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$16.47 list($24.95)
21. Aces : A Season On the Mound With
$17.13 $17.12 list($25.95)
22. Sports Illustrated: Great Baseball
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23. Blackboard Strategies: Over 200
$23.10 $17.13 list($35.00)
24. Negro League Baseball
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25. The Last Best League: One Summer,
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26. Official Major League Baseball
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27. The Mental Keys to Hitting: A
$39.95 $26.47
28. The Glory of Their Times: The
$19.95 $9.99
29. The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training
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30. Emperors and Idiots : The Hundred
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31. A Tale of Two Cities : The 2004
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32. The Oldest Rookie: Big-League
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33. Science of Hitting
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34. The Mental Game of Baseball: A
35. Win Shares
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36. The Bad Guys Won! A Season of
$15.61 $3.31 list($22.95)
37. Why Not Us?: The 86-year Journey
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38. Little League Confidential : One
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39. The Art of Hitting
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40. Few And Chosen: Defining Cubs

21. Aces : A Season On the Mound With The Oakland A's Big Three--Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito
by Mychael Urban
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0471675024
Catlog: Book (2005-03-11)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 134565
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Book Description

An inside look at three of baseball’s best pitchers through the course of the 2004 season

The Oakland A’s–the subject of last year’s bestselling Moneyball by Michael Lewis–are home to three of baseball’s top pitchers. Written by a veteran Bay Area sportswriter with the complete cooperation of all three pitchers, Aces explores the art of pitching by taking readers inside the pitchers’ very different minds during critical games and revealing what really goes on in the dugout, at the clubhouse, and off the field.

Mychael Urban (Livermore, CA) is a national writer for, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, and has covered the A’s since 2001. He talks about baseball regularly on FOXSports TV, ESPN Radio, and Radio. ... Read more

22. Sports Illustrated: Great Baseball Writing
by Editors of Sports Illustrated
list price: $25.95
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Asin: 1932994025
Catlog: Book (2005-05-31)
Publisher: Sports Illustrated
Sales Rank: 2133
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Book Description

When Sports Illustrated was launched in 1954, baseball was, indisputable, the national pastime, its stars America's epic heroes, its rivalries the era's mythology.As baseballs fortunes rose and fell over the next 50 years - and then rose again to new heights, drawing more than 65 million fans to ballparks in 2004 - the game never failed to produce great drama and inspired storytelling.This collection is a virtual Hall of Fame from the pages of SI, bringing together the stories of baseball's greatest heroes (Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax) and villains (Ty Cobb, Pete Rose, Denny McLain) and characters (Casey Stengel, Max Patkin, Yogi Berra); its legendary quests (the home run chases of Roger Maris, Hank Aaron, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds; the thrilling pennant races, from the Dodgers - Giants in 1951 to the Yankees-Red Sox in 1978); its world-class writers (Frank Deford, Mark Kram, George Plimpton, Peter Gammons, and Tom Verducci) and its own players writing from the inside about their game (Ted Williams, Jim Brosnan, and Jim Bouton).In the wake of SI's acclaimed Fifty Years of Great Writing comes this baseball anthology worthy of Cooperstown. ... Read more

23. Blackboard Strategies: Over 200 Favorite Plays From Successful Coaches For Nearly Every Possible Situation
by Edited by Eric Sacharski
list price: $14.95
our price: $12.71
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Asin: 0944079318
Catlog: Book (1999-08-30)
Publisher: Lessiter Pubns
Sales Rank: 12758
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This compilation of "Blackboard Strategies" from 13 years of our popular Winning Hoops issues offers just what it says: over 200 tried-and-true offensive plays used by 120 basketball coaches at all levels of play.Coaches found these strategies so useful they had to write us about them, so you're bound to love them too. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Loaded with plays
A great book! Loaded with easy plays to run for all ages. Detailed plays for all scenario's as well (different zones, man to man, etc.) Provides diagrams of plays as well as a glossary of terms and symbols used in the book. Great for the beginner coach. ... Read more

24. Negro League Baseball
by Ernest C. Withers
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
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Asin: 0810955857
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 157634
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Long before blacks gained entrance into major league baseball, some of the greatest athletes ever to play the game were performing remarkable feats in the Negro Leagues. Fans today look back on the legendary Negro Leagues with reverence and awe, yet there has been woefully little visual documentation of the leagues' history. This treasure trove of images by Ernest Withers, the unofficial team photographer for the Memphis Red Sox, captures the peak of Negro League action through the years of groundbreaking integration, as well as the community in which black baseball was played.

Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, and Hank Aaron are among the superstars portrayed in 150 photographs, reproduced in stunning duotone plates, introduced by baseball legend Willie Mays, and accompanied by an informative text by Daniel Wolff. From pictures of Indianapolis clown King Tut, the baseball equivalent of a Harlem Globetrotter, and pitcher Charley Pride, who went on to become a country/western singing star, to shots of visiting celebrities and ballplayers relaxing at local clubs, these astonishing photographs evoke a long-gone era and form an essential visual archive of a near-mythological aspect of baseball history. AUTHOR BIO: Ernest C. Withers has photographed the African-American community for more than 50 years, documenting the struggle for civil rights, the black social world, and the Negro Leagues. He lives and works in Memphis. Daniel Wolff has published poetry, short stories, and critical writing on photography, as well as a biography of Sam Cooke, You Send Me. He lives in Nyack, New York. Willie Mays, the baseball Hall of Famer, began his career in 1948 with the Negro Leagues and went on to play in 24 All-Star games and participate in four World Series.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Touching Thoughts from Mays and Great Photos
The foreward in this book is particularly touching, as it comes straight from the source, Willie Mays, a Negro League and MLB legend.It is a perfect complement to the wonderful photos of this great era from Mr. Withers.

5-0 out of 5 stars lucky one
I was one of the lucky ones that got to view this book before it went to print. I'm a professional sports writer and was impressed with not only the text that goes with this book, but some of the pictures that are within its covers. Baseball is my passion and there are certainly plenty of great images in baseball history("The Catch", Maz's home run, Fisk's HR, etc.), but this provides a different light to both professional baseball and the Negro Leagues. Withers provides a perspective and view on the lifestyle, mannerisms and actions of the Negro Leagues that I've never seen before. I highly reccomend this book to anyone who's interested in baseball history. ... Read more

25. The Last Best League: One Summer, One Season, One Dream
by Jim Collins
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
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Asin: 0738209015
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Sales Rank: 7231
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The compelling story of a single season in the world's finest amateur baseball league.

Every summer, in ten small towns across Cape Cod, young college baseball players showcase their talents in hopes of making it to the "show." A vicious filter, the league has produced one out of every six major league players, from Nomar Garciaparra and Todd Helton to Jeff Bagwell and Barry Zito.

In this brilliantly crafted narrative, Jim Collins chronicles a season in the life of the Chatham A's, perhaps the most celebrated team in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Set against a seemingly bucolic backdrop--a well-heeled resort town on the bend of the outer Cape--the story charts the changing fortunes of a handful of players, all of whom battle slumps and self-doubt in an effort to impress major league scouts and make the playoffs. Several players go home with career-threatening injuries; one blue-chip prospect fulfills great expectations while another is dubbed "the biggest disappointment on the Cape." A pitcher hides an arm injury while negotiating a minor league contract; another leaves early to tend to his dying father. And nearly all look to the following year's major league draft as a barometer of their worth. Far more than a baseball book, The Last Best League is an engrossing story about dreams fulfilled and dreams destroyed, about Cape Cod and the rites of summer, about coming of age in America. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book about the Cape Cod League
I worked for several years in baseball operations for two Major League Baseball franchises, and to this day, one of my greatest experiences was spending three weeks scouting at the Cape Cod League. Jim Collins does an excellent job of portraying the league, its management, scouts, fans, coaches and players. He brings several angles to the book, showing that not all players get along, that there are "classes" of players, and that 20-year old boys will act like, well, boys. For the casual baseball fan, this is an excellent look at something other than the Major Leagues. For the die-hard fan, it is a must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable, informative read for any baseball fan.
My sons and I gave this book to my husband for Father's Day. But I couldn't put it down once I started reading it! I spent my college summers on Cape Cod and we are avid fans of the Cape Cod Baseball League (with a special place in our heart for the Chatham A's.) Last week I had the joy of reading this while sitting on a Cape Cod beach.

