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61. The Yogi Book: "I Really Didn't
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62. Hank Aaron And The Home Run That
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63. Coaching Tee Ball : The Baffled
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64. Fastpitch Softball : The Windmill
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65. The Art of Hitting .300
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66. Coaching the Little League Pitcher
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67. Ted Williams: The Biography of
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68. Play Baseball the Ripken Way:
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69. The Joy of Keeping Score: How
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71. Mental Toughness : A Champion's
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72. Where Have All Our Cubs Gone?
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73. The Physics of Baseball (3rd Edition)
74. The Baseball Encyclopedia: The
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75. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball
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76. Strat-O-Matic Fanatics: The Unlikely
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77. Baseball America 2005 Prospect
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78. Larceny And Old Leather: The Mischievous
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79. The Last Good Season: Brooklyn,
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80. Leo Mazzone's Tales from the Braves

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

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

Reviews (22)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... Read more

Reviews (11)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by CandaceK
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

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

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

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

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

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

63. Coaching Tee Ball : The Baffled Parent's Guide
by H. W. "Bing" Broido
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071387382
Catlog: Book (2003-01-07)
Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press
Sales Rank: 354367
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Book Description

Each spring, Tee-ball introduces millions of boys and girls to "America's pastime" --and introduces their parents to the joys (and nightmares) of coaching first-time players. Filled with expert advice and tips on creating order from chaos, Coaching Tee-Ball is the solution to every baffled parent's predicament, offering the new coach a total approach to keeping kids involved, motivated, and having fun.

... Read more

64. Fastpitch Softball : The Windmill Pitcher
by BarrySammons
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
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Asin: 1570281408
Catlog: Book (1997-01-11)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 122844
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"The Windmill Pitcher is the most comprehensive book on fastpitch pitching that I have read. It is an excellent reference for both coaches and pitchers." -- Ernie Parker, world-renowned pitching coach"I now have a comprehensive reference book to offer the people who contact me about pitching. The chapter on increasing ball speed is outstanding. There was an incredible need for this book and I thank Barry for writing it." -- Sherry Werner, PhD, lead researcher, International Olympic Committee's Submission on Biomechanics and Physiology"One of the most comprehensive fastpitch instructional books on the market today. A must addition for any coach's library." -- Art Certosimo, DuPage County, IllinoisBarry Simmons has been a pitcher in men's fastpitch softball leagues at all levels for 35 years. Also a student of art and design, Sammons used his knowledge to develop many of the illustrations used in the book. He is an attorney for the Milwaukee, Wisconsin firm of Quarles & Brady. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best pitching book for fastpitch softball...period!
This book is a "must have" for all fathers who want to be involved in helping their daughters to become successful pitchers in fastpitch softball. (I also think it would be an excellent resource for most softball coaches to have in their library.)

While I own 8-10 different video training tapes on pitching, Barry Sammons book is my most often used reference. It was originally recommended to me by one of the top pitching coaches in the Pacific Northwest.

The book does an excellent job of covering pitching mechanics and how to teach them. It also describes how to correct problems, and offers several excellent drills.

Other topics include: excellent descriptions and diagrams on throwing the various pitches; sections on strategy and the mental aspects of pitching; fitness training; and how to coach the pitcher.

If I could only have one book or video to use in working with my daughter, this book would be it. Even though my daughter also has a pitching coach, Barry Sammons book has allowed me to be more helpful as an "assistant pitching coach".

4-0 out of 5 stars The Bible of fastpitch - First Edition
This book covers just about everything you'll need to know about fastpitch softball pitching, including mechanics, control, speed, power, physical conditioning, getting batters out, and real-time game considerations. The section on mechanics, from explaining the two types of movements (leap and drag and stepping style), to breaking down the pitching motion into its parts will prove to be, I believe, Biblical in importance for the sport of fastpitch softball. Included are appendices that provide excellent drills for each stage of the pitching motion, and excercises for power and conditioning. The diagrams were very helpful, and there are plenty of them. No photos.
Criticisms: Very wordy, and makes many cross references, especially when you are on, say, page 45 and are sent to Figure 1-18, which is on some previous, unreferenced page. You have to flip back through the book to find it.
Noteworthy: Actually treats men as qualified to pitch fastpitch, and doesn't assume this is a women's game.
Prognosis: I hope Sammons will take into account the criticisms, and produce an even better Second Edition, perhaps with photos, higher quality figures, tighter cross-referencing (just reproduce the relevant figure at the appropriate place) and more quotes from softballers.
Bottom Line: If you want to pitch fastpitch softball, and you will work at it, get this book. I did, I worked with it, and now pitch MUCH better. Had I not gotten this book, I would not be the pitcher I am today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best material I've used
I have a collection of tapes from various people. It would seem that video would be the best medium for this kind of instruction. Maybe it's because I viewed and re-viewed the tapes so often, but I honestly got more detail out of this book than anything else I've used. The discussion of each piece of the mechanics along with drills I haven't seen on any tape was very, very helpful.

I would strongly recommend this book. It's straight-up, no hype instruction. Excellent for beginning or intermediate pitchers and/or coaches.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Informative
I keep this book with me all the time during softball season ! I have been coaching for 9 years and and have learned quite a few things from this book. It's nice to be able to go back to it and review. It covers the windmill pitcher from A to Z. Very Very Good !

