Tom Glavine tells his whole life story including times when the Braves were the worst team in baseball. He tells about expierences in the Minors and life growing up as a hockey player in Billerica, Massachusetts. This book is a must if you are looking for something great to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book for any Brave fan!!
Comming from a 14 year old Brave Fan, I think this book is GREAT!! I have read this book over and over again, it's just that good!. None But The Braves is by Tom Glavine, a left handed pitcher for the Braves. It tells about his life, family, minor league days, his Major League career and the 1995 World Series(which Atlanta won!). I think this is a great book for any Braves fan, young or old.

3-0 out of 5 stars Glavine's gabbin'
As a fan of the Atlanta Braves, I jumped at the chance to get a bit more background on one of the most dominating bullpens of our times. This bullpen brought us over five Cy Young awards and a string of divisional championships.

My first thought was that this would be about the Braves. Since this was not quite the case, I felt it would an autobiography about Tom Glavine. Well, both of these are partly true, because the text is more of a series of reflections on his life and baseball. Unfortunately, these reflections don't appear to be in any particular order, which can be confusing for the readers.

We learn about the seasons of the Braves going to the World Series and the one time they won. We read about the strike year and hear it from the point of view of Glavine who was a spokesman for the players union. Glavine shares his brief time in the minor leagues as well as his being drafted to play professional hockey. There are even some stories about famous Atlanta Braves and other players, like when he was supposed to retaliate for a hit batsman, but had a bit of inner turmoil because he would have to plunk Dale Murphy.

Although the book could have gone through another edit, it does have some gems for baseball fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tom Glavine best lefthander in the NL
This book was very insightfull. It not only told of Tom's life growing up torn between hockey and baseball but it told of the wonderful seasons he has shared with "America's team". I loved the way it talked about his relationships with Greg Maddux and introduced you to the other people on the team. In my opinion there is no other man in baseball that is as polite and caring as Tom Glavine. He never used a foul word or talked demeaning about any of the players or opponents. He is a true hero to the sport of baseball.

5-0 out of 5 stars My review of None but the braves:A pitcher,a team,a champion
I think that Tom Glavine did a wonderful job of writing this book. He explains his experiences throughout life in a way that is easy for anyone to understand. I enjoy seeing the photographs. His picture with his daughter Amber is adorable. ... Read more


188. Pure Baseball: Pitch by Pitch for the Advanced Fan
by Keith Hernandez, Mike Bryan
list price: $16.00
our price: $16.00
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Asin: 0060925914
Catlog: Book (1995-02-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 158580
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Former All Star Keith Hernandez teaches even the most learned fan a thing or two about baseball with his unparalleled insight into all aspects of the game, from the action in the bullpen to the positioning on the field to the plays at the plate.

Praise for Pure Baseball:

"We have never seen the game scrutinised with such care and detail.Hernandez provides commentary on two ball games in the 1993 season : a Philles-Braves match-up and an extra innings battle between the Tigers and the Yankees. [He] examines the overall strategies of the game and offers good analyses of fielding techniques, base stealing, lineups, umpiring etiquette, double-steal rundowns, hit-and-runs, signals, infield shifts and more.His most intense and incisive analysis, however, is saved for the psychology of the pitcher-hitter duels.No matter where you are watching, you will never again see the game in the same way."
-- Playboy

"Keith Hernandez, it turns out, is even smarter than we thought he was in the Mets' glory years. All the subtleties of baseball are revealed as the two games unfold.Mr. Hernandez'sopinions and pet-peeves--intentional walks, early-inning sacrifices, throwing fastballs to prevent stolen bases, large gaps in the outfield, pitchers who 'nibble. nibble, nibble,"--are well thought out and clearly articulated. [He] is particularly strong in analyzing the cat-and-mouse game played between pitchers and hitters as the count shifts the odds back and forth."
--New York Times Book Review

"An MVP of a guide to the national pastime from savvy 17-year veteran of the major leagues who remains an ardent fan in retirement.Hernandez came up with an angle that works to near perfection: tellingly detailed start-to-finish accounts of two games played midway through the 1993 baseball season."
-- Kirkus Reviews(starred) ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars A pitch-by-pitch analysis of two baseball games
Pure Baseball is a treat for the serious, and I stress 'serious' baseball fan who wants to delve deep into the minds of pitchers and batters. This is pretty dense reading material, but Hernandez shares his wisdom in an entertaining fashion. I found myself having to re-read portions of the book, sometimes even using it as a reference.

4-0 out of 5 stars Keith takes us inside the game
For those of us who like keeping score during a baseball game and trying to get inside the real game, Pure Baseball is highly recommended. Keith Hernandez explores two ballgames, one NL and the other AL, and goes pitch by pitch and analyzes the pitcher/batter confrontation in depth. Perhaps it's in too much depth, one of Hernandez's axioms is that this is the essence of baseball, and devotes little time to fielding and baserunning. No matter, the NL game in particular is fascinating to study, as Atlanta's Pete Smith faces the Phillies under lefthander Danny Jackson. I learned so much reading this section alone. Hernandez does his best work in the first half of the book. The AL section seems rushed and not as in-depth, perhaps because the designated hitter takes out so much of the strategy when it comes to pitching changes. If you see this book and enjoy the inner game of baseball, by all means pick it up. It's a book I've re-read a couple of times, there's so much of value here.

