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21. Guys, Dolls, and Curveballs: Runyon
$11.53 $3.45 list($16.95)
22. When You Come to a Fork in the
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23. Wrong Side of the Wall : The Life
$16.50 $16.07 list($25.00)
24. The New Bill James Historical
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25. Watching Baseball, updated &
$23.10 $21.10 list($35.00)
26. Greats of the Game : The Players,
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27. The Yogi Book : I Really Didn't
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28. Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking
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29. Baseball Extra: A Newspaper History
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30. Search for the Perfect Swing:
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31. Game Time: A Baseball Companion
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32. Banks to Sandberg to Grace : Five
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33. Planet of the Umps
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34. A Pitcher's Story: Innings with
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35. So Hank Says to Yogi . . . : The
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36. What Time Is It? You Mean Now?
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37. Fathers Playing Catch with Sons
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38. Chicken Soup for the Baseball
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39. Slouching Toward Fargo: : A Two-Year
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40. A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball

21. Guys, Dolls, and Curveballs: Runyon on Baseball
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 0786715405
Catlog: Book (2005-03-10)
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers
Sales Rank: 239729
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Book Description

Guys, Dolls, and Curveballs is a delightful collection of ballpark dispatches from one of the game’s most unique chroniclers—Damon Runyon, the legendary reporter and creator of such mythic gangster icons as Nathan Detroit and the Lemon Drop Kid. Best known as the bard of Broadway for turning two-bit hustlers and deadbeat horseplayers of Jazz Age New York City into literary legend, Runyon was first and foremost a newspaperman. After arriving in New York from Colorado in 1911, Runyon went to work for Hearst News Service as a baseball beat writer. It was at the ballpark that he honed his legendary skills for finding the story where no one else bothered to look.

A master wordsmith, Runyon covered giants of the era such as Ty Cobb, and a Boston Red Sox pitcher named Babe Ruth. In addition, he brought an influential style to observing the rituals and rhythms of the ballpark, wryly commenting on everything from the gamblers and bookies doing business to the particular style of hat worn by a woman in the crowd. Editor Jim Reisler collects Runyon’s writings on every facet of the game, making this a unique and indispensable look at our beloved pastime. ... Read more

22. When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It! Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes
by Yogi Berra
list price: $16.95
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Asin: 0786867752
Catlog: Book (2001-05-23)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 16808
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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Hall of Fame philosopher Yogi Berra's When You Come to a Fork in theRoad, Take It! is another volume of musings and malaprops, and the adviceimplicit in the title is sound indeed. Just listen: "Throughout life you come toserious forks in the road--decisions," Yogi tells us. "Which path do you choose?Sometimes it's tough. People are always afraid of making the wrong choice." NotYogi, who explains that tragedy lies in paralysis, not bad choices or regrets,and offers personal examples from on and off the field to prop up hisprofundity.

Like its predecessor, The YogiBook, Fork is essentially a collection of Yogi's well-traveledobservations from out of left field, but it's much more than justdéjà vu all over again. Instead of explaining, as he has before,what prompted a particular Yogi-ism or what he was really trying to say, Yogidoes his best to go deep. The charm is that Yogi's so guileless, he makes itwork--there's sagacity in his simplicity. Each Yogi-ism gets its own shortchapter in which Yogi riffs off the phrase to dispense a bit of homespun wisdomand inspiration. "It gets late early out there"--we get old before we're ready,but here's how to cope with it. "If you can't imitate him, don't copy him"--weall need to be true to ourselves. With Yogi's latest career as a successfulauthor, not only ain't it over for him, there's happily no end in sight.--Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy Inspiration
As only Yogi can do, he brings many tough life issues down to the ground level. This book is a collection of 2-3 page "truths" according to Mr. Berra. I was really impressed. The approach is one of facing challenges at the gut level and straight ahead. Don't make things complicated, just do it. A must read for everyone. Thanks, Yogi.

4-0 out of 5 stars When Taking the Bull by the Horns, You'll See the Point!
Yogi Berra is our modern day version of Will Rogers. He talks about life and what he sees, and captures a fundamental truth and humor that tickle our fancy and our sense of what's right.

This book contains many of Yogi's most famous aphorisms, followed by essays that explain what he means . . . in other words.

Here are some of my favorites among his aphorisms in this book (which double as titles for the essays):

"We Have a Good Time Together, Even When We're Not Together."

"If People Don't Want to Come Out to the Park, Nobody's Going to Stop Them."

"Ninety Percent of the Game Is Half Mental."

"You Observe a Lot by Watching."

"It's Deja Vu All Over Again."

"We Made Too Many Wrong Mistakes."

"It Gets Late Early Out Here."

"Nobody Goes There Any More, It's Too Crowded."

"I Love Movies When I Like Them."

"If the World Were Perfect, It Wouldn't Be."

"Always Go to Other People's Funerals, Otherwise They Won't Go to Yours."

"Ninety Percent of Short Putts Don't Go In."

The beauty of Yogi's aphorisms is that we know exactly what he means, which we don't always appreciate about what more learned types have to say. The unusual content also jolts us into paying attention, instead of putting us into a mild doze.

About the aphorisms themselves, Yogi says this, "I don't think I ever said anything intentionally humorous in my life."

You could sum up his philosophy as "I really have no regrets." Yogi basically suggests that you take life as it comes, make the best of what it offers, and move on. His most beautiful aphorism is here also, "There Is Always Some Kid Who May Be Seeing Me for the First or Last Time. I Owe Him My Best." The essay describes how Joe DiMaggio always played the hero's role in public, and how much Yogi admired him for it.

The book also contains the famous story of how Yogi refused to reenter Yankee Stadium for 14 years after being summarily fired as manager in mid-season in 1985 (after being told this would not happen). George Steinbrenner finally met with Yogi and apologized. Yogi began coming to Yankee Stadium again. That struck me as very consistent with his sense of what's right and wrong.

Yogi chose to leave school at a very young age. He thought he didn't have much of a future there, and he felt he liked and could do a lot of other things better. That's the story behind the book's title. But Yogi reminds us, "People shouldn't forget where they came from." In fact, the essays double as an autobiography of Yogi.

I enjoyed his stories about the glory days of the five straight World Championships, and how he improved as a catcher while being lambasted by the sportswriters. Having listened to Don Larsen's perfect game against the Dodgers, it was fun to read what Yogi had to say about catching the game. I didn't know he called Larsen "Gooney Bird."

His essay about talking to players, pitchers and umps is also a classic.

Anyone would benefit from his advice about losing. "If [you]lose . . . , shake their hand and try harder next time."

He also maintains that it's not true he was ever in a hitting slump. He just wasn't getting many hits. That's an extension of his focus on keeping a positive outlook.

Each essay is preceded by a small black-and-white photograph. These add a nice personal touch to the essays.

After you read this book, think about where you need to take a fork in the road with courage and enthusiasm. Think of Yogi when you take that fork. He'll be pulling for you.

If the stick in your eye is hurting you, there's no law that says you have to keep holding it in there!

5-0 out of 5 stars We can all learn a lot from Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra is an American treasure, epitomizing many of the things that make America great. As a legend in life as well as a legend in baseball, the common-sense pearls of wisdom that drop from his lips are as instructive as they are humorous. I consider Yogi the common man's philosopher. This book offers forty chapters, each containing helpful advice, based upon a famous Yogi-ism, as well as inspiration to the reader. Most of us already know most of these lessons, but we need to be reminded of them periodically. Yogi is the perfect teacher. He is humble and honest, perfectly willing to use his own failures as well as his successes as object lessons for the rest of us; he also speaks from the heart in plain language. I love the unpretentious nature of this book; maybe it breaks a few rules of proper grammar, but it comes across in such a way that you half believe Yogi is sitting in the room with you and just talking. Yogi does offer up a number of parallels between baseball and business, stressing the importance of true teamwork, loyalty, and the personal involvement and commitment of all involved, but most of the lessons he imparts here are lessons about life and the proper way to live it. All the inspiration and wisdom aside, though, I have to admit that what I enjoy the most is Yogi's baseball stories. Baseball was a different game back when Yogi was playing, and I'm sure I'm not the only fan whose love of the game has faded as the game has turned into an impersonal industry. Yogi represents baseball at its best.