5-0 out of 5 stars The "bible" of windmill pitching
Mr. Sammons uses his practical knowledge of pitching to educate the coach and player about the mechanics of pitching and most importantly the mental aspects of pitching in an easy to read format. He personally illustrated the book to show the proper grips and forms to assist the reader. I rate it a classic. By the way, at the age of "50 something" Mr. Sammons pitched a perfect game in the competitive Milwaukee WI mens fastpitch league. So much for them that can't play.........teach........he does both. ... Read more

65. The Art of Hitting .300
by Charley Lau, Alfred Glossbrenner, Tony Larussa, Charles Salzberg
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140153357
Catlog: Book (1986-03-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 37100
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hitter's Best Friend
If you want to learn to hit the right way, this might be the best investment you will ever make. Like another reviewer wrote, though, you must be willing to do the work to learn the lessons the book teaches. Also, if you just want to be a home run hitter, this book is not for you; a home run is only a pleasant mistake in the Charlie Lau/George Brett school, which teaches solid line-drive hitting. After studying this book, I became a Top 10 hitter in a highly-competitive Texas league. The Art of Hitting .300 is a baseball treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars great hitter's book
I recommend this book for anyone wants to learn (or teach) advanced hitting techniques. Pictures and descriptions clearly explain common hitting problems and show correct swing mechanics. My 15-year old struggled through his first slump before we applied Lau's hitting fundamentals. He added fifty points to his batting average over the next month and hit 0.638 in a national tournament. I believe this book had a lot to do with his improvement.

5-0 out of 5 stars I owe my self-esteem to this book
I was a scrawny little kid to whom baseball was everything. To my parent's dismay, I judged myself by how I played baseball. But I was scared of the baseball and lost as to how to go about hitting it. My coaches gave me harmful, misguided instructions like, "make sure it's a stike, then swing at it" and "snap those wrists". I was a wreck. Then one winter my Dad (like me, a George Brett/Wade Boggs fan) bought me this book. My Dad had never been able to hit either, but he and I dissected it over the course of a summer.

It was a lot of work, more work than any 12-year-old could could have undertaken without the guidance of an equally determined adult. But my Dad and I realized that hitting was a process, a method that could be learned. Lau taught that everything I had been told -with horrible results- was in fact wrong. You don't judge whether a pitch is a strike and then swing; you start your swing and let your reflexes hold you back. You don't swing hard with your arms; you swing easy and get your power from your whole body.

All spring we worked on it, practicing in the garage, spending literally hundreds of dollars at batting cages working on mechanics. That very next season, I was hitting the ball better, and I only improved from there. By the end of that season, I was a certified leadoff terror. My team won its league title thanks to a game-winning single by yours truly. I even hit a few home runs (by not trying to, as Lau teaches). I was deliriously happy.

Even since then I've been a good hitter. Not a power hitter (I'm much too small), but a solid doubles guy with surprising pop. What I learned from this book kept me in organized baseball through Babe Ruth and high school (simultaneously), college, and semi-professional leagues. I am a hideously slow runner who soon after puberty had to give up dreams of playing professionally, but to this day I can step in front of a pitcher or pitching machine -cold- and drive the ball. This book taught me how. If you really want to hit a baseball, buy it, read it, internalize it, and put your faith in it. It will serve you well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Zen and the art of Charlie Lau
I read this book while I was in high school, and I must say that this book became an incredible source of enlightenment. Mr. Lau breaks down the basics (mechanics and drills) which are all fundamentally sound. But it is when Mr. Lau presents the mindset of his methods, is where the heart of this book lies. After following his teachings, not only did I have the best year in my high school career, but I am adapting his teaching to my Little League team (rookie coach this year). Of course, everyone will receive their own lessons from his words, as everyone has his or her own style of hitting. But this book is worth reading, as you will find a lot to learn. I bow to Mr. Lau, has he is truly a 'sensei' of the baseball world.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best hitting book I have ever read.
Any player confused by batting cage myths and theories ought to definetely consider reading this masterpiece. It breaks down the 10 Absolutes to good hitting in an easy-to-understand text,features hitter analyses, and is full of pictures to refer back to. Not only does it deal with the actual mechanics(the Absolutes)but it deals with the mental side of hitting including dreaded but inevitable slumps.This book changed my entire hitting "career" and raised my batting average from .132 in '97 to .418 in '98. I am now a freshman in high school(1999)and the starting left fielder on varsity at 5'6",145 and it's not for my defense.I couldn't dream of this 2 years ago until Lau showed me how to get the most out of my body. This is the best hitting book I have ever read. ... Read more

66. Coaching the Little League Pitcher : Teaching Young Players to Pitch With Skill and Confidence
by RandyVoorhees
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071408061
Catlog: Book (2003-02-27)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 21181
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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.


This book provides Little League coaches and parents with valuable information on how to help their pitchers improve, covering everything from the kinds of pitches and the strategic aspects of pitching to tips for keeping players healthy and fit.

