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$23.07 $9.89 list($34.95)
41. Wrigley Field : A Celebration
$10.17 list($14.95)
42. Voices of Summer : Baseball's
43. Baseball Scorekeeping: A Practical
$14.95 $2.00
44. Coaching Youth Softball:A Baffled
$10.47 $0.98 list($14.95)
45. Little League Drills and Strategies
46. Treasures of the Baseball Hall
$21.21 $1.94 list($24.95)
47. You Can Teach Hitting
$13.96 $12.95 list($19.95)
48. A Mathematician at the Ballpark:
$19.77 $19.72 list($29.95)
49. Grand Old Game : 365 Days of Baseball
$14.93 list($21.95)
50. Baseball America 2005 Directory
51. Catcher in the Wry
52. The Worst Team Money Could Buy
$42.90 $9.00 list($65.00)
53. Baseball: An Illustrated History
54. Total Baseball: The Official Encyclopedia
$10.17 $3.95 list($14.95)
55. Little League Baseball Guide to
$28.00 $2.74
56. Joe DiMaggio : The Hero's Life
$16.77 $16.37 list($24.95)
57. The Book on The Book : A Landmark
$24.99 $19.95
58. Ballparks: A Panoramic History
$10.85 $10.43 list($15.95)
59. Baseballissimo
$15.60 $14.99 list($26.00)
60. Faithful : Two Diehard Boston

41. Wrigley Field : A Celebration of the Friendly Confines
by Ernie Banks, Mark Jacob
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071385630
Catlog: Book (2002-10-15)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 5462
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Created in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, a unique tribute to baseball's most beloved landmark

Wrigley Field brings to life and pays tribute to one of baseball's greatest ballparks. The story of this revered park, from its opening in 1914 through today, this revered park's story is gloriously depicted in picture and in word. This up-close-and personal record, proves why Wrigley is sacred ground to millions, from its manually operated scoreboard and the climbing green ivy of its outfield walls, to the raucous bleacher bums and bright days bathed in sunlight, massaged by Lake Michigan's soothing breezes. It is a refuge, it is a haven, it is an escape­­from the workweek or from homework. Produced with the full cooperation of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field pays fitting tribute to the ballpark's extraordinary nine decades­its history and unique features, its vitality, its people, and its greatest moments­­through intimate, enthralling perspectives from the team's official photographer, Stephen Green, as well asteam and private archives. Wrigley Field is the most stunningly visual and complete book ever on this beloved park that is like no other.

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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must for any Cubs Fan!
This book is an absolute must for any Cubs fan, or any baseball fan for that matter. I've never been to Wrigley Field but this book truly makes me feel as if I have. Great photos, great text,great sense of nostalgia. Overall,a fantastic book

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous coffee table book for baseball fans
If you've ever been to Wrigley, few words can describe the feeling you get as a baseball fan. This book manages to capture a lot of those images and feelings, tracing the history of Wrigley Field and getting lots of insight from fans, players, coaches and more about what makes it special. Gorgeous photos throughout punctuate an excellent narrative. A must for fans of ballpark books. ... Read more

42. Voices of Summer : Baseball's Greatest Announcers
by Curt Smith
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0786714468
Catlog: Book (2005-03-12)
Publisher: Carroll & Graf
Sales Rank: 13118
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Russ Hodges's frantic pronouncement at Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World": "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!" and Jack Buck's incredulous remark after Kirk Gibson's heroic home run in the 1988 World Series: "I don't believe what I just saw!" are just a couple examples. The sometimes downright hysterical commentaries of broadcasters very often become more memorable than even the games they describe. Though countless studies have weighed the merits of our great players, none has assessed the virtues of the men who turn diving catches and soaring home runs into the stuff of myth. In The Voices of Summer, Curt Smith has compiled a list of 101 classic announcers-from national celebrities to local favorites, overlooked giants to upcoming stars-in search of the greatest baseball broadcaster of all time. From the poetic reflections of Dick Enberg to the Falstaffian frenzy of Harry Caray, Smith answers the timeless questions: Was Mel Allen better than Ernie Harwell? Does Joe Buck compare to his legendary dad? Which of today's young broadcasters really matches the all-time greats? Irreverent, authoritative, and uncommonly addictive, this book will be the definitive guide to baseball announcing for any and all baseball fans. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Gibberish of Summer
If any of the announcers Smith profiles in this book talked like he writes they would be lucky to get a job broadcasting for a Class A league team. As he did in his fiasco on baseball stadiums (Storied Stadiums), Smith once again resorts to his trademark staccato gibberish writing style.As with that book, he takes what should be a fun topic and makes it impenetrable.As I said in my review of his previous book, he is analagous to having to sit through Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football. Smith is more concerned with trying to show you how smart he is than with entertaining the reader.It is a real shame to see someone waste his obvious talent like this.His original book on the topic "Voices of the Game" was a masterpiece, but he is clearly lost.

4-0 out of 5 stars The next "Voices of the Game"
I've waited years for another book like Smith's "Voices of the Game" and this is it!We're already having fights about the rankings but who better to make these pronouncements than Curt Smith, who is indisputably the authority on the subject.It's hard to argue whose in his Top Ten but I know some will, which is the fun of a book like this.

When steroids are tarnishing the reputations of the players, it's great to read about the purists of the game.

AND, I hear he's got a bio of Mel Allen out next year with scoop on what caused his mysterious departure from the Yankees.I can't wait! ... Read more

43. Baseball Scorekeeping: A Practical Guide to the Rules
by Andres Wirkmaa
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
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Asin: 0786414480
Catlog: Book (2003-05-06)
Publisher: Macfarland & Co.
Sales Rank: 25482
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Many fans enjoy keeping track of baseball action with easy abbreviations written on simple grids. Serious scorekeeping, however, is more complicated than just jotting down runs, outs, and the final score. Official scorekeeping requires a thorough knowledge of a large body of rules—many of which are confusing, and all of which must be followed carefully to ensure that the scorekeeper’s data are valid.

With confidence and enthusiasm, Andres Wirkmaa leads the reader through the daunting maze of rules that govern official scorekeeping. Chapters explain and clarify the official scorer’s duties, responsibilities and authority; the official scorer’s reports; and all the game-to-game details such as player listings, substitute batters and runners, out-of-turn batters, called and forfeited games, runs batted in, base hits, stolen bases, sacrifices, putouts, assists, double and triple plays, errors (and instances when errors are not charged), wild pitches and passed balls, bases on balls, strikeouts, earned runs, winning and losing pitchers, and saves. Also covered are statistics, percentage records, minimum standards for individual championships, and consecutive hitting and playing streaks. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars So you think you know the rules of the game...
Baseball Scorekeeping

Do you care what your favorite player's batting average is? Are his on-base percentage and his slugging percentage important to you? Then you owe a real debt of gratitude to baseball's official scorers. All the statistics that are generated around the game of baseball depend upon the oft-maligned and seldom properly-appreciated scorers of the game.