I also enjoyed learning a little more about Yogi's personal life - heck, I didn't even know how he got the name Yogi before I read this book. Here's a kid born in St. Louis to first-generation immigrants who quit school after eighth grade and pursued a dream that many people said he would never attain. All he did was play on ten World Series championship teams, earn three MVP awards, and become one of the most-loved baseball heroes of all time - heck, I bet there are even some Red Sox fans who love Yogi. He is also a war hero, having fought in the D-Day landing at Normandy. (He also played a brain surgeon on an episode of General Hospital back in the early 1960s, as I was quite shocked to learn.) With all of his success, though, he has always been remarkably humble and quick to thank those who made his good fortune possible. He is a great role model for kids as well as adults, and we all can learn a great deal about life by heeding his practical advice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Straight talk from Yogi
This collection of short snippets of wisdom from Yogi Berra is an enjoyable and ,yes, profitable read. Yogi is a man of great integrity and dignity and those qualities shine through on every page of this simple and relatively quick read. Pick it up and read it on your next long flight.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wit and Wisdom abounds from this unlikely philospher!
You don't need to be a baseball fan to enjoy (and benefit from) the words of wisdom in Yogi Berra's book, "When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!". Yogi explains and refines the numurous malapropisms that he noted for is this short and quick read.

Without going into the many "Yogi-isms" found in this book, let me suffice to say that you'll get a better perspective on life after reading it. Yogi does a great job giving advice and sharing his worldly experiences with the reader in his own inimitable way. This would be an outstanding graduation gift to share with young people ready to embark on their own life journey. I think it would especially appeal to young athletes who may already be somewhat familar with the Berra legacy.

Older readers will certainly enjoy the "Yogi-isms" that are used as the chapter titles and the numerous pictures from Yogi's photo archive. Yogi is a lovable baseball figure who has furthered his appeal factor by putting his thoughts down in words. Here's hoping that each reader will take something a little different from the experience! ... Read more

23. Wrong Side of the Wall : The Life of Blackie Schwamb, the Greatest Prison Baseball Player of All Time
by Eric Stone
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
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Asin: 1592284396
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Sales Rank: 1132840
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Book Description

Set against the grime-and-glitter backdrop of mid-twentiethcentury Los Angeles, WRONG SIDE OF THE WALL is the true story of a talented young athlete in the days before special ability in sports was a ticket to riches. Faced with a choice of sure success in the revered but grueling world of major league baseball or the easy money, fast times, and glamour of organized crime, Ralph "Blackie" Schwamb tried to have it all. But the pull of the underworld was inevitably too strong, and Blackie, a rising star pitcher for the St. Louis Browns at 22, was behind bars for a brutal murder at 23.

WRONG SIDE OF THE WALL grabs the reader like a fast-paced novel, breathlessly racing through Depression-era and World War II LA and into the postwar economic boom, plunging into a world of gangsters, nightclubs, girls, guns, gambling, and booze, from Mexico to Canada-and baseball, mostly behind prison walls. Permanently separated from all chance of success-straight or crooked-by his penchant for screwing up, Blackie established himself as a legendary prison-yard baseball pitcher. He was so renowned for his heat that baseball scouts came from around the country to match hitting prospects against him, and major and minor league teams regularly scheduled exhibitions against the San Quentin and, later, Folsom prison all-stars to get the chance to play against the prison phenom. When at last Blackie is out of prison again, he's too old to make the cut. A childhood friend says of him, "I looked up and he had tears in his eyes. And he said, 'You know . . . I really could have been something.' I guess I got a little misty-eyed myself. What could you say to the guy? He had ruined his life, and a few others along the way. You have to live with yourself, and sometimes that's punishment enough."
... Read more

24. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract
by Bill James
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743227220
Catlog: Book (2003-06-13)
Publisher: Free Press
Sales Rank: 4589
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When Bill James published his original Historical Baseball Abstract in 1985, he produced an immediate classic, hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the "holy book of baseball." Now, baseball's beloved "Sultan of Stats" (The Boston Globe) is back with a fully revised and updated edition for the new millennium.

Like the original, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is really several books in one. The Game provides a century's worth of American baseball history, told one decade at a time, with energetic facts and figures about How, Where, and by Whom the game was played. In The Players, you'll find listings of the top 100 players at each position in the major leagues, along with James's signature stats-based ratings method called "Win Shares," a way of quantifying individual performance and calculating the offensive and defensive contributions of catchers, pitchers, infielders, and outfielders. And there's more: the Reference section covers Win Shares for each season and each player, and even offers a Win Share team comparison. A must-have for baseball fans and historians alike, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is as essential, entertaining, and enlightening as the sport itself. ... Read more

Reviews (73)

5-0 out of 5 stars Why is baseball a beautiful game? Bill James knows!
I almost fell out of my chair when I saw "The New Bill James Historical Abstract" in the bookstore. James is every baseball fan wrapped into one and has always been able to see the cold statistical side of baseball along the human side. He even talks about uniform styles and baseball players' looks, which my wife enjoys. This is the kind of book that it takes months to completly consume, the reader starts at the beginning, but then a short tale leads us to another area to compare, then off we go to another similar player who we remember,then to something else. For baseball lovers this book is a must, but for the casual fan this is also a teriffic book. I became obsessed with his 1985 "Historical Abstract" and his yearly publication when I was in my early twenties, I hope young people today find this book and share some of my experiences.

5-0 out of 5 stars The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract
I enjoyed this book immensely. I own the first 1985 version (missed the 1989 update), and thought it was great. I agree with some reviewers that the distinction between peak and career rankings was better in the first book. However, I am okay that some player rankings have changed over time. IMHO, the best part of reading the player rankings were the bottom 30-40 at each position. I had forgotten many of these players with 4-5 good years (Von Hayes, Juan Samuel, Dick Stuart, etc.) and they brought good and bad memories.

The two negatives I had with this book:
1. Am analysis/ranking of managers, general managers, umpires, and owners was needed to complete the book. Since the book is The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, not the Players reference, many key and interesting figures are overlooked in baseball history. James did a book on managers about 10 years ago. Maybe this is a potential sequel as well.

2. It seemed that pitchers were short changed by having the top 100. Splitting them up into starters, relievers, and maybe lefty/righty would have made the pitching section as comprehensive as each of the other sections.

If you notice, both of my complaints are that I wanted more. Since Bill James delivered 900 pages of great material, I should and am thoroughly satisfied. My main complaint with Bill James is that he can't pump out 900 pages a month :) .

3-0 out of 5 stars A must-have for lovers of sabermetrics....
.... but not quite as ground-breaking as the original edition.

Overall, it is a definitive book to have on your baseball shelf. James rates many more players than he did in 1987 and introduces a new statistic called "Win Shares" from which most findings are based. I was disappointed with his explanation for wins shares theory and even more frustrated to learn that you had to buy the "Win Shares" companion piece [not cheap] just to understand his derivations. The preface/introduction in the historical abstract does not fully describe the intricacies of the method (particularly for defensive win shares), making it difficult to appreciate his conclusions. His finding that Craig Biggio is the 35th greatest player of all time, for example, is met with skepticism because the reader is not given complete proof. Yes, we know Biggio can create runs -- that is a Jamesian throwback -- but how precisely do these runs contribute to wins? The reader won't know all the details until he purchases the "Win Shares" volume.......

Some of James' conclusions arbitrarily deviate from the quantitative analyses. He goes to the trouble of developing a systematic approach for win shares but then does not do us the service of explaining why certain players rate higher than their individual values would indicate (see Don Mattingly). Such deviations do not lend confidence to a value scheme which Mr. James himself is VERY fond of.