... Read more

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

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

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

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

Reviews (19)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

68. Play Baseball the Ripken Way: The Complete Illustrated Guide to the Fundamentals
by Cal Ripken, Bill Ripken, Larry Burke, Cal, Jr. Ripken
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400061229
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 4949
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Fundamentals
Coach John Wooden said a good player with good fundamentals will become a good player and a good player with great fundamentals will become a great player. If you're like me, a Father of a 10-year-old boy who loves playing baseball and you have been looking for that one book that can show you the fundamentals of baseball from hitting to fielding and pitching. Look no further, because this book has everything you will need and a whole lot more. The Ripkens have put together a baseball book that tells the how to, in an approach easy to understand and not only the how to but the why, which as Cal points out, all kids ask. Many thanks to the Ripken family from late Father Cal to sons Cal and Billy and their fine staff who have put together a great baseball book of fundamentals for the Father, Coach and ballplayer.

5-0 out of 5 stars What You would Expect from Cal Ripken ¿ Excellent.
I am a baseball fan. I played as a kid and go to seem MLB games in my home town of Toronto. We are in the same conference as the Baltimore Orioles (American League East), Cal's old team so I saw him play quite a bit. He is a graceful and thoughtful player. His four trademarks were a love of the game, natural ability, a lot of practice, a thinking player, and he has a lot of experience. Also he comes from a baseball family. In short he is among the best all round players to have ever played the games and to our benefit he stayed late after every game signing autographs - a rarity today.

If I was going to pick one recent player to write a book an learning baseball he would be the man. He has intelligence, experience and the love for the game. Many other players might be faster, or better hitters, etc. but he was the total package, a guy that could pace himself on and off the field and a person that really loved the game and cared for the fans.

So that brings us to the book. It is impressive! It is a work of love by the authors. It is well laid out with a chapter by chapter review of the game with lots and lots of bright color photographs, some in a time sequence so they show how the action evolves. He and the other authors appear in the photos wearing simple black and white uniforms demonstrating baseball fundamentals. He tries to explain some of the more subtle yet important parts of the game. He covers all the basic aspects such as pitching, how to hold the pitched ball, catching, playing the infield, the outfield, hitting, etc.

Excellent for all levels of baseball, playing or a fan. Highly recommend. Everyone will learn something new, even old fans like me.

Jack in Toronto

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW
I really engoyed this book.
It covers the fundamentals really well!
It is great for kids to learn tha basics or for adults such as myself who never really understuud all the goings-on of the game!
Now I can watch a game and understand!

Buy Buy Buy! ... Read more

69. The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball
by Paul Dickson
list price: $11.00
our price: $8.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156005166
Catlog: Book (1997-02-15)
Publisher: Harvest Books
Sales Rank: 28432
Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The history of scorekeeping, practical scoring techniques, notable scorekeeping blunders and idiosyncrasies, facsimiles of famous scorecards, and more-it’s all here in this “celebration of one of baseball’s most divine and unique pleasures” (USA Today Baseball Weekly).
... Read more

Reviews (13)

3-0 out of 5 stars Baseball history as revealed in scorecards: but too short!
If you enjoy keeping score when you go to a baseball game then you should read this book. The book follows the history of baseball scorecards from the 1800's through the present day by using photographs and reproductions of filled out scorecards from actual games including the longest minor league game in history, Don Larsen's perfect game in the World Series, and Babe Ruth's famous "called shot" game in the 1932 (?) World series. Along the way you will learn various techniques for filling out your own scorecards and hear some interesting anecdotes about score keeping (such as the Yankees Phil Rizzuttos "WW" notation for wasn't watching!). All in all, the book is too short (~100 pages, mostly pictures) but nicely crafted and packaged. As a die hard scoring fan, I enjoyed the book and the vintage photos and reproductions, but I was expecting more for my money.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun, a nice read, buy it! But, it's lacking in areas.
Don't expect this book to teach you how to score games. The book lacks a full-size sample scorecard to use, which I would have liked. It doesn't go into enough detail about scoring; being a beginner I was flummoxed attempting to score double-switches, bunts and teams batting around in an inning. It will get you going, but if you're like me and don't know how to score a game yet, you'll be looking for more. That aside, the anecdotes and illustrations make this a fun book to read. The subtitle "How Scoring the Game Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball" is an accurate description of the gist of the book. It's less of a how-to and more of a why-to.

4-0 out of 5 stars Chock full, but a little scattered
This is probably the very best book out there about scoring, and aptly titled, because after I read this book I have become fascinated with scoring (maybe a little too much??). The author clearly loves the game and gives you lots of reasons to love it yourself.
The book's thoroughness is both its strength and weakness. There is only a small section that gives you a clear mandate on how to score. But the rest of the book is just plain chock full of suggestions and variations, from simple to being able to recreate the game pitch-by-pitch, but you have to read the whole book to get all of them. This also makes it hard to find something you remember from past readings. There is an index to help out, though.
Overall, a great book that truly embraces the joy of scoring, and has dozens of styles that you can choose to use when you score. He leaves it up to you to pick your own style.

4-0 out of 5 stars If you want to learn to keep score, don't buy this one.
Unfortunately, I purchased this book looking for detailed instructions on how to keep score. While there is a section for this, it's very brief and did not suit my needs. 4 stars however, for the informative history of scorekeeping. Very interesting and entertaining to read.

3-0 out of 5 stars a nice bit of ephemera
I agree with the reviews already written. This is a nice book and reasonably priced, but not fully satisfying. It is an outline for an outstanding book, but it is not itself outstanding. Use it as a mid-winter meditation on the game or lend it to friends who don't understand why you bring pencil and paper to the ballpark. ... Read more

by Tom House, Jim Rosenthal, Nolan Ryan
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671705814
Catlog: Book (1991-04-15)
Publisher: Fireside
Sales Rank: 25272
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

How does Nolan Ryan still do it?

