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$10.85 $10.29 list($15.95)
81. Who's Better, Who's Best in Baseball?
$12.21 $11.24 list($17.95)
82. The Louisville Slugger® Complete
$69.00 $57.65 list($75.00)
83. Baseball and Softball Fields :
$9.71 $5.49 list($12.95)
84. The Life You Imagine : Life Lessons
$13.57 $8.50 list($19.95)
85. What I Learned From Jackie Robinson
$16.47 list($24.95)
86. The Act of Pitching: A Tutorial
$12.21 $3.49 list($17.95)
87. Louisville Slugger Complete Book
$10.50 $1.65 list($14.00)
88. Men at Work : The Craft of Baseball
$16.47 $10.95 list($24.95)
89. Beyond the Boys of Summer
$24.95 $12.50
90. How About That! The Life of Mel
$16.47 $16.46 list($24.95)
91. Forging Genius: The Making Of
$11.53 $10.87 list($16.95)
92. Blood Feud : The Red Sox, the
$11.53 $0.79 list($16.95)
93. Play Better Baseball : Winning
$24.95 $16.46
94. Cubs: Where Have You Gone?
$16.47 $9.00 list($24.95)
95. The Zen of Zim : Baseballs, Beanballs,
$11.20 $8.74 list($14.00)
96. Devil Wears Pinstripes, The
$19.77 $14.95 list($29.95)
97. Baseball . . . The Perfect Game:
$11.53 $10.37 list($16.95)
98. The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers
$12.21 $11.75 list($17.95)
99. 101 Pitching Drills
$10.46 $2.15 list($13.95)
100. Sandy Koufax : A Lefty's Legacy

81. Who's Better, Who's Best in Baseball?
by ElliottKalb
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071445382
Catlog: Book (2005-02-16)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 57979
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Guaranteed to spark debate among baseball diehards with its controversial pick for #1

"Elliott Kalb's work is beyond excellent. He thinks in story lines and uses numbers to make compelling and often original points."--Bob Costas

In the world of major-league sports, Elliott Kalb, a.k.a "Mr. Stats," is the Sultan of Stats, the Tsar of Trivia, and the Final Word in armchair-athlete disputes. Now, hot on the heels of his controversial bestseller Who's Better, Who's Best in Basketball? comes a book that is guaranteed to raise both hackles and cheers from baseball fans from coast to coast. More than a book of lists, Who's Better, Who's Best in Baseball?:

  • Interweaves numbers, facts, and anecdotes to offer a grand perspective on the entire history of the sport and its 100 all-time greatest of the greats--including players from the Negro Leagues
  • Features interviews with MLB experts, players, and coaches, including Bob Costas, Bud Selig, Vin Scully, Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, Johnny Bench, and others
  • Argues the popular debate--what means more, modern training and modern medicine, overall athletics, popularity, or genetics?
... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Book
I dig Elliott Kalb's Books big time. His Basketball Book was on point&This Baseball Book is another Winner. Barry Bonds is the Greatest Ever to me as well.Josh Gibson was so ahead of his time it ain't even funny. I enjoy how Elliott Kalb breaks things down&he makes you look at all the possiblitys.He is a very gifted writer&I dig how He challenges you on players.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stealing Home!
A pastoral game scribed to urban contexts while having fair ter-
ritory as expansive as the universe, baseball is to America what
Lewis&Clark was to the Jefferson administration.Its goal to
reach a "clearing in the distance" only matters if you can come
home.And with no two playing fields the same, it's what dreams
are made of: induced by memory and reinforced by endless argu-
ments, but with every day a whole new ballgame.With Kalb,
either I'm finally home (a steal for $15!), or I've died and
gone to heaven.

5-0 out of 5 stars Here He Goes Again
As with Mr. Kalb's basketball book, I find it super hard to agree with his picks. Barry Bonds as the best player ever in baseball is too much for me to swallow. But as with his basketball book, it's the DETAILS of his arguments which I find so interesting. I don't have to agree with Elliott in order to find his arguments interesting. He sold me that Josh Gibson was the best catcher ever. I hadn't thought about it, but I now agree Roger Clemens is the best active pitcher today. And I'll never forget his "Better Analogy" for Sandy Koufax to Elliott's own wife Amy ("both born on Dec. 30th and wild in their 20's"). Buy this book if you want to sound intelligent in arguing who the best players of all time are.

5-0 out of 5 stars Totally Awesome Book for teens
I just got this book in time for the baseball season, and it is the best book I've ever read.Kalb makes great points about Bonds being better than everyone else, but I loved some of the other chapters even more.Josh Gibson the greatest catcher of all time?Pedro Martinez ahead of Randy Johnson?This is a great book for people who want to get to know about the top players of all time. ... Read more

82. The Louisville Slugger® Complete Book of Hitting Faults and Fixes : How to Detect and Correct the 50 Most Common Mistakes at the Plate
by JohnMonteleone, MarkGola
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809298023
Catlog: Book (2001-02-07)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 28383
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For a baseball player, there is nothing more frustrating than struggling at the plate. Hitters--no matter how accomplished--experience hitting slumps, for both mechanical and mental reasons. Their challenge--and yours--is to contain them for a short period of time. The Louisville Slugger Complete Book of Hitting Faults and Fixes identifies the sources of fifty distinct hitting faults that lead to problem swings and includes drills specifically designed to help you correct them.

The step-by-step approach starts from the ground up, including:

  • Problems in the stance: hot feet, poor positioning in the box
  • Pre-swing movements: no coil in torso, overstriding, hitching before swinging
  • Hip rotation and weight transfer: little or no weight transfer, over-rotating
  • The swing: uppercutting, casting your hands, pulling your head off the ball
  • Mental approach: fear of failure, poor judgment of the strike zone, failing to recognize pitch patterns

The instruction behind each fault also features unique insight from a major league hitter or professional coach. These tips also allow you to get inside the best minds in the business and apply their wisdom to your own game. By applying the book's systematic approach, including lots of practice, you will be able to dissect your swing, identify mistakes, and put yourself on the correct path to recovery and success, becoming a true student of the swing.

... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars great book parents/coaches
This is a great book for you coaches out there. Several drills along with great insight on different hitting styles/tech. Also several tips on what to do if.....

5-0 out of 5 stars must read
If you coach youth baseball you need to read this book. This book will help make you a better coach and your team a winner.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Baseball Book
This is the best instruction book on a baseball topic that I've ever encountered. Very clear, interesting, and well-organized. Will be of special value to coaches--at all levels. ... Read more

83. Baseball and Softball Fields : Design, Construction, Renovation, and Maintenance
by JimPuhalla, JeffKrans, MikeGoatley
list price: $75.00
our price: $69.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471447935
Catlog: Book (2003-08-08)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 266166
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Book Description

In the US there are over 425,000 baseball and softball fields. This book aims to bring baseball and softball field managers the knowledge and skills needed to create and maintain a flawless stadium and playing field.