1-0 out of 5 stars Lies and damned lies
Bill James has been cooking statistics to support his own prejudices for twenty years. Think about it. A midwest nerd is tired of being on the losing end of the Mays v Mantle debate (James is a shameless Mantle man) and decides to prove Mantle was better. It's hard to prove a lie so he had to get imaginative. There was only one way Mantle was superior. Base on balls. Thus began the tyranny of the on base percentage myth. Real statistics like rbis had to be diminished since Mays was so superior in every category so he needed to invent new categories like "win shares", none of which any honest person can say they understand since they are simply ruses to distract people from reality. In his first version of this book he said Mantle was much greater than Mays. A concern for his place in history as a credible source has caused him to back off that nonsense a bit but his four main prejudices are still present in this new compendium of misinformation. 1. He's a devout midwesterner and seems dedicated to the notion that he must defend the greatness of fellow midwesterners like Walter Johnson and Mickey Mantle to the point of shredding the truth. 2. He's an insane American League chauvinist. In his latest irrational rantings on the subject he isn't satisfied to say the American League is a better league, it's also a morally superior league. Once again, a nerd grows up in the midwest watching his beloved American League be pummeled year after year in the all star game, it must have drove him mad. It doesn't justify dishonesty and shameless manipulation of statistics. 3. He's a racist. That he still can't bear to consider Negro League players in his position by position ratings shows that. His pannicy attack on Barry Bonds in the 2003 postscript to the book shows his great fear that the dead white hopes like Ruth and Williams might be obscured by a great black player. Not a convenietly dead one like Josh Gibson but a very alive one. He segregates his analysis of the Negro League players into a top 100 discussion but does not mention them in the position by position chapters. 4. He doesn't like the present day game. He'd rather live in the ivory tower of statistics than the acutal game that is played every day in parks around the country. He actually suggested that the only explanation for an uppity black man like Bonds threatening the place of the great white myths is that baseball is a dying game and easily dominated now. Ultimately he'd rather believe statitstics than what he sees on the playing field (except of course when statistics threaten his illusions). Which is what's wrong with all the stat mongers like James and Pete Palmer. They don't illuminate the game. They take us farther away from it into an arifical world of numbers and lies. I honestly believe that Bill James is the worst thing that happened to baseball in my life time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive Synthesis
I bought the original when it came out years ago, and read it, and read it, and read it until it's spine cracked and pages started falling out. This time I bought the hardcover edition (buy whatever edition you can get your hands on, and can afford) and have read it, and read it, and read it; but thanks to hardcover binding it is not falling apart. One of the most fun aspects of this version is seeing how James has used his Win Shares method of evaluating performance to rank players by position. (By the way, the book Win Shares is an absolute classic, and should be purchased with this book, if at all possible.) For example, if you were to look strictly at the numbers you may say that Ty Cobb or Tris Speaker (or even the Mick) was the greatest center fielder of them all; but armed with his Win Shares method he makes you seriously consider that it has to be Willie Mays. I certainly have no argument against James's evaluation, but with Win Shares there seems to be a more logical, statistical basis for that judgment than by comparing raw numbers (not that Willie Mays needs to apologize for anything; he did after all have some huge seasons while playing at Candlestick park. How would he have done, I wonder, playing the last half of his career in Atlanta?) If you are a baseball fan, young or old, buy this book and get a wonderful overview of baseball history. ... Read more

25. Watching Baseball, updated & revised : Discovering the Game within the Game
by Jerry Remy, Corey Sandler
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0762737492
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Globe Pequot
Sales Rank: 42659
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Boston Globe's Number One bestseller is back, revised and updated for the 2005 season. Jerry Remy's name and face are already known to millions of fans. Every night during the baseball season, 400,000 or more households tune in to listen to his broadcast of the Red Sox game. But fans learned to love him years ago, when he was traded to the Red Sox in 1978, earning a trip to the All-Star Game in his first year with the team; Remy hit .278, scored eighty-seven runs, and stole thirty bases.

Injured in 1984, Remy never played another game. In 1988, he began his work as an announcer, working color commentary for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN, which is a basic cable channel throughout New England and available by satellite across the country. He covers more than 150 games per season for NESN and broadcast television, plus regular assignments on the national Fox Game of the Week. But the best part of Jerry Remy is his easy style: listeners feel like they're having a beer with a friend while they're watching the game.

If spectators just follow the ball, they are missing much of the game. Baseball is a lot more complex than that. Everyone talks about second-guessing the manager; and there's a lot of fun in that for everyone except the manager. Those opinions can be heard all day on the sports talk shows and read in the newspaper columns. But if the people are really going to get into the game, they need to start first-guessing. That's what this book is all about.
... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for the serious fan or player
I bought this book for my son.It's a little less anecdotal and more technical than I expected.If you really want to understand the strategy of the game, this book is for you.It is light-hearted and there are also some funny baseball stories and info on the Red Sox, but that's not the main part of the book, and if that's what you're looking for this probably isn't the book for you. Overall, I very much recommend this book for those who are true students of the game, and especially for kids about age 12 and up who want insights into how to become a better player MENTALLY, or those interested in coaching.Jerry doesn't explain how to hit a fastball, but he explains the STRATEGY of the game exceptionally well.

5-0 out of 5 stars From the Insiders View
Baseball is such a simple game. Someone throws the ball, someone else tries to hit it, if he does he runs around .... Well you know.

But what's really going on. In this quite large (367 page) book, Jerry Remy, a former second baseman explains the game as the players see it. There are hundreds of little tips: playing in the rain is to the advantage of the hitter, should the cutoff man jump if necessary to catch a ball, what about contract negotiations. And of course there's the discussions about people. As a player and then a baseball broadcaster, and a chat room moderator he knows all the principals in the business/game. If baseball is your thing....

5-0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as a day at the park
I know what my Father's Day gifts will be. This book is like getting personalized instructions from the man himself, Jerry Remy. It has so much inside information abut the art of baseball. Not just for Red Sox fans but fans of the game anywhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved it!
Remy is the best.His analysis of the game and insights into why players do what they do are second to none--and he's always entertaining, too.I loved this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Baseball 202 -- Intermediate appreciation
I have enjoyed Jerry Remy's astute analysis during Red Sox games for many years and anticipated that Watching Baseball would offer the same depth that he provides as a color commentator. Unfortunately the book, while enjoyable, proved to be a bit of a let down.

Watching Baseball seems to be aimed at the fan who has a basic understanding of the game but may not appreciate all of its nuances. For these readers -- such as my wife -- Remy's book will be extremely helpful in deconstructing the proverbial game within the game.

For those like myself who have been watching and playing baseball for several decades, Remy's book comes up a little short. In particular I found that his analysis was somewhat shallow; he would begin to get into a topic and then move on to something else just as things were starting to get interesting.

While Remy provides anecdotal examples from his own playing days, I would have appreciated more emphasis on strategy. It would have been more interesting if, for example, he had picked one game from the past season and broken it down "pitch-by-pitch" from batting practice to the final out.

The book is also very Red Sox-centric -- with a particular emphasis on the 2003 season. This is understandable given Remy's connection to the team, but a lot of his insight might be lost on a casual fan from Kansas City or Oakland or New York. A second edition of the book would do well to try to appeal to a broader audience.

Watching Baseball also suffers from spotty editing (the organization is choppy and there are several typos -- as if the book was being rushed into print) and is filled with what I consider gratutious quotes in praise of Mr. Remy himself. I found the latter in particular to detract from the book: I didn't need to find a quote every tenth page telling me what a scrappy ballplayer Remy was, or what a great broadcaster he is.

My final analysis: Watching Baseball is good for the casual fan who wishes to improve his or her appreciation for the game; serious fans will find the book lacking, however. Still, 3 for 5 ain't a bad day at the ballpark. ... Read more

26. Greats of the Game : The Players, Games, Teams, and Managers That Made Baseball History
by Ray Robinson, Christopher Jennison
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810958821
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 43940
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Book Description

A deceptively simple game rich in subtleties, baseball, more than any other sport, is passed down parent to child, one generation to another. In every era, fans have found heroes to cheer, and in part our attachment to the game has been fueled by hotly contested efforts to measure the superstars of the present against the titans of yesteryear. Greats of the Game fondly contributes to the nostalgic appeal of the national pastime by celebrating-in a subjective, engagingly outspoken text and dazzling, rarely seen photographs-the game's greatest players, teams, managers, games, and colorful personalities.

