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1. Coach: Lessons on the Game of
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2. Baseball Prospectus 2005
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3. The Greatest Baseball Stories
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4. The Game: One Man, Nine Innings
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5. The Mental Keys to Hitting: A
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6. The Numbers Game : Baseball's
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7. Aces : A Season On the Mound With
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8. The Oldest Rookie: Big-League
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9. Little League Confidential : One
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10. Baseballissimo
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11. NOLAN RYAN'S PITCHER'S BIBLE :
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12. Larceny And Old Leather: The Mischievous
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13. Devil Wears Pinstripes, The
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14. Men at Work : The Craft of Baseball
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15. Keep Your Eye on the Ball: Curveballs,
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16. The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary
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17. Baseball . . . The Perfect Game:
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18. Baseball: A Literary Anthology
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19. You're Out and You're Ugly Too
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20. Heads-Up Baseball : Playing the

1. Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life
by Michael Lewis
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
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Asin: 0393060918
Catlog: Book (2005-05-16)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 114
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A story with a big heart about a boy, a coach, the game of baseball, and the game of life.

"There are teachers with a rare ability to enter a child's mind; it's as if their ability to get there at all gives them the right to stay forever."

There was a turning point in Michael Lewis's life, in a baseball game when he was fourteen years old. The irascible and often terrifying Coach Fitz put the ball in his hand with the game on the line and managed to convey such confident trust in Lewis's ability that the boy had no choice but to live up to it. "I didn't have words for it then, but I do now: I am about to show the world, and myself, what I can do."

The coach's message was not simply about winning but about self-respect, sacrifice, courage, and endurance. In some ways, and now thirty years later, Lewis still finds himself trying to measure up to what Coach Fitz expected of him. 14 illustrations. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars For Parents, Athletes and Coaches...(In That Order!)
Having previously read Moneyball, I was keenly interested in Michael Lewis' tribute to his high school baseball coach.He did not disappoint.It is a brief, almost essay-like book that gives us snapshots of his coach and himself that reveal worlds about life, coaches, athletes, parents and rising to meet the challenge.

He contrasts very effectively the experience he had with the experience of present-day players, and sets the coach and his ways in graphic relief against both. His admiration for his coach comes through the telling of the story, and not through a simple list of his accomplishments.

The book does give important lessons on the game of life, thus fulfilling the promise of its' title.

One of the book's strengths is also a weakness.It is too brief!This will make it more easily accessible for many, but this reader was left wishing for more...but isn't that the grand goal of most good authors?Michael Lewis has given us another gem.

Highly recommended for athletes, coaches, and especially parents of athletes!Read, enjoy, learn...

5-0 out of 5 stars I had a high school basketball coach just like Coach Fitz
If you are a parent and are wondering if you're kids are going to grow up to be happy, but aren't sure if you're doing the right things for them, read this book.Coach Fitz is much in the same vein as Herb Brooks, the legendary Minnesota Hockey Coach - if you've seen the movice Miracle - I've lived through a wind sprint marathon myself when I played High School basketball.I can tell you unequivocally that this type of insistent compassion is rare but absolutely essential for people to learn to deal with pain.I have seen this type of leadership in the organization where I work as well, and can tell you it makes all the difference in how well an organization performs.

5-0 out of 5 stars I know the coach
I have recently began to train with Coach Fitz. Yes he is intimidating but i dont see why the parents would be mad at him. I understand why he pushes his players. His ace pitcher this year has already signed with Stanford but will probably go high in the draft. His pitcher wouldnt be what he is today if it wasn't for Coach Fitz. I am goin to pick up my copy of this book as soon as I can.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
Author Michael Lewis does a great job showing how perseverence and determination leads to success. With illustrations and an easy to read approach, this book conveys a message of hope and stresses the importance of one's formative years. Highly recommend. ... Read more


2. Baseball Prospectus 2005
by Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
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Asin: 0761135782
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 1634
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Book Description

The best! The Oakland As' heralded General Manager, Billy Beane, calls Baseball Prospectus the standard by which all scouting guides should be measured. Jayson Stark at ESPN says, "I never cease to be blown away by the geniuses at Baseball Prospectus." "When I have a question about a player, no matter how obscure, I pull out Baseball Prospectus," writes Rob Neyer at ESPN.com. And John Hunt, who covers fantasy baseball for USA Today, calls it "the best book for preparing for a rotisserie draft. "Packed with statistics, analysis, and attitude for the information age, Baseball Prospectus is the essential guide for the 3.4 million serious fantasy baseball players, and the perfect game-side companion for millions more seamheads who want to understand the inside game. Baseball Prospectus gives in-depth actual data and performance analysis of 1600 players, more than any other guide, covering the majors and minors, the top 40 prospects, draft choices, and rookie ball. It features essays on every team and gimlet-eyed evaluations of at least 50 players per organization. It's the final word--delivered in a wry and witty style--on what pitchers and hitters really did in 2004, and how they'll do in 2005 and beyond. ... Read more