And baseball scorers, as well as fans, owe a debt of gratitude to Andres Wirkmaa for writing this interesting and informative book.

Baseball Scorekeeping is a thorough and meticulous discussion of Rules 10.01 through 10.24 of baseball's official rulebook, pertaining to "The Official Scorer." It is an essential reference for any professional scorekeeper, and for anyone who keeps score seriously.

Until I read this book, I had no idea of the complex rules that go into keeping score, nor of the amount that a scorer must know to do his or her job properly. The scorekeeper must pay strict attention at all times to what is happening on the field, and must often use his or her judgment and discretion to apply the rules so that the resulting statistics will be meaningful and comparable.

Filled with examples and illustrations of complicated baseball situations, the book takes on the task of explaining not only what is required of the scorekeeper, but why. Despite the rigid format imposed by the rulebook, the author manages some humor in unexpected places. I particularly enjoyed his explicatory subtitles (he refers, for example, to the "...Seemingly Pointless, Unnecessary and Incongruous Exception to Rule 10.05(e)".

Wirkmaa clears up many misconceptions. A common one is that a fielder must touch the ball to be charged with an error. Not true! The difference between a misplay and an error, the difference between a plate appearance and an at bat, understandable explanations of a fielder's choice, and how to calculate earned runs, all are here. In this surprisingly fascinating book, you will also find out how a runner can be caught stealing and still be safe on base, how a pitcher can be credited with a strikeout while the batter reaches first base safely, and how a batter may have his plate appearance charged to one pitcher but the run he eventually scores charged to a second pitcher.

If you think you understand all of baseball's rules, buy this book and test yourself. Baseball Scorekeeping is a wonderful book to "dip into" occasionally just for fun. And when questions about scoring come up, you will find the answers here.

The book is printed on acid-free paper for a long shelf life. ... Read more

44. Coaching Youth Softball:A Baffled Parent's Guide
by JacquieJoseph
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
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Asin: 0071368256
Catlog: Book (2001-02-26)
Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press
Sales Rank: 282043
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Coaching Youth Softball is written especially for the unprepared parent thrust into the role of coaching his or her 8- to 12-year-old child's softball team. Upbeat and inspirational, it schools new coaches in the fundamentals of controlling, motivating, and encouraging a disparate group of kids in the art and science of softball.

Parents learn the logistics of running a youth team and the specifics of coaching softball. They learn how to match drills to a player's skills and motivation level and gain a wealth of detailed instructions on such specifics as how to run a successful practice and manage during a game.

  • Takes a drill-based approach to teaching basic skills
  • Reviews softball fundamentals for inexperienced parents
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars good book for beginning coaches
I have yet to coach a girls' softball team, but I am really interested in doing it. This book has some great advice on how to handle beginner players and their parents. The thing about this book that I found great was that it told you some characteristics to look for when selecting a pitcher, something that I would not have had a clue about doing. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for beginner or experienced coach
This is an AMAZING book! Even if you have never coached, played, or even heard of softball, it helps you out. It breaks every aspect of the game down and puts it in simple terms so you can explain it to your team. It gives you practice advice and schedules as well as drills you can use for team members to improve, or establish, softball skills. It also gives you advice on how to become the best coach, dealing with gender issues and how to handle difficult parents. This book is a MUST for EVERY coach!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Coaching Book for New Coaches
I am not a parent but nonetheless, this book is excellent! This book gets right down to the heart of coaching. It tells you step by step how to teach someone how to throw, catch, pitch, hit and play every position. It also tells you what type of girl would be good for positions of pitchers and catchers which is important since most girls at this age have no experience in many positions. The drills have diagrams and there is glossary in the back to help with the terminology. There are not that many good softball coaching books (believe me I've looked), so grab this one! ... Read more

45. Little League Drills and Strategies : Imaginative Practice Drills to Improve Skills and Attitude
by NedMcIntosh, RichCropper
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071410775
Catlog: Book (2003-03-19)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 30285
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The authoritative sourcebooks for parents, players, and coaches

Baseball is a complicated game to learn, particularly for a 9- to 12-year-old's attention span.

Bewildered managers, coaches, and parents of the more than 2.5 million Little League Baseball® players need all the help they can get. Filled with fun and easy-to-follow instructions and advice on teaching the fundamentals of baseball, the bestselling Little League Baseball® series is sure to score with coaches and kids alike.


With fully updated drills and strategies, this bestselling guide is built around three simple rules for Little League success: drilling the basics; the keep it simple/make it fun philosophy; and practice, practice, practice.

... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff!
This is worthwhile for first time coaches and parents. Keep it
all in perspective as fun has to be intertwined with skill building.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Motivating, encouraging guide to coaching
This book encouraged me to continue coaching my sons softball team. For once I was treated with respect when I taught. The children also enjoyed playingmthe gsme. I recommend the book for any young, inexperienced cosaches.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for first time and experienced coaches
An excellent resource with useful illustrations to help the little league coach prepare for practices, games and parents. Strong points: good baseball drill and practice suggestions that are easily implementable on the field, good communications suggestions to ensure your team and their parents know what's up and minimize problems. If you're not worried about winning too much then about 1/3 of the material is not going to be very useful to you. If winning is everything (at this level I don't think it should be for lower level teams, for all stars and above the story changes) then this has excellent ideas to help you achieve your goal. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is a first time coach. ... Read more

46. Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame : The Official Companion to the Collection at Cooperstown
list price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375501436
Catlog: Book (1998-05-19)
Publisher: Villard
Sales Rank: 576927
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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The Hall of Fame is baseball's mecca; every true fan should make the pilgrimage to Cooperstown at least once in a lifetime. And while Treasures, officially sanctioned by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, can't replace the real thing, it can certainly whet appetites, rekindle memories, and fire up imaginations. Large in size and packed with illustrations, it is great show-and-tell; scores of beautifully photographed artifacts are on display with accompanying text to explain their significance. Flip the pages and you'll find Ruth's and Mantle's locker, Cobb's spikes, Shoeless Joe's shoes, Mays's glove, Aaron's bat--and that barely scratches the horsehide. Besides batracks of expected (and unexpected) Major League memorabilia, other treasures include relics from the Negro Leagues, the minor leagues, and the All-American Girls Baseball League as well as momentos from the press box, the library, the movies, and the art gallery. Sweeping from the mythic Doubleday ball to the present--Treasures would have benefitted from some more recent remembrances--it celebrates the game with affection and bravura, and through its very celebration, offers tangible insight into the National Pastime's firm grip on the national consciousness. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Baseball Masterpiece
John Thorn is one of our great baseball writers and his skills make this book the best of its kind. It is loaded with fascinating anecdotes that I've seen nowhere else. In addition, the illustrations are outstanding. "Treasures ..." will give you the most enjoyable history lesson you'll ever find.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well, I Can't Make It There...
This will serve until I get a chance to go there. Being far from any major metropolitan canter, getting there requires a great deal of effort. This is a great book which shares some of the riches of the hall. A must have book for all baseball lovers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent choice for any baseball collection.
This volume should be considered an excellent addition to any baseball library. Every fan of the game will find something new and interesting. While the text is excellent, the large number of intensely detailed photographs provide a fascinating insight into the history of the game. There is no other such collection available for the fan or scholar to enjoy. This volume is highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great photos and all the stories behind the game's treasures
The photos alone are worth the price of the book, but John Thorn adds great anecdotes that remind us why the items in the photos are so special. The end result is a history of baseball written like no other history I ever read on any subject.