At 43 years old, Nolan Ryan is a marvel. He is still blowing his fastballs by hitters at an age when most pitchers have long since retired -- or have learned to depend on guile instead of power. But the Ryan express keeps chugging on, getting more unhittable, not less.

Nolan Ryan's Pitcher's Bible tells us the secrets of Ryan's success. Drawing on Ryan's practical experience and Tom House's research expertise, it shows how the right combination of exercise and motivation can help a pitcher develop to his greatest potential.

Nolan Ryan's Pitcher's Bible includes:

* Nolan Ryan's complete fitness program for pitchers -- including weight training, aerobic exercise, and diet -- based on the latest scientific research and his 24 years of experience as a major leaguer.
* The most up-to-date methods for preventing arm injuries by establishing proper mechanics, a conditioning base, and throwing work loads.
* A timetable for keeping a pitcher in top shape year-round, including specific exercise intervals to meet the individual strength demands of each pitcher's throwing motion, maximum velocity, and maximum weekly number of pitches.
* An in-depth presentation of Ryan's pitching strategy -- how he prepares himself mentally for a game, an analysis of his pitch selection for different types of hitters, and how he applies his training regimen to improving his effectiveness on the mound.

Illustrated with black-and-white photos of Ryan in action, along with photos and line drawings of the recommended exercises, Nolan Ryan's Pitcher's Bible is the ultimate book on pitching, by the ultimate pitcher. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS BOOK!
this book has taught me the perfect mechanics for my pitching, i'm a little league pitcher and this season i averaged 10 Ks per game and lost only two games and made all-stars!! THIS BOOK IS WORTH WHATEVER THE PRICE IS!

My perspective outlines this book like this. Without a proper work-out ethic, you are not going to succeed in pitching or anything else. I dont understand why people are knocking this book. It helped me to EARN a spot on the H.S. team here in Texas. Yes, pitching mechanics is part of the game but it is what you do before that game is what counts. Quote from the book,"You can blow a game without proper conditioning" It clearly defines in the book about mechanics and conditioning. Yes there where too much repetitive stuff about where Ryan works out at before and during the season but I rank it as very helpful tool to be better at the game. For all of you "Disapointed" you are not seeing the real reason for success for you or your son or daughter or players. CONDITIONING is the only reason you stay on top of your game. That is what Nolan and Tom discuss. I found that no other book will dicuss the both conditioning and mechanics in one book. I like to see anyone try to work on mech. and not work on conditioning and see how successful they are. It is the best. Could be better but still the best!

2-0 out of 5 stars No Meat
This book was casual to read, flip through, but did nor have any real information that would help a pitcher. It did have a big name in the title.

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed full of cirtical information
I agree that the reviewers who claim that pitching mechanics are not addressed at the expense of conditioning miss the point. The chapter addressing mechanics is a very concise and readable summary of many ideas shared with the scientifically based biomechanical ideas from Tom House. This in itself already makes it sounder than the potentially dangerous snakeoil found in many coaching manuals that are guaranteed to lead to some sort of injury. Combine that basis with correct conditioning and you have a formula for avoiding injury and achieving the exact conditioning required specifically for a pitcher to perform consistently at a peak level. That was Ryan's secret and everyone has something to learn from him.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book on pitching I have read
Nolan breaks down his book into mechanics and training in a very readable format. The critics who said that the book focuses too much on conditioning and not enough on pitching secrets are missing the boat: CONDITIONING IS HIS PITCHING SECRET. How else did he last 27 years? ... Read more

71. Mental Toughness : A Champion's State of Mind
by Karl Kuehl
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1566636175
Catlog: Book (2005-05)
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
Sales Rank: 46015
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Book Description

Mental Toughness is the art of turning promise into performance.It's about individuals taking control of their lives in order to gain the most from their abilities. ... Read more

72. Where Have All Our Cubs Gone?
by George Castle
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1589791983
Catlog: Book (2005-05-25)
Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
Sales Rank: 4932
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Book Description

George Castle has cast his net wide in search of former Cubs, from the backwoods of Idaho where the infamous goat of the 1986 World Series, Bill Buckner, can be found, to the Indiana card shop operated by Mickey Morandini. ... Read more

73. The Physics of Baseball (3rd Edition)
by Robert K. Adair
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060084367
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 12309
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Blending scientific fact and sports trivia, Robert Adair examines what a baseball or player in motion does-and why. How fast can a batted ball go? What effect do stitch patterns have on wind resistance? How far does a curve ball break? Who reaches first base faster after a bunt, a right- or left-handed batter? The answers are often surprising -- and always illuminating.

This newly revised third edition considers recent developments in the science of sport such as the neurophysiology of batting, bat vibration, and the character of the "sweet spot." Faster pitchers, longer hitters, and enclosed stadiums also get a good, hard scientific look to determine their effects on the game.

Filled with anecdotes about famous players and incidents, The Physics of Baseball provides fans with fascinating insights into America's favorite pastime.