3. The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 158574364X
Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Sales Rank: 10110
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Twenty-seven essays, profiles, and stories about America's pastime.
... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Title Says It All
The baseball stories that make up this book make it possible to call this book the the Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told. These stories have appeared in years past in the three Fireside books of baseball that are currently out of print. Since they are no longer available it would be advisable for you to strike while the iron is hot and buy this book. The book contains both fiction and non-fiction and certainly doesn't cover all the great stories that the Fireside books contain, but you can't argue with the thirty that make up this book. I would especially recommend this book for youngsters interested in baseball literature who weren't around to enjoy the Fireside books.

5-0 out of 5 stars An instant Hall of Famer
This is an absolutely super collection of baseball stories. There's alot of familiar stuff in here -- how could it be called the "Greatest" without John Updike's story on Ted Williams or Gay Taleses's on Joe DiMaggio -- but where the book really steps to the plate is in its surprises: like the fiction by Zane Grey and P.G. Wodehouse, whom I associate with other arenas, and tremendous non-fiction from Al Stump (on Ty Cobb), Bill Barich (on Russian barnstormers), and a completely unexpected Red Smith (on Morganna the Kissing Bandit and Johnny Bench.) This is a book aimed right for the baseball fan's heart. It certainly pierced mine.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great writing about a great sport
There are those who prefer football or basketball, but I'll take baseball. It has a pace that some may find slow, but I think of as more leisurely, allowing suspense to build slowly and often leaving the conclusion unknown until the final out. If you're down twenty points in football with a minute left, there's no way you're going to win; if you're down three runs (a similar three scores as in the football example), there is at least still a chance.

The dramatic twists of fate in baseball are only part of makes the sport great. There is also the rich history and the colorful characters. And unlike almost any other team sport, baseball lends itself well to the narrative structure; when you read about a baseball game, you can picture exactly what happened. An entire game could be described on paper and you can see it all in your mind; try this with a basketball game and you'll be disappointed.

Thus this book. Take some of the great writers (in sports or otherwise), give them the best sport to write about, and you can't go wrong, and this one doesn't. As an anthology, not every story is equally fantastic, but they are all good. They serve as a reminder of what makes baseball great: its drama, its history and its character.

5-0 out of 5 stars Home run
Lots of good stories from lots of good writers make this an essential collection for any fan of the National Pastime. Stories like "The Catch" -- about Willie Mays' famous catch in the 1954 World Series -- literally put you in the stands an arm's length from the action. And there's alot more just as compelling.

5-0 out of 5 stars A solid hit
I was looking for something to decompress with after the 7th game of the World Series. Now, after reading all the stories in this awesome anthology, I can't wait for the new season to begin. This is great baseball stuff. I especially liked the profiles of Cal Ripken -- believe me, this is the way you'll want to always remember the Iron Man -- and Yogi Berra, who the writer compares to a mystic yogi. The book also has the entire Abbott and Costello "Who's On First" routine, which is every bit as funny on the page as it is on the ear. Another really memorable story comes from the old Dodgers announcer Red Barber, who I used to listen to on NPR. He writes about what Jackie Robinson went through to break the color line, and how much he learned from Robinson in the process. I recommend this highly to baseball fans everywhere. ... Read more


4. The Game: One Man, Nine Innings : A Love Affair With Baseball
by R. Benson, Robert Benson
list price: $23.95
our price: $23.95
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Asin: 1585421014
Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher
Sales Rank: 272734
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the spirit of Field of Dreams, a remarkable book about baseball and the meaning of life from the author of Living Prayer.

A game between the Iowa Cubs and the Nashville Sounds at an AAA park in Nashville, Tennessee, provides a lens through which Robert Benson explores the game of baseball and the meaning of life in The Game. It is "an ordinary week night game in the early part of the season between two teams that will finish far out of first place in the Pacific League." But Benson shows us how in this average game of baseball, just as in our everyday lives, the routine plays-the seemingly minor yet vital moves, empty of bravado-eventually win the game.