Any fan of the game will enjoy this book and, if they are not careful, will find themselves learning something new about their game. ... Read more

47. You Can Teach Hitting
by DustyBaker
list price: $24.95
our price: $21.21
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Asin: 0940279738
Catlog: Book (1992-01-11)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 99860
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Dusty Baker was a natural hitter and is a good communicator. I highly recommend this book as a teaching aid for players of all age groups." -- Hank AaronYou Can Teach Hitting is more than a set of instructions and guidelines for swinging a bat.It's a book written for baseball teachers--coaches, parents, even peers--who want to teach hitting better. And for hitters--youngsters and professionals--who want to learn to hit better.You Can Teach Hitting takes you from selecting your bat to selecting your pitch. From the science of the swing to the art of situational hitting. And it shows, step by step, how you can teach--or achieve--the "Three C's" of hitting--confidence, concentration, consistency--while avoiding the ten most common mistakes. And because baseball is a team sport, this book also provides hitting drills, specific approaches to hitter development by age, and tips on organizing more effective team practices. You Can Teach Hitting will help everyone get more out of their game. From beginning coaches to veterans. From teeballers to advanced hitters. It's pure baseball. A book that's bound to make the game more fun for young hitters--and more challenging for young pitchers.Johnnie B. "Dusty" Baker, an outstanding hitter through fifteen major league seasons, is the former batting coach and current manager for the San Francisco Giants, where he's helped develop hitters the likes of Will Clark, Matt Williams, Robby Thompson, and Kevin Mitchell. Jeff Mercer, a highly regarded hitting instructor and former assistant coach at Indiana University, brings a knowledge and experience of the game that will improve you as a coach or a hitter. Marv Bittinger, teacher and author of better than 100 mathematics textbooks selling over six million copies, contributes his proven writing talents and an unrestrained love of the game to this unique collaboration. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best in Category
I have coached for 5 years and read books by Ted Williams and Tony Gwynn. I found this book to be the most complete guide to a good swing than the rest. Ted was a dead pull hitter and Tony was an opposite field hitter. Their styles are hard to duplicate. Dusty Baker brings it all to life in this book in a way that every Dad can understand . If you think your kids coach is going to know how to coach hitting think again. It's worth the money to see the extra hits!

5-0 out of 5 stars The science of hitting made understandable
My son is really starting to get into baseball, so I wanted to make sure I knew enough about hitting to get him started in the right direction.

Dusty Baker's book is teriffic because it breaks down the swing into several components. My boy is only 5, so it would be counter-productive to try and cram every component down his throat. Instead of doing that, I was able to keep him focused on one thing at a time - basically, building his swing from scratch. Important basics like "head down, eyes on the ball," and generating power with your lower body are explained well, and given drills or mnemonic devices to help retention, etc.

After working with him for one month, using Dusty Baker's book as my guide, my son had a noticeably better swing, and (amazingly for a 5-year old) better focus at the plate. He was always good at making contact, but this book helped put his swing together and give him better power without sacrificing his ability to get the bat on the ball.

Whether you know a lot about hitting, or you were a novice like me, this book really does live up to its title. Even my wife has picked up on the components of a swing, and can remind my son of something when he's playing around and I'm not there. There are other books that get more philosophical and go deeper (like Charlie Lau, Sr.'s), but for a FIRST book, that helps you teach, this one is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Advice
This book has a lot of good advice. It has additional information for "advanced" hitters, so the separate section does not overwhelm the reader for the majority of applications.

The pictures are clear and very helpful. Each section requiring one has one or more. There are many nuggets hidden here -- I learned one that I had not known in about 15 years of playing and "coaching" (as the author puts it).

Especially good for kids in Little League, so check it out!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a great resource for teaching kids to hit. Easy to follow, laid out very well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good stuff!
It works very well. Our 9-10 girls just finished in 2nd in the state LL tournament. I was the batting coach and our girls carried a team average of .362 against state-level pitching! I have a shelf full of books and tapes. If I had to pick a keeper, this would be it. The first tape is excellent, too.

The pidgeon-toe stance and the inward turn (we call it "tuck") will improve bat speed, power, and balance. ... Read more

48. A Mathematician at the Ballpark: Odds and Probabilities for Baseball Fans
by Ken Ross
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
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Asin: 0131479903
Catlog: Book (2004-07-21)
Publisher: Pi Press
Sales Rank: 5831
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Download Description

"Approachable, understandable and entertaining look behind the numbers of baseball.

Opens up the math behind Michael Lewis's bestseller Moneyball, in a way that anyone can read and understand.

Filled with current and historical players, this is the first book that focuses on probability in baseball.

Covers not only the formulas for computing batting average, on base percentage and the like, but also delves into odds and predicting recurring events.

Here is a perfect introduction to the ideas of probability that baseball fans will love. Books on baseball give statistics and use language such as ""odds,"" ""likely"" and ""no chance"" without any explanation. Now professor of mathematics Ken Ross has written a guide to the beautiful and powerful science of probability for baseball fans who love statistics. In the last few years, revolutionaries armed with good old mathematics have changed baseball forever. Managers and coaches have refocused their attention on what statistics really measure and what they indicate about the probable performance of a player or a team. Now Ken Ross, himself a lifelong baseball fan, opens up the math behind Michael Lewis's bestseller Moneyball and shows how anyone can use probability to better understand the future of the game, in the next inning, or in the rest of the season, or in the rest of the World Series. See why the On Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage together are more meaningful than each is by itself (and why they are neither percentages nor averages). See how to calculate the probability that a seven-game series will go four, five, six or seven games. Learn how a mathematician adept in the arithmetic of probability can combine statistics to produce tailor-made analyses in answering questions about specific teams, players, and games. Filled with current and historical players, this is the first book that focuses on probability in baseball. " ... Read more

49. Grand Old Game : 365 Days of Baseball
by Joseph Wallace
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810955946
Catlog: Book (2005-01-28)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 155300
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Baseball is the great American pastime, and every year millions of people follow the annual rituals of their favorite teams: the off-season, spring training, the long season punctuated by the All-Star Game, the late-season pennant races, and the World Series. In this unique collection, 365 rare and timeless images from the National Baseball Hall of Fame's unparalleled photographic archives are drawn together to evoke the familiar rhythm of baseball's year. Ranging from the turn of the 20th century to the mid-1960s, these photographs capture the thrilling daily life of the game.