5-0 out of 5 stars outstanding
Easily the best baseball education in print that I've ever seen. It's like taking a master's course in baseball. You have an opportunity to almost sit down with a major leaguer and say "Teach Me" and he does. Keith has a bit of a weakness as far as pitch sequencing and understanding missed spots, but they are not particularly glaring. His understanding of counts, and situations outside of the count (inning, score, particular players involved etc..) are exemplary. Any serious ballplayer's dream.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the time for the advanced fan
It takes time and patience to read this book. The title says "Pitch by Pitch for the Advanced Fan," and it means it literally. Hernandez talks about what goes through a player's mind during a game. His descriptions of how a batter thinks about an at-bat are priceless. It takes a while to plow through all this stuff - there's a *lot* of detail - but if you do you'll have a deeper knowledge of the little in-game strategies and decisions that make baseball so special.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST read for the real fan
If ever there was a necessary baseball book, this is it!! I reread it every season (as does at least one other reviewer) and always learn something more from doing so.

I have taken Mr. Hernandez' advice and always turn off the sound when watching a game on TV. I find it to be a major improvement and I'm no longer distracted by the content-free, pointless remarks made by most announcers.

Frankly, judging from the mental errors common to the game today, it should be required reading for each and every player from the rookie leagues to the bigs.

If you're not a serious student of the game, then maybe you should pass on this one!! ... Read more


189. The Little Team That Could/the Incredible, Often Wacky Story of the Two-Time Little League World Champions
by Jeff Burroughs, Tom Hennessy
list price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1566250080
Catlog: Book (1994-05-01)
Publisher: Bonus Books
Sales Rank: 588528
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Every Little League Parent Should Read
10 years ago when I bought this book at my local Target and had it signed by both authors, my first grandson was mere days old and I bought it for the future.The future is NOW.My grandsons are playing baseball in the same park that the '92 and '93 winning teams came from so the book has a very special meaning.Jeff Burroughs and Tom Hennessy's description of the actions of Little Leaguers, Coaches, Managers and officials is dead on, even now 10 years later.When I was reading this book, I was either laughing hysterically, trying to read bits and pieces aloud to "Grandpa" or nodding in total agreement and understanding.This is a must read for every Little League Parent/Grandparent, but for pete's sake, don't let the kids read it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Billy Gwinn Gives the Story About him 5 Stars
This book is a classic.I lived through these stories and they are all true.It was the greatest year of my life being a Long Beach Little League World Champ, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.This book allows me to remember everything that happened in the summer of '93.I get goosebumps thinking about it.I loved it!I recommend for everyone to give this book a read.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!!!!What An Awesome Book!
After reading this book I think everyone should!This book is a great book about the adventure in winning the Little Leauge World Series two years in a row.This book gives a great description on all the players and other coaches.This book helped me believ e you can do anything if you really work hard towards your goals!!!!I learned many pointers off this book and enjoyed reading it!!!!!!I suggest everybody should read this book!

4-0 out of 5 stars A very fast read
For those involved in the national organization of Little League, especially at the all-star level, this is a very entertaining book. Lots of interesting details about the protocol and the accomodations at the regional level and also at Williamsport. Burroughs is very funny describing his escapades as a coach, dealing with all of the classic issues from managing disgruntled parents to dealing with kids who are slightly left-of-center. If you are a Little League addict, I recommend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable.I highly recommend it.
The Little Team That Could was pure enjoyment.Jeff Burroughs gives an honest, balanced account of the 1992-1993 Long Beach Little League All-Star teams that reached the pinnacle of success.He describes the thrill of victory and the joy of working with young people.At the same time, he tells about the aggravation of dealing with some Little League parents, officials, and umpires.As a manager in the Little League program for 17 years, I could relate to both the good and the bad.I am so glad I found this book on amazon.com.I wholeheartedly recommend it to any Little League coach, parent, or player. ... Read more


190. Fantasy Baseball Strategy: Advanced Methods for Winning Your League
by Henry Lee
list price: $24.95
our price: $21.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0974844500
Catlog: Book (2004-01-15)
Publisher: Squeaky Press
Sales Rank: 27817
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

START DOMINATING YOUR LEAGUE THIS SEASON!

Winning your 2004 fantasy baseball league is much more than just uncovering bargains at your draft or auction. You have to do more than just sign up for a league, buy a magazine and show up. You need a clear strategy to guide your every move throughout the season, allowing you to create advantages over your competition at each step of the way. This book is for you if you want those advantages in your league.

You will discover how easy it is to create:

- Draft and Auction Strategies
- Trading Strategies
- Free Agent Strategies
- Keeper Strategies
- Valuation Strategies
- Management Strategies
- Competitive Strategies

No cookie cutter "strategy" that can be conveniently summed up in an acronym will help you consistently dominate your league. You need to devise a customized, comprehensive strategy that fits your style, your league, and your competition. Fantasy Baseball Strategy is your guide to easily forming that strategy. If only your favorite Major League Baseball team had this kind of advantage! ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars I hope others in my league don't read this. IT'S THAT GOOD!!
I have spent a ton of time researching and trying to learn as much as I can about fantasy baseball. I have been doing roto leagues for 10 years and I have never found a book that was this good and detailed. I can say that I truly feel going into this year that I will have the best team when this season is over. Never before have I seen a side of roto baseball like this. I almost feel guilty using this book because it will give me such an advantage come draft day. I highly recommend that you get the spreadsheet that is available with the book. One last thing, I thought I had a concrete strategy going into this season and after reading the book I realized that my strategy was no better than the other 11 guys in my league. I now feel as if I will be unique.