In beautifully measured prose, Benson links events in his life to the innings in this baseball game. Married to a woman who can quote baseball stats with the best of them and with two children who share his love for the game (his teenage daughter made the decision early on that she would be the first woman to play for the Yankees), Benson explores the ways in which baseball has always somehow shaped and defined his life. The Game is an extraordinary testament to the everlasting wonder and magic of the great American pastime.
... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars awesome...
the human drama plays on, even with the world's greatest baseball player and his friends....

4-0 out of 5 stars While we're at it...
Let's point out a couple other factual errors about Mr. Benson's book. First of all he claims Harry Caray's signature home run call is, "It could be, it might be, it is!"
Actually, Harry used to say, "It might be, it could be, it is!"
I'm sure this is pretty trivial, but I've heard Harry call it this way hundreds of times and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to point this out. Benson makes this mistake a few times in this book, and it's annoying.
Benson also claims to be at Wrigley Field one day in May to see a young phenom by the name of Kerry Wood face the author's favorite team the Braves. At that game, Benson and his wife and the rest of the crowd are led in a rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" by none other than Harry Caray.
Well, Harry died in February of 1998, and Kerry Wood didn't make his major league debut until 4/12/1998 (Easter Sunday) against the Expos.
The reason why I bring this up is because I often wondered what Harry would have said had he been alive during Wood's 20 strikeout performance against the Astros and the remarkable 1998 season that we all enjoyed as Cubs fans.
These are just a couple of annoying factual errors that I encounter in Benson's book. Other than that, I love the book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys baseball and doesn't view it as just a sport, but as a way of life.
Despite the errors mentioned above, Mr. Benson, I would love to play catch or have you hit fungoes to me anytime.

3-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful book marred by factual errors
Although I enjoyed this book's leisurely stroll through one man's relationship with baseball, I was disturbed by some serious screwups.

First, Benson gets wrong the year Roger Maris' single season record for home runs was broken. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa pursued and passed Maris in 1998, not 1999. This is an almost unbelievable error. Only three seasons after the fact, a baseball author making this mistake is like an American historian writing about the original twelve colonies.

Six pages later we read about the famous home run hit by
"a light hitting infielder named Bobby Thomson" in 1951. Thomson was an outfielder and finished tied for fourth (with Stan Musial) in the National League in home runs that year with 32.

Since Benson's book is built on his lifelong love of the game, mistakes like this diminish our trust even if they don't make us doubt the depth of his feeling. His sincerity seems very real, and his writing is smooth, personal and appealing.

Mistakes aside, it's nice to read a baseball book by a fan who is a writer first.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best baseball books
This is one of the best baseball books out there, for my money better than books by the likes of Bob Costas and George Will. Why? Because this is a book about the actual pleasures of the game: playing it, teaching it to children, watching and keeping score of live games, and so forth. Most books about baseball become treatises on the metaphysics of the game. This one is about the sport itself, as it is actually played on sandlots and in professional stadiums. Robert Benson writes about just a few ordinary games and a several extraordinary memories and thus avoids the tedious abstractions that infect the prose of many writers on the sport (excluding the likes of Gammons and Boswell, and a few others). There is no other American sports book quite like this one. The closest book I can compare it to would be Nick Hornby's FEVER PITCH, which is a classic exploration of what life is like for a sports fan (in this case, an English soccer fan). Benson's book does the same thing, in my opinion, for baseball, which is the highest praise I can give it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pleasurable Reading
I eagerly awaited this new release from Robert Benson, having savored his two previous non-fiction books and the prayer book he had published. At first, though, I was disappointed: I was waiting for some of his customary spiritual autobiography based on baseball themes, but did not get any. Instead, Benson charts the understanding of his life through the plot of a nine inning baseball game that he sat through at Greer Stadium in Nashville. Each chapter reports what Benson saw at the game, and proceeds to record his ruminations about his life, sparked by the events of the game. Also thrown in are several quotations from Bartlett Giamatti, the esteemed former commissioner of baseball. A word of caution: If you are seeking to buy this book for spiritual insight, you might stick with a rereading of Living Prayer or Between the Dreaming and the Coming True. But if you want to read a book for the pure pleasure of Benson's masterful prose, then you cannot go wrong with this selection; his prose gets better and better the more he publishes. After getting over my initial frustration (which was my fault; not Benson's), I read the book in one night and was very satisfied. I strongly recommend this book to all baseball fans and to fans of Robert Benson. I gave the book four stars instead of five only because I felt that when Benson applied his insights to life he became too moralistic and determinative, instead of the usual open-ended application I have come to expect from him. ... Read more


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

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

Reviews (1)

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


6. The Numbers Game : Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics
by Alan Schwarz
list price: $14.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312322232
Catlog: Book (2005-05-02)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Sales Rank: 47586
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Most baseball fans, players and even team executives assume that the national pastime's infatuation with statistics is simply a by-product of the information age, a phenomenon that blossomed only after the arrival of Bill James and computers in the 1980s.They couldn't be more wrong.