Exciting action shots, humorous moments, publicity stunts, players in the off-season, colorful shots of minor-league and armed-forces baseball, and personal snapshots are only a few of the fresh images assembled here by Joseph Wallace, author of four highly praised books on baseball. Accompanied by Wallace's lively commentary, these telling images-Lou Gehrig with the Marx Brothers in the 1930s, small-town spring-training games in 1909, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, and others in action-evoke the true texture and flavor of the classic American sport. AUTHOR BIO: Joseph Wallace is the author of Abrams' The Autobiography of Baseball, The Baseball Anthology, and World Series: An Opinionated Chronicle, as well as A Gathering of Wonders: Behind the Scenes at the American Museum of Natural History. He lives with his family in New York.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars DAYS GONE BY
Tired of all the steroid controversy and wondering what to do until Opening Day arrives? Well, do yourself a favor and add this heavy little baseball tome to your baseball library. It is chock full of b&w photos from a bygone era. As hinted at in the title, this book contains 365 pictures (and paragraphs) from the archives of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Granted, baseball has had it's share of scandals over the years (some of which are covered here) but open the book and lose yourself in a simpler time when baseball truely was "the grand old game". Combining on and off the field shots that show HoFers, superstars, and unknown players alike, this book does an excellent job of capturingthe spirit of baseball. Buy it now and enjoy the game one day at a time or just devour it in one sitting like I did. Be sure to check out my favorite - the photo of Lou Gehrig with the Marx Brothers from 1933 (5/16 - each picture and accompanying paragraph are indexed by a date). Play ball.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Trip Back in Time
This is one of the most entertaining and clever books I've come across.

The idea of presenting rare baseball pictures in a photo album format with short-paragraph captions is brilliant.

And rare these photos are! I own many books of baseball photography, and there's not one picture in this book that I've seen before.

These photos take you back in time and give you an excellent look at what baseball was like throughout the early decades of the 20th century.

The most amazing and provocative photos are the ones depicting people standing outside a newspaper office or on some main street watching a mechanical scoreboard that's re-creating what's happening in some far-off baseball game. There are many of them from different decades (1910s, 1920s).

What I find fascinating about them is if you look at the mechanical scoreboard--which consists basically of a diamond, wooden players that move around the bases, the teams' lineups, and a linescore--it resembles exactly what baseball fans see on their computer screens today when they click on any of the Game Tracker apps to follow a ballgame over the Internet.

To me, these pictures represent the fact that you can make the delivery system more high-tech and faster, but, in the end, baseball is still the game it was 80 or 90 years ago. ... Read more

50. Baseball America 2005 Directory : Your Definitive Guide to the Game (Baseball America's Directory)
by Baseball America
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932391061
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Baseball America
Sales Rank: 347593
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Book Description

The 2005 Baseball America Directory is the definitive reference guide for the upcoming season.The Directory features major, minor, and independent league schedules, ballpark directions, and how to get in touch with anyone in the game-by phone, fax or on the web. From schedules to personnel to addresses to phone numbers and websites, the Directory is the guide to finding information in baseball, from the majors to the minors to college, high school, and amateur baseball. ... Read more

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

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

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

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

52. The Worst Team Money Could Buy : The Collapse of the New York Mets
list price: $21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679419756
Catlog: Book (1993-04-13)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 436828
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Even before the New York Mets began the 1992 season, they had set a critical record: the highest payroll ever for a major-league team, $45 million. With players Bobby Bonilla, Vince Coleman, Bret Saberhagen, and Howard Johnson, winning another championship seemed a mere formality. The 1992 New York Mets never made it to Cooperstown, however.

Veteran newspapermen Bob Klapisch and John Harper reveal the extraordinary inside story of the Mets' decline and fall-with the sort of detail and uncensored quotes that never run in a family newspaper. From the sex scandals that plagued the club in Florida to the puritanical, no-booze rules of manager Jeff Torborg, from bad behavior on road trips to the downright ornery practical "jokes" that big boys play, The Worst Team Money Could Buy is a grand-slam classic.

Bob Klapisch is a sports columnist covering major-league baseball for The Record. Klapisch has worked at the New York Post and the New York Daily News and is a regular contributor to He is the author of five baseball books, including High and Tight: The Rise and Fall of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. John Harper covered the Mets for the New York Post from 1988 to 1992 before joining the Daily News, where he is a sports columnist. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars 10 Year Anniversary Edition of this book is due
I was born a Met fan and will remain one as long as the Mets exist. As I type this, I'm listening to Fred Wilpon talk about how Art Howe is going to turn the Mets around. This after the 2002 Mets, the team with the third highest payroll in baseball, finished last in the National League East.

My thoughts, naturally, turn to this book.

At the end of the abyssmal 1992 season for the New York Mets, Bob Klapisch and John Harper--beat writers for the NY Post and NY Daily News--felt the need to rant, to give the fans the necessary information to answer the question "how could this have happened?" The highest payrolled team in the history of baseball, the team that made Bobby Bonilla the highest paid player ever, finished with the third lowest record in the National League. I mean, we had David Cone, Dwight Gooden and Sid Fernandez in our starting rotation! We got Bobby Bonilla to replace Darryl Strawberry! That ring should have been ours!

Any Met fan reading the above knows what happened on the surface (and what continued to happen in 1993 and --UCK-- 1994), but the deeper story is nastier still.

This book lifts the rock on the Mets and what is crawling underneath is not pretty. The egos alone are ridiculous, but throw in the infighting, the firecrackers, the rape accusations, the press lockouts, and the non-stop party attitude that looks from here like Animal House without the humor.

You've got to feel sorry for Jeff Torborg and Buddy Harrelson, who didn't have a chance with this pack. As you'll see, though, the owner and General Managers also get their due.

NOW I want to see the 2002 edition of this book. This book proved to me that there is tons of stuff that go on behind the scenes. What happened in 2002?

It's also nice to reminisce about a time when sports writers didn't pull as many punches with their writing. Nobody is spared; the GM, the owners, past managers, players, etc.

Not to knock ESPN which is not local enough, or radio commentary like "Mike & The Maddog" which I believe to be too much a mouthpiece of the team, but this book also stands up as a testament to newspaper coverage which goes into more and better detail than cable can offer.

These guys bled Blue and Orange every day from spring training to the end of the year because it was their job. When that blood went bad, they wrote this book. As a Met fan, let me say "Thank You".This book takes that coverage to the next power. It is something you do not see enough of.

The only real flaw in this book is that it could have been a little better organized. The chronology is a bit vague; background-setting flashbacks show up and go on for pages until you've forgotten what you're getting background on. It is a minor quip, though, and I didn't even notice it until subsequent readings.