It covers a wide range of topics from stadium and field design from fences and drainage to amenities for spectators such as concession stands and public conveniences
* Contributors include Major League groundskeepers who share their own experiences in managing state-of-the art facilities
* Outlines the most commonly encountered problems for managers and designers of baseball and softball fields and provides techniques for overcoming these issues
* Divides the North American continent into the major three climatic zones and focuses on the specific areas of concern and consideration for each
* Uses practical, non-technical language that can be absorbed and used by professionals with no background in complex areas such as turf-management or soil science
... Read more

84. The Life You Imagine : Life Lessons for Achieving Your Dreams
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0609807188
Catlog: Book (2001-06-05)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 11000
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ever wonder what it would take to turn all of your dreams into reality? In The Life You Imagine, All-Star New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter shows how you can use the same game plan that helped an eight-year-old boy who fantasized about playing baseball for the Bronx Bombers grow up and become MVP of the 2000 World Series. With the help and support of both of his parents, Derek developed a practical program that would assist him in achieving all of his personal and professional aspirations-and now he shares his secrets to success so that you can get closer to living your dream, too.

In this inspiring, information-packed book, Derek provides you with the ten lessons that have guided him throughout his life on and off the field, from his dream of being a gifted, hardworking athlete to his goal of becoming an active community leader. Using personal stories from his own life as a student athlete in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and as a Yankee team player, Derek writes about the simple steps that put him on course for success, including:

* Setting your goals high and finding the right role models
* Being serious but still having fun
* Challenging yourself daily and not being afraid to fail
* Surrounding yourself with a strong supporting cast

Filled with rare family photos and pictures of Derek playing for the Yankees, The Life You Imagine is an intimate look into the life of a superstar athlete -- including the remarkable relationship he has with his family, what it's like to play with the Yankees, and how he's used his baseball celebrity to found the Turn 2 Foundation, a drug and alcohol prevention program for kids.
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Reviews (28)

4-0 out of 5 stars An inspirational book from a true role model
Derek Jeter is young by most all standards. At 26 years old he has his whole life ahead of him, but the story he has lived so far is incredibly rich in inspiration. As an athlete in the dawning of the 21 st century the way he chooses to live his life in the spotlight is even more commendable considering the alternative routes he could have chosen to go down. Instead of a money hungry, media blasting, bitter ball player, Derek Jeter has become a man we all can admire because of the little boy with a dream that he was... someone we can all identify with. This story solidifies his standing as a great role model for young and old alike. In this book you will see Derek's childhood and his ongoing journey through this life he has imagined. You will find out how deeply his family has grounded him and how wonderful a job they did. This story is great if you want to be inspired by a truly wonderful young man!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Life You Imagine: Life Lessons for Achieving Your Dreams
Who wouldn't want to be Derek Jeter? The money, fame, and women. The truth is, Jeter never really had it this good. This book, The Life You Imagine: Life Lessons for Achieving Your Dreams, talks about Jeter's struggles growing up, and his inspiring life-long dream he fulfilled when he reached the major leagues. In this book, Jeter talks about setting goals no matter how high, and striving hard to accomplish those goals. This is a book about life lessons, and using perseverance to get passed any stumbling blocks that may occur in one's life. Jeter encourages kids to dream, and believe they can accomplish their dreams. Even Derek Jeter faced difficult problems he had to overcome. In this book, Jeter gives a positive message to everyone, to believe in yourself, and you can do anything!

This book is unlike any other. Sure other books give positive messages about life, but this book gives lessons about life also. Anyone could tell a person that the problem they're facing is common and will work out, but it helps to hear from a professional athlete that experienced that same problem. Another thing that sets this book apart from others is its mood. The mood in this story is changing often. One chapter the story could be sad because of a bad situation Jeter faced, and the next chapter of the story could be happy because Jeter overcame his problem. The story goes back and forth, with Jeter facing a problem, then solving a problem. In the end Jeter is always able to persevere enough to get past whatever situation he faced, big or small. This book gives positive messages to everyone, but especially to kids. It talks about not using drugs, making right decisions, and being a good person. Derek Jeter is a great role model for any kid, not because he's a great baseball player, but because he's a great person.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite book of all time..
I'm about to read this book for the third time and I'm sure I'll love it just as much as the last. Reading this book always refreshes my outlook on life, it makes me see things in a more positive life. Jeter not only shines on the field, but off the field as well. He is one person that I will look up to for the rest of my life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book you can buy.
This book is incredible. I bought it 2 years ago thinking it was just about baseball, but it was much more then that. He talks about achieving your dreams. As a kid little Derek Jeter wanted to play Shortstop for the New York Yankees. Look where he is now. Short Stop for the Yankees. This dream wasn't just handed to him. He had to overcome a lot of challenges he dealt them in different ways. His parents where very supportive of anything he and his sister wanted. They deal a big part of his success.

This book was very useful to me. When I read it back in 8th grade I didn't want to put it down. SSR became my favorite part of the day so I could read it. I don't know how it happened, but the book was so inspiring. As I read it I would think, "Hey if Derek can do it so can I." Being in Special Ed. I though, "I'm not as smart as other people so why bother." After reading it I began to focus on my grades a lot more. I did all my homework and suddenly I had all these good grades. In the middle of the year I got moved up to regular classes and at the end of the year I was moved out of Special Ed. I now think anyone in Special Ed. can do well they just have to work hard and focus on school.

I'm now in 10th grade and I'm working hard to graduate and get into college teachers have asked me what encouraged me and I always say, "Derek Jeter." For some teachers that I have loved I bought them a copy of this book and they loved it. Because of this masterpiece book my whole future has been changed. I now know what I want in life. There have been so many wonderful things that have happened to me just because I focus in school and I owe it all to Derek Jeter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jeter should be #1
This book was well written and made you want to be a part of the jeter houshold!!! ... Read more

85. What I Learned From Jackie Robinson
by CarlErskine
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071450858
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 92848
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


"Jackie needed to quell his anger the first couple of years, a task which only someone of this inner strength and vision could have coped with at that moment. When I reflect and wonder what it must have been like for a man who should have been at the happiest of moments in his life, to still have to deal with racial indignities on a daily basis, it is mind-boggling. Most mortal men would have cracked."--Carl Erskine, from the book

Jackie Robinson changed the game of baseball forever when he paved the way for equality in sports. In What I Learned from Jackie Robinson, former teammate and friend Carl Erskine shares his memories of Jackie's crusade in a loving social memoir.

Written with New York Times bestselling coauthor Burton Rocks and filled with personal photos, this moving portrait of friendship takes readers for the first time inside the locker room, inside the soul of Jackie, and inside the hearts of his friends, teammates, and oppressors. As a former Dodger, with access to the important people from Jackie's life, Erskine talks with Robinson's widow and also shares memories about:

Yogi Berra

Whitey Ford

Sandy Koufax

Stan Musial

Pee Wee Reese

Roy Campanella

Don Drysdale

Billy Martin

and many other players, coaches, sportswriters, and entertainers who remembered Jackie on and off the field. A retrospective on a man who fought for his cause until death, this memoir is a testament to the man and the game that brought the world together when it was falling apart.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book of Sincere Appreciation
Carl Erskine has written a book of sincere appreciation of former Brooklyn Dodgers' teammate Jackie Robinson for the role he played in Erskine's life and also in advancing the cause of civil rights in which baseball paved the way for the rest of the country to follow.Part of the book covers the careers both had as teammates on the Dodgers and their almost yearly quest to dethrone the Yankees as World Champions in the World Series.Some of the anecdotes can be found in other books, but there are some stories Erskine relates that I have never heard before.Erskine relates the struggle Robinson faced in gaining acceptance in baseball to his (Erskine's) son Jimmy, a Down syndrome child, faced in gaining acceptance in a prejudiced American society. As Erskine relates, the Boys of Summer are now in their autumn as many of his teammates have passed on.Carl believes that our experiences that take place early in our life are designed to prepare us for what is to come ahead.A black friend he had as a young boy prepared him for the time when Robinson would become his teammate.It's easy to see Erskine's affection towards Robinson.Sometimes what appears to be a small kindness looms large in the one who receives it.Carl Erskine pitched as a minor leaguer against the parent Brooklyn Dodgers' team, and after the game Robinson came over and praised Carl's pitching effort to him.To hear this praise coming from Jackie Robinson meant a lot to him, and was something Erskine always remembered.A chapter I especially enjoyed was Erskine relating a year 2000 trip he and his family made to New York and returned to Brooklyn to see the old neighborhood he used to live in while a member of the Dodgers.The book is only 150 pages long, but whether you are of age to remember the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950's or not this is a book you will find to be of interest to you. I give the book five stars for Carl's efforts to relate his experiences in trying to teach others the importance of accepting others for who they are. ... Read more