The writing is exceptional, the enthusiasm of the fans authentically represented, ... and the dreams, emotions and antics of 20 year olds during a summer on Cape Cod... well you will have to read it for yourself.

Jim Collins does a fabulous job bringing it all together -- the beauty of the Cape, the showcase of these outstanding college ball players, the presence of the scouts, the local volunteer power and commitment behind the league, and the best of baseball before many future stars become celebrities. We have always felt that the Cape Cod Baseball League is the "best" of baseball, but Mr. Collins adds so much more as to why it truly is the "last best league."

5-0 out of 5 stars A Grand Slam!
Jim Collins masterfully chronicles a season in the Cape Cod League -- a summer baseball league for collegiate players with professional aspirations. Collins follows one campaign of the Chatham A's, one of the most popular teams in this league. Along the way we are introduced to a series of memorable characters, such as John Schiffner, the intense manager of the A's who moonlights as a high school teacher and coach the rest of the year, Jamie D'Anotona, a talented, immature, and complex collegiate star, trying to find his way both in baseball and the world, and Blake Hanan, a likable middle infielder who has focused his life on becoming a professional baseball player.

Hanan's experience is probably a descriptor of the entire league, for Cape Cod is where dreams and reality intersect. Many in the league will go on to the professional game, some even signing for huge bonuses with major league clubs, while others, such as Hanan, will find their hopes for the professional game dashed through a summer of intense competition.

As we learn more about each of these individuals, Collins paints an idyllic picture of small towns who bond with their hometown teams, of the crack of the wood bat as opposed to the ping of aluminum heard in the college game, and the purity of a game that is played for joy rather than for money and endorsements.

Enjoy The Last Best League! It is a true reading pleasure for any fan of the game!

5-0 out of 5 stars All that's great about baseball
I received this book as a gift and it was a very pleasant surprise. Somewhere between Little League and the Major League lies the Cape Cod League. Since I was a kid reading Baseball America, I have been intrigued with the lure of this quiet amateur summer league nestled in the heart of New England. Where basketball has the reknowned Nike summer camps, baseball has this unheralded league that attracts the nation's best college players for three months of a surreal existence of working by day and playing by night (evoking memories of a young Archibald Graham from "Field of Dreams"). This book does something special: preserve the spirit of the young men that head to these sleepy vacation towns every summer with dreams of playing the big leagues as well as the community that awaits them, prepared to provide an education they could never get in college. It's hard to read this book without getting lost in this world that seems a million miles from the majors. You see these future professional athletes at an awkward stage of their careers where they struggle to balance aspiration and the end of adolescence. The cast of characters spans an amazing array of talent, drive, and desire. This book invites you spend a summer with them, watching them grow up and learn about themselves in a unique environment. As a former player whose career never made it past high school, I was constantly reminded of why baseball is so special to those of us who really appreciate the full scope of the game. It goes beyond ball and strikes. It's the comraderie, the strategy, the mental games, and the team dynamic. The egos, the tempers, and the arrogance. The romance of the game is embodied within this book and anyone who appreciates the power of baseball will love "The Last Best League".

5-0 out of 5 stars Last best baseball book
The author clearly loves his subjects: athletes with their chance to make it to the bigs. In particular, he loves baseball at its purist. Pure because there are no guaranteed contracts, no established stars, just college players who see their goal so close and so badly want to make the next step. Each game, and each athlete, is an adventure. It will be fun over the years to see which of the players chronicled in this book become stars in the years to come. ... Read more

26. Official Major League Baseball Rules Book, 2005 Edition
by Major League Baseball, Sporting News
list price: $7.95
our price: $7.95
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Asin: 0892047720
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Sporting News
Sales Rank: 14401
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Book Description

Major League Baseball reviews the rules each year and adjusts them as necessary. Some affect the game dramatically…1976: The American League accepts the DH as a permanent part of the rules. The National League reaffirms its opposition. [6.10] Other do not…The "game-winning RBI" (previously credited to a batter who gave his club "the lead it never relinquished") is eliminated as an official statistic. [10.04(e)] FEATURES: Includes field and equipment rules; Batting, pitching and fielding regulations; Convenient size gets the praise of professional and amateur league umpires who must have easy access to it throughout every game. ... Read more

27. The Mental Keys to Hitting: A Handbook of Strategies for Performance Enhancement
by H. A. Dorfman
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 1888698381
Catlog: Book (2001-05-16)
Publisher: Diamond Communications
Sales Rank: 45799
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Following in the classic tradition of his bestselling books, The Mental Game of Baseball and The Mental ABC's of Pitching, noted sports psychologist H.A. Dorfman presents the third book in his instructional baseball series. In The Mental Keys to Hitting: A Handbook of Strategies for Performance Enhancement, Dorfman offers once again clear, specific, practical, and vital instruction on how a player can manage the intellectual and psychological aspects of the game, combine them with physical skills, and play to peak performance at the plate. From chapters devoted to teaching the fundamental skill of "seeing the ball" and the art of self-coaching to ones dedicated to the development of confidence and perspective, The Mental Keys to Hitting is a must addition to every player's training and game day routines. Anyone serious about playing baseball should find this book as important as a bat or a glove. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Youth Coach's Hitting Manual. SEE THE BALL.
The Mental Keys to Hitting is the Greatest most user friendly baseball coach's book ever. I thought the mental aspects of Seeing the ball were extremely effective. Most readers reading this review might think that every player is seeing the ball properly. Players do not see the ball as well as they should because they have never been taught the proper mind set of seeing the ball.Coaching hitters to see the ball is one of the most important things a coach can teach his players.This is absolutely not coached at any level of youth baseball. Mr. Dorfman does an excellent job of explaning this simple but often overlooked method of batting. I have bought The Mental Game of Baseball, The Mental Game of Pitching, and The Mental Keys to hitting. These three books are the TOP Three baseball coaching books ever written. I highly recommend this book and the other two books by Mr. Dorfman. This book will teach you the coach how to apply these mental princples to help you to effectively coach your youth league baseball team. ... Read more

28. The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It
by Fred Snodgrass, Sam Crawford, Hans Lobert, Rube Bressler, Chief Meyers, Davy Jones, Rube Marquard, Joe Wood, Lefty O'Doul, Jimmy Austin, Goose Goslin, Bill Wambsganss
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
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Asin: 1565112539
Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
Publisher: Highbridge Audio
Sales Rank: 326161
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Story of the
Early Days of Baseball
Told by the Men Who
Played It

... Read more

Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Baseball Book I have ever read
It doesn't get much better than this. And I've read most of the top books in this field. If you have an interest in Baseball -- and want to read about the sport when it was really a "game" try this book. The book is truly told by the men who played the game in the early 1900's -- as transcribed in oral history fashion -- one chapter devoted to each player. Ritter brings to life players that most of us have always read about (Ruth, Cobb and Walter Johnson) and many more greats from that era -- Harry Hooper, Paul Waner, Rube Marquard, and Goose Goslin. (And yes, the author is my Uncle, but the book is STILL a great one!)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Priceless Collection
Being a die hard baseball fan, I am always on the look out for great baseball books. And after reading numerous lists of favorite baseball books by readers, it seemed that there was one unanimous choice, The Glory of Their Times, by Lawrence Ritter. And let me say, that I wasn't dissapointed in the least. The beauty of this book is that you feel like you yourself are sitting down with the different players interviewed and having them regale you with stories about playing baseball in the early 20th Century or earlier. The players interviewed are not all household names which adds so much to it. Most of us know the exploits of Cobb and Ruth. Not as many know the stories of Harry Hooper, Wahoo Sam Crawford, and Paul Waner to name just a few. This book is a pleasure to read through and all I can say is thank God that Mr. Ritter wrote this book when he did as all of the players interview here have since passed on I believe. Don't miss this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly a "Hall of Fame" book
Sometimes the best histories are the ones where the participants in that history are allowed to talk and the history's author just listens. Such is the case with this book. And oh the stories these old ballplayers tell. Stories of an era in baseball from long ago: what it was like to play with Honus Wagner or Ty Cobb or Lou Gehrig; what it was like to play for John Mcgraw; or get a new persepctive on an infamous play like the Fred Snodgrass muff or a dropped ball that led to a World Series win. And funny how you get a sense too from reading this book of what life and the people in it were like back in the early part of the 20th century, as well as what the baseball was like. I was highly entertained and intrigued from the moment I opened the book to reading the last page in it. And I'm thankful the author thought to preserve this era for all of us before it was too late.