... Read more

Reviews (22)

2-0 out of 5 stars For Physicists More Than Fans
I never thought I'd say this, but this book is just too technical to be any fun. It is SOOOO detailed in its explanation of the various physical forces at work in a baseball game that the book takes way too long to get anywhere. Worse still, the book isn't organized very well, so if you want to just skip to the "punchline" to figure out what the author's trying to tell you (e.g. curveballs really do curve, fastballs don't really rise, corked bats don't help), it's very difficult to do. I love physics, and I love baseball, so I thought I'd love this book, but I'm sorry to say that it left me cold.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible Book!
I am a HUGE baseball fan, and have been since Junior High. I grew up at the little league fields watching my older brother play. Since I've been in college, my love for baseball has only grown. I read this book after just finishing college level introductory physics. While the concepts in this book are not the most complicated, readers who have not had a similar level of instruction may find some of them hard to grasp. I think this is mainly due to the author's writing style. At any rate, even if it takes you a few times to read and understand the explanation of why a curve ball curves (which I have gone back to time and again because it so amazing!), it is well worth the time. Baseball fans will gain more respect for the game and its players. Skeptics who think the game is mind-numbingly boring might even come to like the game after reading this, if they have any respect for the role mental ability and precision plays in sports.

I highly recommend this book for baseball players, fans, physics majors (it's one of the more fun and easy to comprehend real-life applications of your field of study!), and anyone who isn't afraid of a little technical language!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Closer Look At Beseball
Trajectory lines, momentum, and distance vs. velocity from a batted ball aren't exactly what you think of when you watch the great game of baseball are they?
This book keeps the reader thinking outside of the box and it lets them get a closer look at which part of the bat will send the ball to a certian place-like in the stands, how fast the ball can be hit, and where the perfect hitting point-or 'sweet spot' is-among other things. It answers the questions of many 'rookies' like why their hand stings after a certain hit and how they missed that 'perfect' pitch. This book gets inside the game of baseball and it contains explainations for why the ball does 'what it does'.
This book is very informational and it provides great detail and extreme elaboration on virtually every topic that is covered.

3-0 out of 5 stars A good book if you have the background
The Physics of Baseball is not physics text - it uses the principles of physics to explain things like why a curveball curves, what happens when the bat hits the ball, how far a ball can be hit, and so on. The book is not math-heavy, but it does assume the reader has some knowledge of basic physics and can follow technical discussions.

The only part of the book that disappointed me was the discussion of corked bats. Adair uses a theoretical model to prove that a corked bat doesn't help - that corking a bat will make the ball travel only a few feet farther at most. While he may be right in his conclusion, I think his theory should be tested with experiment. A batter hitting a pitched ball is a complex system, and it's quite possible Adair's model is too simple.

3-0 out of 5 stars A good thing to have on your shelf, not a great read
While this book is considered a classic and is cited in many articles about the game, The Physics of Baseball is pretty dry. Granted, I am not a physicist, but an avid baseball fan. After reading numerous news articles and hearing about the book on baseball shows, I picked up a copy of this book. While I found things like the physics of a curveball or physics of a corked bat interesting, a lot of the discussion was over my head, which granted may say more about me than the distinguished author.

However, the problem with this book is that once it loses a reader, it is hard to get back on track. This book almost seems more of a reference book than a book to be read cover-to-cover. Surely, it is a novel, incredible contribution to an area that has been neglected, but I am happy (for now) to remain a fan and let the physics take care of themselves. ... Read more

74. The Baseball Encyclopedia: The Complete and Definitive Record of Major League Baseball (10th ed Rev, Upd & Exp)
by Macmillan Publishing
list price: $59.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0028608151
Catlog: Book (1996-06-01)
Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company.
Sales Rank: 211057
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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No single volume sings the epic saga of the game with quite the rhythms of The Baseball Encyclopedia. Now in its 10th edition, the granddaddy of all sports reference books is, at just over eight pounds and 3000 pages, the National Pastime's weightiest tome. As all-seeing as Homer and Milton, as all-knowing as Shakespeare and Yeats, the encyclopedia finds its poetry in the rhythms of baseball's numbers. Every player--regardless of significance--is present, with all the essential statistics of his career. There are, no doubt, some soulless creatures who may open the encyclopedia and just see page after page of dry, meaningless, numbing data; the rest of us know better: 755, 714, 61, 511, .406, 1.12, and 4,256 are all self-contained dramas filled with tension, and inspiring awe. It is in these stats, and thousands more, that the mysteries of the game begin to reveal themselves. ... Read more

Reviews (19)

3-0 out of 5 stars First of its kind... but now out of date
Historically, this was the first book that attempted to compile statistical data for all-time players so the MacMillan Encyclopedia will always have its place. Today, other volumes (Total Baseball, STATS All-Time Major League Handbook, are better resources. Acknowlegde that this book was important 20 years ago, but buy a different book today.

5-0 out of 5 stars As good as a reference work can get
Given that _no_ book of baseball statistics can possibly be without errors (or controversies!), this book surpasses all its competition. My most recent edition of this is the eighth edition (complete through the 1989 season). I wanted to buy the latest version, but given that this copy only goes through 1995 (and the supplement through 1996), you can imagine my disappointment. Nevertheless...

This book is remarkable, especially for the scope of what it attempts. Most baseball references only have lifetime records and statistics for the American and National Leagues. This book has complete statistics for all _six_ major leagues throughout history, team lineups, standings, and season records for each of those leagues, managers' records, every trade made in baseball, every postseason series, every All Star game, a National Association register, and an admirable (albeit understandably incomplete) register of Negro League players.