In this award-winning book, Alan Schwarz - whom bestselling Moneyball author Michael Lewis calls "one of today's best baseball journalists" - provides the first-ever history of baseball statistics, showing how baseball and its numbers have been inseparable ever since the pastime's birth in 1845. He tells the history of this obsession through the lives of the people who felt it most: Henry Chadwick, the 19th-century writer who invented the first box score and harped endlessly about which statistics mattered and which did not; Allan Roth, Branch Rickey's right-hand numbers man with the late-1940s Brooklyn Dodgers; Earnshaw Cook, a scientist and Manhattan Project veteran who retired to pursue inventing the perfect baseball statistic; John Dewan, a former Strat-O-Matic maven who built STATS Inc. into a multimillion-dollar powerhouse for statistics over the Internet; and dozens more.

Schwarz paints a history not just of baseball statistics, but of the soul of the sport itself.Named as ESPN's 2004 Baseball Book of the Year, The Numbers Game will be an invaluable part of any fan's library and go down as one of the sport's classic books.
... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Stick to the research; stop the similies
Comprehensively researched book that's marred by surprisingly poor writing. Alan Schwartz has done a great job of bringing to light both the evolution of baseball's traditional statistics and the discoveries by "outsiders" who have changed the way we understand the game in the past 25 years. He gives credit where credit is due and isn't afraid to kick the shins of those who deserve it -- from baseball's official statisticians to noted author Thomas Boswell.If he'd just lay off the amateurish similies and metaphors, he would earn a "5" in my book.

5-0 out of 5 stars STATS don't lie
This book is simply, hands-down, amazing.It gives a spectaular history of America's game and tells how all of today's STATS have changed over time.I suggest reading this book if you are a fan of baseball and/or statistics.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Read for Between the Seasons.
Watching a professional baseball game on television is an exercise in just how much statistical information can be displayed on the screen without totally blocking out the game itself. What I didn't realize was just how much history there was behind these numbers. I presumed, with I suppose a majority of other people, that all these statistics were simply a product of all the new computers.

No, the author says, the numbers began just about as soon as the game was invented. In fact, I'm kind of surprised that the numbers didn't come first, but I guess that they couldn't -- could they?

Nah! They couldn't. The first big statistical report of a baseball series didn't appear until August 18, 1858.

Delightful book with the season now over and months until the new one starts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read for Baseball Stats and Analytic Junkies
This book does a tremendous job of wrapping interesting stories around the discrete steps forward and contributions made by some of the greatest baseball analysts of all time. The book covers the entire history of the game from Henry Chadwick's box scores and arguments right through to today's 3-D modeling software.

If you are more of a day to day game watching fan and not truly enthralled with the statisitics of the game, you might want to look elsewhere but if you love analysis...I recommend this highly to those who love the numbers game within the game of baseball.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inside the numbers
This book is an absolute delight to read for the baseball fan regardless of how many histories of the game you've already read. Alan Schwarz has delivered a perfect blend of Baseball history and the evolution of statistics that we today take for granted as being integral to the game. In this book we learn thatwasn't necessarily always true and Schwarz takes us inside the development and the arguments surrounding the relevance of various stats. At the same time the characters involved both in the statistical sense and in the game itself are colorfully described.
This was a wonderful book that entertained and educated on a subject that legions of baseball fans are absorbed in every day. The stats and their development are weaved into the history of baseball creating a unique historical view of the game we love. ... Read more


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

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

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

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


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

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

Reviews (18)

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Highly recommended.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


11. NOLAN RYAN'S PITCHER'S BIBLE : THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO POWER, PRECISION, AND LONG-TERM PERFORMANCE
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!

5-0 out of 5 stars CONDITIONING IS PART OF BEING SUCCESSFUL!!
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


12. Larceny And Old Leather: The Mischievous Legacy of Major League Baseball
by Eldon L. Ham
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
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


13. Devil Wears Pinstripes, The
by JimCaple
list price: $14.00
our price: $11.20
(price subject to change: see help)
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, ESPN.com’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


14. 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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Amazon.com

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.