Dick Dobbins used this "oral history" approach to great advantange in his now out of print book about the old Pacific Coast League called The Grand Minor League. It's an approach I used to a lesser extent some years ago when I wrote a history of a local volunteer group in the late 1990s.

I've wanted to read this for years, and I'm glad I did. If this isn't the greatest baseball book of all time, it's pretty darn close.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great history, so-so sound.
It is awesome to hear the real old-timers talk about baseball's early days. They are old enough to be candid, to be sure. The interviewer does an admirable job of staying in the background, asking prompting questions only when needed and these are show his excellent preparation without making him seem like he's their (baseball) equal.
My only complaint, having heard this on CD (and I did that because I very much wanted to hear their actual voices) was that the audio was not done too well, mostly too faint except on extreme volume settings. Anyway, it was definitely worth the effort.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most important baseball books ever written
I read once that Lawrence Ritter decided to research and write The Glory of Their Times when he realized that the great players of the dead ball era were dying off. He wanted to preserve their memories while it was still possible. He did us all a favor - The Glory of Their Times is one of the finest books ever written about baseball history. Ritter was a good oral historian - he knew how to draw his subjects out. Where else can you read first-hand accounts of what it was like to play with Ty Cobb? ... Read more

29. The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Baseball and Softball
by Robert Price, Maryanne Haselow-Dulin, Robert G. Price
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
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Asin: 1932549013
Catlog: Book (2003-06)
Publisher: Price World Enterprises
Sales Rank: 23606
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Baseball and Softball is the most comprehensive and up-to-date baseball and softball-specific training guide in the world today. It contains descriptions and photographs of over 80 of the most effective weight training, flexibility, and abdominal exercises used by athletes worldwide.This book features year-round baseball and softball-specific weight-training programs guaranteed to improve your performance and get you results.

No other baseball or softball book to date has been so well designed, so easy to use, and so committed to weight training.This book takes you from the off-season to the in-season, and is loaded with dozens of tips and pointers to help you maximize your training and improve your performance.

Both beginners and advanced athletes and weight trainers can follow this book and utilize its programs.From recreational to professional, thousands of athletes all over the world are already benefiting from this book and its techniques, and now you can too! ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful workout program
With help from this workout program I gained baserunning speed and an increase in bat head speed. This program is written very clearly and easy to follow.

5-0 out of 5 stars Suprised
I have to admit, I never thought something like this would work. But, I was proven wrong. I just thought I would give my recomendation for this book, and thanks to Robert Price for helping me with my game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
This book has been absolutely wonderful for me, as well as the rest of my team. I'm hitting the ball further then I ever have before. The difference was evident in weeks. Truly the single best program out there.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very informative book
I am very pleased with my copy of this book. It has everything I was looking for with photos, tips, and detailed programs. It goes into depth about the specific muscles used throughout the swing and used when throwing. Possibly the most important thing I got from this book is improved speed and power in rotating my torso which helps with both swinging and throwing harder. My hips are also more powerful and balance has improved. ... Read more

30. Emperors and Idiots : The Hundred Year Rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox, From the VeryBeginning to the End of the Curse
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0385513542
Catlog: Book (2005-03-15)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 52853
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars "An absolute must-read for fans of both"
Invariably, we had to be bludgeoned with an onslaught of Red Sox-Yankees books after the "Greatest Comeback in Sports History." It seems like a dozen or more books have hit the shelves since The Curse was broken, but most were rushed so hurriedly to market to capitalize on demand, that almost none are anything more than time-worn retreads of stories we already knew - or worse, Red Sox fans/authors whose objectivity is questionable at best.But Vaccaro's book was set in motion long before The Babe rolled over in his grave. It's clearly a book two years in the works, since Aaron "Bleeping" Boone's HR, and its exhaustive detail and historical sweep turn over stones even the most rabid Yanks' and Sox' fans had likely never noticed before. For fans of both teams who have a passionate appreciation for the scope of the greatest rivalry in sports, this is an absolute must-read. Forget sports; this is one of the most thorough and insightful history books I've ever read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Baseball Book "Blood Feud"
Author Vaccaro obviously did a careful demographic study and then sat down with his accountants and decided to cash in on the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. He has no emotional investment in either team, just a financial one. No humor, no passion. Try reading BLOOD FEUD instead. It has both - and no pandering to the Big Apple. It is well-researched and very funny. A recent Yankee reviewer of BLOOD FEUD complained "Calling one team "divine" and the other "evil" is a joke." Well, "Duh!" Of course it's a joke and a very clever and funny one, as those who read it will quickly discover! This is a book for Red Sox, Yankee,Mets fans - but mostly for baseball fans who love the game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Impressed
Mike Vaccaro brings to sportswriting something most of his statistical, fanatical, factoid spewing brethern, at it's very core, is about the people behind the numbers. Thats what makes this book so much more interesting than all of the other Red Sox-Yankee history books. This book weaves together such a poetic colorful narrative of quotes, emotions and stories from the all the players involved right down to the dihard fan in the last row of bleacher seats. We all know how the story ends, but Vaccaro takes us on that crazy ride one more time. This time we see it and feel it from all sides.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely enthralling
I didn't think it was possible to learn more about the last two Red Sox-Yankees playoff series. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I watched every out of every game, reading every newspaper story and magazine article. But with every page in this book, I learned something new about these two teams -- like Bucky Dent himself falling asleep just before Aaron Boone matched his dramatic home run with one in the 2003 Game 7. But where Vaccaro is at his best is when he mixes in the history of this rivalry. Yes, you will see numerous books on the shelves about the Red Sox and Yankees. But no, you will not see a better one than this.

1-0 out of 5 stars yawn
It's official, everybody has written a book about this. If you want to read bad writing Mike writes more garbage on a regular basis in the NY Post. ... Read more

31. A Tale of Two Cities : The 2004 Yankee-Red Sox Rivalry and the War for the Pennant
by Tony Massarotti, John Harper
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 1592287042
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Sales Rank: 10457
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When the Boston Red Sox faced the New York Yankees in the historic 2003 American League Championship Series, the meeting seemed to serve as the climax to perhaps the greatest rivalry in professional sports. Yet, following New York’s comeback victory
in scintillating Game 7, both the Red Sox and Yankees entered the off-season without a world title--and with renewed conviction to finish the job in 2004.

In A Tale of Two Cities, respected baseball writers John Harper (New York Daily News) and Tony Massarotti (Boston Herald) chronicle the Yankees and Red Sox in parallel story lines through the summer of 2004. The authors take you behind the scenes with the teams, cities, and media during one of the most intense baseball seasons in history.
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Behind the Scenes Read of This Storied Rivalry
While any reader of this review most likely already knows how the events of the 2004 MLB season unfolded, A Tale of Two Cities takes the reader beyond the dirt and sod of the ball field to the personalities and emotions that are not always evident to the casual fan.

As a native New Englander, I loved the book's insights and vignettes which go well beyond the headlines to the foundations of what makes the Red Sox - Yankee rivalry so great.As a lover of sport and human drama, the juxtaposition of events as told from the both the Boston and New York perspectives were truly revealing and well crafted.I enjoyed the book thoroughly - so much so I finished it in a single sitting.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Baseball Book
No, it's not Dickens, but it's still a heck of a book. "A Tale of Two Cities" follows the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees rivalry throughout the 2004 baseball season. Chapters alternate between Tony Massarotti of the Boston Herald and John Harper of the New York Daily News. Their writing is clear, efficient, and totally engrossing. Each of the head-to-head meetings between the Red Sox and Yankees is examined in detail, culminating with a fantastic account of the American Leaugue Championship Series. Massarotti and Harper offer many fascinating and thoughtful insights, plus some looks behind the scenes and psychological portraits of a few of the players. Each series is covered by a chaper by each author, so the reader gets a very balanced perspective.