Finally, I can think of only one reason a baseball fan might be disappointed with The Baseball Encyclopedia. As a book of statistics, this is a reference work, and not a collection of colorful stories. There are scores of great baseball books out there to enjoy. However, one of the great joys of baseball is that whether you're looking at this year's stars or those from the 19th century, statistics can paint a very vivid picture of anyone. The Baseball Encyclopedia displays that picture better than any other work. Reading about Babe Ruth's mighty swing is one thing, but seeing the numbers in black and white is staggering.

Especially when you realize he had 94 pitching wins as well. Whew!

5-0 out of 5 stars Baseball Encyclopedia
Are you an avid baseball enthusiast. Do you have every available statistic at the tip of your tongue? If so, this book is for you. It consists of a plethora of baseball statistics from 1871
onward to the present day. Key statistics pertaining to starting pitchers, saves, stolen bases, Hall of Famers and hometown heroes are listed in this encyclopedia for ease of reference.
This work would be very helpful for a class project on the subject of baseball. It is a solid value for the price charged.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Reference EVER!
I'm awaiting the next edition. I believe (hope) they're waiting for the last Century to "offically" end (Rumor) before the next edition. FYI: the first day of the 21st Century is 1/1/2001.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Baseball Encyclopedia
I have used this tome as my bible for years. I have run into former baseball players who swear they were players for a major league team but are not listed. I still have not figured out how often it is revised. ... Read more

75. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball 2005 (Sports Encyclopedia Baseball)
by David S. Neft, Michael L. Neft, Richard M. Cohen
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
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Asin: 0312337868
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Sales Rank: 290441
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Book Description

The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball 2005 covers the history of every player, every team, and every season from 1902 through 2005, with detailed statistics and text summaries, as well as full coverage of this year’s exciting pennant race.

-Which team became the first in history to come back from a 3–1 deficit to win the World Series?
-Who was the only player to pinch-hit a World Series homerun?
-Who became the first to manage five straight pennant winners, and in what years did he do it?
-What 1970s team won a pennant with only one player hitting more than twenty homers, no player driving in eighty runs, no player stealing even ten bases, no player hitting .300, and only one pitcher winning more than fifteen games?

The answers to these and thousands of other baseball questions can be found in this fully up-to-date, fact-filled reference book.
... Read more

76. Strat-O-Matic Fanatics: The Unlikely Success Story of a Game That Became an American Passion
by Glenn Guzzo
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0879462809
Catlog: Book (2005-01)
Publisher: ACTA Sports
Sales Rank: 17756
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The game that changed baseball
Hal Richman figures prominently in Alan Schwartz's "The Numbers Game," a history of the evolution of statistics in baseball.Schwartz interviewed fifty current baseball executives and found HALF of them had played SOM as a child. On a simple "guilty pleasure" level, there is no way that anyone who played SOM wouldn't buy this book to relive their childhood for a few hours.But it is a meaningful work in many other ways:a young man overcoming a painful childhood.A passion becoming a career.A primer in how to succeed in small business.An example of a "perfect" product reaching its audience.

In "Moneyball" you will find some fleeting references to SOM, its statistics and its impact upon baseball people such as Beane, DePodesta, Epstein, etc.In "The Numbers Game" you will find how this game - a box game, for crying out loud - played as important a role in understanding baseball games as box scores and scouting reports.This book puts you inside the company.

Any baseball fan should own all three books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Insiders Look At Table-Top Baseball
This is a fascinating look at the life of Hal Richman,the creator of the Strat-O-Matic game company. It follows him from his introverted childhood to the ultimate success of his business. Table top sports games and their computer based successors have been enjoyed by many fans of all ages. This book affords the reader an inside view on the whole process of this particular games evolution and its statistical accuracy. ... Read more

77. Baseball America 2005 Prospect Handbook : The Comprehensive Guide to Rising Stars from tohe Definitive Source on Prospects (Baseball America Prospect Handbook)
by Baseball America
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
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Asin: 1932391053
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Baseball America
Sales Rank: 25869
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Book Description

The Baseball America 2005 Prospect Handbook is the leading annual reference guide to the next generation of rising stars.The Prospect Handbook profiles in-depth analysis and statistics of 900 players, provides a detailed amateur draft report card, a list of the top one hundred prospects, and a ranking of the Major League Baseball player development programs.The Prospect Handbook is the resource for information regarding the leading minor leaguers throughout baseball and is a valuable tool for fans, fantasy leaguers, and anyone who wants to know more about the player development process. ... Read more

78. Larceny And Old Leather: The Mischievous Legacy of Major League Baseball
by Eldon L. Ham
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
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Asin: 0897335333
Catlog: Book (2005-04-30)
Publisher: Academy Chicago Publishers
Sales Rank: 120128
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Book Description

Every baseball player from little league to the big leagues knows it is illegal to steal signs, yet every major league team assigns someone to do just that.

Baseball thrives on trickery and deception.But as our oldest major team sport, its larcenous legacy goes much deeper than the field of play.

In LARCENY AND OLD LEATHER: THE MISCHIEVOUS LEGACY OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, Eldon Ham—sports lawyer, professor, and author—traces the game’s lesser-known, roguish past.His wry chapters, filled with anecdotes and statistics, expose both the hidden and the obvious cheating occurring throughout baseball’s history, from corked bats and spitballs to betting and media hyperbole.