5-0 out of 5 stars How winners think
I was very impressed with this book. It not only gives you the proper way to evaluate players, comparing them against replacement players (not really the mean or average as suggested in another review), but it gives you a guide book for developing strategies. It is unrealistic to think that anyone can tell you what to do and you will win your league just like that. You have to develop your own strategy and do the research yourself. If you can't invest the time or don't know how to find the information, you're in trouble pal. This book shows you the possibilities and most importantly, shows you how a winning fantasy owner thinks. You not only try to figure out what your competition is doing, you try to confuse them and force them to do things they wouldn't normally do. Seems simple, but most teams don't approach it this way.

Nice ESPN quote, but Karabell is still a total fantasy geek.

2-0 out of 5 stars Pretty disappointing
Though the book does make you take a hard look and ask some serious questions about what your strategy and goals are (which is a positive), there are quite a few vital matters that are brushed over. For example, he talks about his "Fundamental Theorem of Fantasy Sports" and the notion that you want to operate your team in a way that will not vary depending on whether people know what you're doing and to adapt your strategy based on what the strategy of others will be. Fair enough, but he skimps over ideas and suggestions as to exactly how you go about gathering this intelligence, which is really vital to making it work. Trying to do it at the auction or draft is improbable since you're trying to do it for 9 or 11 other teams at once, and that just seems infeasible.

Furthermore, I take issue with some of his theoretical underpinnings. For example, he uses as a starting point the notion that the average (let's call it mean, for clarity) fantasy batting average is worth zero points. But in most leagues, the mean batting average is not worth zero, but 5 or 6 points. Given that his whole valuation system begins from this premise, following his system will give you overvalued players with high batting average and undervalued for everything else. I also question the almost complete reliance on the previous year's performance, which will cause one to miss out on promising young players who don't have much of a track record in the majors, and he doesn't address major league equivalencies of minor league performance at all that I saw.

It is a brisk read (about 3 hours to whip through it) and not terribly written, but to put a lot of his advice into practice (for instance, taking advantage of people with fluke performances) you would need to have a team structure with an enormous reserve. Since that's not the case in my league, I'm finding little of practical use here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything I know about business I got from Fantasy Baseball
That's what this book should be called. This is a solid fantasy baseball book, but it should be in the business book section instead. The author boils down some pretty solid business principles in a language I can understand...fantasy baseball. If you want to teach someone about business who you know is into baseball, give him this book. It sounds funny, but I am giving it to some of the people I supervise at work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good by itself, better with other resources
I not only bought the book, but also bought the spreadsheet from the author's website that he put together with a PhD in Theoretical Astro-Physics. I am pretty certain that the author knows the numbers as well as anyone. That being said, his big thing in the book is not the valuation of individual players, but the competitive strategy between team owners. He uses quite a few poker examples which I happen to like, but the point is you are playing the personalities not just the numbers. I would recommend that you get this book in addition to a book like the Baseball Prospectus,the Forecaster, or Bill James' book. It would go well with any of them I think. I just don't think this is a substitute for everything you normally do like looking up projections by itself. ... Read more


191. 101 Offensive Softball Drills
by Sue Enquist, James A. Peterson
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585183474
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: Coaches Choice Books
Sales Rank: 63373
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Book Description

101 drills for developing offensive softball skills. Covers lower body hitting drills, upper body hitting drills, combination hitting drills, batting tee, soft toss, timing and rhythm, bunting, baserunning, sliding, mental drills and much more. ... Read more


192. The Southpaw
by Mark Harris
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0803273371
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Bison Books
Sales Rank: 198645
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is a story about coming of age in America by way of the baseball diamond. Lefthander Henry Wiggen, six foot three, 195 pounds, and the greatest pitcher going, grows to manhood in a righthanded world.

From his small-town beginnings to the top of the game, Henry finds out how hard it is to please his coach, his girl, the sports page and himself all at once. Written in Henry's own words, this exuberant, funny novel follows his course from bush league to the World Series.

"A great book, highly dramatic, colorful and absorbingly exciting." (Saturday Review) ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Among the best baseball fiction ever written
"The Southpaw" begins the great four book series on the career of New York Mammoth pitcher Henry Wiggen. Full of comedy, memorable characters and all the trials of a rookie in the major leagues. This is truly one of the best pieces of baseball fiction ever written, along with Philip Roth's "The Great American Novel", and I didn't want it to end. If you're a baseball fan you can't go wrong with this hilarious and loving tribute to the game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Baseball as Americana
Mark Harris wrote perhaps the finest baseball novel ever with "The Southpaw." The book portrays the coming of age of a young left-handed pitching prodigy, Henry Wiggen, as he tries to make his mark in the majors in the 1950s. The book is written as a memoir by Wiggen himself after his rookie season with the New York Mammoths. The Mammoths are chasing a pennant and Wiggen is seeking to become "an immortal" and a man. Laconic, wry, amusing and gripping all at the same time, Wiggen's memoir slowly but surely draws in the reader. I had to get up at 5 in the morning to finish the last 100 pages to find out what happened to Henry and the Mammoths. Truly a "perfect game" for Harris.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent - the first of four Henry Wiggin books.
This is the first of the Henry Wiggin stories. The most famous being Bang the Drum Slowly. I have not before read any of these stories, but I will now make it a point of reading the other three.