The only thing I didn't care for was the way the typeface changes inexplicably. The first four chapters are in one font, then the fonts alternate every two chapters. The authors alternate every chapter, so the font changes don't reflect who is writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent season-long analysis of the greatest rivalry...
As a baseball fan, I was glued to this book and could not put it down, even though I knew who won in the end...Tony Mazz and John Harper did a great job giving the reader a feel for what each city was experiencing during the 2004 season.The behind the scenes stories and quotes added a critical element to the book and made the reading fun.If you want some inside information on Pedro, A-Rod, Schilling and others, this book is for you.The off-the-record quotes are stunning.I really enjoyed this book... and I've read a lot of baseball books over the years.This is one of the best.

5-0 out of 5 stars The truth be told!
The authors do a great job of revealing facts about the stars (Pedro, Nomar, A-Rod, Jeter, etc.) and how they fit (or did not fit) in with their teammates. In addition there are several great stories about the relationship with the athletes and the media (the Mussina and Mike Kay relationship). Even with all of the books I have read concerning this great season I had not seen any mention that the Sox were the first team since '29 to have 5 pitchers with 175+ innings for the season. Even more enlightening is the fact that once Arroyo was put into the rotation the starting 5 did not miss a start the remainder of the season.
Truth be told I found it a book that I hated. I hated to put it down, and I hated to finish the last page. What a masterful job both authors have done. Too bad your highest rating was only 5 stars! ... Read more

32. The Oldest Rookie: Big-League Dreams from a Small-Town Guy
by Jim Morris, Joel Engel
list price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316591564
Catlog: Book (2001-03-01)
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Sales Rank: 402715
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

After an injury-plagued stint in the minor leagues in his twenties, Jim Morris hung up his cleats and his dreams to start a new life as a father, high school physics teacher, and baseball coach. Jim's athletes knew that his dream was still alive - he threw the ball so hard they could barely hit it - and made a bet with him: if they won the league championship, he would have to try out for a major league ball club. They did - and he did, and during that tryout threw the ball faster than he ever had, faster than anyone there, nearly faster than anyone playing in the Bigs. He was immediately drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and three months later made his major league debut, striking out All-Star Royce Clayton. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Dreams do come true
The Oldest Rookie recounts the improbable journey of pitcher Jim Morris to "the Big Show". Born to young parents, his father a military man who didsdained authority, and a mother who picked up the pieces after each move, Jim always remembers having a ball in his hand. Throughout the many moves, sports provided an introduction to new schools, new friends, and self esteem. Sports also provided a safe haven from the change and the chaotic life at home. Baseball was his first love, and the chance to play minor league ball at the age of 19 was a dream come true. Several years of struggle and injury finally eneded the baseball dream, and Jim moved onto real life, a wife, kids, debt, and struggle. Throughout this time, Jim continued school, played college football (punting for his college at the age of 29). Eventually, he found himself coaching high school baseball. Sensing his love of the game, the students make a bargin, if they make it to regionals, Jim will try out for the major league job he never achieved. At the age of 35, Jim Morris was the oldest rookie to ever start in the big leagues, pitching, no less. The story is remarkable enough, but Morris' accounting of the struggles of a young man unable to realize his dream is compelling. Along with co author,Joel Engle , he tells the story of the man his younger teammates came to call "the Unnatural". A wonderful story for any baseball fan, and a story of hope for anyone who feels they have let a dream pass them by.

2-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story, disappointing book
This is one book I couldn't wait to read. The Jim Morris story to me, a 45-year-old still continuing my lifetime passion by playing hardball in men's adult leagues, was one of the most improbable and inspiring sports stories, EVER. For a 38-year-old guy to go from coaching his high school baseball team, to showing up at a major league tryout camp and start throwing 98-mph fastballs, then get signed, THEN reach the majors all in the same season, well, if it hadn't actually happened I never would have believed it. I followed his story closely as it was happening, and actually met him while he was playing in the Arizona Fall League in October 1999. I was there playing in the Men's Adult Baseball League World Series and managed to catch a game (Morris didn't get in, but he did sign a foul ball my buddy had caught). That said, "The Oldest Rookie" just didn't deliver. I thought starting off with Morris' childhood in chronological order was a big mistake. If I had co-authored the book, it would have begun with his feelings of first appearing in a major league game, of stepping onto the stadium turf, of what it was like to be staring down a big league hitter he had been watching on TV just months before. After all, why else would anyone be reading it? Once the book did get into that magical 1999 season, it picked up. But it took way too long to get there, I thought, and seemed to lessen the impact of what he had accomplished. Also, I was disappointed in the lack of photographs, which amounted to one tiny, non-uniform mug shot of Morris on the inside book jacket. I can't understand why photos weren't included. So The Oldest Rookie was an opportunity wasted, overall. Maybe a movie will be made someday and Jim Morris will get his just due. But until then, The Oldest Rookie will have to fill the void, and it just doesn't.

4-0 out of 5 stars America's Pastime
"Everything gets hard before it gets easy." A well known cliché Jim Morris knows all too well. The Rookie, a true story written by Jim Morris, travels the journey of Jim's dream and how he accomplished it. Morris learned to walk at seven months old, passing up five months or normal development, he had natural talent, and was arguably the best baseball player on any team he played on, whether little league or softball. Morris was even a star football kicker, launching the ball over eighty yards with one swift boot. He knew his baseball skills would take him far, maybe even the major leagues, but there was one little problem that hovered over his stardom; his arm. He had Tommy John Surgery on his throwing arm, setting him back a year, then he had more trouble which was a three inch bone spur in his shoulder, the surgery was said to put the cap on his career. Yet Jim Morris wasn't ready to end his career just then.

Every novel has its good points and its poor points, that is what makes it popular. It is hard to find a negative point when the novel is based on a subject that one may feel so passionate about, yet some of the facts presented here in the book make one wonder how they were retrieved. When Jim Morris walked for the first time, he claimed that his parents didn't even see him because they were driving across the country and neither of his parents were paying attention. More than likely this information was conjured up, which in turn makes the story more interesting, but should be omitted. Even though it may have been false information, the majority of non-fiction books tend to have some created information in them. A technique many writers include in their "bag of tricks."

Jim Morris dedicated his life to baseball. He played the game basically his whole life, and loved every minute of it. The emotions Morris encounters are of the harshest; from learning he will never play baseball again, to marital problems at home. He shares these sensitive feelings with the reader, letting the reader inside his mind and head, thus making the story feel more personal. When an author expresses personal experiences wit the reader, sometimes the reader can relate with the emotions and problems, and when a reader has gone through them as well, the book gets that much better. Jim Morris is a passionate man who has a love for America's past time, and never will let that love go. Jim Morris loves baseball.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Oldest Rookie
The Oldest Rookie