86. The Act of Pitching: A Tutorial for All Levels by a Master Technician-Detailing Every Aspect of Pitching
by John Bagonzi, Alex Levin
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1930770197
Catlog: Book (2001-04-01)
Publisher: Hedgehoghill Press
Sales Rank: 32454
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Pitchers, coaches, and fans will enjoy this fun, informative, and accessible guide to the art of pitching. The specifics of grips, arm angles, and finger pressure, as well as many variations of different pitches, are all explained in detail. This book teaches skills required for pitching, such as mental toughness, preparedness, and strategy. Those involved in any competitive activity will discover useful tools for developing focus and the energy of mind necessary for winning. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extrodinary!!!
If you are or want to be a pitcher, buy this book. Period. It contains everything you could possibly need to know about pitching, from how to throw a fastball to how to field a bunt. Gonzi explains everything technically, but is very readable. He spends almost three chapters talking about mechanics, but every word is worth it. He also shows multiple grips and techniques for every pitch in existance, even the screwball! Buy this book!
A+++! ... Read more

87. Louisville Slugger Complete Book of Pitching
by DougMyers, MarkGola, Doug Myers, Mark Gola
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809226685
Catlog: Book (2000-03-01)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 31653
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There is no one way to throw a baseball; for this simple reason the pitcher has one of the most intriguing positions in baseball. Short or tall, gawky or athletic, lefty or righty, hard thrower or crafty nibbler, anyone who can find a way to get batters out can be a good pitcher.The Louisville Slugger Complete Book of Pitching analyzes the methods of stars such as Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, and Tom Seaver. In addition, this book reveals what all prospective pitchers--regardless of style or stuff--need to do in order to be successful. Among the topics covered are:

  • Building proper mechanics, from stride and delivery to release point and follow-through
  • Throwing fastballs with varying velocity and movement around the plate
  • Moving hitters in and out and forward and back in the box with an effective change-up
  • Responding to key game situations and defensive responsibilities
  • Building strength and flexibility in the arm as well as the legs and torso through customized conditioning plans
  • Scouting opposition before game day, analyzing field conditions, and being your own coach on the mound when your stuff isn't working
  • Developing the mental game necessary to control emotions and deal with adversity
The Louisville Slugger Complete Book of Pitching is more than just instruction. Its unique treatment includes historical sidebars and anecdotes from players that will delight baseball fans, making it the ultimate reference for pitchers, pitching coaces, and others who enjoy the thrill and magic of fooling the hitter. Doug Myers is the author of Essential Cubs and the forthcoming Louisville Slugger Presents Batting Around.Mark Gola is a sportswriter who also works as the assistant coach for the Rider University baseball team. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kev Enjoys this book!
This book is great! I bought the book yesterday and already see immediate results in my pitching fundamentals and mechanics. Any age level can use this book, from little league to the pros (but I would assume the pros would aready know all the facts in this book). This book is broken down into chapters, dealing early with the mechanics to correctly pitch, and then later on, learning about the mental part of pitching. It goes over how to pitch fastballs, curveballs and sliders, and change-ups. THE LOUISVILLE SLUGGER COMPLETE BOOK OF PITCHNG is a great buy if you're a beginner just learning the game or a veteran trying to master the art of pitching!

5-0 out of 5 stars A state of the art overview of pitching
In many ways this book is a like a summary of many of the ideas that you can read about elsewhere. The section stressing the importance of the change-up is a classic and is worth the price of the whole book. Illustrations are superb throughout and the book is full of priceless quotations from well known pitchers and coaches.

However I would not say 'forget about Tom House' because House still provide the more thorough run down on pitching mechanics, and the section on pitching mechanics is the only relative weakness that this otherwise excellent book has. It is however true that this book is a better place to start than House, whose "The Pitching Edge" remains high powered advanced reading for the serious pro.

You cannot go far wrong by reading this book. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thorough and easy-to-understand
This book is the best I've read on the subject of pitching. Forget about Tom House--this book includes everything you need to know to become more successful on the mound: pitching mechanics, how to throw particular pitches, the mental aspects of pitching, conditioning, and more in language that is accessible for any reader. Authors Myers and Gola are thorough in their presentation of pitching as both art and science. I highly recommend the book for pitchers, parents and coaches at any level from little league to professional. ... Read more

88. Men at Work : The Craft of Baseball
by George F. Will
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060973722
Catlog: Book (1991-04-24)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 25407
Average Customer Review: 3.97 out of 5 stars
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In Men at Work, political pundit George Will breaks baseball down, parsing it into essential tasks: hitting, fielding, pitching, and managing. Why do some succeed grandly while others are more apt to whiff? By analyzing the way Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Orel Hershiser, and Tony LaRussa approach the game and do what they do, he finds striking similarities in intelligence, dedication, drive, and desire. ... Read more

Reviews (38)

4-0 out of 5 stars "There's a lot of stuff goes on"--Tony LaRussa
George Will's "Men at Work" was written out of his love for the game, and "the game inside the game." The book features extended interviews with baseball luminaries Tony LaRussa, Orel Hersheiser, Tony Gywnn and Cal Ripken jr. It is divided into sections on managers, pitchers, hitters, and defensive play. Will states that baseball is about paying attention, about the myriad details that make up each pitch, each play, each out.

At times the book bogs down into a tech manual, giving even the most enthusiastic readers a little too much detail; at other times Will's rightwing political bias does emerge in the guise of a discussion of a strong work ethic, individual initiative for personal gain, and nostalgic idealization of the past.

But taken as a whole, "Men at Work" is a paean to what used to be called "America's favorite pastime". Will demonstrates why baseball appeals on many levels to a wide range of people. As a lifelong fan, someone who has never tired of the game because however lopsided the score, there is always something to pick up on (see Tony LaRussa's quote above), I recommend the book to readers of all ages.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Inside Pitch
George Will is a witty columnist, television personality and author that has won many awards over the duration his career. He spends most of his time writing columns for Newsweek and The Washington Post. Also, he makes appearances on the ABC network commenting on political issues. My focus is on his 1990 number one best selling book that stayed on top for over two months, "Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball."

Many books are available today that focus on the game of baseball. There are all sorts of reading material obtainable if you are looking for such things as history of the game, pitching strategies, tips for hitting and the list goes on. Nobody else but George Will can bring all of these elements into one clever written piece of literature.