STEVEN THULEN
AUTHOR OF "JIMMY KEY: BASEBALL'S BATMAN"
STRIGHTS@AOL.COM

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".

STEVEN TRAVERS
AUTHOR OF "BARRY BONDS: BASEBALL'S SUPERMAN"
STWRITES@AOL.COM ... Read more


15. Keep Your Eye on the Ball: Curveballs, Knuckleballs, and Fallacies of Baseball, Revised and Updated
by Robert G. Watts, A. Terry Bahill
list price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0716737175
Catlog: Book (2000-04)
Publisher: W. H. Freeman
Sales Rank: 266376
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Keep your eye on the ball!" may be good advice--but it is impossible to do. The batter can track the ball until it is about five feet in front of the plate, but then he falls behind because the ball is moving too fast.

In Keep Your Eye on the Ball, Robert G. Watts and A. Terry Bahill--engineers by vocation, baseball fans by avocation--have devised a series of experiments that put some of baseball's most cherished myths to the test. By applying physics, psychology, physiology, and other scientific principles to baseball, the authors have resolved, once and for all, some of the controversial issues that have intrigued fans for decades, including:

* Do curveballs really curve? Do fastballs rise?
* How do knuckleballs and spitballs work?
* What exactly happens when the ball hits the bat?
* Does corking the bat really help a hitter?
* Are aluminum bats more dangerous than wooden bats?
* Can certain physiological factors help predict success for a hitter?
* Why are more home runs being hit than ever before?
* Are today's players better than yesterday's?

Completely revised and updated to include recent statistics, new research, and additional historical commentary, Keep Your Eye on the Ball is a highly informative and entertaining guide to the science of baseball that all fans of the game--regardless of scientific background--will enjoy.
... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Using science to understand baseball
When asked if he was an athlete, a recently retired professional baseball player replied, "No ma'am, I'm a ballplayer." However, as this book clearly shows, if the question was, "Are you a practicing applied physicist?," the answer would have to be yes. While fascinating to read, this work points out how little science has contributed to the understanding of the game. And given that baseball is a billion dollar industry, this is surprising.
The most interesting and astounding point made throughout the book is that to play baseball you must reason very quickly with estimates. For example, it is impossible for the human eye to track the path of a pitch thrown in excess of 90 miles per hour. To track a ball moving at 100 miles per hour as it crosses home plate, the body must respond at a rate in excess of 1000 degrees per second. And yet, studies are consistent in showing that the human limit is on the order of 90 degrees per second. It turns out that batters loose track of the ball as it nears them and extrapolate the data to actually hit it. Students lost sight of the ball when it was 9 feet away from them and professionals when it was 5.5 feet away. The absolute limit is on the order of 5 feet.
The explanation of why a pitch will curve and what makes a knuckleball dance are truly works of art. And the physics of the best choice of bat in case you actually hit it should be required reading for all those who think they know baseball, players included. All are done using equations and example numbers rather than text. It is gratifying to find authors who ignore the adage about sales declining in direct proportion to the number of equations.
Science and mathematics teaching is often(justly) criticized for lacking practicality. Well, what could be more practical than teaching someone to hit a baseball? This is one of those books where learning is fun. It could be used as a textbook for any course that deals with the physics of motion and force. And if class gets boring, you can always go out and hit a few.

Published in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, reprinted with permission. ... Read more


16. The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary
by Paul Dickson
list price: $20.00
our price: $13.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156005808
Catlog: Book (1999-02-15)
Publisher: Harvest Books
Sales Rank: 38957
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From Abner Doubleday to Zurdo, from its thorough bibliography to its innovative thesaurus, this indispensable baseball resource is “that rarest of sports books, a valuable reference work that provides absorbing and enlightening reading” (Sports Illustrated). Winner of the Society of american Baseball Researchers Award. Black-and-white photographs.
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Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for the serious baseball fan!
In baseball, what is a crackerjack? A cradle? A drawing Card? Feel the apple means what? What happens when you go to the pump? Who made up Murderers' Row? Open the New Dickson Baseball Dictionary and you'll find out.

This A to Z complete listing of baseball term is about the best book on the subject there is. Paul Dickson has put together over 570 pages of facts, terms, definitions and trivia that are sure to please every baseball fan.

Filled with over 100 photos and illustrations you are sure to find just about every baseball word you can think of. Also included are a thesaurus, a section of abbreviations and a fully annotated bibliography.