The story reads like an autobiography of a rookie pitcher in his first season with the New York team. This style predates the several nonfiction books of athletes writing about a season in their career. Although the time period is several decades ago, the material is still relevant for any true baseball fan.

The main character is shown through his writings as developing from a single minded adolescent into a maturing adult. The story is especially good in having two strong females who are not stereotypical characters. The supporting characters are believable and fun in a Damon Runyon like way. I strongly recommend this book as an example of sports fiction at its best.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book on Baseball and Life
Mark Harris' first installment in the Henry Wiggen series (there are four books total) is one of the finest baseball novels written. "The Southpaw" is the story of left-handed pitching phenom Henry Wiggen and his early career as a professional baseball star.

The novel is told in the form of Henry Wiggen's diary and the writing does take some getting used to as Henry's prose isn't particularly high caliber. It is, however, very real and its simplicity adds to the novel's sense of realism. Henry begins by talking about his father's (also a pitcher) career and then proceeds to discuss (briefly) his own high school career, his brief minor league career, and finally (in much more detail) his first season as a major leaguer.

The novel takes place in the early 1950s and as you read Henry's account you will be transported back in time to when ball players' contracts were in the $1K range and pitchers pitched 16-inning ball games and pitched on two-days rest. It's a great baseball book in that it gives some insight into the art of pitching and being a ballplayer in general, but it's much more than that. And those without an extensive knowledge of the wonderful game of baseball won't be lost or confused in reading it (it's not overly technical). Henry's essentially a young adult (early twenties at the end of the novel) and his growth experiences are listed (by Henry) right alongside his baseball experiences. "The Southpaw" is a fascinating read and provides a nice glimpse into baseball life (and life in general) in early 1950s America.

A great book and highly recommended reading--particularly for fans of baseball.

2-0 out of 5 stars Book Shows It's Age
As an avid baseball fan but a first-time baseball novel reader, I was disappointed with Southpaw. I didn't think twice about when the book was written (50 years ago) when I bought it. As I read through, the age of the book was obvious; not because of the style of baseball described, but because of the laughable simplicity of the characters. Some will rejoice that this book takes us "back to the good old days", but if you're looking for a more realistic novel of the game with thrilling twists and turns of a drive for the pennant, this book is not for you.

Also, if you know little about baseball, the book will be hard to follow when it describes game action. ... Read more


193. The Dodgers : 120 Years of Dodgers Baseball
by Glenn Stout, Richard A. Johnson
list price: $35.00
our price: $21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618213554
Catlog: Book (2004-09-17)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 14744
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Book Description

Dodgers. The word conjures different things to different people, but its distinction — and notoriety — is universal. In the annals of baseball, the history of few other teams can compare to the rich legacy of the Dodgers. Their constituency includes fans from Bensonhurst to Burbank. Their colorful past — "dem bums," Jackie Robinson and the boys of summer, Walter O"Malley, Sandy Koufax, Tommy Lasorda, "bleeding Dodger blue" — has enlivened baseball in innumerable, immeasurable ways. And their legacy, casting a 120-year shadow, remains essential to the very nature of the game.
In a compelling, insightfully written narrative and more than two hundred unforgettable photographs, many never before seen, The Dodgers: 120 Years of Dodgers Baseball tells the team's story in its entirety, from its birth in Brooklyn in 1884 and its early glories, to the heart-wrenching move to Los Angeles in 1958, to the present day. The Dodgers' evolution, and particularly their willingness to embrace change even when it was a wildly unpopular choice, is also, writes Glenn Stout in his introduction, "an inherently American story that follows a familiar path, a story of immigration, assimilation, migration, and change."
In one of the only books to look at the team as a unified whole, we see how the Dodgers helped create modern baseball in Brooklyn, how they ushered the game into its contemporary form with the signing of Jackie Robinson in 1945, and how they have borne witness to the metamorphosis of baseball from an amateur game played by gentlemen into a multibillion-dollar business. It's all here, a century and more of history-making baseball. In these pages, readers will experience some of the game's finest moments, greatest plays, and most unforgettable players, including

• the birth of the "Trolley Dodgers" in an unlikely borough
• a legendary series of stirring pennant races in the late 1940s and 1950s
• Jackie Robinson and the integration of baseball
• the notorious move from East Coast to West at the hands of the much-maligned Walter O"Malley
• the reemergence of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry in California
• the game's most dynamic pitching duo, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale
• Kirk Gibson"s dramatic home run in the 1988 World Series
* and lively essays by such heralded Dodger chroniclers as Dave Anderson, Jane Leavy, Bill Plaschke, Dick Young, and others
... Read more


194. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc.: J. Henry Waugh, Prop.
by Robert Coover
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452260302
Catlog: Book (1987-09-01)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 83340
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Coover
Impossible though it may seem, I think I can agree with (or at least understand) almost all that is written in these reviews. The fact is, Coover's hallucinogenic style is not for everyone. It's not for nothing that he is omitted from the DeLillo/Pynchon/Stone pantheon; he's a cult guy. I've read The Origin of the Brunists (Coover's first, I think, and an NBA winner as I recall) and The Public Burning, and enjoyed both immensely. He takes postmodernism to its utter horrifying extreme. But all who read him will eventually have to confront the power of his writing.