Will breaks his book down into four main branches of baseball. He focuses on the managing, pitching, hitting and defending aspects of the game. This is done with the help of some protracted interviews with some of baseballs legends. In the managing section he interviews Tony La Russa, one of baseballs' great all time managers. He provides insightful details on getting the winning edge over the opponent. "He is responsible for wringing the last drop of advantage from the situations that will occur in each game. To do this he must know the abilities his players have revealed in their past performances and he must have similar knowledge of the players in the opposite dugout" (Wills 7). With his vast knowledge of the game, Will certainly communicates to us how meticulous managers have to be to become successful.

In the next three sections he gives us a very informative look at baseball interviewing Orel Hershiser for pitching, hitting with Tony Gwynn and defense with Cal Ripken, all of which are legend of the game. He focuses in on these sections just as he did for the first section, full of enlightening insight of strategy and looking extremely close of the inter workings of the game. Not just through his eyes but also through the eyes of these great players. Will also portrays the game of baseball as a difficult sport to master because "baseball is a game of failure, even the best batters fail about sixty five percent of the time" (Will 1). Many people don't appreciate the level of skill it takes to be able to either thrown a 90mph pitch or hit a 90mph pitch. Will makes it clear that constant effort and much practice is needed to succeed at the game of baseball.

I found that this book is for the baseball blooded competitor that wants every advantage possible when playing the game. Although, Will might be over-analyzing America's national pastime to the point of exhaustion, he makes us realize that there is more to the game than just playing it. He makes us realize that baseball doesn't ride on talent by itself but hard work and determination gets players to the next level.

I think George Will has written a great book that has definitely put a solid image of what it take to be a ballplayer in the readers head, not just physically but mentally. He has broken down the barrier of the unknown and has taken us through an insider's look of what baseball is really all about. Baseball on the outside is just a simple game where most would agree that only physical challenges are met. But Will shows us the professional baseball mind and how the game gets so much more complex as the competition grows stronger. One cannot help but gain an understanding and a deep appreciation for the game of baseball through all of his Will's insightful words and thorough analysis of some of the greatest players that ever lived.

4-0 out of 5 stars George from Florissant is a hick from North County
Hey George from Florissant, how about those Cardinals now??? Still bashing LaRussa??? Why don't you get over your Whitey Herzog obsession and enjoy the fact that the Cards play hard every night. If you had cable you'd be able to see that most other teams don't do that.
La Russa is a great manager and this is a pretty good book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yeah
This is a great book, largely because George Will is a conservative. I am obsessed with ensuring that everything in life - every book, every movie, and even my own miserable life - is boiled down to a liberal or conservative issue. "Men At Work" is a great read and reminds me of a terrible script I wrote that no one would buy. Buy this book, though! George Will shows a great love and understanding for the game of baseball. The liberals are after me. In addition, Will's insights really sparkle upon rereading. I come from a great family, all of whom are more accomplished people than I. Buy this book.


5-0 out of 5 stars GEORGE HITS A HOMER
"Men At Work" is a great, great baseball book. Is it as good as "The Summer Game", "Five Seasons", "A False Spring"? Interestingly, it is and it isn't. Technically it is. It contains superb reportage and loving writing about a game George Will adores. But the there is a technology to Will's writing, a one-two-three, a but-for premise that borders on lawyering, advocacy. I love it, yes, but I have to rate this just below the pure romance of Roger Angell or the raunchy, man's-man baseball-as-life stories that infuses Pat Jordan's work. Will has written here a book that precursors "Moneyball". It describes the new age of baseball, an age of computers and preparation that replaces the Joe Schultz "Let's beat 'em, then pound some Budweiser" era described by Jim Bouton's "Ball Four".

STWRITES@AOL.COM ... Read more

89. Beyond the Boys of Summer
by RogerKahn
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 007144727X
Catlog: Book (2005-01-31)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 91358
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Spanning half a century, the first comprehensive anthology of the great Roger Kahn's writing, for a new generation of sports fans

Roger Kahn, author of 19 books including the modern classic The Boys of Summer, is arguably America's greatest sportswriter. Now, for the first time, Beyond the Boys of Summer presents a showcase of 50 years worth of Kahn's celebrated work. From a 1955 article on the incomparable Jackie Robinson to excerpts from his recent bestselling book on the controversial '78 Yankees, this unprecedented anthology spans an entire career to show off the grace, wit, and elegance of Roger Kahn's most memorable writing on sports, as well as his reporting beyond the world of baseball diamonds and boxing rings.

Uniquely organized around life's stages, the book brings readers face to face with some of the greatest names in sport, including Muhammad Ali, Jack Dempsey, Reggie Jackson, and Pete Rose. Through Kahn's fly-on-the-wall style, readers will see Duke Snider in the avocado fields of California, Mickey Mantle in Texas taverns, and Joe DiMaggio watching his famous wife, Marilyn Monroe, flirt for the movie cameras.

In the final segment, Kahn meets the 80-year-old poet Robert Frost, mourns the deaths of friends and heroes, and movingly writes about how sports stars--and even sportswriters--grow old, looking back on a long life well lived.

... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fifty Years of the Best Writing
Best known for "The Boys of Summer," Roger Kahn spent half a century writing on baseball and much more. This book is a collection of his essays, mostly on baseball and its players, but fifty years of writing is a lot of writing. Here are his writing on many, many other people, other activities. Still, this is Roger Kahn, even the baseball stories make you remember that baseball players are still people.

The short (5 page) Chapter 17 is on Joe DiMaggio's marriage to Marilyn Monroe. It brings a great sadness. This kind of reaching for the emotions is a thing that Roger Kahn does better than just about anyone else. He is able to look beyond the superstar personna to the peson underneath and then to bring this person to life using just the printed word.

The really good thing about books like this is that they mean that the words printed in a newspaper that will be thrown away the next day remain available. This is a supurb book, writing at its best.

5-0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as The Boys of summer
Saying this book is almost as good as Kahn's "Boys of Summer" really means that "The Boys" batted 407, and "Beyond the Boys" batted 406.
Wonderful, unbeatable prose, great stories told by one of the masters of baseball writing. It belongs on every baseball fan's bookshelf. Don't miss it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Roger Kahn is Always A Treat to Read
I have never read a book by Roger Kahn that was less than five stars.This volume is a collection of Kahn's work from books and magazine articles from his illustrious career.Roger covered the Brooklyn Dodgers during the seasons of 1952 and 1953 which led to The Boys of Summer.The book is divided into sections with chapters devoted to athletes, mainly baseball players, that have been subjects of Kahn's work over the past several decades.The last chapter is a tribute to former Dodgers' outfielder Carl Furillo, The Reading Rifle.It is absolutely first rate.Some of the other sections of the book are devoted to New York's centerfielders of the 1950's, hitters and pitchers, fighters such as Dempsey and Ali, in addition to Billy vs. Reggie, and George M. Steinbrenner.A very touching section is entitled "Heroes Off the Field" in which chapters are devoted to Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Ring Lardner, and Pee Wee Reese.Another memorable section is devoted to "On Getting Old" with chapters on Robert Frost, Stan Musial (old as a ballplayer), sportswriters, and the previously mentioned Carl Furillo.I did find one minor error in the Introduction written by Rob Miraldi when he said "he (Kahn) was sent to cover the crosstown Giants in the Bronx" after covering the Dodgers in 1952 and 1953.The Giants as Miraldi knows played in the Polo Grounds which was located on the island of Manhattan.If you have enjoyed Roger Kahn's previous books you won't want to miss this one, especially if you are a baseball fan.This isn't a book to be read by a speed reader.This is a book to be savored. ... Read more

90. How About That! The Life of Mel Allen
by Stephen Borelli
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 1582617333
Catlog: Book (2005-03)
Publisher: Sports Publishing
Sales Rank: 156663
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"There’s a fly ball out to right field...that ball is going, is gone!" The voice was unmistakable. From the 1930s until his death in 1996, Mel Allen riveted generations of sports fans with his resonant Southern tones on radio and television. His signature calls of "How about that!" (after a spectacular play) and "Going... going... gone!" (to frame a home run) made him an American icon.