Here are a century's worth of stars and highlights: Babe Ruth and Nolan Ryan, Jackie Robinson and Barry Bonds, Don Larsen's perfect game, Willie Mays's catch of Vic Wertz's 450-foot drive in the 1954 World Series. Ray Robinson, author of the definitive biography of Lou Gehrig, shares more than 70 years of memories, while fellow baseball maven Christopher Jennison describes the stunning photos he has selected-in a lavish, opinionated treasury that is certain to inspire passionate debate. AUTHOR BIO: Ray Robinson has followed baseball since the heyday of Ruth and Gehrig. His books include Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time, The Home Run Heard 'Round the World, Knute Rockne of Notre Dame, and Will Rogers: An American Original. Christopher Jennison, who has chosen the photographs for this book and written the captions, is the coauthor (with Ray Robinson) of Pennants and Pinstripes and Yankee Stadium.
... Read more

27. The Yogi Book : I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said
by Yogi Berra
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0761115684
Catlog: Book (1999-04-01)
Publisher: Workman Publishing
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

At last they're all together, in celebration of one of America's most beloved figures: from "It ain't over 'til it's over" to "You can't think and hit at the same time" here are all the famous Yogisms, those pithy-as-poetry legendary words that are among the most popularly quoted sayings ever. Compiled by Yogi Berra and his family, The Yogi Book is the official collection of all Yogi Berra's quotable quotes. And more than just the genuine sayings themselves, there's Yogi on hand to explain each saying's provenance. Including many rarely-before-seen photographs plus appreciations and comments from friends and colleagues, the Yogi Book is a one-man Bartlett's, and a look at the life of a legend. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

28. Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Batter's Box
by Eric Bronson
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812695569
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 9330
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

William Irwin has taken philosophy out of the academy and put it on the bestseller list. The series has been featured in The New York Times and People, and on NPR's All Things Considered. Now philosophy finds its real home - in the dugout. In Baseball and Philosophy, 18 professors - some from the new field devoted to the philosophy of sport, others unapologetic baseball fans - explore the sport's deeper aspects. How can Zen be applied to hitting? Do you play to win or play by the rules? Is it ethical to employ deception in sports? Can a game be defined by its written rules or are there also other constraints? What can the U.S. Supreme Court learn from umpiring? Why should baseball be the only industry exempt from antitrust laws? These are some of the questions addressed in this witty, provocative blend of two major American pastimes: watching baseball and thinking about it. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars For baseball enthusiasts and philosophy students
Compiled and edited by Eric Bronson, and enhanced with an informative Foreword by Bill Littlefield, Baseball And Philosophy: Thinking Outside The Batter's Box is an impressive, 352-page anthology of essays contributed by 31 contributors exploring some of the deeper questions and lessons baseball has to offer with respect to the American identity and universal human fulfillment. Addressing such unique considerations as whether or not the Intentional Walk is unethical; can superstition make a player better; do Cubs fans teach us about religious faith; does chance decide who wins the World Series; why baseball is the only American industry exempt from federal anti-trust laws; what the U.S. Supreme Court could learn from umpiring ball games; and a great deal more. Baseball And Philosophy is uniquely and enthusiastically recommended to the attention of two seemingly diverse readerships: baseball enthusiasts and philosophy students.

5-0 out of 5 stars Legitimizing the Loyalty of a Brooklyn Dodger Fan
There is something more to baseball than athletes playing ball. That something explains the lingering nostalgia of Brooklyn Dodger Fans and the fanatical loyalty of Chicago Cubs fans. Baseball and Philosophy finally explains why our national game of summer grips our hearts and minds.

The titles of the chapters in Baseball and Philosophy immediately compel us to read. The intros to the chapters add the humor and drama that draw us to baseball. But it is the essays themselves that speak to our hearts and give voice to our passion.

Some of the chapters deal with today's and yesterday's stars. The authors cite Toqueville and Pascal to explain some of our hero worship in the face of adversity, whether it's putting up with the boisterous shinanigans of Reggie or the corked bat contrition of Sosa. We learn how baseball thrives in a Japanese culture of team harmony and in an American culture of frontier-blazing individualism. Legal scholars explain the unique position of the baseball industry in American courts. Ethicists and statisticians offer reasons for our nitpicking love of detail.

So why do we love baseball? Why do we forgive our heroes the sins of cheating, the anti-social behavior, even the crimes of racism? There is a reason for our madness. Kant, Socrates, Aristotle, John Stuart Mill give cause for our fanaticism.

Always humorous, always informative, sometimes controversial, the modern day philosophers who contributed to this book speak for all of us who love the game despite our best intentions. It's a great read!

4-0 out of 5 stars Baseball Almanac Book Review
Refreshingly different. For those seeking something less than the number crunching books but more than just another history lesson, Baseball and Philosophy delivers providing the serious fan with a series of short essays aimed at America's baseball institution. Taken from our ( full review done February 28, 2004). ... Read more

29. Baseball Extra: A Newspaper History of the Glorious Game from Its Beginnings to the Present
by Eric C. Caren
list price: $29.99
our price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0785811885
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Book Sales
Sales Rank: 302643
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An incredible collection of rare newspaper chart baseball's history from its beginnings in the mid-1800's to the 1999 World Series.Nowhere else could such a collection of diverse papers from all over the county be seen, including the Ball Player's Chronicle, the first publication devoted exclusively to baseball.This volume leaves no base unturned as it includes coverage of the formation and development of the Negro and Women's leagues, Willie Mays' "catch of the century", and various scandals that have rocked the sport.In a stunning find which was a late addition to the book, the Honus Wagner story, which made his baseball card worth over one million dollars, is debunked with the inclusion here of a tobacco ad in his hometown paper the same year (1090) he supposedly pulled the card off the market because the didn't want to be associated with the tobacco industry. Read about all the great players and events that have made our national sport what it is, reported as it happened.Eric C. Caren owns one of the largest rare newspaper collections in private hands.He is a consultant and major lender of materials to the Newseum in Arlington, Virginia.All items in this book come from his extensive archive, which dates back to the sixteenth century. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars From the baselines to the headlines
This is the perfect book for a baseball fan (or a historian with an interest in baseball) to have if he's stranded on a deserted island.

I've looked at all the headlines in this book and skimmed some of the stories, but I still haven't read an appreciable portion of the book as a whole.

The detail is so great, and the print on the older newspapers is so small that one really would have to have the luxury of time to read the whole thing.

Essentially, the book is a collection of baseball-theme newspaper headlines from 1857 to 1999. One can appreciate just how far back in time this book takes him when he sees a 1918 Boston Post headline that reads, *Red Sox Are Again World's Champions.*

The RED SOX? Baseball's world champions? AGAIN??????

Now THAT'S ancient history.

But this just isn't a baseball book, and those who can tolerate the baseball but whose historical interests lie elsewhere will take interest in the other slices of Americana that often lie side-by-side with the baseball stories.

The Red Sox story above is actually overshadowed by a headline about 13,000,000 additional draft registrants being called up, even as victory over the Kaiser is within reach.

Right next to the Milwaukee Daily News headline from October 14, 1908 declaring *Cubs Again Champions of the World* (another example of ancient history) is a political cartoon lampooning President Teddy Roosevelt.

The 1921 acquittal of the Chicago *Black Sox* players of conspiring to throw the 1919 World Series accompanies another story about the death of singer Enrico Caruso.

A 1948 headline in the Washington Afro American announcing forty-something Satchel Paige's belated call-up to the major leagues also includes an editorial criticizing Harry Truman's civil rights policies and announcing the assassination of a Haitian editor of a pro-government newspaper.

*Going away?* the ad in the lower left-hand corner asks. *Be sure that the Afro goes with you.*

Ads for tobacco (*Rabbitt Maranville says, *Blackstone is the best smoke on the big league circuit*), chewing gum (*it's good and it's good for you,* the Wrigley's Spearmint Gum ad advises), and health-enhancing elixirs also predominate.

A 1951 story in the Kansas City Star about the boyish Mickey Mantle's standing as heir apparent to the great DiMaggio also proudly announces Satin School Jackets (regularly selling for $7.95) on sale for $4.98. 1951 model Dodges are available at Midwest Motors for only $1666.17.

Moon Mullins and other retro comic strip characters also dot these pages. *Whadd'ya mean he's beginning to get to you?* an irate boxing manager demands of his fighter in the middle of an empty arena. *He's been and gone!* Now THAT'S another animated boxing manager who also isn't going to be saying *we* anytime soon.

There's even a measure of eeriness about some of these headlines. Everyone knows that Joe DiMaggio's famous 56 game hitting strike took place in the pre-war environment that was the 1941 baseball season, so it's startling to see a number of San Francisco Chronicle headlines tracking his hitting streak - that are dated in 1933.