The idea of this book goes well beyond baseball, but baseball followers will find it especially compelling because of the familiarity of the setting. At the core of it is a lonely, singular man who invents his own reality and plays his hand as a deity. He loses himself more and more in his artificial world as things progress, wheeling and dealing his players, arranging their movements, watching their achievements and failures. The outside world loses its attraction. At the conclusion he has to confront, and then participate in, a life/death situation regarding one of his players. With that he slips into insanity. It is truly a scary read.

If you are familiar with and enjoy Coover's psychotic forays, then you must read this one. If you are more the Barbara Kingsolver type, well, stay clear.

5-0 out of 5 stars God and baseball...
Since we see so many extremes in regard to this wonderful short novel, I thought it only fair to add my 2 or 3 cents worth. Like the others here I read UBAI in college, and it served as a opening door to another country of literature. Coover, along with DeLillo and Pynchon, is one of of our late 20th century masters taking, fiction into new realms, and exposing us to alternate ways of viewing our environment and personal relationships. Waugh creates an ordered universe that spins out of his control, moving in directions he never intended. From this, his whole (real) world falls apart; his fantasy world destroys what little relationship he has reality . J. Henry Waugh (read Jahweh) is a flawed God with a (now) flawed creation. This is a wonderful book, but not near as good as his masterpiece, The Origin of the Bruinists, which predicted modern day apocalyptic religious cults and the manipulation of media. Unfortunately this book is now out of print.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Allegory of Something or Other
The basic story of Coover's book is quite simple. Henry Waugh creates an intricate single-player baseball game that's played with dice. He plays entire seasons with his eight-team league; he keeps detailed statistics for every player and every game; he creates backstories and personalities for his players; he develops an administrative body for his league and imagines political debates among the players; and he acts as an official historian of the league, writing volumes of stories about the game and its players. When something shocking and unexpected occurs within the game, Henry gradually loses the ability to distinguish between reality and imagined events within the game. In the end, he is more or less consumed by his game.

As the synopsis above no doubt suggests, this story begs to be read as an allegory. One might read it as an allegory of God's relation to His creation. Henry, like God, is a creator who appears to have complete control over his creation, and yet, like God, his creation comes to take on a life of its own. When terrible things occur, he desperately wants to step in and set things right, but he also wants the game to retain its integrity. So Henry is like God in that he remains outside his creation even though it seems he could sometimes intervene to set things right. (Indeed, some of the game's players are said to have some sense of a higher power controlling their destiny.) One might also read Henry's relation to his game as an allegory of man's attempt to make sense of his world through art, religion, science, philosophy, etc. All that's really going on is the random event of rolling the dice, as, in some sense, all that's really going on in the universe is certain random physical events. And yet Henry imagines an entire alternate reality to make sense of the random events of his game. His player backgrounds and psychologies, his historical interpretations of the game, his imaginings of crowds and stadiums--all of this is intended to give the random throws of the dice some meaning, some significance to him. (This reading is also suggested by our one look at Henry at work in his job as an accountant. Rather than merely crunch the numbers, he reads a story of the operation of a business off his accounting books. He makes sense of the numbers by seeing them as evidence of something beyond themselves.) Finally, one might interpret Henry's relation to his game as an allegory of the artist's relation to his works.

These allegorical readings notwithstanding, it's also possible to read this book as a simple and moving story of one isolated man who gradually loses touch with reality. While Henry seems a decent enough chap, he has no family, only one friend (and not an especially close one), no real love interest, and no interests outside of his game. From what we learn in the novel, it seems his entire life consists in (occasionally) going to work at his mind-numbing job, stopping at the local bar to drown his sorrows, and sitting at his kitchen table playing his game. Since Henry's life is thoroughly dull and uneventful from the outside, the book focuses on what's going on in his mind. The focus of the book is his isolation and his attempts to create something important and lasting and to be a part of something larger than himself. The opportunity to create something important is what the game appears to provide him, and so it's not all that surprising that he ends up losing himself in his game.

This, of course, suggests that Henry can be understood as an example of the way in which alienated individuals can get lost in solitary pursuits that are made available to them by modern life. Because he lacks an community of people with which to identify, Henry ends up getting lost in his game in much the same way that others can get lost in books, television, the internet, etc. All of these things appear to provide their user with a connection to a world beyond himself, and yet total immersion in them brings you no closer to other people than you'd be without them.

I'd give this book 4.5 stars if I could; that seems a more accurate assessment. The reader should note that this isn't really a baseball book. It's more about the trappings of baseball--the statistics, the history, the players, the rites--than it is about the game itself. So this isn't a book for someone looking for a presentation of dramatic athletic feats; instead, it's a book for the baseball fan whose appreciation of the game is intellectual rather than visceral.