The baseball purest is sure to love this book as a gift, and it is priced to meet most budgets. Overall this book is great reading and makes the perfect handy reference book!

5-0 out of 5 stars to know America, you must know baseball
One more thing: interesting and fun even for the non-fan, the book gives fascinating etymologies of baseball terms now standard in American English.

5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensable
For years, from April through October, I always have my old dog-eared copy handy. Baseball is all about the little details, and there are so many of them that, no matter how big a fan of the game you are, you can always get stumped. This Dickson Dictionary goes much further than just defining terms...it gives examples, cites history, and provides some truly wonderful photos. The last time I referred to it, I was trying to learn the finer points of the infield fly rule. Usually, though, I use it to identify which is the slider, which is the breaking ball, which is the sinker, etc. This book is exhaustive. Living in L.A., I've got Dickson as my baseball reference and Vin Scully as my baseball poet. I'd say all the bases are covered. Now if we can only get those Dodgers to make the playoffs...

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book !
This is a book that you'll love. There's a lot of things to learn in it and some terms you probably can't listen anymore. A perfect book for a really baseball fan !

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear, Concise, Helpful
This baseball dictionary is clear, concise and helpful, particularly for people like me. I love baseball, but when I was growing up, girls weren't raised on sports, so I became a fan with sketchy knowledge of the rules and nuances of the game. Since I bought this book, I've learned a lot about pitching maneuvers, stats, history of the sport, slang terms and dozens of other things that make baseball more and more interesting to watch. I'm very glad I own it. ... Read more


17. 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


18. Baseball: A Literary Anthology
by Nicholas Dawidoff
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 193108209X
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Library of America
Sales Rank: 26155
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Robert Frost never felt more at home in America than when watching baseball "be it in park or sand lot." Full of heroism and heartbreak, the most beloved of American sports is also the most poetic, and writers have been drawn to this sport as to no other. With Baseball: A Literary Anthology, The Library of America presents the story of the national adventure as revealed through the fascinating lens of the great American game.

Philip Roth considers the terrible thrill of the adolescent centerfielder; Richard Ford listens to minor-league baseball on the radio while driving cross-country; Amiri Baraka remembers the joy of watching the Newark Eagles play in the era before Jackie Robinson shattered the color line. Unforgettable portraits of legendary players who have become icons-Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Hank Aaron-are joined by glimpses of lesser-known characters such as the erudite Moe Berg, who could speak a dozen languages "but couldn't hit in any of them."

Poems in Baseball: A Literary Anthology include indispensable works whose phrases have entered the language-Ernest Thayer's "Casey at the Bat" and Franklin P. Adams's "Baseball's Sad Lexicon"-as well as more recent offerings from May Swenson, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Martin Espada. Testimonies from classic oral histories offer insights into the players who helped enshrine the sport in the American imagination. Spot reporting by Heywood Broun and Damon Runyon stands side by side with journalistic profiles that match baseball legends with some of our finest writers: John Updike on Ted Williams, Gay Talese on Joe DiMaggio, Red Smith on Lefty Grove.
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the season, perfect for the off-season
When Ted Williams died a few months ago, someone described "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu," John Updike's chronicle of Williams' final game, as "the most perfect piece of sports writing ever." I looked for it in this collection, and there it was. When the baseball season ended last week (for us Mariners fans, anyway), another friend quoted Bart Giamatti's famous elegy that begins, "It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart." Like they say about the spaghetti sauce, "It's in there."

More than any other sport, I think, baseball seems to inspire writing that's lyrical without being cheesy or cloying. That much is apparent in this collection, which also treats us to "Casey at the Bat" (naturally), Owen Johnston, Ring Lardner, Nelson Algren, Jimmy Breslin, Roger Angell, and much more (but, I observe without comment, no George Will). When my lovely bride gave me this collection back in June, I knew it would be a perfect companion for the season. Now I'm finding it an even better companion for the still young off-season. So as we try to figure out how many days are left until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, this great collection of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and prose will carry us forward, and back, to summer.

4-0 out of 5 stars History as it Happened
Baseball, in the time frame that it happened. This book is an excellent view of events in their time. It is a compilation of articles from writers, players, comentaters and owners. Although the book sometimes seems to jump around this can be expected when you are piecing together articles by so many different people. Where else could you find articles in the same book by Satchel Paige, Stephen King and A. Bartlett Giamatti. Baseball seems timeless and this book presents that. With first hand acounts of people and events that are long gone.