How About That! The Life of Mel Allen is the first biography on perhaps the most famous sports broadcaster. Author Stephen Borelli, who, like his father and grandfather, attentively followed Allen’s on-air accounts, traces the announcer from tiny towns in Alabama to the glares of Yankee Stadium and the Rose Bowl. You brush shoulders with legendary college football coach Bear Bryant, famous radio host Ralph Edwards, and a lineup of New York Yankees legends that includes Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Casey Stengel. Allen had a fan following as frantic as theirs, including legions of female admirers. You experience baseball’s glorious radio days, when announcers like Allen and his Brooklyn rival Red Barber gave listeners sight and sound and their depictions made ballplayers seem larger than life. Through Allen’s folksy words, you follow a Yankees dynasty at its height, from the intensity on the field during a feverish 1949 pennant race with the Boston Red Sox and numerous "Subway Series" to the camaraderie in the clubhouse and on overnight train rides. You learn about Allen’s fade from the national eye after the Yankees mysteriously dismissed him in 1964 and his second broadcasting life in the late 1970s through mid-1990s as host of the groundbreaking television show This Week in Baseball. During this period, a unique friendship with George Steinbrenner allowed Allen to call one last no-hitter as he became the voice of baseball again.

How About That! is the story of the American dream. A boy raised by Russian Jewish immigrants who face Ku Klux Klan persecution and Depression-era hardship rises to national fame with a magical voice and a touch of chance. He stays on top with a relentless drive to succeed that leaves him a lifelong bachelor, though always a devoted family man. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Grain of the Voice...
Mel Allen's voice echoes throughout the pages of Borelli's book. Considering Allen's biography within the history of the game and its mass-mediated transmission, HOW ABOUT THAT! is a real pleasure for fans of the game of calling the game...

5-0 out of 5 stars a home run
a resonant,affectionate detailed chronology of the voiceof thebronx bombers. especiallyenjoyed the segments discussing his relationship with his peers- both within as well as remote to- the Yankee broadcast booth. evokes fond memories of my baptism as a fan,Jersey summer nights, and transistor radios under the pillow.

5-0 out of 5 stars a must have Book for a Baseball fan
Mel Allen truly made Baseball must see TV just for His Signature voice alone. I grew up watching this week in baseball which was always a Saturday must no matter what was going on.this Book also explores the hardship&various things that Mel Allen went through in his early Journey. He truly is one of the Spirits of Baseball as we know it.a Very Detailed Book that pays tribute to One of the Greatest voices in Sports History. ... Read more

91. Forging Genius: The Making Of Casey Stengel
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 1574888730
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Potomac Books
Sales Rank: 8275
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Book Description

When Casey Stengel was named the manager of the Yankees in 1949, baseball wags were stunned. What had Stengel ever done? His work managing the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves had been long on personality and remarkably short on success. They thought the Yankees would never be able to compete with the Red Sox or Indians with that broken-down old man in charge. At the All-Star break, the Yankees looked like a banged-up bunch of also-rans, not like a team about to embark on five straight championships. Yet Stengel seemed confident of success. As Steven Goldman explains, people had forgotten that Casey knew how to come back.

How did he know? Goldman refutes claims that anyone could have won with the Yankees. Casey knew how to win because of the years of struggle and ignominy, because he’d learned how to manage by running two of the game’s worst sad-sack franchises, because he had learned through failure. To understand Stengel’s formative years, Goldman retraces Stengel’s baseball education in playing for the great John McGraw, from whom he also learned that success permits no room for nostalgia. Goldman follows Stengel through his years with the Dodgers and Braves, his return to the minors, a spat with Bill Veeck, and his success as a businessman away from the diamond.

Forging Genius gives insights to Stengel’s irrepressible love of the game and his incorrigible desire to entertain. As Casey put it, "Because I can make people laugh, some of them think I’m a damn fool." His humor camouflaged a relentless hunger for success, glory, and the respectability he desperately sought. Goldman gives readers an unprecedented vision of one man’s lifelong pursuit of genius on the baseball diamond. ... Read more

92. Blood Feud : The Red Sox, the Yankees, and the STruggle of Good versus Evil
by Bill Nowlin, Jim Prime
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 1579401112
Catlog: Book (2005-03-25)
Publisher: Rounder Books
Sales Rank: 10413
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A fresh look at the merciless Red Sox / Yankees rivalry, drawing on history, original interviews with players from both sides, and discussions with partisans of each team among the fans. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Of The Best (The Book Is Good Too!)
Alright, I admit it. I'm a card carrying member of the Nation. In fact, I'm damn proud of that fact. Being born in Ma, my first words were "Yankees suck." However, before somebody (ahem, Yankees fans) wire my ignition to an explosive, let me say that I found the book, though obviously skewed in the BoSox favor, is an interesting look at the rivarly none the less. A great read, even if you are a Yankees whore... I'm sorry, I meant fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Gospel According to Boston
There are people, although I can't imagine why, that would claim that this book is one sided. These are probably people who simply don't realize that damnyankee is one word. They probably don't even realize that this is a battle between the forces of good and the dark side of the force. They might, just might, you understand, even be people who say that this is only a game. I'm told that there are even people who said that who became President was more important, but I clearly don't belie that this is true, there just couldn't be such people.

Well, that's the tone of the book. If you're a Yankee fan (I guess there are still a few out there), you can expect to get your bowels in an uproar by reading this book. If you're a Red Sox fan, well, the book is only simple Gospel fact, with a bit of humor thrown in.

5-0 out of 5 stars Something for Everyone
Whether you are a Red Sox fan or not (and why not?) this book is fun, ingenious and lots of information for baseball diehards.Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime obviously enjoyed putting this book together and it shows with lots of humor and poking fun throughout.I loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter..they just made me giggle!!Good work!Thanks for sheer pleasure and delight!!

5-0 out of 5 stars one of a million?
There seem to be a million new books on the Red Sox this year.It's probably more like 25.Most are self-congratulatory books that just celebrate the win, and maybe try to cash in on it.I see four or five that focus on the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry.This is one of the best.It seems to do two things at the same time.One, it digs a little deeper than most of the other books, going way back in history and not just the last few years.Two, it's a lot of fun!The authors take it seriously but also have a lot of fun.There are also a lot of interesting features, like ones that look at the trades between the teams and ones that present the stats of players who were both Red Sox and Yankees.