4-0 out of 5 stars Creation
This is a savagely funny, brutally creative (and, at times, very dark) novel about baseball and the human condition that ultimately takes a theological twist. It is not for everyone, but would definitely be a treat to someone who has a fondness for black comedy and untrustworthy narrators - and some passion for baseball.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just to say...
It's late, I've worked hard all day, and in the end, I find myself seeking new novels for reading later this week. I recommend THE SEVENTH BABE, or DAMN YANKEES.

Oh, and Coover's UNIVERSAL BASEBALL ASSOCIATION, INC; J. HENRY WAUGH, PROP. If you've read it, you KNOW how trippy it is to flow through; one can almost feel himself being sucked into the void with Waugh as he struggles to remain in reality (but which one really?)

Five stars says it all :) ... Read more


195. Mickey Mantle: The Yankee Years : The Classic Photography of Ozzie Sweet
by Ozzie Sweet, Larry Canale
list price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0930625218
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: Antique Trader Books
Sales Rank: 312055
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The image of Mickey Mantle--from young and full of possibility to exhausted and courageous--helped define a generation of ballplayers, and no one captured the arc of Mantle's metamorphosis better than Ozzie Sweet. As a sports photographer, Sweet was more interested in focusing on faces than action; it was the humanness of the performer that fascinated him, not the performance itself. A master portraitist, Sweet shot just about everyone--Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, even Albert Einstein--all included here. But Mantle, through the course of a Hall of Fame career, was his evolving masterpiece. Moment by moment, Sweet would appear, and then manage to freeze the Mantle legacy at every stage, from exuberant youth to heroic icon.

Sweet's achievement, finally collected in one place, is as stunning as it is memorable. His work is full of art, artifice, soft colors, and careful staging; it is both stylish and stylized. The results should captivate both baseball fans and photography buffs. Canale's accompanying text chronicles Sweet's achievements and brings context to the rich images of Mantle and his pinstriped compatriots--Casey Stengel, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Billy Martin, and Roger Maris, among them. Like magical magnets, Sweet's photos take hold, then pull you back into what feels like a softer, more innocent, less complicated time. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Like being there with Mick and cronies inside the ball park
This is a take-you-back-in-time mural of the great Mickey Mantle and the other legendary ball players that brought major league baseball to its pinnacle in the 60's. If you were school age or older in the 60's, this brings it all back--live and in living color. Great action shots of Mick and his pals where you can hear the crack of the bat! And Sweet grabs many candid shots of Mickey that clearly bring back the glowing personality that he shared with the world. When you finish looking through this book, you'll know you own a chronicle of Baseball's greatest days and why the name Mickey Mantle has become a synonym for the word "Baseball"! Don't miss your chance to grab this book. It'll be a collectors item, just like Sweet's earlier book "Legends of the Field" published by Sports Illustrated. It's worth noting here that Ozzie Sweet is considered one of the ten best photographers that ever lived (and he's still click'n the shutter). In this collectors archive, you can see why! ... Read more


196. Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Batter's Box
by Eric Bronson
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812695569
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 9330
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

William Irwin has taken philosophy out of the academy and put it on the bestseller list. The series has been featured in The New York Times and People, and on NPR's All Things Considered. Now philosophy finds its real home - in the dugout. In Baseball and Philosophy, 18 professors - some from the new field devoted to the philosophy of sport, others unapologetic baseball fans - explore the sport's deeper aspects. How can Zen be applied to hitting? Do you play to win or play by the rules? Is it ethical to employ deception in sports? Can a game be defined by its written rules or are there also other constraints? What can the U.S. Supreme Court learn from umpiring? Why should baseball be the only industry exempt from antitrust laws? These are some of the questions addressed in this witty, provocative blend of two major American pastimes: watching baseball and thinking about it. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars For baseball enthusiasts and philosophy students
Compiled and edited by Eric Bronson, and enhanced with an informative Foreword by Bill Littlefield, Baseball And Philosophy: Thinking Outside The Batter's Box is an impressive, 352-page anthology of essays contributed by 31 contributors exploring some of the deeper questions and lessons baseball has to offer with respect to the American identity and universal human fulfillment. Addressing such unique considerations as whether or not the Intentional Walk is unethical; can superstition make a player better; do Cubs fans teach us about religious faith; does chance decide who wins the World Series; why baseball is the only American industry exempt from federal anti-trust laws; what the U.S. Supreme Court could learn from umpiring ball games; and a great deal more. Baseball And Philosophy is uniquely and enthusiastically recommended to the attention of two seemingly diverse readerships: baseball enthusiasts and philosophy students.

5-0 out of 5 stars Legitimizing the Loyalty of a Brooklyn Dodger Fan
There is something more to baseball than athletes playing ball. That something explains the lingering nostalgia of Brooklyn Dodger Fans and the fanatical loyalty of Chicago Cubs fans. Baseball and Philosophy finally explains why our national game of summer grips our hearts and minds.

The titles of the chapters in Baseball and Philosophy immediately compel us to read. The intros to the chapters add the humor and drama that draw us to baseball. But it is the essays themselves that speak to our hearts and give voice to our passion.

Some of the chapters deal with today's and yesterday's stars. The authors cite Toqueville and Pascal to explain some of our hero worship in the face of adversity, whether it's putting up with the boisterous shinanigans of Reggie or the corked bat contrition of Sosa. We learn how baseball thrives in a Japanese culture of team harmony and in an American culture of frontier-blazing individualism. Legal scholars explain the unique position of the baseball industry in American courts. Ethicists and statisticians offer reasons for our nitpicking love of detail.