This book will probably shock you, but you should still pick it up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look at how sports journalism has changed
The competition between newspapers in the New York market of the late '80s and early '90s was a precursor to 24-hour sports networks and the Internet in terms of bringing the personal and the issues of the locker room to the fore. Every paper was printing a game story, so the way to distinguish your coverage was to get the office politics, the behind-the-scenes stuff -- Vince Coleman and the golf club. David Cone and the allegations. Sid Fernandez in the doghouse. Buddy Harrelson, the manager who lost control. Bobby Bonilla and everybody. While the player stuff was interesting, I found this much more intriguing as a study of mass media and competition, and just as valid now as ever. A must-read for anyone interested in sports journalism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good book
The book talks about the 1992 New York Mets which was full of overpaid underachievers who were expected to get into the World Series after finishing below .500 in 1991 for the first time since 1983. It shows the apparent rape and other sexual charges to players like Vince Coleman, DarylBoston, David Cone and Doc Gooden. It showed the Mets of '92 did more offthe field then on the field and you can tell by there record and the fansof New York were outraged that a proud franchise would sink to this leveland not succedd. Its a very good book, every Mets fan should have it.

3-0 out of 5 stars How Hall of Fame talent made for a Hall of Infamy team
Money isn't everything - and the money paid to the star talent the Mets had in Bobby Bonilla, Eddie Murray, Vince Coleman, etc., proves it.Especially when the money certain players earn is being spent on partying -one way to help your team finish last.Worth reading just for what RonDarling said about Frank Viola's cross-country flight activities. ... Read more

53. Baseball: An Illustrated History
list price: $65.00
our price: $42.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679404597
Catlog: Book (1994-09-04)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 103556
Average Customer Review: 4.02 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

530 illustrations in text ... Read more

Reviews (93)

2-0 out of 5 stars Ken Burns does not realize his film is hypocritical.
'Baseball' is yet another mega-documentary by Ken Burns, a filmmaker who thinks he is cracking down on race relations in America. Although there are certain moments that are very powerful, most of the movie is like the game of baseball itself, boring. Burns covers some important moments in the history of the game, but he doesn't realize how hypocritical his movie is.
For example, he exposed many of the racial prejudices that have existed in the game since it began, but he does not spend that much time on black ballplayers. Yes, he does cover the Negro League extensively, but that was still not enough.
First of all, he hardly covers the carrer of Henry Aaron. Aaron has to be one of the most underrated athletes of all time. His 755 home runs is arguably the greatest record in sports by a single player. Burns barely touches on his carrer and focuses mostly on the two seasons when he was chasing Ruth's record. Burns spends almost entire videotapes covering the carrers of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DeMaggio. Yes those players were great and are very influential, but plenty of black players were just as great and influential.
He does the same thing with Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Lou Brock, and a number of other black superstars. He doesn't give them justice, he just does not spend enough time on them.
Certain moments of the film are worth watching, but other parts of just plain bad. Here are some low points. Burns feels the need to play different versions 'The Star-Spangled Banner' and 'Take me out to the ballgame' about 50,000 times throughout this film. He doesn't realize just how annoying those songs get after a while. He treats those two songs like they are sacred songs from some religious text. The most embarrasing moment is the section titled 'The 7th Inning Stretch'. Here a group of semi-famous people try to sing 'Take me out to the ballgame', and they are screwing it up. It is a bad and unnecessary part.

Burns also feels the need to show the same photographs and film clips over and over again. I don't know how many times they showed the same photograph of Curt Flood or the same vidoeclip of Ted Williams skipping the bases, but I was ready to shoot the T.V. For crying out loud, man, but find some clips or photographs nobody has seen.

5-0 out of 5 stars The History of the Game in One Comprehensive Collection
In keeping with the tradition of the Civil War Series, Ken Burns has meticulously researched the game of baseball and created a most enjoyable history on video. Each video in the set is divided into innings, with a top and bottom half. Burns begins his study back in the 1870s and continues through the present day. All of the classic moments are captured here; from the great Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, and Honus Wagner to modern day heroes such as Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Gwynn, and Cal Ripken, Jr. The Black Sox scandal of 1919 is told in great detail, and the great teams of the 30s and 40s are described as well. Perhaps the greatest World Series ever, the 1975 Red Sox-Reds classic, comes to life in this video, too. Burns devotes 1 tape to the great Babe Ruth and the impact he made on the game. Burns points out that Ruth hit more home runs in a season by himself than many TEAMS did collectively.

Using excellent still photos and real game footage, Burns brings the game of baseball to life as only he can. This excellent set is definitely worth the money. I highly recommend this series. Baseball fans everywhere will definitely enjoy it.

4-0 out of 5 stars View it as entertainment, not as history
Ken Burns is becoming well-known as much for what he leaves out of his documentaries as for what he tells you and how he tells it. One sees it somewhat in the Civil War documentary (unless of course you are a Lost Cause devotee, in which case you view that series as horribly biased and riddled with errors), and it is definitely (and troublingly) evident in his Jazz documentary, where 40 years of jazz is virtually glossed over in favor of an almost obsessive fixation on Louis Armstrong. In the case of "Baseball," Burns again leaves out huge chunks of the story, although the end result is nonetheless entertaining.

In the case of "Baseball," the unrelenting focus is on New York City, Babe Ruth & Jackie Robinson, and to be fair, there is no way you could discuss the subject of baseball without devoting a great deal of time to these subjects. However, the title of the documentary is "Baseball," not "The New York City, Babe Ruth, and Jackie Robinson Story," and it is possible to watch this documentary at times and come to believe that nothing else was happening out side of New York most of the time.

I recall reading a Sports Illustrated article a few years ago that discussed the Philadelphia Athletics from 1929-1931, and made the case that that team was better than the famed "Murderer's Row" Yankees of 1926-1928, and possibly the best team in baseball history. The article's author crunched the numbers, compared the stats, and made a pretty compelling case. He then asked why so little attention has been paid to the A's over the years, and posited that because most of the nation's important papers and sportswriters were based in New York City; by default the majority of the great sportswriting was devoted to the Yankees, while relatively backwater Philadelphia languished in obscurity. It seems to be the same situation with Burns. While other incredibly dominant teams such as (in the early years) the Chicago Cubs, the A's, the Pittsburgh Pirates & the Detroit Tigers are given passing mention, they are quickly shoved on the back burner in favor of the Boston Red Sox & New York Giants. Then the Yankees & the Dodgers begin to coalesce, and it is all New York, all the time. One gets no feeling for how dominant the 1929-1931 A's (or the St. Louis Cardinals of the mid-1930's) were, because Burns continually focuses on Babe Ruth & the Negro Leagues.

When Burns gets to the 1950's he can be excused, because really it was a New York-dominated decade like no other. However, the other decades did in fact see a more competitive balance, and one would not get this impression from the documentary.