Of particular interest to me was the chapter where Lawrence Ritter talks to Sam Crawford. Sam's views on life and people are engrossing, his assessement of opposing players provocative and his memories of the game eye-opening.

Overall this book should be read by any fan of baseball. It's a unique book and is full (over 700 pages) of interesting reading. The entire history of baseball is covered in this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware!
This is not the quality binding you would expect from Library of America! I have not yet read this book but I have my copy here in my hand. The binding appears to be glued, not sewn. The covers
are not cloth, but flimsy, slick cardboard. This is really a disappointing sight from the project which made its name with
sturdy cloth editions. This might still make a nice gift book, but it is not what I expected from this publisher.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE baseball book
This book is the book to have if you once played, have been a fan of, or have fallen in love with the greatest game known to man--baseball. Some of the authors here surprised me (especially DeLillo). These pieces form a noble, moving whole (kind of stitched together--like a baseball). As is usual, the book (being a Library of America special edition) is sturdily built--built to last. Get this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a truly great read!
Baseball: A Literary Anthology edited by Nicholas Dawidoff and published by The Library of America offers a lively mix of stories, memoirs, poems, news reports, and insider accounts about all aspects of the great American game, from its pastoral nineteenth-century beginnings to its apotheosis as the undisputed national pastime.

Among the contributions are the works of Ring Lardner, Don DeLillo, sportswriters Damon Runyon & Red Smith, and poets William Carlos Williams & Yusef Komunyakaa. Included are essays and player profiles from John Updike, Gay Talese, Roger Angell, and David Remnick.

Baseball: A Literary Anthology is a varied and exuberant display of what baseball has meant to American writers. Among the highlights: Philip Roth considers the terrible thrill of the adolescent centerfielder; Richard Ford listens to minor league baseball on the radio while driving cross-country; Amiri Baraka remembers the joy of watching the Newark Eagles play Negro League ball; Stephen King follows his son's team on their riveting journey toward a Little League championship.

Bringing together tales of ambition and heartbreak, childlike wonder and implacable disappointment, raw strength and even rawer emotion, Baseball: A Literary Anthology tells a rich and vital story about the sport that has always been more than just a game in the hearts of Americans.

In an age where venal, shorsighted men seem bent on destroying the game, reading this book gives one perspective: Such men have always existed--and failed. This stands, then, as a book of remembrance, reflection and hope. It's just what baseball-and baseball fans-need.

This is a truly great read! ... Read more


19. You're Out and You're Ugly Too : Confessions Of An Umpire With An Attitude
by Durwood Merrill, Jim Dent
list price: $22.95
our price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312182376
Catlog: Book (1998-03-15)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 172861
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

After decades of abuse and spittle, Major League umpire Durwood Merrill strikes back with some pretty incisive, funny, and no-holds-barred anecdotes. When his book stays in the game, it's a real hoot, light and folksy; how can you not laugh with a guy who can admit that "Folks around the American League say I've sent a few pitchers to the Hall of Fame before their time because my strike zone tends to swell like George Steinbrenner's ego"? It's his own ego, though, that has him swinging for the seats and coming up short; he's not much of a memoirist. Thankfully, like a good umpire, he keeps his personal interference to a minimum and mostly sticks to business, offering some tough prescriptions for what ails the game, and some solid dissection of the intricacies of his craft. His thoughts on Pete Rose might lead you to believe that Charlie Hustle is the book's title character. -- Jeff Silverman, Sports editor ... Read more

Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars From the Heart
Durwoods book is from the heart. There are some typo's but, his book shows the real side of umpiring. I am an ump on the non pro end of baseball. He is the type of person he says he is in the book. I read the book and wrote him. He did write back and told me to stay in touch. This book is highly recommended for all to read. It is funny and sad but you do get a good feeling while reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for any and all who love the game of Baseball
Durwood's Book is without a doubt probably the one of the best books I've read in a long time. His insight on the game of Baseball and the perspective that he gives is truly unique. Being graduate of the same Umpire School that Durwood went to, and Umpiring at the High School and College Level, I know what all Umpires face while trying to do their best. His stories about situations with players and managers made me laugh. He has drawn a lot of heat for what he has written, about the players, managers, and owners, "The Baseball Lords." Why you might ask? Because someone needs to tell the "Real Fans" of baseball what happens behind the scenes. He has such a way to tell his story that is unreal, he fires right back at all umpire attackers that truly don't know their head from a donkey's butt(like Tim MacCarver), and in one moment he'll make you laugh (like his story about his grandson and Nolan Ryan), and the next he'll make you cry (when he talk! s about the death of fellow Umps, Lou DiMuro, Nick Bremigan, & John McSherry, or the untimely loss of truly one of the Greatest Umpires of Baseball Steve Pallermo, or even his work with his home town at Christmas time). You feel for him and everyone around him when he tells the story, you feel the emotion as he prepares to the plate for tonights game. I think it would be a total shame if you don't read this book because you will miss out on the story of one of Baseball's Greatest Ambassadors.