So why do we love baseball? Why do we forgive our heroes the sins of cheating, the anti-social behavior, even the crimes of racism? There is a reason for our madness. Kant, Socrates, Aristotle, John Stuart Mill give cause for our fanaticism.

Always humorous, always informative, sometimes controversial, the modern day philosophers who contributed to this book speak for all of us who love the game despite our best intentions. It's a great read!

4-0 out of 5 stars Baseball Almanac Book Review
Refreshingly different. For those seeking something less than the number crunching books but more than just another history lesson, Baseball and Philosophy delivers providing the serious fan with a series of short essays aimed at America's baseball institution. Taken from our (www.baseball-almanac.com) full review done February 28, 2004). ... Read more


197. Coaching Fastpitch Softball Successfully
by Kathy J. Veroni, Mindy Dessert, Kathy Veroni
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0880115467
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers
Sales Rank: 75588
Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

During her prolific 25-year coaching career, Coach Kathy Veroni has won more than 1,000 women’s premier and Division I collegiate games. She also has served as president of both the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and the United States Fastpitch Association.

In Coaching Fastpitch Softball Successfully, Veroni shows you how to build a winning softball program and field a great team every year. She explains how to develop a coaching philosophy, motivate and teach players, and plan for each season. You’ll also find proven offensive and defensive strategies, including 121 drills for developing players’ hitting, fielding, pitching, and baserunning.

Complete with sample practice and conditioning plans, scouting cards, evaluation forms, community sponsorship activities, and more than 220 illustrations, Coaching Fastpitch Softball Successfully is an all-in-one resource for softball coaches at all levels. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Handbook for High School Fastpitch Coaches
I have coached for over ten years now and have found this book to be the most comprehensive, theoretically sound, user friendly coaching handbook on the market. Veroni has organized the information most effectively using charts and diagrams in addition to her commentary. This is THE book to purchase for both the beginning or experienced high school coach.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Softball Book For Coaches of 12 & U and Up.
The book is a little more advanced than what I needed right now coaching 8 & U coach pitch softball, but it does a great job of showing you the direction your coaching should be going as the kids get older. That in turn has influenced how I teach these young girls. Many of the fine drills in this book are too advancd for my age group, but I was able to simplify them a little to make them easier for 7-8 year olds. If your coaching 6-10 year old kids and can only buy one book, this may not be the one. But it is a great book to have in your coaching library. The best I have seen, my kids just are not quite ready for it yet.

4-0 out of 5 stars For Youth Softball - Good Reference
This book is comprehensive and is aimed at the coach of a team consisting of younger or much younger players. Kathy Veroni sounds like a tough, fair, and thorough coach. Imagine driving a group of late-arriving players 10 miles out of town and telling then to jog back to practice. No wonder West Illinois U has a great softball team.
However, as a captain of a mens' fastpitch softball team, with players who play once a week, this book did not help me much. The drills were just too involved and required a much higher commitment and lower physical strength than I have from the guys on my team. It's like using a college-level calculus text when all you want to learn is high school algebra.
Having said that, the big plus of this book is the VERY EXTENSIVE list of both defensive and offensive drills. This section of the book makes the purchase price worthwhile.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for High School Coaching
This is a very well laid out book and easy to follow. I would highly recommend this book for coaching high school or college age girls. Might be a little deep for younger athetes but could be adapted. Many drills are included in this book, and I found the philosophies especially interesting. Brought out a lot of simple points I had never thought of before.

5-0 out of 5 stars Super Info-
Great Book! Gave mine to a friend and am ordering another. If you love your Coach, buy him or her this book. ... Read more


198. Nine Innings
by Daniel Okrent
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618056696
Catlog: Book (2000-04-10)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 158479
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

You'll never watch baseball the same way again.
A timeless baseball classic and a must read for any fan worthy of the name, Nine Innings dissects a single baseball game played in June 1982 -- inning by inning, play by play. Daniel Okrent, a seasoned writer and lifelong fan, chose as his subject a Milwaukee BrewersBaltimore Orioles matchup, though it could have been any game, because, as Okrent reveals, the essence of baseball, no matter where or when it's played, has been and will always be the same.
In this particular moment of baseball history you will discover myriad aspects of the sport that are crucial to its nature but so often invisible to the fans -- the hidden language of catchers' signals, the physiology of pitching, the balance sheet of a club owner, the gait of a player stepping up to the plate. With the purity of heart and unwavering attention to detail that characterize our national pastime, Okrent goes straight to the core of the world's greatest game. You'll never watch baseball the same way again.
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Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is my favorite baseball book. It's about the game and all the layers that go into it. You can do this with any sport, but I love baseball and Okrent dissects both pitch counts and player histories with care. I remember these players, but I've never rooted for either team and I still think that this book is fascinating. I often think of this book as I go to ballgames and strike up conversations with fellow fans about not only the situations of the game in front of us, but how this game connects to so many other games in the past.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Complete-Game Shutout by Okrent
In this book, as other reviewers and the editorial reviews have stated, Daniel Okrent writes a play-by-play account of a single baseball game which, in its normality and relative unimportance, serves as a good setting. No one remembers this game now, as they would a famous playoff game or All-Star contest. This matchup between the Baltimore Orioles and the Milwaukee Brewers was simply one of the many games played on that late-Spring day and was nothing more or less.