It would have been nice if Burns hadn't crammed the last quarter century of his story into one "inning." Are you telling me that the stories since 1970 aren't as compelling as the early years of baseball. I don't believe that Burns would have had to devote that much more time to the post-1970 era to make it feel less cursory and rushed. This is a somewhat annoying tendency of his that was more griveously evident when he made "Jazz."

Also, I get a little tired of the "poetry of baseball" school of thought. It isn't as though I am some knuckle-dragging troglodyte who gets all his news from sports radio; I am just as likely to go to the opera as to the ballpark. This baseball as metaphor for how the cosmos works gets on my nerves after a while (although I consider Roger Angell's comment "there's more Met than Yankee in all of us" to be priceless beyond description). It's not that baseball doesn't imbue our life with a little extra something special, it's just that some of these talking heads tend to get a little overwrought.

I enjoyed watching the documentary the first time, and I have watched it probably half a dozen times since over the years. By comparison, I have watched "The Civil War" about 15 times, I would guess. I was so disappointed with "Jazz" that I managed only a second viewing. In any case, "Baseball" is very entertaining, and that is what largely accounts for my 4-star rating I would only caution those who don't know their baseball history that this documentary omits a great deal of what is a very good story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Costas at his best
You don't have to love baseball like I do to enjoy this documentary about Americas pastime. Although I got a little tired of Ken Burns style (I think it's unnecesary to quote someone and THEN state the name of the person being quoted, a Ken Burns trademark) the material is just too great and too American to be disliked. The best part? I was mesmerized by Bob Costas' description of events that took place in the BoSox clubhouse during their 9th inning collapse in game six of the 1986 World Series. When he recollects his "What do I do if they tie it?" remark to his producer it is fascinating, thrilling, and in the end, very sad. Just more proof that baseball is "designed to break your heart". Trust me on this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great documentary but what's the deal?
Has anyone noticed that the times given for each "Inning" (i.e., disc) on the DVD is wildly inaccurate? Am I missing material or what? Almost every inning is under two hours according to my DVD player but the case usually indicates a time of 145 to 155 minutes or more. Are there hidden easter eggs on the disc or is PBS just wrong?
jr ... Read more

54. Total Baseball: The Official Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball (Total Baseball, 7th ed)
by John Thorn, Pete Palmer, Michael Gershman, Matthew Silverman, Sean Lahman, Greg Spira
list price: $59.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1930844018
Catlog: Book (2001-03-30)
Publisher: Total Sports
Sales Rank: 333433
Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Total Baseball, the official encyclopedia of Major League Baseball, is a complete baseball library in a single volume. A nearly inexhaustible resource of statistics and historical material, it will capture the curiosity of fledgling fans and deepen the delight of long-time lovers of the National Pastime.

New to this seventh edition is a groundbreaking change to the historical record by Major League League Baseball and Total Baseball regarding the 1876 and 1887 seasons. Total Baseball will follow the rules of the day, which charged an at bat for a walk in the National League's first season, lowering the averages that year. The scoring practice of 1887, to count walks as hits, creates eight new .400 hitters, a new single-season batting leader and increases the 3,000-hit club by one member.

This edition also has much new information of a more recent vintage, featuring situational statistics for the past 22 years. For the first time, Total Baseball will feature summaries and box scores on every tiebreaking playoff game, highlighted by Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round the World to win the 1951 pennant and Bucky Dent's famous homer at Fenway Park in 1978. New statistical information is included for all 15,416 players in major league history; now readers can find out how many times Babe Ruth played center field in his career (64 games) and how often Willie Mays played an outfield position other than center (31 games in 22 years). Not surprisingly, Ruth and Mays lead the way in the Total Player Rating Top 100, with detailed biographies explaining who makes the list--and why. Read about baseball's popularity both before and during the Civil War. And along with the rosters of every manager, coach, umpire, and owner back to 1871 is a roster of baseball announcers over the past 80 years.

Total Baseball also includes a register of every player in postseason history, a history of the college game, and an in-depth look at cause and effect in the changing game of baseball. New information has been added to familiar sections on awards, the minor leagues, and the great streaks and feats in the game's history.

If it's about baseball, you'll find it in the book Sports Illustrated called the baseball reference for years to come. ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive and authoritative
This reference has more or less picked up the torch from the late lamented "Baseball Encyclopedia," and is indispensible for serious fans (and probably casual ones as well).

Included in the hefty (nearly 2,000 pages) volume is everything you'd expect (player stats, franchise histories, postseason results) and a number of things you might not (Curt Smith's wonderful roster of radio/TV announcers, for instance). It's perfect for whiling away the hours on rainy Sunday afternoons, and invaluable for settling arguments or answering trivia questions.

It would be nice if the next edition included a few more historical essays such as those found in its NFL counterpart, "Total Football II." That's a minor quibble, however, and perhaps impractical considering the voluminous size of the current book. All in all, this is a must-buy for baseball lovers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Total Baseball is the ultimate baseball reference book.
Without a doubt, Total Baseball is the premier reference book on baseball. It is so far superior to The Baseball Encyclopedia that I cannot imagine any serious baseball fan, writer, or researcher not using it (Total Baseball). As a person noted for his "penchant for completeness", I can truly appreciate the comprehensive nature of this tome: not just the numbers (including the so-called "modern" statistics) in the game, but the stories behind the game, as well. And as far as the alterations to certain records and facts are concerned, it is MUCH better to have data based on accuracy than tradition! Kudos to you, John Thorn and gang, and congratulations on receiving the endorsement from Major League Baseball that you truly deserve!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good for Baseball Nuts and Normal People
I am doing my own study on baseball's greatest players, this book has been invaluable in this regard. The narratives are generally well-written and the statistics layout is superb. The explanation of the statistics is complete. The stats include the important common stats + Total Baseball's own stats to measure hitting, pitching, and fielding effectiveness relative to other players, both for each season and the player's career.

I do wish, though, that they had retained the pitching statistic called "Wins above team." Over a pitchers career it shows clearly how much a pitcher tended to help or not help his team. Oh well, the book is not perfect. I hope they come out with an Edition 7 soon which wraps up the last century.

1-0 out of 5 stars Too Many Hokey Stats
If you're a baseball stats junky (like me), how can this not be the perfect book?

They decided to add a whole bunch of hokey stats, while leaving out some of the vital one's. Come on guys..."adjusted" batting averages instead of pinch hitting stats? A seperate section for (incomplete) post-season stats, rather than listing them with regular season stats?

Let's bet back to basics and skip the nonsense!