The answer, of course, is that years before DiMaggio electrified the nation with his 56-game streak, he was raising eyebrows on the West Coast with a 61-game streak for the Pacific Coast League's San Francisco Seals. Incredibly, the Chronicle repeatedly gets his name wrong, spelling it as *De Maggio*. The man was born on Fisherman's Wharf, after all. He was a San Francisco native son.

And in another Twilight Zonish moment from 1920, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle proclaims that *Hank Gherrig* (whose bases-loaded homerun won the game for his local high-school) is the Babe Ruth of high school baseball.

The subject, of course, is Lou Gehrig who would set the all-time record for grand slam homeruns (it still stands today) and who would later join Babe Ruth in the Yankees lineup to make up what might still be the greatest homerun-hitting tandem of all time.

Yes, if you've got this collection with you, you have tremendous incentive to find a desert island to be stranded on.

Of course, the stories from the more recent years can be passed over. And retro-baseball also contains some sobering food for thought: 50 years from now; 80-100 years from now; will baseball fans from the future pour over headlines about Darryl Strawberry, Frank Thomas, Alex Rodriguez, Garry Sheffield, and Will Clark - and modernist madness outside the world of baseball - with the same misty glow?

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have if you love baseball
This book is awesome... First of all, it's huge - about 18" x 12" and 400+ pages. Each page is copy of a newspaper, going back to 1857, with stories about significant events in baseball's history. Reading the non-baseball stories and advertisements is almost as good as the baseball stuff. I highly recommend this book!

4-0 out of 5 stars For seniors only?
I've bought this book, and I thinks it not so bad. If you're into baseball from 1860 to 1950 this one is for you, but the stories from the 60s to the 90s is not so well covered. It is many pages I would like to have, for example more on expansion teams, player's strike, my favourite team the St. Louis Browns and of course stories about unassisted triple plays. In the 80's section the most stories are about world series winners (but not all, both Pete Rose and the Pine-Tar case is there). I would recommend it for every old baseball fan, and of course fans who like to trace the history. Bam's last game is covered, so is The Ironman, and BoSox first win in the WS are also well covered. Ed Gaedel is also one story that I liked. But the author could have add more pages from the modern times of baseball. If you buy this book, be sure to have a magnifying glass, many of the articles are written in very small types

5-0 out of 5 stars If you are into old-school this is for you!
I just received this book for an early birthday present and have not been able to put it down! I have always been a fan of the way's baseball used to be,so I really got into this book.It almost felt like I was in the game! I would recomend this book to any one who loves baseball,or even a young boy just starting out. It really shows true appreciation of the sport. ... Read more

30. Search for the Perfect Swing: The Proven Scientific Approach to Fundamentally Improving Your Game
by Alastair Cochran, John Stobbs, Golf Society of Great Britain
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572431091
Catlog: Book (1996-03-01)
Publisher: Triumph Books
Sales Rank: 86785
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Search For the Perfect Swing presents a logical, scientifically researched model of the swing that is easy to understand. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Book
This is my favorite book of all time: a wonderful model of the golf swing that has not been surpassed since its original publication in the early 1970's. Think of all the enduring golf ideas that have followed from this book: the heel-sole weighted putter and club, the importance of the left side guiding the swing, the swing plane and curve of the golf ball, the importance of different shots, the kinetic chain for power, aim and stroke in putting, ... All current teaching and golf science started right here. It is silly to play golf without fully understanding this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars lots of info , but you need a Phd to pu it to good use.
it was a dry read with many "big" words,. I think that with someone who understand it, it would be a great help.

5-0 out of 5 stars The definitive text
When I worked at Ping 27 years ago -- when Ping was single-handedly revolutionizing the golf industry -- this was the only book I remember seeing in Karsten's office. That should tell you something. I read it about six times. It is fascinating and full of weird insights that I still manage to work into conversations today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Comprehensive Look at the Physics of the Game
This book will tell you everything about the golf swing from what it takes to achieve maximum power to why pros tee the ball up higher than most amateurs on their drives. This is a complete book on the physics of the game backed up by the most extensive research ever done on the golf swing. This book can help you understand the swing better than any other book, though it does not advocate any particular method, as many are effective. I advise you to read this book and if you are looking for a method that is unequivically supported by this book, there is only one. Carl Lohren's "Getting Set for Golf" is the only technique book that is completely supported by the proven physics of the game detailed in "Search for the Perfect Swing." Alastair Cochran's book is the only of its kind and can greatly improve your knowledge of the golf swing.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the mother of all golf books.
Search for the Perfect Swing is the most definitive book written on what actually happens when a golf club is put in motion.Read this book and then go into your local golf retail shop or just listen at your favorite local course to the ridiculous explainations and profound words of wisdom people perpetuate about the golf swing and its effects on the golf ball and its intended target.Best fast fact-FYIO-ball and club stay in contact for 1/2millisecond(.0005).HHmmm, that doesnt seem like we can have much effect after impact- FYIO-fact#2-"in any full shot,acceleration through impact is a sure sign of wasted effort which could have been used to produce greater speed at impact if it had been applied earlier."I know my pro told me to accelerate to a full finish.-Honestly, the book is a must for serious golfers or anyone looking to have the golf swing explained without the myths-9 out of 10 golf pros dont recommend this book-I wonder why? ... Read more

31. Game Time: A Baseball Companion
by Roger Angell
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0151008248
Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
Publisher: Harcourt
Sales Rank: 77946
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In Game Time, Roger Angell’s essays illuminate baseball’s heart and history in careful prose that New Yorker readers have grown to anticipate each spring. The collection spans the forty-plus years of Angell’s baseball writing career and includes many of his favorite pieces as well as never-before-published material.

Rather than stringing the selections together chronologically, the book's editor, Steve Kettmann, groups them by the three seasons of the game—spring, summer, fall. The structure works well to expose the breadth and depth of Angell’s writing across the years. As Richard Ford promises in the introduction, "It is by getting those. . . baseball essentials (strategies, nuances, protocols) down onto the page, and cementing the hard foundation without which sporstswriting can’t earn your time away from the game itself, that Angell has made his bones."

The downside of this approach, however, is that some selections feel dated or misplaced for readers who did not live through the seasons in question. Many of the rookies scouted or players traded have long since faded into the obscurity. And for essays like "Distance," which profiles pitcher Bob Gibson, placement in "Summer" seems forced, the piece beginning as it does with recollection of Gibson’s seventeen strikeout record set in the 1968 World Series.

But these are faults to be expected in a collection that represent the vastness of Angell’s contribution to baseball. In Angell, baseball is blessed to have found its perfect fan: literate, humble, and always eager for spring.--Patrick O’Kelley ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterful, moving: One of the best sports books ever
I picked this up about a week ago, and finished it just this afternoon. Inbetween that time, and between the covers of this great book, I found myself caught up in the exhiliration of victory, the agony of defeat, and a variety of emotions inbetween. Roger Angell is to baseball what Shakespeare was to theatre: he captures the wide spectrum of players and coaches, fans and managers, rookies and old pros, that have made baseball a fascinating sport to follow.

Individual pieces that stick out for me are the David Cone profile, the scout, Smokey Joe Wood, and many others that make this book a wonderous journey. This is for the diehard fans, to be sure, but baseball novices will also enjoy some of the many thoughtful and well-written pieces contained here. You will finish this with a deeper appreciation of baseball itself (despite its bloated state now, Angell makes no apologies for his continued interest long after other, more traditional fans have thrown up their hands in disgust. There is just as much joy in describing the Angels-Giants match-up in '02 as there is in memorializing Teddy Ballgame Williams), and Angell's work here is truly some of the finest sports reporting I've ever read. As stated in the introduction essay, Angell's work appeared mainly in the "New Yorker", where he could have time to construct his thoughts without the threat of a nearer deadline. Thus, his writing here does service to the majesty of the events described.