Here is a book for both seasoned baseball fans and neophytes who’d like to get a look at the game that evolved into an industry.Babe Ruth, Sammy Sosa, Pete Rose, and many other lesser known players make their appearance in this fascinating history, as Ham seeks not only to chronicle the legacy of deception inherent within the game, but also to explore why it is, and how it is, that this deception is exactly what makes baseball the most endearing of American games. ... Read more

79. The Last Good Season: Brooklyn, the Dodgers, and Their Final Pennant Race Together
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0385501528
Catlog: Book (2003-03)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 31928
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the bestselling tradition of The Boys of Summer and Wait ‘Til Next Year, The Last Good Season is the poignant and dramatic story of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ last pennant and the forces that led to their heartbreaking departure to Los Angeles.

The 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers were one of baseball’s most storied teams, featuring such immortals as Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, and Roy Campanella.The love between team and borough was equally storied, an iron bond of loyalty forged through years of adversity and sometimes legendary ineptitude.Coming off their first World Series triumph ever in 1955, against the hated Yankees, the Dodgers would defend their crown against the Milwaukee Braves and the Cincinnati Reds in a six-month neck-and-neck contest until the last day of the playoffs, one of the most thrilling pennant races in history.

But as The Last Good Season so richly relates, all was not well under the surface.The Dodgers were an aging team at the tail end of its greatness, and Brooklyn was a place caught up in rapid and profound urban change.From a cradle of white ethnicity, it was being transformed into a racial patchwork, including Puerto Ricans and blacks from the South who flocked to Ebbets Field to watch the Dodgers’ black stars.The institutions that defined the borough – the Brooklyn Eagle, the Brooklyn Navy Yard – had vanished, and only the Dodgers remained.And when their shrewd, dollar-squeezing owner, Walter O’Malley, began casting his eyes elsewhere in the absence of any viable plan to replace the aging Ebbets Field and any support from the all-powerful urban czar Robert Moses, the days of the Dodgers in Brooklyn were clearly numbered.

Michael Shapiro, a Brooklyn native, has interviewed many of the surviving participants and observers of the 1956 season, and undertaken immense archival research to bring its public and hidden drama to life.Like David Halberstam’s The Summer of ’49, The Last Good Season combines an exciting baseball story, a genuine sense of nostalgia, and hard-nosed reporting and social thinking to reveal, in a new light, a time and place we only thought we understood.
... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Boys of Summer in Their Autumn
Books relating to specific years have been popular over the past several years with mixed results. Author Michael Shapiro has provided us with an outstanding portrait of an aging Brooklyn Dodgers' team going down to the wire in the 1956 season to eek out a pennant over the Milwaukee Braves during the final days of the season. The book is really two separate stories. One involving a lot of politics between Dodgers' owner Walter O'Malley and Robert Moses, an appointed New York official, over the location of a new playing site for the Dodgers. Moses wanted a site located on the present site of Shea Stadium while O'Malley wanted one nearer to Ebbets Field. Shapiro labels Moses as the villain in the move of the Dodgers while O'Malley needed help in acquiring a new stadium, but was not going to get it. Los Angeles promised him more than New York would even consider, so Walter made the move. The one thing O'Malley and Moses shared in common, according to Shapiro, was an ignorance between the team and its fans. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed with the politics involved between both sides in trying to get the deal each wanted, but Shapiro is very thorough in his research. The book's chapters are divided into each month of the baseball season and what took place during each month. A separate chapter is provided for the last week of the season and the World Series. Interesting stories about players such as Robinson, Campanella, Erskine, Reese, Furillo, Newcombe, Labine, and an early season pickup of Sal "The Barber" Maglie from the Cleveland Indians make for very interesting reading even if you are familiar with the Dodgers of this era from other books. It is ironic that former Giant and Dodger rival, Sal "The Barber" Maglie, was to be very instrumental in bringing the Dodgers home with the 1956 pennant. Interesting details of the deal that sent Maglie to the Dodgers from the Indians are provided. Maglie also authored his only no-hitter during the final week of the '56 season, before being victimized by Don Larsen's perfect game in the 5th game of the Series. For the most part America wanted the Milwaukee Braves to win the '56 pennant just to have a new team in the Series, but the St. Louis Cardinals snuffed out the Braves' hopes in St. Louis while the Dodgers were beating the Pirates in Brooklyn. If you feel you have read enough of the Brooklyn Dodgers in previous books, you owe it to yourself to read about this storied team during their Last Good Season.