Another good book about this rivalry, though it just features on the last two years, is called A TALE OF TWO CITIES.But BLOOD FEUD is my favorite because it packs in so much information and has a lot of fun doing it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive History of the Red Sox-Yankee Rivalry
This book is a rarity: a comprehensive history of two of baseball's greatest teams that is actually FUN to read. It has a slight Red Sox bias in tone, but is scrupulously fair to both teams. You will laugh out loud at some of the commentary, and true Yankee fans will laugh loudest - the way they do everything else!
Pedro Rosette ... Read more

93. Play Better Baseball : Winning Techniques and Strategies for Coaches and Players
by BobCluck
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 0809229218
Catlog: Book (1998-04-11)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 130943
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This straightforward, easy-to-understand book helps prepare coaches and players to meet the challenges of tough competition. New revised, Play Better Baseball is the state-of-the-art source for baseball fundamentals and mechanics, illustrated with hundreds of photographs and accompanied by helpful new drills. Based on actual team situations drawn from author Bob Cluck's 20-plus years of coaching, this reader-friendly handbook emphasizes the fundamentals that produce winning baseball teams and offers a wealth of advice on:Coaching baseball at all levels

  • Developing winning players
  • Using videotape and high-speed film
  • Using practice time efficiently
  • The psychology of coaching
Pitching: the foundation of every team
  • Pitching mechanics
  • The pitches: Tools to get hitters out
  • Setting up hitters: The game within a game
  • First-pitch strikes, from Little League to the Majors
Playing the infield
  • Using the right glove
  • Throwing with strength and accuracy
  • The game situation and positioning
  • Fielding mechanics for infielders
The catcher: team leader
  • The tag at home
  • Blocking pitches in the dirt
  • Pop-ups, bunts, and cutoffs
  • Helping the pitcher get hitters out
Playing the outfield
  • Backing up plays
  • Throwing from the outfield
  • Balls hit in the gaps
  • Outfield positioning
  • Playing the sun
  • The steal and the hit-and-run
  • Effective and safe sliding techniques
  • Running the bases
  • Bats and grips
  • Stances
  • Stride and weight transfer
  • Tracking the ball
  • Bunting
  • Situational hitting
The playbook
  • Defensive assignments
  • Infield pop flies
  • Bunt defenses
The athletic machine
  • Weight training for baseball players
  • Conditioning for baseball
Bob Cluck is a major league pitching coach and scout and the founder of the San Diego School of Baseball. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for younger players....
and especially for coaches of younger players. This book reviews lots of fundamentals and is written in a pretty straight-forward, easy to read manner. It is not for the college level player, but anyone below that will find at least 1 pearl here worth remembering.

5-0 out of 5 stars Put this one on your wish list!

I saw this book mentioned in my favorite column in the l.a. times sports section. I thought i would check it out and it is awesome. I had heard about the San Diego School of Baseball, but i never had the chance to attend and now i feel i have a second chance. This book is excellent for anyone interested in playing, coaching or even just watching the game.

5-0 out of 5 stars play better baseball By Bob Cluck
My nephew was having trouble keeping up with the league he was in. After a few weeks reading and working with this lifesaving book he is amuch better player, most of all his self esteem! Now he is such a HAPPY GUY! Now our whole league is using this as their Bible for the game Thank you

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have for all players and coaches!
Cluck shows his expertise as he teaches players and coaches how to succeed in baseball. The best thing about this book is that it can help players of all ages and positions: pitchers, catchers, infielders, and outfielders. For players and coaches at all levels, this is a very helpful guide to the greatest game on the planet. ... Read more

94. Cubs: Where Have You Gone?
by Fred Mitchell, Steve Stone
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 1582618062
Catlog: Book (2004-09)
Publisher: Sports Publishing
Sales Rank: 17956
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Book Description

This unique look back at Chicago baseball history researches 50 former Cubs players—some of them famous, many of them fairly obscure, all of them unforgettable. That is because they are, after all, part of the family. Part of Cub Nation.

From Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, to lesser known players such as Pete LaCock, avid fans of this long-suffering team will remember them for every heartbreak, every costly error and, yes, every glorious moment. Cubs: Where Have You Gone? serves as both a yearbook of unforgettable memories and an "alumni guide" for fans to find out where their heroes have gone since capturing their full attention at Wrigley Field.

Featured Cubs include Ferguson Jenkins, Andy Pafko, Dickie Noles, Gary Matthews, Billy Williams, Milt Pappas, Bobby Dernier, Lee Smith, Scott Sanderson, former manager Jim Frey, Shawon Dunston, Ed Lynch, Don Zimmer, Steve Trout, Ron Santo, Steve Stone, and former general manager Dallas Green. Veteran Chicago Tribune sportswriter Fred Mitchell, who has seen both the best and the worst the Cubs have had to offer through the years, is the author of this unique compilation. ... Read more

95. The Zen of Zim : Baseballs, Beanballs, and Bosses
by Don Zimmer
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0312334303
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Sales Rank: 25468
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Book Description

Don Zimmer is baseball. His first book, Zim-A Baseball Life, was a New York Times bestseller and one of the best baseball memoirs ever published. Now, in The Zen of Zim, one of baseball's most beloved figures offers readers an insightful look into the baseball of yesterday and today. Baseball fans will love hearing Zim's positions on such things as pitching inside, managing, bosses, and more.

With more than fifty-six years in baseball, Don Zimmer had seen it all, or so he thought before he ran into George Steinbrenner. Here Zimmer provides a revealing account of his eight years as Joe Torre's right-hand man-and the jealousy, vindictiveness, and pettiness that ultimately destroyed a twenty-five-year friendship with Steinbrenner.

Zim will also discuss the circumstances that led to his charging onto the field at Fenway Park and throwing a haymaker at Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez. He'll share with readers what it was like to work for other baseball owners; shed new light on general managers like Branch Rickey and Dan Duquette; and critique the managing styles of some of the most famous and notorious skippers of the twentieth century, from Casey Stengel and Earl Weaver to Gene Mauch and Billy Martin.

In a chapter called "What Have They Done to My Game?," Zim will offer a crash course in baseball anthropology, describing how the game and its players have changed over the past fifty years and showing how big money and free agency have destroyed clubhouse camaraderie and turned a team sport into a transient game. In contrast, he celebrates his close-knit teammates on the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers team and the lifelong friendships that were made.

Zim has seen it all, and here readers learn even more of his life and dreams and of baseball through a half century of experience. It is a story jam-packed with laughs and anecdotes, with excitement and comedy. And it is superbly told.
... Read more

96. Devil Wears Pinstripes, The
by JimCaple
list price: $14.00
our price: $11.20
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Asin: 0452285984
Catlog: Book (2005-03)
Publisher: Plume
Sales Rank: 8423
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In The Devil Wears Pinstripes, Jim Caple,’s "designated Yankee hater," takeson the rabid fans of baseball’s twenty-six-time World Champions, and offers a decidedly differentslant on the New York Yankees—the losers of thirteen World Series.

Caple delivers his send-up of the evil empire with scathing irony, laying waste to all thingsYankees.A creative and unauthorized timeline pokes fun at the organization’s trades, itslegendary vanity, and its near-lethal stadium food.He skewers the owners, coaches andplayers—from the target of all targets George Steinbrenner to the pinstriped icons in the HouseThat Ruth Built.Heroes and lesser mortals appear in all their tarnished glory, whether they’reparticipating in a World Series shutout, in drunken brawls at strip joints, or engaging in thenotorious wife-swapping incident of the 1970s.

Die-hard Yankee haters and the fans of all other baseball teams are sure to appreciate thishilariously provocative diatribe. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Very poor
It is a very poor book. Poorly written, it seems like a child's manuscript with the sole purpose of venting his hatred for a team. It has multiple "inaccuracies", it is not funny, it is just a useless book. I certainly hope he had fun writing it, because nobody will have fun reading it. Even if you hate the Yankees.