Joel Engel and Jim Morris really did a wonderful job when they wrote the book The Oldest Rookie. The story was so good in fact that it inspired a movie called The Rookie. Although I thoroughly enjoyed both of them I would have to say that the book was better. There are a number of superior qualities about the book. You know it must be really good to because I almost always like the movie more then the book. The Oldest Rookie is easily one of the 5 best books I've read.
In the book, you really get inside Jim Morris's head. You can see how he goes from a kid who did nothing except play baseball, to a minor leaguer who had to retire because of arm troubles, to a patient high school teacher, to a major leaguer. In the movie you see him as a kid playing baseball, however in the book he talks about how when he was younger the only toys he would play with were balls and how he was only in kindergarten when the fifth graders let them play in his baseball games because he was so good. Morris explains how the only think he cared about was baseball and he knew he wanted to be a pro ball player all his life. In the movie you are left to either assume that or to not know it at all. One of the most effective parts of the book was when Morris is describing when he went to play in his first major league game. He talks about how the hard journey had been worth it and you can almost feel his happiness as a smile spreads across your face and you turn the page. In the movie there was no way they could capture this moment perfectly. They just had him stand outside of the stadium for a few moments. In the book, you really get to see how Morris's brain works. He explains how he was a perfectionist and that it really hurt his life. They don't even touch this subject in the movie, even though it had drastic effects on his life. Feeling what Jimmy Morris feels really enhances the story.
The characters in the book are also superior to the characters in the movie. They include pretty much every person who ever had an effect on Jimmy's life, while in the movie they pretty much just focus on him. The other characters really add a lot to the story. For example they didn't even mention that Jimmy had a grandfather, while in the book Jimmy says that his Grandpa was perhaps the biggest influence in his life. It was his grandpa who taught him to work hard and to not feel bad for himself when things didn't go his way. Also, they completely changed his parents. In the movie they make them seem like a normal couple, while in the book Morris explains how they didn't even like each other. They only married each other because Jimmy's mom got pregnant and they eventually got divorced. The movie really messed up on the characters.
The biggest part where the book has the advantage over the movie is in the story. There were gapping holes in the movie. In the movie they started at page 1 and went to about page 12 and then they went to about page 200, and the book was less then 300 pages long. They skipped the meat of the story, which is when he is in the minors for the first time. If you watched the movie you'd have no idea he had ever really played in the minors before. They left out how he had started playing pro after his first year of junior college and then went on to the grueling minor league system where he would ride in small buses for countless hours and then stay in cheap motels. Then when he finally did pitch he did horrible and right when he started doing good his arm started to hurt. In the movie they mentioned he had received arm surgery but they did not explain how important to him it had been. In the movie they made it seem as if he had gotten arm surgery and then retired when he had really came only to need arm surgery again the next season. He even got one more after that one before he retired. Then his family went through harsh financial times before the movie finally picked up the story again. The movie plot is very flawed.
The movie tried to do what they do to most inspiring stories, and that is make it feel more like a fairy tail then something that could really happen. They failed to show a lot of the hard work he put in to get where he did. You should really pick up the book The Oldest Rookie , it's a great story and it a speed read!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Dreams of a Young Boy
The Rookie is an excellent book about a middle-aged man and the love of his life. Now this love is two things and they are the woman that he has always wanted and the world's greatest pastime, Baseball. Now Jim Morris is a middle-aged teacher who use to be a pitcher of a major league baseball team and he hurt himself severely and was not able to pitch another game. So he retired from the game that he always loved to play and watch and married the love of his life. He is now enjoying his life because he is coaching a young high-school team and is married to the woman that he has always loved and cared for all his life. Jim Morris's baseball team that he is coaching doesn't really know the truth about him being a major league pitcher. However after they see him pitch a couple of pitches ranging in the mid nineties they know that with that speed he had to have been a major league pitcher. So the team and the coach put on a little side bet. The team tells the coach if they win the championships than the coach (Jim Morris) has to go and try out for a major league team again and age forty. Jim Morris is a great coach and he then is asked to do this to really show his team what he still has left inside of him. This book is a very exciting and interesting book that has many different dilemmas and altercations in it. Personally when I was reading this book I just couldn't put it down. Every page that I flipped and began reading just made me eager to keep on reading because it was very enjoyable. I have never red a book that has given me this type of feeling. I highly recommend this book to everyone that loves a great book. It doesn't matter if you love or hate baseball this book is perfect for everyone. I can't believe that this book did not win a award or something that is achieved only through a great story. This book has all the qualities of a best seller. It is exciting, interesting, and you could say even touching in a way. Throughout my whole review and summary, in conclusion I highly recommend this book to everyone and I hope anyone who is looking for an excellent book to read to really try and read, The Rookie by Joel Engel and Jim Morris. I did and I am glad that I read this book and wouldn't have been happier if I red anything else for this project. ... Read more

33. Science of Hitting
by Ted Williams, John Underwood
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671621033
Catlog: Book (1986-04-29)
Publisher: Fireside
Sales Rank: 5002
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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As a boy, all Ted Williams wanted was to be the best hitter there ever was. Through his storied tenure with the Red Sox, he pretty much got his wish. He not only hit, he knew how to hit; there was no keener, more devoted, more articulate student of the art. The Science of Hitting is his comprehensive book of wisdom and anecdote, a baseball bible that offers clear, concise, well-illustrated, fundamental information on how to hit a baseball and, just as important, how to think about hitting a baseball. Williams's first commandment is "Get a good pitch to hit," and, in one of baseball's most dramatic teaching tools--a photograph that divides his strike zone into 77 baseballs, seven wide by 11 high--Williams projects what he would hit at each pitch location, from .230 on the low-outside strike to .400 in what he called his "happy zone," the heart of the plate belt high. In 1941, that happy zone was obviously ecstatic; Williams hit .406 that year, the last to break the magic .400 barrier. ... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Home Run!
When your son or daughter asks you how to hit better --- don't just make stuff up as if you really were a good hitter (and you weren't) --- buy this book, instead. Read it yourself so you can help give truly practical advice, instead of guessing.

Ted Williams really shows the true science of hitting and anyone who wants to develop good hitting skills should read this book.

I gave this to my son to read when he was 13 and by the end of the season he was hitting 400 points higher and with more power. Would he have developed that way without reading the book? I'll never know, but I'm sure the book made a difference in how he "aproaches" seeing a baseball.

It certainly helped me to know what to "look for" in his swing so I could give him constructive feedback based on what I learned from Ted Williams.

Get this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars first and last book you will ever need on hitting a baseball
By far the greatest book ever written on the art of hitting a baseball . Iused when i played in hs and it was it helped me .I preached it at the hs level and now as i college coach i endorse it as well. MR.Williams in the best hitter since Babe Ruth so he knows what hes talking about .I own 3 of these books this paper back edition as well as the 1st print and 2nd print.The first edition is a collecters item which is going to be priceless at somepoint.I am currently seeking MR. Williams to sign my 1st edition book but not having much luck.If you are seroius about hitting look no further than this book,it talks of the most important things you must do to hit a baseball.1.)get a good pitch to hit2.)make sure you use a bat your comfortable with3.)make sure you have done your homework on a pitcher ,proper thinking at the plate,whats he gonna throw in a certain situation.I have only 2 words buy it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Learn & Live from the Bible of Hitting
A MLB scout of 40yrs...and current college hitting instructor...told me to "get Ted's book and throw the rest away." I got the book, but kept the others (Today i'd toss em out except Mike Epstein's book on's worthwhile.) At first reading the Williams' book appears disappointing...too many old-time stories from Ted's days as a ballplayer and coach. Yet like a the game of checkers, the more you analyze (and read) the book, the deeper your understanding of hitting becomes. The most amazing concept is that Mr. Williams "discovered" his hitting mechanics by trial and error...without the use of high speed video, etc. His concepts are rather simple...1) get a good pitch to hit (study the pitchers and their tendencies), 2) use a lighter bat for quickness, 3) hips initiate the swing, 4) swing up (slightly) to increase your chances of hitting the ball "on plane" and 5) practice, practice, practice.

My daughters play softball and its mindboggling how poor the hitting instruction is at nearly all levels...including high school. The forward weight shift, "hands thrown to the ball," and early wrist roll are wonderful ways to hit soft groundballs to second base. (And unless your daughter has amazing speed...mine don't...she'll hit about .180.) Many players and coaches are amazed that my average-sized daughters possess such "power." I'd love to think it's talent, but alas it's technique...proper hip rotation leading the hands...just as described by Williams, and an upward swing plane.

The next time you're at a ballgame, see how many kids are actually swinging "upward"...pick those kids out and you'll immediately know the good hitters that have gotten good instruction.

Get the book, study the drawings & makes so much sense.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Perspective, But .....
Teddy Ballgame put a great read together in this book. Long on player observations, and his playing thoughts, short on actual instruction.

Get this book to enjoy the yesteryear of baseball. Get the Mike Schmidt/Rob Ellis Youth Version Study book for much better step by step analysis for the young player.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant analysis by the master.
I truly pity the pitchers who had to face this man. Ted Williams went about the craft of hitting a baseball in the same way that artillerymen go about finding a target. This book is a wonderful (and wonderfully readable) synthesis by a man whose considerable mental and physical capabilities were focused utterly on the idea of Getting A Hit. It almost turns hitting a baseball into a philosophical position. One of the premiere "How-to" sports books of all time. ... Read more