5-0 out of 5 stars The best baseball reference book
Total Baseball is definitely a must for every baseball fan, from hardcore to casual. And it can be a gateway for many who haven't enjoyed the blessings of this beautiful game. There's everything you need to know: from team histories, great essays on the Negro Leagues. There's stuff for the stat nut as well: from sabermetrics to a handy guide on how to score a game, some insights on Women and Baseball, and of course, the hefty, precise and so accurate register of every player in Major League history. There's even a chapter on International Baseball results, that suprisingly, does NOT include the champions of the Venezuelan League, and does have the Dominican and Mexican team champions. Anyway, all in all, if you love baseball or simply you want to understand baseball, this book is for you. ... Read more

55. Little League Baseball Guide to Correcting the 25 Most Common Mistakes : Recognizing and Repairing the Mistakes Young Players Make
by John J. Monteleone
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071408878
Catlog: Book (2003-04-16)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 49064
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The authoritative sourcebooks for parents, players, and coaches

Baseball is a complicated game to learn, particularly for a 9- to 12-year-old's attention span.

Bewildered managers, coaches, and parents of the more than 2.5 million Little League Baseball® players need all the help they can get. Filled with fun and easy-to-follow instructions and advice on teaching the fundamentals of baseball, the bestselling Little League Baseball® series is sure to score with coaches and kids alike.


For young players (and their coaches) there's nothing more frustrating than struggling with baseball fundamentals. With the systematic approach in this user-friendly guide, coaches will learn to recognize and repair the most common faults that young players make.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars so helpful...
this book be the bombie-(because I was in it-I was one of the batters)! highly recommended. a must read. GO BUY IT! ... Read more

56. Joe DiMaggio : The Hero's Life
by Richard Ben Cramer
list price: $28.00
our price: $28.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684853914
Catlog: Book (2000-10-17)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 186115
Average Customer Review: 3.47 out of 5 stars
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In a stunning feat of meticulous reportage, Pulitzer Prize winnerRichard BenCramer ultimately puts to rest the "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?"question with iconoclastic bravura. In Cramer's evaluation, the hero Americaheld onto so desperately for so long was really a creation of a nation'scommunal imagination. The Joe DiMaggio that America tried so hard to believe inwas never really here at all.

There was, of course, a Joe DiMaggio, and he had a splendid career in Yankeepinstripes--once hitting safely in an unimaginable 56 consecutive games--and atroubled marriage with Marilyn Monroe, each augmenting the other in our nationalmythology. But myths tend to be skin-deep, and Cramer's biography thrives in aninternal geography well below the surface. The map he charts is of a cold,small, often nasty, uncaring, resentful, self-centered man, a man of publicgrace and private misery who broke friendships, shunned family, and chased moneywith the same focused energies he once harnessed to run down fly balls. It's nota pretty picture.

Scrupulously researched and elegantly written, The Hero's Life is filledwith stories and reminiscences, both on and off the field, from others--notsurprisingly, DiMaggio offered no cooperation--that both illumine the man and,more fascinatingly, explain our very need for him. Amid all the success andadulation, there was little joy in DiMaggio's life, and few moments--beyond thereal heartache he felt over Monroe--of connection with others beyond Joe'spersonal need for others to serve him. "No one really knew what it meant to havespent a half-century being precisely and distinctly DiMaggio," Cramer writes,"what we required Joe DiMaggio to be. No one knew, as he did, what it cost tolive the hero's life. And no one knew, as he did, precisely what it was worth."It seems our nation turned its lonely eyes to a proud, but empty shell; Cramer'ssuperb book helps us understand why we did, and how DiMaggio was able to takeall the good will extended him and give so little back. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Reviews (104)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fact v. Fiction
While The Hero's Life is an excellent book about one of the three best baseball players who have ever lived, you have to wonder how much is true. Mr Cramer does list many sources and is wonderful at telling the story of Joe DiMaggio's life. DiMaggio kept the people whom he did not want in his life out and probably for good reason. The question does linger however that since he is basing most of the book on second hand information how much is true. An excellent book that was hard to put down I have recomended it many people. Having never seen Joe DiMaggio play and him seemingly in secrecy for most of his life I found him to be an "interesting" person. He was, is and should always be an American Icon; bringing a country that was embattled in war together for a brief point in history. If you dont know anything about Joe DiMaggio but would like to, this book is a must.

4-0 out of 5 stars This View of Joe Will Jolt You
This is a totally absorbing book. Not all writers can get away with an informal, vernacular style, but Cramer pulls it off--reading the book is like listening to an occasionally breathless but always fascinating raconteur hold forth. It's as if the author were talking to the reader personally, narrating the story.

The choice of words in the title is telling: not "a" hero's life, which would imply that DiMaggio was a genuine hero, but "the" hero's life, implying that the subject's actual life was greatly at variance with his heroic image, as it certainly was. Some DiMaggio fans are offended that Cramer didn't write a worshipful puff-piece; instead he revealed what a cold, mean-spirited, greedy guy DiMaggio really was. But the author also helps the reader understand how DiMaggio got that way, and it's this quality that makes the book so extraordinary.

Two criticisms of aspects of the book that make it less than a five-star production: The author's repeated use of the term "Dago" when referring to DiMaggio could perhaps be explained by the fact that many people of the time really did refer to DiMaggio with that ethnic slur, but it's still offensive and unnecessary. People in the past may indeed have referred to DiMaggio that way, but that doesn't mean Cramer should compound the error by throwing the term around so frequently himself! If he were writing about Hank Greenberg, I'll bet he wouldn't refer to him throughout his text as "The Hebe" or "The Kike." Nor, if he were writing about Jackie Robinson, would he dream of referring to his subject as "The Nig," or by whatever other racist slurs were hurled at Robinson.

The other criticism is that I was constantly wondering how the author could possibly have known some of the things he includes. Maybe this is just awe at Cramer's reportorial skills, but since he includes no source notes, we have to take him at his word. He may well have had many talky informants, especially after DiMaggio's death, but I don't think anybody could have followed Joe into the bedroom with Marilyn Monroe, the way Cramer pretends to do!

3-0 out of 5 stars Good addition to DiMaggio Literature
Being a San Franciscan, I really appreciated the author's research and description of life in this City during the first 3-4 decades of the 20th century, including the baseball scene and the legend of Lefty O'Doul (whose bar is still open just off Union Square). There is also much to be learned for the younger readers about baseball in the 30s and 40s. Not all was a grand as today's romanticists like to portray it. How things should be is somewhere between the over-paid mediocre talent of today and the grossly underpaid---and unfree---players of those days. I can't imagine what someone of Dimaggio's caliber would be getting paid today.

The book also shined when describing not only Joe's relationship with Marilyn Monroe (brutal by today's standards) and what Hollywood and stardom was like.

Dimaggio's dysfunctional personality and apparent avarice are well-presented, as is the power he had to make men give up all dignity and self-respect simply to be his friend. While we can't simply assume everything said here about DiMaggio's attorney and "close personal friend", Morris Engelberg, is 100% accurate, it isn't hard to believe either. We had a very real taste of this man's character here in San Francisco with how he handled the whole affair of our city wanting to name the playground in North Beach for DiMaggio.