1-0 out of 5 stars Oh, puh-leez...
I could forgive Caple for spending page after page gleefully, childishly venting his spleen all over a team he hates beyond reason, IF his venting were actually funny. But this book is nothing more than vicious polemic disguised as satire. Even if you're not a Yankee fan, the constant vitriol here gets tiresome. One begins to realize that "fans" like Caple pretty much define themselves by their hatred; they're not true baseball fans, they're merely anti-Yankee fans. Actually, they're anti-STEINBRENNER fans, but they're too myopic to make distinctions between the man and the team he owns.

Caple also demonstrates an alarming hypocrisy, blindly demonizing the Yankees while turning a blind eye to the demonstrably more odious sins of other teams and other owners.

If you really need to hate a baseball team all that much, at least read folks like Peter Gammons, or Dan Shaughnessy or Buster Olney, all of whom try and balance any bias they may have with acute insights and genuine love for the game of baseball and it's fans. If you need a laugh, read "Ball Four."Skip Caple's mean-spirited "satire," which, as anyone at all familiar with Caple's ESPN work knows, isn't really satire at all.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Evil Empire Exposed
Whether you hate or love the Yankees this is a must have book.It details greatly the ins and outs of the "evil empire" and Steinbrenner's search for title after title.Caple does an outstanding job in his first book and really has fun with it as a whole.I myself join Caple in his hatred of the most corrupt and ego obsessed organization in sports.But let's face it baseball wouldn't be baseball without them.Great read, check it out. ... Read more

97. Baseball . . . The Perfect Game: An All-Star Anthology Celebrating the Game's Great Players, Teams, And Moments
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 0896586685
Catlog: Book (2005-03-30)
Publisher: Voyageur Press (MN)
Sales Rank: 277337
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Book Description

Red Stockings and Black Sox. Bums and Bosox. The Professor and the Spaceman. Cobb and Ruth. Matty and Satchel. The Man and Rapid Robert. Williams and Bonds. Say Hey and Sandy. Hammerin’ Hank and Slammin’ Sammy.

From the heroic hits to the heart-breaking slumps, baseball inspires writers from all walks of life to reflect on the game and its place in our lives. Lavishly illustrated with photos and memorabilia, "Baseball . . . The Perfect Game" presents the greatest writings about the diamond’s greatest players, teams, and seasons.

It provides a literary history of baseball through memoirs, essays, contemporary news accounts, and fiction. This collection includes writings by Doris Kearns Goodwin, George Plimpton, Roger Angell, Harvey Frommer, John Thorn, and many more. ... Read more

98. The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers : An Historical Compendium of Pitching, Pitchers, and Pitches
by Bill James, Rob Neyer
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 0743261585
Catlog: Book (2004-06-15)
Publisher: Fireside
Sales Rank: 4942
Average Customer Review: 3.17 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Pitchers, the pitches they throw, and how they throw them -- these days it's the stuff of constant scrutiny, but there's never been anything like a comprehensive source for such information. That's what preeminent baseball analyst Bill James and baseball columnist Rob Neyer realized over lunch more than a dozen years ago. Since then, they've been compiling the centerpiece of this book, the "Pitcher Census," which lists specific information for nearly two thousand pitchers, ranging throughout the history of professional baseball. The Guide also offers:

  • A "dictionary" describing virtually every known pitch
  • The origins and development of baseball's most important pitches
  • Top ten lists: best fastballs, best spitballs, and everything in between
  • Biographies of some of the great pitchers who have been overlooked
  • More knuckleballers and submariners than you ever thought existed
  • An open debate concerning pitcher abuse and durability
  • A formula for predicting the Cy Young Award winner
  • Something fresh and new: Bill James' "Pitcher Codes"

The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers is about understanding pitchers, and baseball's action always starts with the pitchers. It's also about entertaining debates and having a great deal of fun with the history of a game that obsesses so many. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking data
The star of this book is the data: an encyclopedia of thousands of major league pitchers and information on their pitch repetoire, along with sources. This is groundbreaking, never-before-collected data and it will surely prove to be a boon for baseball researchers. For their work collecting this data, Neyer and James deserve serious kudos.

The book also features articles describing pitches, how they're thrown, variations, their evolutions, and their key practitioners. This is good information as well.

However, these articles and others in the book seem to suffer from the authors' informal tone. Often, we're treated to disagreements between the two authors which don't particularly add to our understanding of the subject.

Though it could have used tighter editing, the book is still a joy. James remains a tremendously gifted writer and analyst and, again, this data is priceless.

2-0 out of 5 stars considering the authors, disappointing
Considering the magnitude of Bill James and Rob Neyer, this should have been a great book. A veritable baseball feast, like Neyer's books on lineups and dynasties, and James' monumental historical abstract. Where he lost you with stats, he won you with great writing. But this book, despite some excellent essays, is an appetizer. Something to fill out a book contract. There is still a great book to be written on pitchers. Neyer and James should have written it, but they didn't.

4-0 out of 5 stars A nice game of catch
If you take this book at its premise as spelled out in the intro - Bill and Rob talking about Harvey Haddix and asking "What did he throw?"- then I think the authors toed the rubber, threw strikes and delivered a highly enjoyable book. And I think the other reviewers who panned this book may have been taking it a bit too seriously.
I think anybody who's tossed the ball around and wondered at how the combination of horsehide, raised seams and air currents can do strange things to the white sphere can appreciate this book. At their best, Bill James and Rob Neyer have always made me appreciate and love the game of baseball, past, present and future. Reading this book helps me watch a game and appreciate the seemingly simple on the surface yet fascinating to the core - and utterly boring to the uninitiated - battle between pitcher and batter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining -- And that's the point.
I disagree with a great deal of the material in this book. Not surprisingly, I found the 'refutation' of Pitcher Abuse Points weak and flawed.

But that doesn't really matter. This is a fun book to read. It's a great way to spend some time.

Maybe some minor changes that could have been made in terms of format, editorial decisions, and whatever, but that's true for every book. I think it's fascinating and entertaining to learn what's behind some of the numbers for guys I never got the chance to see.

I can disclaim and state that Rob is a friend and colleague, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a very entertaining book, and has a bunch of angles that will appeal to a bunch of different people. It's clear that Rob was passionate about this book, and I'm grateful for that. This is a winner, it's not expensive, and when you read it, your mind fills with images of baseball. That's high praise, and it's well earned here.

2-0 out of 5 stars A major disappointment -- as other readers have noted
After reading Rob Neyer's *Big Book of Baseball Lineups*, I was expecting another gem. But this book has little to recommend it except for the essays on near-Hall of Fame caliber pitchers Mel Harder, Billy Pierce, Tommy Bridges, Bucky Walters and several others. The lists of best fastball and breaking ball pitchers appear idiosyncratic, while the analysis is simple-minded and redolent of bar-stool advocacy (at least when one considers that the evaluators are renowned sabermetricians). Save your money for Alan Schwarz's new book, *The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong fascination with Statistics*. He's a better writer than either Neyer or James and has a fascinating story to tell. ... Read more

99. 101 Pitching Drills
by Bob Bennett
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585182249
Catlog: Book (2000-05-01)
Publisher: Coaches Choice Books
Sales Rank: 34519
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

One of the winningest Division I coaches of all time brings you over 100 practical, easy-to-teach pitching drills to help coaches develop pitching excellence in players of all age groups. Covers lower-, middle-, and upper-body mechanics drills, drills for improving velocity and control, fielding skills, pickoff moves, warming up and conditioning, and even drills for correcting common flaws. Dozens of photographs and illustration accompany the easy-to-understand text. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book
On par with many other books on pitching. Has some fresh material and good drills.