5-0 out of 5 stars If You Liked The Boys of Summer, You'll Love This
I was born in Brooklyn about four years after the Dodgers left for Los Angeles, so I never had the opportunity to experience the Brooklyn Dodgers firsthand, but Michael Shapiro does a wonderful job capturing the Dodgers final years in Brooklyn, and the struggle between Dodger owner Walter O'Malley, who wanted a new stadium in Brooklyn, and New York' master builder Robert Moses, who had other plans for the Brooklyn site and wanted (and eventually did) build a stadium in Queens.
Shapiro tells the story of the fight between O'Malley and Moses, and he truly captures how important the Dodgers were to Brooklyn. Although the team in their last few years in Brooklyn did not draw particularly well, they were still beloved, and an important part of the borough -- with stars such as Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, and Gil Hodges living in Brooklyn during the season, their wives shopping in local stores, and their children attending the local schools.
To a certain extent I'm sure many of the Brooklyn fans thought their team would never leave. The book illustrates, however, that the teams' fate was in the hands of O'Malley, a businessman only interested in turning a profit, and Moses, a planner who virtually ruled over New York for decades, was more powerful than many mayors, and literally changed the face of the city as well as the state. The fans, caught in the middle, counted for nothing.
Shapiro also portrays the personalities of many of the Dodger stars, with insight into clubhouse relationships and why they performed so well as a team.
In many ways this book is a study in urban politics and baseball. He shows how one affected the other in a profound way, and ultimately, with the move of the Dodgers and Giants to the West Coast, brought baseball into a new era.
If you like baseball or have an interest in New York politics, then this book is for you. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A balanced and wonderful history of the Bums and the end...
The Dodgers of Brooklyn are now mythic. After one reads a wonderful book like Boys of Summer and hears stories about the Bums, you can't help but believe it. However, the Last Good Season brings some balance to the stories and memories. He honors the men who played a boys game in a decaying old stadium. He does not villify O'Malley, but does Robert Moses who was not a great force for good. The book is not a pure baseball book, but as a self-styled historian (using the term very loosely), I enjoyed the views of the Brooklyn and the large social change. Shapiro does not make the Dodgers more than they are. If anything, he is understated in his discussions of the power of baseball. It works beautifully. The book is engrossing and by the end, you can't help but the love Dodgers more. Once you have read this (and you must read Boys of Summer first) go read The Sandy Koufax book, A Lefty's Legacy which really is a nice a bookend to the Dodgers glory years of the 1950s and 1960s (to say nothing of the '70s and '80s).

5-0 out of 5 stars The Last Hurrah For A Legendary Team
The conventional story of the Brooklyn Dodgers' demise is largely familiar to most baseball fans by now. The Borough of Brooklyn saw the working-class white families who had supported the Dodgers flee en masse in the decade after World War Two, replaced by blacks, Puerto Ricans and others of different customs and values. Meanwhile, greedy Dodger owner Walter O'Malley, after making a pretense of wanting to stay in Brooklyn, quickly packed his bags for the more lucrative territory of Los Angeles. If this is the storyline you cling to, be prepared to re-think it. In "The Last Good Season," Michael Shapiro provides a thoroughly-researched, gracefully-written account of the Dodgers' final pennant race and the transformation of Brooklyn.

"I see the boys of summer in their ruin," Dylan Thomas had written in a poem that would forever become linked to the Dodgers. Roger Kahn's masterpiece was still in the future in 1956, but the great Dodger team that had dominated the National League for a decade was clearly approaching the end of the line. Age and injuries were taking their toll on men like Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Carl Erskine and Pee Wee Reese. Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax were on hand, but were still untested youngsters, not the dominant pitchers they would become on the west coast.

Shapiro interweaves an account of the 1956 season with the story of Brooklyn's transformation in the postwar years. Yes, many whites were fleeing to the suburbs, but Ebbets Field was still filled with fans. In fact, he suggests, it was a wonderful, if brief period when black, brown and white fans came together for a common purpose.

What seems abundantly clear from the archives Shapiro has mined is that far from looking for a quick exit, O'Malley was seeking every opportunity to stay (although on his terms.) All he wanted--reasonably enough, in his view--was the city's help in securing the site for a new stadium. Here, though, he came up against the most powerful man in New York--Robert Moses. It was a battle he was destined to lose. Interestingly enough, while Shapiro refuses to condemn O'Malley as a carpetbagger, he does conclude he never should have owned a baseball team. Why? He simply didn't understand the game, or its true meaning to its fans. O'Malley was the kind of owner who could maximize the bottom line, and knew how to successfully market his product--but that's all it ever was to him. A product. As Shapiro's book makes clear, for millions of fans, the Brooklyn Dodgers represented so much more.--William C. Hall

5-0 out of 5 stars A BOOK FOR LEGENDS

80. Leo Mazzone's Tales from the Braves Mound
by Leo Mazzone, Scott Freeman
list price: $19.95
our price: $16.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582616744
Catlog: Book (2003-05-05)
Publisher: Sports Pub
Sales Rank: 63527
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the story of Leo Mazzone and his ascent through the minor leagues to the dugout of the Atlanta Braves where he has become one of the finest pitching coaches in the game and has coached perhaps the greatest pitching staff ever assembled on a major league roster. Mazzone has been developing pitchers at various levels of the Braves organization since 1979, but nothing has given him more satisfaction than the past 11 seasons. The Braves pitching staff has either led or been second in the major leagues in ERA's each year since 1992, and his starting pitchers have won six Cy Young Awards between them. Tales from the Braves Mound reveals many of Mazzone's coaching philosophy's and will give insight into his relationships with current Braves greats such as Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. An assortment of stories and memories from Mazzone's time on the Braves bench will make this book a must read for any Braves fan or baseball fan in general. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Attention True Baseball Fans
I have been a Brave's fan since the late eighties watching the young guns loose close games by one or two runs, especially in 89 and 90. Scott and Leo team up to give us a highly entertaining behind the scenes look of a decade and more of one of the best pitching staff's in the history of baseball. This book is well written and is a must for any true baseball fan, particularly Brave's fans. Great book Scott and Leo! ... Read more

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