34. The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance
by H. A. Dorfman, Karl Kuehl
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1888698543
Catlog: Book (2002-07)
Publisher: Diamond Communications
Sales Rank: 11692
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for anybody who plays or coaches the sport.
You can read thousands of books on how to play the sport, but none touch the mental aspect of the game as well as this book does. I've been coaching Baseball for the last 5 years. I read this book every year and try to teach the aspects in the book every chance I get. Kids so often tell themselfs to "not make an error" or "don't strike out". Where the book says to tell yourself to do what you want to do (IE:pick up the groundball or hit the ball) not what you don't want to do. It's a must read for anybody involved in baseball.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for serious baseball players
I have three boys who play ball from little league to college teams. When they are in high school, I give them a copy of this book. More than any new glove or bat, more than 100 hours of cage time, more than any clinic, this book is the single most influential thing I can do to help them get better. The concepts in this book are applicable to most facets of life, but are set in the context of baseball. Look, I've seen the inflated ratings for books here, but I believe this one really deserves a 5. A lot of books on sports psychology seem like fluff to me. You've heard it: "Take a deep breath, focus, sharpen your vision, control your emotions." Huh? This book is meaty and informative. It tells stories that illustrate not only why it is so critical to improve mentally, but gives proven examples of how. The book is full of testimonials and examples from major league players. I couldn't say it is the first and last word on the subject of mental baseball, but it is BY FAR, the single best source I've read. I agree with the review above that this book is a MUST read for anyone serious about improving in baseball, and certainly for anyone hoping to play at the higher levels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb book for just about anyone
I bought this book because I am a baseball fan and my sons play ball as well. I am also an experienced musician who played professionally for some years. I found the book to be a "must read" for ANY performer (athlete, musician, dancer, etc) and a great book for anyone seeking personal success in any pursuit. If you like The Inner Game of Music, or A Soprano On Her Head, you need to get this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Years of Application
I read this book as a freshman in college while playing intercollegiate baseball. I can honestly say that the things I learned and applied to my life as a ballplayer have stuck with me over the years. I have since gone on to a top-rated graduate school and a great job. I learned to formulate goals, think positively, and maintain focus and intensity though practicing what this book describes. If you like baseball, but don't play, this book is great as you apply it's principles as I have done over the years. If you do play, it will help you focus on getting the most out of your abilities.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Guide for Ballplayers at All Levels
As a softball player, it's difficult to find good books about softball, especially from a mental aspect. Although baseball may have it's strategic differences compared to softball, this book is a great resource for anyone who plays ball. As a college softball player, I've used this book throughout my high school and collegiate years. When I get into a slump, get down on myself, or just feel frustrated, I return to this book. It has been essential to my success as a player. Before the start of offical practices each winter, I reread the book. I've highlighted it, underlined it, and bookmarked specific passages.
I've always considered the mental game of a sport far more important than the physical and this book has helped widen my eyes even more to that aspect of the game. I highly suggest buying this book if you play the sport, coach it, or even love it. It has some great points and some great stories from professional players. This is the perfect book for anyone who wants to truely understand the game of baseball. ... Read more

35. Win Shares
by Bill James, Jim Henzler
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931584036
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: STATS Publishing Inc
Sales Rank: 47895
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Win Shares, a revolutionary system that allows for player evaluation across positions, teams and eras, measures the total sum of player contributions in one groundbreaking number. James' latest advancement in the world of statistical analysis is the next big stepping-stone in the "greatest players of all-time" debate. For as long as baseball has been played, fans have struggled to compare the legends of the game with today's stars. Win Shares by Decade is just one of the many sections you'll find inside to help you judge who ranks where among the pantheon of baseball greats. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Well thought out, difficult to render judgement just yet
A number of other reviewers have critisized Bill James' latest effort. While he does address the downsides to Pete Palmer's system, and then proclaim not to be "judging it," I don't feel that detracts too much from his work. On to some issues (good and bad) with the book.
Other reviewers have found issue with the fact that Win Shares are distributed without taking into account Predicted W-L records and the "luck" that determines the outcomes of some games. I disagree with that notion. James is not seeking to place a singular value on a player's season in a vacuum; rather, he determines a player's worth in the context of his team's performance. If you follow his method, he assigns "claim points" PRIOR to assigning Win Shares. These essentially determine the proportion of the team's success that is credited to a given player. If a team wins 90 games, regardless of their Pythagorean W-L record, their players did, in fact, win 90 games.
As a Twins fan, I will use 2001 as an example. Their record was 85-77, though the predicted record would be 82-80 based on runs scored vs. runs allowed. Corey Koskie is credited with 24 Win Shares in that season. Scaling down his Win Shares because the Twins finished higher than the Pythagoreon method makes little sense. First of all, who is to say the Pythagorean method tells us more than the actual record? A couple of blowout games can skew a teams predicted record, but losing by 5 runs is essentially the same as losing by 15. Second, keep in mind that James is not trying to say what SHOULD have happened; rather, he is analyzing what DID happen.
That said, Win Shares does fall short in some respects. It's most valuable when comparing the worth of players on one team; comparisons across different teams and seasons reduces its utility, in my opinion. James' decision to make each win worth 3 "Win Shares" is likewise questionable. While it is easy to convert those into a single-win system, the inverse would also be easy. James' system has the effect of emphasizing relatively small differences between players, which is just the kind of thing sabermetrics people are supposed to avoid.
Overall, though, there's a lot of good work here-especially on defensive statistical analysis. I suggest it to anyone who has either read James in the past or is interested in learning more about his chosen field.

5-0 out of 5 stars A refreshing step back
A reader said earlier, if someone other than James wrote this book, no one would care. This is probably true. However, that James had the determination to write it is in itself amazing. He is basically saying we need to take a step back from baseball statistics (and much of what he himself has worked on before) and get a better feel for what these statistics really mean. In this book James provides an outline of how statistics should properly be analyzed. Much of his analysis (especially fielding formulas) is subjective. He explains that many values are estimates. However, James always is sure to explain the logic for his analysis. Furthermore he states that he hopes and expects better estimates and methods of analysis to be found to evaluate players.

Win Shares is not the grand masterpiece many readers were hoping for. Instead it is a retraction of much of the previous statistical work of the last decades, to much of which James contributed, and an explanation of a better approach. This book shows James' determination to find truth within statistics, no matter what limitations there are on the system. Win Shares MUST use a lot of subjectivity and estimates to get at the truth of the statistics. It is sacrifice that is well worth the price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bill James the Genius
This book is the sort of thing us stats geeks dream of. With Win Shares Bill James may have come closer than anyone else to developing a statistical system that objectively evaluates an individual player's performance. We already knew that Coors Field numbers don't mean as much relative to the rest of the league; but now we can figure out exactly what those inflated numbers mean. We can ask the question, "How good is Todd Helton?" and get a logical answer. Actually, he's pretty good, but he's no Lou Gehrig. More than that, we can ask "How good was Lou Gehrig compared with modern ball players?" Actually, he was pretty darned good, so good that James made him the top first baseman in his New Historical Baseball Abstract. This is not news, you may say. That's certainly right; but putting modern baseball players in a historical context, or vice versa, has been a deep well for fan argument for a hundred years or more. How do 1970's ball players stack up with 1930's ball players, or 1990's ball players? Win Shares gives an answer based on the logic that an individual's contributions to their team's win total is the most accurate way of measuring a player's performance. It's not a perfect system, which James takes great pains to illustrate; but he also illustrates at fascinating length how useful it is; as well as what it is (the complete statistical system is detailed in section II). If you are a baseball stats geek get this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars While not spectacular, a great start for baseball analysis
A reader said earlier, if someone other than James wrote this book, no one would care. This is probably true. However, that James had the determination to write it is in itself amazing. He is basically saying we need to take a step back ifrom baseball statistics (and much of what he himself has worked on before) and get a better feel for what these statistics really mean. For a leading statistician to take this step is amazing. In this book James provides an outline of how statistics should properly be analyzed. Much of his analysis (especially fielding formulas) is subjective. He explains that many values are estimates. However, James always is sure to explain the logic for his analysis. Furthermore he states that he hopes and expects better estimates and methods of analysis to be found to evaluate players.

Win Shares is not the grand masterpiece many readers were hoping for. Instead it is a retraction of much of the previous statistical work of the last decades, to much of which James contributed, and an explanation of a better approach. This book shows James' determination to find truth within statistics, no matter what limitations there are on the system. Win Shares MUST use alot of subjectivity and estimates to get at the truth of statistics. It is a sacrifice that is well worth the price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Saber-Masterpiece
Bill James' Win Shares is the quintessence of baseball sabermetrics. Although he doesn't call the Win Shares method an end-all way to rate players, I disagree. This method is by far the best way to look and players over the years and see how they match up. What I like most about Win Shares is that it takes basic mathematics and uses it for logical formulas that are easy to hands. If you love baseball, especially baseball statistics, you gotta grab this one. ... Read more

36. The Bad Guys Won! A Season of Brawling, Boozing, Bimbo-chasing, and Championship Baseball with Straw, Doc, Mookie, Nails, The Kid, and the Rest of the 1986 Mets, the Rowdiest Team Ever to Put on a New York Uniform--and Maybe the Best
by Jeff Pearlman
list price: $24.95
our price: $14.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060507322
Catlog: Book (2004-04)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 1336
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Once upon a time, twenty-four grown men would play baseball together, eat together, carouse together, and brawl together. Alas, those hard-partying warriors have been replaced by GameBoy-obsessed, laptop-carrying, corporate soldiers who would rather punch a clock than a drinking buddy. But it wasn't always this way ...