5-0 out of 5 stars 101 Pitching Drills
I used a lot of the drills and they helped me improve my game. ... Read more

100. Sandy Koufax : A Lefty's Legacy
by Jane Leavy
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0060933291
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Perennial Currents
Sales Rank: 65514
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Nobody ever threw a baseball better than Sandy Koufax. He dominated the game -- and the ball, making it rise, break, sing. Then, after his best season, in 1966, he was gone, retired at age thirty, leaving behind a reputation as the game's greatest lefty and most misunderstood man. The Brooklyn boy whom the Dodgers signed as "the Great Jewish Hope" will forever be known for his refusal to pitch the opening game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. Forty years later, Koufax stands apart and alone, a legend who declines his own celebrity. In Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, Jane Leavy dispels the mystery to discover a man more than worthy of the myth.

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Reviews (87)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
"Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy" is one of the best baseball player biographies I've read in years. Author Jane Leavy blends a brilliant mix of Koufaxian fastballs (interviews) and curveballs (unexpected historical finds) in following the course of the Dodger ace lefty's perfect game against the Chicago Cubs on September 9, 1965.

"Koufax" gets off on a shaky note, as Chapter 1 is devoted to a mind-numbing study of the mechanics of Koufax's overhand pitching delivery. Then again, in two of Koufax's most famous performances, both well-detailed in this book, Sandy had a rough first inning as well. The rest of the book takes off pretty quickly thereafter and becomes absolutely un-put-downable.

The straightforward biography tells the curve (all right, I'll stop with the puns now) of Koufax's career, from his childhood in Bensonhurst to his surprise retirement from the game shortly after his 27-win 1966 campaign. Leavy draws on background interviews with Koufax (but doesn't quote him directly), and on many other interviews with his friends and teammates, from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Along the way she uncovers a surprising mixture of statistics and modern-bay baseball interpretation, quoting from two websites dear to the current baseball cognoscenti, Retrosheet and the Baseball Prospectus. There's also, as you'd expect for any book that spans the 1950s and '60s, a decent canned social history of the era. I don't think even Leavy believes that Koufax's retirement marked the defining point between the end of Eisenhower's and the beginning of Nixon's, but the parallels are there if you want to play with them.

Interspersed with the biographical chapters is an inning-by-inning account of Koufax's perfect game, pitched at night in Los Angeles in the twilight of his career. These chapters are mind-blowing. Spending a book describing a single ballgame is a risky proposition (all those endless asides turned "Nine Innings" into something nearly unreadable), but Leavy paints a compelling you-are-there freshness, thanks in part to the serendipitous discovery of the final 7 innings of that game on audiotape. Wisely, Leavy allows Vin Scully's play-by-play to describe most of the late action, and Vin makes for remarkable reading in the same way that he makes for remarkable listening. His extemporaneous game descriptions are brilliant and the quotes here make it easy to see why, like Koufax, he's regarded as being at the top of his league.

The book ends with a brief overview of Koufax's retirement (best line of the book: Koufax briefly handed out business cards describing himself as a "Peregrination Expert"). Leavy balances the prevailing view of Koufax (sullen, baseball-hating) against the reality she's uncovered, and Koufax comes away a healthy, well-rounded character. No hagiography, "Koufax" is instead an respectful portrait of a unique man.

No description of Sandy Koufax is complete with discussion of his Judaism, and his seminal decision to skip Game 1 of the 1965 World Series, which fell on Yom Kippur. Leavy indulges in some detective work to show that Koufax didn't even go to synagogue that afternoon, but she offers enough anecdotal evidence to almost make you believe that Koufax alone ended most of the anti-Semitic stereotypes that prevailed in America through 1965. Almost. I remember learning about Koufax in Hebrew day school as a child (in a pamphlet about Jewish sports legends only marginally bigger than the one in the movie "Airplane!"), but his significance to the religion makes a lot more sense as Leavy tells it. There's even an interview with Shawn Green, the latest Jewish All-Star to sit on Yom Kippur.

Leavy leaves no stone unturned, and now I'm as close as I'll ever be to actually becoming a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. Well, not even close... I'm genetically bred to loathe them, even as I reluctantly root for the team now mismanaged by Koufax's childhood pal Fred Wilpon. But I will be reading this book again, the sooner the better.

4-0 out of 5 stars Koufax: Hall of Famer and Gentle Man
I would just like to echo the many positive reviews of Jane Leavy's biography of Sandy Koufax. The author has crafted a well-written account of the life and times of the former Dodger great. I was particularly taken by the way the book is organized, with chapters presenting a fairly straight-forward biography alternating with chapters dealing, inning by inning, with Koufax's perfect game in 1965.

Koufax, in Leavy's assessment, is a very private man, but not the aloof individual that so many perceive him to be. This supposed aloofness, together with his perceived "intellectualism" (the man read books, go figure) is pointed to as reflective of the subtle antisemitism that Koufax had to deal with throughout his career (and afterwards), an argument that Leavy makes effectively. Also convincing is her interpretation of Koufax's continuing symbolic importance to the Jewish community.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Koufax, the Dodgers, and baseball and its social context in the 1950s and 1960s.

2-0 out of 5 stars Readable but not much more
I found this book moderately interesting but it suffers from three significant shortcomings:
1)One, as stated in previous reviews, the author is overly fixated on Koufax's Jewishness. Although this is clearly an aspect of Koufax, his history and make-up, and impact on the Jewish community that should not be overlooked or downplayed, it did not need to be the overiding theme of the book, and as such it overshadowed his on-the-field accomplishments.
2)Koufax did not agree to personally contribute to the book, so many of the incidents are told from the viewpoint of other observers whose memories (reasonably) appear to be less than accurate 50 years after the fact. In several cases these third parties disagree on what actually occured and as a result you question everything in the book with the exception of the statistical reality of Koufax's career.
3)There is very little info regarding Koufax's life after baseball. Since he retired in 1966 nearly forty years have passed. Although readers may be much more interested in his baseball life, I would have liked more insight into how his post-baseball life has progressed.

2-0 out of 5 stars I didn't Like It
I don't care for the author's writing style -- a sort of smug hipness. I also got the sense that the author is overly playing the Jewish angle on this story; she cares more about his being Jewish than he does. I had to stop reading about halfway through.

4-0 out of 5 stars Koufax from the Stone Age
So there really isn't much mystery about Sandy Koufax. Shortly after he retired he married twice, each marriage being relatively long lasting, and he led a quiet life. He attended various baseball ceremonies, raised some money for charities, and coached a bit. Leavey demolishes the "recluse" nonsense.

She also sets out clearly why Sandy had to retire early. He like other starting pitchers of his era were exploited by their teams. Throwing fastballs for nine or more innings per game game after game would have ruined anyone's arm. Baseball had not yet appreciated the middle reliever and the closer. Had Sandy pitched 6 or 7 innings per game, his career would have lasted another 5 years easily. I have to admire his and Drysdale's work ethic though.

The book recalls the late 50's and early 60's well and makes you realize how much society and baseball has changed. It is a fun book to read. ... Read more

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