For the baseball fan in all of us, Roger Angell's work is truly a gift and a joy to read. I highly recommend this work. However cynical you may be about the more recent baseball world, you will enjoy this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A literate baseball treat
Pound for pound Roger Angell is the best baseball writer living today. Sure, you can follow the stat geeks and daily columnists (and I do), but Angell uses the stats as only part of the story. Writing for the New Yorker has afforded him the luxury of telling the stories behind the game, and it was in the pages of the New Yorker that I first discovered his penchant for weaving great yarns out of the game of baseball, in particular David Cone's disastrous 2000 season with the Yankees which is recounted in GAME TIME.

Whether it is tracking down Bob Gibson, attending a College World Series match up between Frank Viola and Ron Darling with a nonagenarian Smoky Joe Wood, following a major league scout, or sitting with the owner of the San Francisco Giants to simply watch and talk about a game, Angell finds the humanity of the people that make the game so great. He even comes close to making me like Tim McCarver, but, alas, McCarver is still the worst broadcaster in sports.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Reintroduction
The only reason I took off a star is because...well, I have bathed in the warm waters of Roger Angell's baseball chronicling since the publication of his first such anthology, "The Summer Game," and I have bought every last one of the successor books ("Five Seasons," "Late Innings," "Season Ticket," and "Once More Around The Park"), and I really didn't need to see a lot of the essays contained in this volume all over again. Even if I think "Distance" is the absolute best and most humane essay you'll ever read about Bob Gibson, please: A third anthologising (it debuted in "Late Innings" and was recycled in "Once More Around The Park") was as excessive as some would consider a stolen base in the eighth inning when the thief's team was on the winning side of a 12-1 blowout.

But if you have never before approached even the edge of those waters, this is the book with which you want to begin; the editing and arranging of the material, appropriately enough into seasonal sections, is even better than "Once More Around The Park's" had been. Don't let my harrumphing about over-repetition of some choice essays deter you (I certainly didn't let it keep me from adding this to my library). If you are a newcomer to Mr. Angell's virtuosity (and if you are a newcomer, you should probably ask yourself where you've been all your life), from the loveliest book of baseball letters of the year. Peter Golenbock, in his oral history of the Boston Red Sox, called Mr. Angell "baseball's Homer," but Golenbock has it backward. With apologies to no one, Homer shall have to settle for having been ancient Greece's Roger Angell.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Pair--Baseball Season and Roger Angell
If you are familiar with past baseball books of Roger Angell you know you are in for another treat with his latest offering. Part of the book includes passages from past books, but, at least to me, it doesn't detract from this book at all. A good part of the book covers recent playoffs and World Series including 2002 and if you followed the games during the past several years, these parts of the book will have additional meaning to you. A lengthy section on former Cardinals' fireballer Bob Gibson and a visit with Smokey Joe Wood while viewing a college game between Yale and St. Johns with Ron Darling and Frank Viola matching up against one another are included as is a section on broadcaster Tim McCarver "There's a lahn drahve!", and another on a scouting mission with California Angels scout Ray Scarborough. Some of these offerings go back to the early 1960's until through the year 2002. In describing playoff and World Series games, Angell doesn't merely recite game facts as to who got hits and scored runs. He has a knack for making the reader feel he is there and tells the story with colorful prose. Here are a few examples: "The hankie hordes were in full cry at the Metrodome, where the World Series began." "We repaired to Milwaukee, where, on a cold and blustery evening in the old steel-post park, County Stadium, Willie McGee staged his party." Regarding Dennis Eckersley: "His eyes burning like flashlights as he spoke." "Luis Sojo, a Venezuelan, is thirty-four but looks as if he'd put on a much older guy's body that morning by mistake." After working on a screwball in high school to imitate Giants' pitcher Carl Hubbell, Angell said, "I began walking around school corridors with my pitching hand turned palm outward, like Carl Hubbell's, but nobody noticed." I could go on and on and on with colorful tidbits found in the book, but I don't want to spoil it for you. Suffice it to say, if you buy this book you are in for a treat. Don't speed read it. This isn't a book to be gulped. It is like a Godiva chocolate bar. This book is to be savored. ... Read more

32. Banks to Sandberg to Grace : Five Decades of Love and Frustration with the Chicago Cubs
by CarrieMuskat
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809297124
Catlog: Book (2001-03-22)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 17263
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Chicago Cubs history through the eyes of those who were there

Banks to Sandberg to Grace is the saga of the post-WWII Chicago Cubs--more than 50 years of (few) victories and (many) heartaches--as told by those who were on the field, in the front office, or on the fringes. Organized by era, each storyteller is a "chapter," sharing his or her account--some hilarious, some angry, some poignant, and all entertaining.

... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars WRIGLEY TIME MACHINE

5-0 out of 5 stars A great experience for any sports fan
I absolutely loved this book, and I am not even a Cub's fan. It was very entertaining, very informatative, and very fun. It has great tales from Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams, and Andy Pafko. I would recommend this book to any baseball fan. No, I would recommend it to any sports fan!


5-0 out of 5 stars Good as it gets
From a review in the Chicago Tribune Books section, July 8, 2001: I had no idea reading could be so much fun.... By turns, the players' tales are hilarious, heartbreaking, defensive, nostalgic and brutally honest... When he first walked onto Wrigley Field, says Ron Santo: "The stands were empty. It was so beautiful. It was like playing in my backyard. It didn't feel like, 'Jeez, I'm overwhelmed.' It felt like, 'This is baseball.' " In "Banks to Sandberg to Grace," Muskat captures that spirit and magic...

4-0 out of 5 stars interesting
In baseball, there are two known types of pain- you have the exquisite pain of Red Sox fans, whose team comes within 1 out of taking it all, only to have Bill Buckner boot the routine grounder, or have Mike Torrez give up the most improbable of home runs to Bucky Dent. It's a horrid pain- the pain of being so close, yet not getting over the hump...

...then there's the pain of the Chicago Cubs fan- their team never even comes close to competing for anything, save the magic of Rick Sutcliffe's magical 1984 season, or the Wildcard Cubs of a few seasons ago, led by Kerry Wood and Sammy Sosa. It's a very different type of pain. The pain of realization that "wait till next season" may well be said by June or July.

Being a fan of both clubs (Born in Boston, moved to Ohio in my youth but obviously could not root for the Reds, and Cleveland??!! pulleeeze... did they even field a baseball club in the late 70's? I found the Cubs), I dive into histories of both teams voraciously, and Muskat's work on the Cubs is an entertaining and informative one.

Starting with the greatness of the 45 team, Muskat's tireless work interviews the greats of Cubs history- Billy Williams, Mr. Cub Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace, and a host of others. Their perspectives are what make this work so great- the agony, heartache, hillarity, wishful thinking, hopes held high in April, hopes dashes by Season's end. It's all part of the world of being a Chicago Cub, and it is all here.

At times testy, at other times silly and ridiculous, still other times tear-felt, the oral history of the Cubs has never been better presented than in this work, and never better told than by those who lived the game at Wrigley Field.

As the 2001 Cubs continue to surprise the NL Central with great pitching (including castaways from my beloved Red Sox in Jeff Fassero and Tom Gordon- irony of ironies), this work may be what the Cubs and their fans need to help them amend for the past. A brilliant piece of work. ... Read more

33. Planet of the Umps
by Ken Kaiser
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312997108
Catlog: Book (2004-04-19)
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 399781
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

After calling balls, strikes, and outs for thirty-six baseball seasons and more than 3000 major league games, umpire Ken Kaiser finally called it a career. From the first day he hit a minor league catcher with a pool table to the fateful day baseball called him out on a strike, Kaiser was one of the game's most popular and colorful characters. And in this autobiography-written with the co-author of Ron Luciano's classic bestseller The Umpire Strikes Back - Kaiser brings to life his wild adventures from the pro wrestling arena to the baseball diamond.

This is the hysterically true story of four decades of baseball as lived and loved on the playing field, from Ted Williams and Billy Martin to Derek Jeter and Mark McGwire, from one-eyed umpires to space-age technology. And as he did throughout his long and sometimes controversial career, the larger-than-his-chest-protector Kaiser called 'em as he saw 'em.
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Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
I enjoyed this book very much.Many funny and insightful stories. You really get a feel for what the life of an umpire is like...the good, the bad, and the ugly.

4-0 out of 5 stars A safe call for baseball fans to read.
I was given this book to read while I was sick in bed.I love baseball, but I probably would not have picked up this book on my own.I was not, however, at all disappointed.Ken Kaiser's book made for a wonderful read.He (or his co-author) correctly understood that this type of autobiography is only of interest as it pertains to the world of baseball, so there is very little about Kaiser's personal life away from the job.