In The Bad Guys Won, award-winning former Sports Illustrated baseball writer Jeff Pearlman returns to an innocent time when a city worshipped a man named Mookie and the Yankess were the second-best team in New York. So it was in 1986, when the New York Mets -- the last of baseball's live-like-rock-star teams -- won the World Series and captured the hearts (and other select body parts) of fans everywhere.

But their greatness on the field was nearly eclipsed by how bad they were off it. Led by the indomitable Keith Hernandez and the young dynamic duo of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, along with the gallant Scum Bunch, the Amazin's won 108 regular-season games, while leaving a wide trail of wreckage in their wake -- hotel rooms, charter planes, a bar in Houston, and most famously Bill Buckner and the eternally cursed Boston Red Sox. With an unforgettable cast of characters -- Doc, Straw, the Kid, Nails, Mex, and manager Davey Johnson (as well as innumerable groupies) -- The Bad Guys Won immortalizes baseball's last great wild bunch of explores what could have been, what should have been, and thanks to a tragic dismantling of the club, what never was.

... Read more

Reviews (37)

2-0 out of 5 stars Good Book?. . . ummmmm, not so much.
If you're looking for a bad book about a good team, this is the book for you

I'm a die hard Mets fan. I was 16 in 1986; the best age you can be when your team has a season like that. It was truly a season of baseball like it oughta be.

Jeff Pearlman spins a fairly entertaining account of the events and characters that made up that magical Mets season, but unfortunately I found myself fighting through it 10 or 15 pages at a time. As I battled through, it occurred to me that perhaps Mr. Pearlman was just missing 3 crucial members from his project team.

1) Proofreader
2) Editor
3) Fact Checker

This could have been a good book if it had ben edited properly. Sadly it was not, and the result is a barely readable book with real live factual errors.

If you are a Mets fan and can't get enough of memories of '86, pick it up for an entertaining read. If you are not a Mets fan, don't bother.

Been a baseball fan living in the NY/NJ Metro area for a long time and this book brought back a lot of great memories about a unique team and a remarkable season that was unlike any in NY baseball history: The 1986 NY Mets. This book, especially for younger baseball fans, sets the stage when the Mets pretty much were THE team NY baseball fans cared about as the Yankees had not yet developed the championship forumula they'd forge into a powerhouse dynasty by the '90. The 1980s Mets were a fun, reckless, overly competitive, group of brawling misfits who knew HOW to play baseball, and played it their way! A team so far removed from today's more restrained, conservative great Yankee's that it's hard to realize there was ever a team that existed like this unrestrained bunch. But they DID exist...and for one magical season they played a style of "renegade" baseball unlike anyone had seen before in NY. In an era when there was no "wildcard" to extend the post season, these hated '86 Mets should have and could have won many more championships (they did win their division in 1988 and narrowly lost their division to the St. Louis Cardinals by perhaps a game in 1985). But what they did win in 1986, and how they won it, is the stuff of sports legend. And this is one legend that is as wild a tale today as it was almost 20 years ago.

4-0 out of 5 stars Get Metsmerized!
This book is priceless merely for the description of the recording session where some of the Mets try to cut a "Super Bowl Shuffle" style rap song, titled "Get Metsmerized!":

"When they need a batter filled with terror,
They call on me, Rick Aguleira!"

Look out Public Enemy!

This book is a great character study of a team full of characters, most of whom were borderline insane but were all gritty ballplayers. Jeff Pearlman makes the case that this was the last team of old school party boys to win a title before the onset of a more corporate era where the wackiest thing that ever happens is a rookie getting a shaving cream pie in the face. I don't know that his argument is entirely successful - it's more like the Mets were the last team of endearing jackasses to win - but the book is a very fun read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great baseball history book
If you are a fan of the Mets or a baseball history book, this is a must read. The book is very entertaining and an easy read.

5-0 out of 5 stars ha ha ha
this is the funniest baseball book ever!! i couldn't put it doown. ... Read more

37. Why Not Us?: The 86-year Journey of the Boston Red Sox Fans From Unparalleled Suffering To The Promised Land Of the 2004 World Series
by Leigh Montville
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586483331
Catlog: Book (2004-12-17)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 22335
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For 86 years, Red Sox fans have been hungry. Generation after generation has watched and hoped and prayed for victory. And generation after generation has turned away utterly despondent-after the crushing near-misses of 1946 (when the Sox lost the World Series in 7 games), '48 (lost a one game play-off to Cleveland), '49 (heartbreak to the Yankees), '67 (again, lost the World Series in 7), '75 (and again, lost the World Series in 7), Bucky in '78, Buckner in '86, Boone in 2003-then come back the next spring, wounded, yet hopeful again. The losing, the angst, the self-flagellation became so codified that it had even developed marketing names. The suffering was called "The Curse of the Bambino." The sufferers were called "Red Sox Nation"- the ultimate underdogs. Would it ever end?

And then it did.

Why Not Us? is not a book about how the Red Sox achieved their amazing victory in the 2004 World Series - an avalanche of books, and time, will take care of that nicely. It is a book about what that victory meant to the fans. It's a book about how it felt to be a Red Sox fan - not only at 20 minutes to midnight on October 27, 2004, but decades before. Leigh Montville has interviewed dozens of fans: friends, friends of friends, old sportswriters, ball-players, public figures, and plain folk. The resulting book is their stories - bittersweet stories of passion and pain, eternal hope and crushing despair, the seemingly endless agony and the strange ecstasy of being a Red Sox fan. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you love the Red Sox... will love this book...especially the 5th chapter, The Amazing Thread...i guarantee you will have tears in your eyes, and want to share it with all other Red Sox fans. Leigh Montville has written a book that is a compilation of stories by and about the people of Red Sox Nation...players, fans, managers, owners...and he has done a wonderful job. He has always been a great writer, and with this book he touches our hearts as no one else can. My only regret is that it isn't longer, but maybe he'll write a sequel after this season. (Hope springs eternal for this Red Sox fan!)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Fan Book for Fans!
I am surprised that more people have not reviewed this book.All Red Sox fans should read "Why Not Us," which tells the story of other Red Sox Fans and their tears and disappointment throughout the years and their joy and adulation when the Boston Red Sox finally win the World Series after 86 years.A very poignant and touching book.A must for all die hard fans and bandwagoneers alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a Story
86 years, EIGHTY-SIX YEARS we waited. Years that we came so close. The only thing that remained constant was the loyalty of the fans, the Red Sox Nation, we almost had to revel in underdog status.

At least the story can be told. The years we came so close, yet wound up so far away. One game from the championship so many times.

This is quite a story, it goes into detail from before I was born, players that I've only heard of. It's a wonderful story, and timed perfectly. Get a copy before the next season. Of course we'll win again, but then there will be a new book.
... Read more

38. Little League Confidential : One Coach's Completely Unauthorized Tale of Survival
by William Geist, Bill Geist
list price: $15.00
our price: $15.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440508770
Catlog: Book (1999-02-09)
Publisher: Dell
Sales Rank: 38223
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars So True!
If you are involved with Little League, you will see many true moments in this book. Your perpspecitve may be any of player, parent, coach, umpire, spectator. It is quite humorous and will have you both laughing and shaking your head.

Especially good for new coaches. You may have heard that Little League is "very political". It is. The author highlights many ways that it is and also gives very good pointers on how you can get "advantages" in this "non-competitive" environment.

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Geist hits a home run!
What a fantastic, funny book. Anyone who has ever been involved with Little League or any organized kids sports league has to read this book. As I was reading Little League Confidential, I kept thinking that Geist, a reporter for CBS, MUST have had a video camera at one of my son's games. So much of what he writes is so hilariously on-the-mark , perceptive and insightful. It was just so much fun to read and very well-written.