The only gap in the book for me was the leap it made from Marilyn Monroe's death all the way to the 1989 SF earthquake. I thought Cramer went pretty far in depicting the Kennedy/Sinatra involvement with Monroe and why Joe so despised them after her death. But he stopped there quite abruptly. There probably was more that could have been written to show Joe's scorn for them (like the snub of Bobby Kennedy at Yankee Stadium during an Old Timers Game introductions...Joe refused to shake his hand). Baseball-wise, I think more could have also been written about Joe's feelings for---or against---Mickey Mantle and how he felt about THAT center fielder's so completely winning the hearts of Yankee fans. If the author's intended audience was people like me and older, who are familiar with Joe's life and career, then I'm off-base. If he was hoping to have the 20-30 crowd know more about this myth, I think he could have written a little more.

Joe DiMaggio was not a good man necessarily, many people knew that before even reading this book. In today's world he would have been mauled by the press and fans and would likely not be perceived as such a heroic figure as he now is. Look at Barry Bonds, perhaps a better player overall (hard to say for those of us who never saw Joe actually play...hard to argue against 9 world championships in 13 years...versus Barry's ZERO), yet his personality is probably not too different from Joe's in his search for privacy and aloofness from his teammates. However, he is vilified by most and has precious few friends. In another day, he would have been up in the pantheon with the Babe and Joltin' Joe.

2-0 out of 5 stars Why the personal assault?
This book was a gift from my daughter; as such, I read it even though I knew that it was a hatchet job, for whatever reason, against a great player. At the end of the book I came away with the same conclusion I had when I started, and that is that Joe DiMaggio was one of the greatest hitters of all time (had an immaculate swing) and one of the greatest all around players of all time. As a baseball lover that is all I need to know. In short, he was idolized for his playing ability and for his quite demeanor on the field, while keeping his peccadilloes from public view - why is that so bad? What grudge the author has against Joe DiMaggio I don't know, but I see no need to attack a person based on the shortcomings of that person's personality.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bitter, angry, jealous - and that's just the author
This is a bitter, self-indulgent attempt by the author to attack DiMaggio. Period. He was a bad guy... so what? He liked money? Last time I checked, the author wasn't giving his book away. The main problem isn't with the book or DiMaggio, but with the people who make guys like DiMaggio the heroes they can never be. The bar is set way too high for these individuals. No one can reach it. Our solution: write about it. Consider this: I seriously doubt anyone will write a book about the author, because while he may have received accolades for his work as a reporter, all he has really done in his life is write about what other people have done in their lives. Seems like an empty accomplishment to me, and might be the reason for the high level of bitterness and, perhaps, jealousy that came through in this book. ... Read more

57. The Book on The Book : A Landmark Inquiry into Which Strategies in the Modern Game Actually Work
by Bill Felber
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.77
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Asin: 0312332645
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Sales Rank: 75911
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Book Description

Diehard fanatics will enjoy this comprehensive collection of groundbreaking baseball strategies, analyses, statistics, and studies

Baseball fans all across America will delight in this fascinating analysis of strategies and statistics.This unique approach to understanding the "tried and true" methodologies of the game of baseball examines conventional elements like the steal, hit and run, and line up construction.The Book on the Book offers an exciting critique of baseball by placing an actual dollar value on player performance and rating managers based on their on-field moves to determine who are the smartest tacticians.

No corner of the ballpark is left unturned as author Bill Felber explores the various methods of team-building, on-field values of players, the role and influence of the general manager in team success, and the importance of park effects.In a more controversial section, new tactical approaches to the use of the pitching staff contradict the more generally accepted practices.

In the vein of the late Leonard Koppett and Bill James, Felber uses mathematical and statistical principles to evaluate the wisdom of standard baseball strategies.Illustrations and a refreshingly engaging style make The Book on the Book the new textbook of baseball analysis.
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58. Ballparks: A Panoramic History
by Marc Sandalow, Jim Sutton
list price: $24.99
our price: $24.99
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Asin: 0785818162
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Book Sales
Sales Rank: 9141
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Book Description

This book is a marvelous collection of stunning (manylandscape-size, full-page) photographs of the 32 current and new major league baseball parks, along with archival photographs of 16 of the no longer existing parks. Also includes tables of basic information and historical data, and interesting and informative essays for each park. ... Read more

59. Baseballissimo
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0771014627
Catlog: Book (2005-03-22)
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Sales Rank: 167752
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A "must read" for anyone with an interest in baseball
Baseball has been a popular sport in Italy ever since it was first introduced by American soldiers who liberated Italy from the fascist in World War II. Author Dave Didini (along with his wife and two small children) traveled to Nettuno, Italy (south of Rome on the Tyrrhenian coast) to seek out his favorite summer game in what has evolved into the "baseball capital" of Italy since 1944. The serie A team in Nettuno is the Indians -- but this is a team stuffed with talent imported from Latin America. So for six months Didini followed the fortunes of the Serie B Peones, solidly staffed with Nettunese locals. When he returned to America, he sat down and wrote up his experiences with Italian baseball and culture. The result is Baseballissimo: My Summer In The Italian Minor Leagues. A lively and informative account that is a "must read" for anyone with an interest in baseball, as well as the armchair traveler seeking a quite different perspective on living and life in contemporary Italy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Italian Baseball?
For anyone who loves baseball, food, wine, Italy, and music(not necessarily in that order), this is the book for you.Dave Bidini's experiences with the Peones are hilarious.Imagine the passion that Italians have about everything in life.Now imagine that passion when arguing with an umpire.Hot dogs in the dugout?Not in Italy. Italians know how to eat!Read this won't be disappointed. ... Read more

60. Faithful : Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season
by Stewart O'Nan, Stephen King
list price: $26.00
our price: $15.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743267524
Catlog: Book (2004-12-02)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 7
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Book Description

A fan's notes for the ages, Faithful grew from an email exchange last summer. Filled with the heady mix of exhilaration and frustration familiar to all Boston Red Sox fans, Stewart O'Nan fired off a note to fellow Sox fan, Stephen King, who responded with his thoughts on Pedro, Nomar, Manny, Mueller, and Theo. From the supposed Curse of the Bambino to f###in' Bucky Dent to the recent off-season battle for Alex Rodriguez, Sox fans have seen it all since 1918...except for that elusive World Championship. Baseball history has transformed these fans into a "nation" -- not to mention the most dedicated, knowledgeable fanbase on the planet. Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King, proud members of Red Sox Nation, will chronicle the 2004 baseball season from spring training to the last game of the season -- the important plays, the controversial managerial decisions, the significant front office moves, and the spectacular finish (whether heartbreaking or joyous). Attending games together, keeping a running diary of observations and arguments, and occasionally evoking great or tragic events in Red Sox history. King and O'Nan will cheer on their beloved team with the eternal hope that this just might be the year. If you don't have season ticket box seats right behind the firstbase dugout, you can't beat Faithful. ... Read more

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