But the game's meaninglessness, on the surface, would seem to make this a tediously boring read. To the contrary, it is a fascinating look into the world of baseball in any generation and makes you realize that the sport is made up of much more than the simple, routine actions that take place on the field. Okrent also makes clear the importance of each of these actions - individual pitches, defensive positioning and in-game managerial decisions - by discussing and analyzing the thought processes of making each crucial choice.

But the more interesting aspect of the book is the off-the-field components that Okrent deals with in similar depth and interest. He discusses the anatomy of an individual trade, delves into the art of player scouting, and writes much about the baseball media, including Milwaukee's beat writers and the club's radio network. As the book's introduction said, the on-field happenings are really nothing more than the tip of the iceberg and Okrent convincingly backs up this statement.

Additionally, his afterword, written in early 2000, is an incredibly insightful closing which will comfort those who have grown discontented with the changing face of baseball and will interest those who still love it for what it is.

Okrent did a teriffic job with Nine Innings and the product that he put out on the table is a book that any baseball fan will love and should step up to the plate to.

4-0 out of 5 stars A NICE READ
NINE INNINGS IS ABOUT A GAME BETWEEN MILWAUKEE AND BALTIMORE DURING THE 1982 SEASON. IT ALSO COVERS ALOT OF FACTS INVOLVING THE BREWERS FRANCHISE AND HOW THIS TEAM WAS PUT TOGETHER. MOST OF THE INFO IS VERY INTERESTING AND SOME IS VERY TRIVIAL AND BORING. FOR THE MOST PART IT IS WELL WRITTENAND VERY DETAILED.
THE AUTHOR ADDS A LOT OF BEHIND THE SCENE FACTS BUT AT TIMES IS TOO CAUGHT UP IN TOO MANY SMALL DETAILS WHICH I THINK SLOW THE BOOK DOWN AND MADE ME BORED. BUT IS WORTH READING AND RECOMMENDED.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great idea but author did not follow through
A couple of things I was not thrilled about: 1. He mainly talked about the Milwaukee Brewers significantly more than the Baltimore Orioles. 2. He talked way too much about the management issue of the Brewers (how they were relocated, payroll). Other than that it's a fun book to read but there needed to be more baseball discussion rather than discussion of topics that isn't really baseball at the core.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up from a female fan
True fans will really enjoy this book, an inning by inning look at a mid-1982 Brewers-Orioles game with frequent digressions on topics like scouting, the abolition of the reserve clause, the shifting balance of power between hitters and pitchers, etc. I agree with one other reviewer that the coverage tipped more heavily toward the Brewers organization and more 'in-depth' background on the Orioles could have been included. In some instances, of necessity perhaps, there was repetition from chapter to chapter and the author was overly fond of the word 'egregious.' Reading Okrent's afterword (dated January of 2000) made me wish that he might write another book, a kind of 9 Innings Redux. The afterward brings up so many important and interesting aspects of the game today, from the inability of many teams to compete (we need revenue sharing!), to the surge in home runs in the late 90's, to the gorgeous new retro parks that have gone up....I cast my vote to have him profile a 21st century contest (maybe in the National League this time) and give us another look at the very best game there is. ... Read more


199. Total Ballclubs, Revised Edition : The Ultimate Book of Baseball Franchises
by Donald Dewey, Nicholas Acocella
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1894963377
Catlog: Book (2005-04-25)
Publisher: SportClassic Books
Sales Rank: 65790
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book is a meticulously-researched history of professional baseball as told through the stories of the 124 franchises that have comprised the major leagues since 1871. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book, But No Negro Leagues
This is an excellent book that will inform even the most diehard fan about the history of every MLB Ballclub.It seems to be extremely comprehensive in its coverage, but that only includes "white" teams.Unless I have overlooked them (which is possible), I couldn't find any coverage of the Negro Leagues.I can't imagine it would have been that hard to include them.

The articles contained within the book vary based on how long the team has been/was in existence.For instance, the Cubs, Cardinals, Yankees and Red Sox have longer writeups than the Mariners, Expos and Orioles.

It gives histories based on the actual team in a certain city and then gives a new history that starts after the team moved (ie Philadelphia A's, Kansas A's and Oakland A's each have their own sections).It also gives separate histories for when a team changes cities and franchises completely (ie the St. Louis Browns to the Baltimore Orioles, or the Washington Senators to the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers).There are also separate histories for the two Washington Senators franchises, as well as tons of short writeups about previous teams in certain cities (ie the Baltimore Orioles - they were a successful team in the late 1890's and then dropped the name for many years until the Browns relocated there).

I have a hard time believing that you will be able to find a more comprehensive book about the franchises that have existed since baseball began.There is more information here for the price than anywhere else that I have seen.I gave it four stars instead of five due to the lack of Negro League teams (even though I admit I could have missed them).All in all, this is one heck of a great buy!! ... Read more


200. Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Ballteam
by Bill Shanks
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0976637219
Catlog: Book (2005-06-30)
Publisher: Sterling & Ross Publishers, Inc.
Sales Rank: 322401
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