Kaiser's anecdotes are often funny and very revealing of the umpire's job.He dispels many ideas of how an umpire makes certain calls.Much of these myths are voiced by sportscasters/writers who like to sound as if they know the inside scoop of the game including the mind of the umps.

I knew of Kaiser's name when he umpired, but I was mostly neutral about him, unlike my positive thoughts about the delightful Ron Luciano, or the less happy thoughts of someone like Rich Garcia.His stories also make clear that what some believe as the self importance of the current umpires is nothing new to the game, but their working conditions have certainly improved.

The book ends sadly, though, with Kaiser an apparent victim of the Richie Phillips led union.Don't get me wrong, Kaiser is a big fellow and capable of making up his own mind, but the former union's advise was equaled in absurdity by the former air traffic controllers union.The result was predictable and the game is not better off.Kaiser deserves much credit for providing a well articulated defense of the umpire's job, his tributes to Ron Luciano, the Ripkens and his blasts at Earl Weaver, sports journalists, and the baseball hierarchy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good stories but skewed viewpoint
The best parts of this book are the stories about what it was like to be a minor league and major league umpire. The worst parts, from my perspective, are in Kaiser's biased views about the umpires' labor problems and the quality of umpiring in the majors. Kaiser goes on at length about how every umpire has his own strike zone, and complains about the attempts to standardize it. While it's true that calling balls and strikes is very difficult and that absolute standardization is probably impossible, it's also true that several umpires' strike zones had gotten completely ridiculous (Eric Gregg would regularly call strikes on pitches several inches outside, for example).

Kaiser says he trusted union head Richie Phillips too much when he agreed to resign along with most other major league umps. The problem wasn't just one of trust - it was one of arrogance. The umpires thought they were bigger than the game, that a mass resignation would force the owners to come crawling. They also failed to consider whom they were dealing with. Sandy Alderson accepted the mass resignation. This is the one time in labor history that a union broke itself. Major League Baseball owners have historically been poor labor negotiators, but they finally ran into a group of people who were worse. Kaiser doesn't face up to any of this, in my opinion. He admits it was a mistake to sign his resignation letter, but apart from that he seems to see himself as a victim.

I think the book is worth reading, as long as one takes some of Kaiser's views with a grain of salt.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book
I loved this book. It literally made me laugh until I cried. I couldn't put it down. I loved reading about behind the scenes in baseball and I especially enjoyed walking down memory lane picturing Ken Kaiser on the field. A great read, highly recommended, and a note to Mr. Kaiser..........I hope you win your battle with MLB, you deserve it. You were a great umpire, hang in there. As a great lover of baseball, I still can appreciate the job you did, even if I didn't always agree. Good Luck! Everyone the book and give it as gifts. It makes a wonderful reading experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars LIFE WITH A UMPIRE
Mr.Kaisers book is a must for anyone at all interested in what those men in blue do. I for one, did not know,but was extremely curious as to what goes on when a batter,manager,pitcher,or even a fan yells at a umpire. Kaiser tells it like you would be behind the mask yourself. I think the patience to be a umpire is only second to being a high school teacher. Having a somewhat career as a pro-wrestler helps in both cases. This book is the best I have read about the life on and off the field and the struggles to become a major league umpire. ... Read more

34. A Pitcher's Story: Innings with David Cone
by Roger Angell
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446527688
Catlog: Book (2001-05)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 473320
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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For the four decades he's been writing about baseball for The NewYorker, Roger Angell has led all shortlists of the game's most astute andelegant chroniclers. With A Pitcher's Story: Innings with David Cone, heattempts, with thrilling command, something he's never tried before--devoting awhole volume to one player by spending an entire season at his heels. In pitcherDavid Cone, a cerebral student of his game and articulate practitioner of hiscraft, Angell finds a subject as perfect as the perfecto Cone hurled against theExpos on Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium in 1999. Better still, he finds inCone a partner unwilling to shrink beneath the hot light of what would prove tobe an agonizing and introspective year.

One of the game's premier pitchers, Cone came unglued in 2000; his 4-14 seasonwas a disaster. The "wizardly old master" Angell had intended to extol wassuddenly "Merlin falling headlong down the palace stairs." There's gold to bespun from that, though, and Angell, the essayist as deft alchemist, spins away.The more Cone struggles--the more he battles age, doubt, injury, and the variouscurves baseball fate can throw--to regain what he's lost, the more valiant heseems. It gives A Pitcher's Story its depth, its heart, its spirit, andits honor. If Angell entered into the project with the intention of getting agrip on the delicacies of pitching, he does, but he comes away with so muchmore. Like good battery mates, Cone and Angell work with, and off of, eachother. Together, they evoke a canny portrait of a career at the crossroads, anda meditation on the powers of an elite athlete's pride. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars brought back memories about a great pitcher
I've been a fan of David Cone since I was a little kid growing up in New York as a Met's fan. Even as my team started to unravel after 1986 and 1988, Cone was stellar, leading the league in strikeouts and being the one constant quality player that the team had. When he was traded out of New York I still tried to follow his career and was happy when he returned to New York, even as a Yankee. It was with great disappointment that I read about his last season where he just fell apart and ended with a 4-14 record. It was a sad ending to a great pitcher.

I wanted to read this book about David Cone. The book was originally supposed to be about the craft of pitching, how a top level pitcher prepares and the mechanics of pitching. That is the book that Roger Angell intended to write. However, when Cone's mechanics broke down and his season fell apart, Angell stayed with him and realized that he had a completely different story. This is the story of David Cone's last season with the Yankees and the collapse of a talented ballplayer.

Baseball is a game of digression. Since the only action in the game takes place during frenzied bursts of motion between long periods of waiting, this gives the sportswriters and broadcasters time to talk about the game at hand as well as games and moments from years past. This is a good thing to think about as you begin to read the book. Roger Angell takes us through the 2000 season of David Cone. He also provides a biography of Cone as well as moments from different parts of his pitching career. This is just like a baseball game where everything is connected to history. What is happening in May might recall David's rookie year, or his high school days. This is how the book goes, from the 2000 season when Angell is spending time with Cone right to David's childhood and back again. It may feel at times that there is very little organization, but I felt that it had part of the natural flow of watching (or listening to) a baseball game.

Some readers might be put off by the lack of chronology to the book and that it jumps around quite a bit. It is a little distracting, but it wasn't bad at all in my mind. It just felt like this is the way you tell the baseball story. I was completely enthralled by this book and I'm glad that I got the chance to read about one of my favorite pitchers from my childhood.

2-0 out of 5 stars Late Innings
Aging veteran writer Roger Angell spends the 2000 season with aging veteran pitcher David Cone. Cone struggles with injuries and mechanics to produce a sub-par 4-14 record. Angell struggles with the project in general, producing A Pithcer's Story. Anyone who's enjoyed Roger Angell's previous baseball writing knows that his forte is explaining the game through it's players, relaying anecdotes that give us a sense of being inside the game, and putting the current events of baseball in their historical context. When A Pitcher's Story allows for these moments, Angell shines (see chapters Normal Pain and This Statesman). Unfortunatly, the format (following David Cone through a season) doesn't really allow for this. Maybe David Cone wasn't the right head to get into, maybe Roger Angell wasn't the right guy to try. In either case I hope they can both put the 2000 season behind them and give us one more good year.

1-0 out of 5 stars This Book Was Poor
I am a great ball fan and a regular at the Blue Jays games - especially when the Yankees or the A's or Seattle come to town. Cone was here when we (my team the Jays - I do not own the Jays, everyone here calls them his team) won the world series in 92 and we all loved him.

I was excited when the book arrived from, but very disappointed when I actually read the book. I never finished it. I thought it was slow and a bit light. The author cannot keep your attention and the book wanders. Waste of money only one or two stars. Sorry but that is my humble opinion. Read DiMaggios's book "The Hero's Life" for a good biography about life on and off the field.