5-0 out of 5 stars Is this fiction or non-fiction?
The humorist columnist Bill Geist had many years of experience coaching his son's little league baseball and kids basketball and his daughter's softball team. He relates his experiences with his usual wit, sarcasm and humor. The book focuses on a particular season of little league baseball where he was able to work with his son Willie's team and actually win the league championship by upsetting Knavery's team in the final game of the season. The tale tells how he bends the rules (though not as much as some other) in a way that still allows the weak players to have fun and yet stay competitive. There is a large degree of truth to the various caricatures of players, coaches and parents that he presents in this tale. But some of the stories are so incredible and it seems like fiction is mixed with reality but clearly it is based on real experience. I relate to many of the issues he brings out. ...

In the epologue Geist confesses that he want his son Willie to be a star player but was satisfied that he made the high school varisty teams. In the end no matter how good or bad they are in little league they all eventually stop playing to do other things that interest them more or they find to have more success and rewards.

To illustrate the humor in the final game losing 12-4 Geist gives the kids sugar treats to pick up their energy. A rally starts but thinking ahead with the worst hitter Monique likely to come up with two outs, Geist gets a 40 ounce drink and gets her to leave on a bathroom break. ... This book has short easy to read chapters and integrates Geist's softball and basketball experiences in the theme of the little league season whereas Dunow had long chapters going back and forth from little league with his son to his childhood experiences with his father. Both books are good in their own way. But this one is much easier to read and more light hearted.

5-0 out of 5 stars The REAL Behind the Scenes of Little League Baseball
A very entertaining read, but for those in the know -- Geist captures real life in Little League Baseball. Having grown up regarded as a Little League superstar, I was exposed to much of what Geist refers to as how parents act in a variety of settings at the ball fields and beyond. However, having continued my Little League "career" as a coach, I witnessed some of the funniest and sometimes disturbing actions and reactions of parents of the kids on my team.

Geist puts on paper what nearly every Little League coach experiences. For anyone who has ever played in Little League baseball or other youth sports, or for those whose children have been involved in community athletics, this real look behind the scenes is a must read. Unless you are one of those parents who utilize the youth athletic system as a baby sitting service, you'll fully appreciate what goes on behind the scenes and you might even learn a little about your own behavior.

Take a step into the hillarious psychological and political game of Little League Baseball and meet the entire cast that helps mold the future of America's Favorite Pastime!

5-0 out of 5 stars So True
Anyone involved in coaching kids will relate to this often hilariious book. Great perspective on the entire subculture of youth baseball which is becoming oh so serious. Characters encountered by Geist represent universal types inhabiting little league fields and stands across the country. ... Read more

39. The Art of Hitting
by Tony Gwynn, Roger Vaughan
list price: $21.00
our price: $21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1577193474
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: GT Publishing Corporation
Sales Rank: 92775
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Interesting that Ted Williams, possessor of the best batting average of the '40s and '50s, would pen the foreword to an exegesis by Gwynn, who has sported the best average since. Both Williams and Gwynn have their roots around San Diego, both have shelves of batting crowns, and both have been articulate, dogged students, and advocates of, their demanding craft. Interesting, too, that Williams would title his own acknowledged classic on the subject, The Science of Hitting, while Gwynn, who's relied less on power and more on cunning, and admits to having studied Williams like a graduate student preparing for orals, would focus more on the art. Interesting, too, the conversation that takes place between them here on what to do with the inside pitch; art and science don't easily agree.

Part memoir (when Gwynn got his first big-league hit against the Phillies in 1982, Pete Rose, playing first that night, congratulated him and then counseled, "Just don't try to catch me in one night") and part sound, conversationally proffered advice, Gwynn's liberally illustrated Art mirrors his persona: thoughtful, personable, and approachable. He breaks hitting down into its essential components--grip, stance, swing, and follow-through--but also builds on them intellectually and psychologically in his constant search for an edge. His analyses of pitchers--Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, and Nolan Ryan among them--invite you into the chess match of the hitter-hurler confrontation. But it's his admission that he's "gladly taken less money to be where I'm happy"--with the Padres--rather than just take the money, change uniforms, and run, that may be his best hitting tip of all: a mind free of angst and greed can better concentrate on cut fastballs and dipping sliders. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Concise, Intriguing, Captivating Advice on ... Hitting!
My son wanted this book, but I ended up borrowing his bat, gripping it, trying to apply Tony Gwynn's advice. And I haven't played serious ball since high school! That's the thing about this book, it explains hitting with such fresh insight that you just can't help but want to go out there and take some cuts ... no matter what your age.

This book is a must for any coach of youth baseball. Hell, it's probably a must for a number of major leaguers as well! Gwynn offers some mind-boggling advice, such as not thinking of hitting the ball, but hitting *through* it. Along with this easy to understand science, you get some of the most terrific baseball photos published anywhere -- clear images which capture both the power and beauty of hitters doing their thing.

There's a nice introduction by the last of the .400 hitters, Ted Williams, who thinks that Tony is the guy who can do it in the modern era. The summary is entiled "Old School," and presents the p! ! hilosophy of Gwynn as a player committed to his team and his community. He is, simply, a testimony to all that's great about this great game. So whether you want to become a better hitter, or are just fascinated by this difficult athletic feat, or just interested in a player who is certain to become a hall of famer -- read this lively and enlightening book. Just make sure you have a bat handy.

3-0 out of 5 stars good, but not great
When i bought this book I was expecting to learn all of Mr. Gwynn's inside secrets and tips. I got some of that but not a lot. He talked a lot about his life and career. He also talked about how to get out of slumps and his knowledge of the game. But the secrets of hitting and the basic skills and what exactly I should be doing at the plate for each pitch in as many situatuions as possible were no where to be found. I liked the book but I think Mr. Gwynn needs to write another book, more on the lines of "How to Hit a Baseball"

5-0 out of 5 stars Tony Gwynn is #1
Tony Gwynn is #1.If you are a Padres fan, baseball fan, or a Tony Gwynn fan than this is the right book for you. In this book, Tony Gwynn teaches you the art of hitting. Having seen him in person, I know that Tony Gwynn is no doubt the greatest Padre ever and one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. If you do not agree with me, look at all the records that he has acheived:

3141 HITS
9287 AT-BATS
So I highly recommend you to buy this book. I am absolutely sure that you will like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Other reviewers missing the point
This IS Tony's Gwynn's How to hit a baseball book, contrary to what other, method-seeking readers might think. I was very pleased with what others called the extraneous material, it all gives me a better idea of who Tony Gwynn is when he steps up to the plate, and THAT is an imposrtant part of how he hits a baseball. People who believe you can read a "how to" book and then go out and hit like Gwynn probably believed Kenny Rogers' old "you can learn to play a guitar" pitch on television. This is a great book for kids and for fans and for anyone interested in what it takes and what it's like to be a sports icon in the 21st century.

2-0 out of 5 stars basic information - nothing more
This is another in a long line of instuctional books written by a pro athlete who doesn't really have the ability to pass his methods along to neophytes. Athletes who are blessed with God given talent and have the abilility to flat-out "Do it" seldom have worthwhile information to pass along to those less fortunate. I have read many baseball coaching books and I found this one to be typical of those written by naturally gifted pros. There is little in this book that could be considered authoritative and definitive in terms of improving the hitting prowess of the young baseball player. Better to stick to books authored by experienced coaches, particularly the college variety. They have made careers of instructing players and their abilities show in their books. You want baseball instruction? Try Rob Delmonico ... Read more

40. Few And Chosen: Defining Cubs Greatness Across the Eras
by Ron Santo, Phil Pepe
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572437103
Catlog: Book (2005-03-30)
Publisher: Triumph Books
Sales Rank: 28526
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Book Description

Cursed or not, the Chicago Cubs have been one of the most talent-laden teams in the history of baseball—and that tradition of excellence continues today. Cap Anson, Gabby Hartnett, Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Greg Maddux, Sammy Sosa . . . the list is virtually endless. Rating the top five Cubs of all time at each position would be a daunting task sure to spark countless hours of heated debate among the Wrigley Field faithful, but former Cubs great Ron Santo has done just that. In Few and Chosen, he has selected the top five players at each position, as well as the five all-time greatest Cubs managers and teams. His compilation evokes cherished memories of one of the richest histories in sports and fuels the eternal optimism that has defined this beloved franchise. ... Read more

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