1-0 out of 5 stars You can't write and your publisher stinks too.
Somebody messed up badly. Being an amateur baseball umpire I am biased towards umpires in general and those in baseball in particular but Merrill does not do himself and his profession justice. The ghostwriter, assuming there was one, must have been drunk and illiterate and the publisher too lazy, or do we call that cost conscious, to proof read the manuscript. I ended up reading a book that should not have been published and does not do justice to a man who became an umpire in a different and much tougher era. The book does not do him justice, god rest his soul. Maybe the publisher could be so kind and honor him with and revised edition.

4-0 out of 5 stars Some very funny stories, and some that are serious, too.
When I first bought this book, I wasn't quite sure what to think. I had heard a few negative things about it, and kind of had a prejudice against it. Boy, was that wrong! I found this to be a very funny, lighthearted read (for the most part). There's some really wonderful insights into what it takes to become a big league umpire - never quite realized all they went through in "Umpire boot camp" (my term). It's not all fun and games, there's a few stories about how an umpire friend of his was attacked and crippled on the streets of Dallas, and the latter part talks a lot about his charity works.

A great book - funny, light, and to be honest, something that surprised me in a very good way. What was personally annoying was that after I read this (during the last month of the 99 season), I wanted to watch Durwood, and then he up and retires during the playoffs (and then died a short time later). Damn. Really wanted to see him after reading his book. Oh well. Check it out, a good light read.

4-0 out of 5 stars RIP Durwood
Durwood Merrill just passed away today, after suffering a heart attack last Sunday. Godspeed, Durwood. ... Read more


20. Heads-Up Baseball : Playing the Game One Pitch at a Time
by TomHanson, KenRavizza
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570280215
Catlog: Book (1998-05-11)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 26629
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"This book provides practical strategies for developing the mental skills which help speed you to your full potential."---Dave Winfield

What does it mean to play heads-up baseball? A heads-up player has confidence in his ability, keeps control in pressure situations, and focuses on one pitch at a time. His mental skills enable him to play consistently at or near his best despite the adversity baseball presents each day.

"My ability to fully focus on what I had to do on a daily basis was what made me the successful player I was. Sure I had some natural ability, but that only gets you so far. I think I learned how to focus; it wasn't something that I was necessarily born with." -- Hank Aaron

"Developing and refining my mental game has played a critical role in my success in baseball. For years players have had to develop these skills on their own. This book provides practical strategies for developing the mental skills that will help speed you toward your full potential." -- Dave Winfield

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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Heads Up Baseball
This will be short and sweet. I coach a college softball team. This is mandatory reading each year for my team. We study it as a team. I believe the mental aspects of the game are of utmost importance, usually being the difference in championship caliber contests. This book not only addresses with an easy-to-read approach, it provides exercises, that if taken seriously, give athletes a means by which to measure their mental progress. I give this book my complete endorsement. By the way, my team won the junior college national championship. I relate this not to brag, but rather to substantiate this book. We defeated a team (twice) that was physically our superior. We beat them mentally.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for high school and up.
I've given this book to my two teenagers to read and they understand how to apply the principles. They enjoy the book and I devoured it as a parent. It is one of two books I keep on the desk at all times. The other one is on mechanics. I am ordering more of them for other coaches and parents.

4-0 out of 5 stars Heads up is what it is all about.
This book is the best book for mental preperation on baseball. It gives it to you straight out and does not make it confusing. It is a must for any baseball players looking for an edge.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ken and Tom write a gem on the mental game of baseball
I feel compelled to comment on this well written and insightful reference because Ken and Tom put together a truly masterful work on the "game within the game". Never have I read a more thorough and complete account of the mental game of baseball (I just wish I had it when I was playing!). The mental issues and techniques they write about are a must for everyone from the casual fan to the serious player. The two have even designed blocks of information specifically aimed at coaches in an easy to find and read format. Included in the book are mental excercises and discussions with many baseball legends. ... Read more


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