Jack in Toronto

3-0 out of 5 stars A Journey with Mr.Cone
Roger Angell takes you through the troublesome and nail-biting career to the ordinary every day life of the renowned pitcher, David Cone. From his first participation in a major league uniform with the New York Mets, to many thriving seasons with the Yankees and Red Sox, and from the time that David's arm felt like a stable rocket launcher, to the end of his career when he prospered by throwing mostly split-fingers and curveballs instead of a blazing fastball. A Pitchers Story not only makes the reader envision a life as an imfamous pro-baseball player, but also learns from the way to handle themselves under extraordinary pressure. This book is also similar to a pitching lesson in itself, as grips of seams and the twists of wrists are manifested by the masterful Cone. I am sure that this story has made hundreds of people realize how hard-working and dedicated a person must be in order to maintain a respectable and successful career in the big-leagues, as Cone consistently did throughout his almost two-decade career. This book is certainly better than the average biography, and I would recommend it to any lovers of "America's Past Time."

4-0 out of 5 stars The Essential David Cone
I'd been waiting a long time for a book to be published about my favorite baseball player, David Cone. This book is excellent in describing Cone both professionally and personally. A must-read for David's fans! ... Read more

35. So Hank Says to Yogi . . . : The Best Baseball Stories Ever Told
by KevinNelson
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596090146
Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
Publisher: Chamberlain Bros.
Sales Rank: 188708
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Book Description

On the field, off the field, and off the record.

Baseball-it's America's pastime, and a yearly rite of passage for the millions of eager fans who wait for the boys of summer to take the field, enter the batter's box, and wind up for the first pitch. Kevin Nelson has gathered a collection of personal anecdotes and true stories from some of the most inspiring, humorous, exciting, and poignant moments in baseball, as told by the players themselves. From the golden age of the game to the modern era of inter-league play and wild-card playoffs, from the diamond, the dugout, and down on the farm, this compilation reveals baseball as it really is-and is a must-have for any fan of the game. A bonus CD includes stories not in the book.


A panel discussion by baseball greats and hall-of-famers, telling stories about the game they love, led by Hall of Fame announcer Bob Wolff.
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36. What Time Is It? You Mean Now? : Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All
by Yogi Berra
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743237684
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 144251
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Could Confucius hit a curveball? Could Yoda block the plate? Can the Dalai Lama dig one out of the dirt? No, there is only one Zen master who could relay his wisdom while gloving a relay, ponder perfection while catching a perfect game, and contemplate the circle of life while rounding the bases.

Who is this guru lurking in the grand old game? Well, he's the winner of ten World Series rings, a member of both the Hall of Fame and the All-Century Team, and perhaps the most popular and beloved ballplayer of all time. And without effort or artifice he's waxed poetic on the mysteries of time ("It gets late awful early out there"), the meaning of community ("It's so crowded nobody goes there anymore"), and even the omnipresence of hope in the direst circumstances ("It ain't over 'til it's over").

It's Yogi Berra, of course, and in What Time Is It? You Mean Now?, Yogi expounds on the funny, warm, borderline inadvertent insights that are his trademark. Twenty-six chapters, one for each letter from A to Z, examine the words, the meaning, and the uplifting example of a kid from St. Louis who grew up to become the consummate Yankee and the ultimate Yogi.

Included in this treasury of inspired and inspiring Yogi-isms are such eloquent and thought-provoking pearls of wisdom as:

"I ain't in a slump. I'm just not hitting," encouraging us to stay positive even in the face of adversity.

"Why be jealous over things you don't have?" counseling us to take joy in all the good things in our lives -- without envying others.

"You can observe a lot by watching," reminding us to be open to the possibility of surprise and wonder in the world around us.

"It's like déjà-vu all over again," because, after all, you don't have to believe in reincarnation to know that history repeats itself.

Touching on all things great and not so great, Yogi imparts to us his one-of-a-kind wisdom and famously quirky humor, illuminating the subtle truths at work in our lives. Overflowing with improbable insight and enlightening advice, What Time Is It? You Mean Now? is the essential guide to the world according to Yogi. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Yogi takes time out from life to explain it all for you
When it comes to the wit and wisdom of Yogi Berra you have to realize that are two types of Berraisms that you have to keep separate. First there are his classic examples of logic, where they sound wrong but they make sense, such as "Ninety percent of this game is mental and the other half is physical" and "It ain't over 'till its over." For example, the latter works because "over" has two different meanings in that sentence, which reflects the fact that baseball does not have a clock. Second there are those that are simply the man misspeaking, such as "I want to thank everybody for making this night necessary" and "You saw Dr. Zhivago? Why? Aren't you feeling well?" Do not mistake the two forms because there is a major difference. The first category is the important one because it proves that while he was uneducated Lawrence Peter Berra was one of the smartest people to ever walk on a baseball diamond. You be sure to distinguish between the two types of sayings that serve as the basis for this book "What Time Is it? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All." (The title would fall in the second category for my money.)

All of this, of course, assumes that Yogi actually did say any particular comment in the first place (we give the man the benefit of the doubt although he admits he did not say everything he has said). There are twenty-six of these sayings, arranged in alphabetical order using the most liberal of standards¸ each with a black and white illustration by Alan Dingman. We are then provided with several pages of reflections and commentary by Yogi, which work in stories from his family life and baseball career. I wonder whether Yogi was actually given these sayings and then proceeded to hold forth on this thoughts or whether Dave Kaplan interviewed the Hall of Fame catcher and then cut and pasted them into this volume. Not that it makes much of a difference, but I am curious. The main thing here is not the recycled sayings, most of which I have heard before in my consumption of all things Yogi (in the fourth grade there were three of us with the same name and I had a catcher's mitt so I was actually called "Yogi" for a year), but to hear what he has to say about the mysteries of time, the meaning of community, and the omnipresence of hope in the direst circumstances (and you thought this would just be light reading). Smart move of Yao Ming in one of his first commercial to team up with Yogi, the most loved and loveable sports figure in the United States today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yogi's thoughts on many topics . . . including life
Read and enjoyed Yogi Berra's WHAT TIME IS IT? YOU MEAN
NOW? . . . the book, written with Dave Kaplan, is subtitled
ALL . . . it contains 26 chapters, one for each letter from A
to Z, that has me believing that Berra was not only a great
baseball player--he's also quite a guy.

Although I have my doubts as to what he wrote vs. what
Kaplan did, I nevertheless enjoyed the thoughts on such
varied topics as family, competition and living in New York City.

Naturally, I also chuckled at a bunch of quotes that have
been attributed to Berra--although he admits that he did not
say them all . . . among them:
Little League is good because it keeps parents off the
streets and the kids out of the house.

It's so crowded nobody goes there.

If you ask me questions I don't know, I'm not going to answer.

You saw DR. ZHIVARGO? Why? Aren't you feeling well?

There were several other parts of the book that I liked; most notably:

I'm Lucky that Carm is a very upbeat, positive person and doesn't dwell on this stuff either. One time, though she did ask me where I should be buried. Our families are from St. Louis, where I grew up; my career was in New York; we live in New Jersey. I told Carm, "I don't know, just surprise me."

If I'm buying a car, I'll leave my wallet home the first time and just ask questions. What are the payments? What kind of warranty? What's the downside of the car? The right questions can help you make the right decisions.

It's no big secret-winning makes you feel better about everything, and losing doesn't. Everybody wants to win, who doesn't? Winning is important, that's why you keep score, but I think maybe overall it's gotten too much so, especially in kids' sports where there's too much stress on winning and not enough fun. I guess that's what's happened as sports have gotten so big in our country. Instead of asking their kids after a soccer or a Little League game, "Did you win?"
maybe the parents should ask, "Did you give it your best?" or
"Did you have fun?"

5-0 out of 5 stars I only like books I'm going to like
I still dont know what inspired me to buy this book, but after every page, I was glad I did. This book was a very unique combination of philosophy, self-help, humor, historical sports and general good writing. I had never been familiar with Yogi Berra other than some of his more famous quote but I understand his way of thinking now and I believe some of the secrets to life lie between the covers of this book.

The book never gets dry, points arent beaten to death and he doesn't try to cram his personal way of thinking down your throat. I like that and really was able to take more out of this book because it approaches everything in a very level-headed and laid back way. There were a lot of interesting stories that presented a nice way to explain a situation. I also appreciated the fact that there were references to very recent happenings as of 2002. There were also some comical and cartoonish illustrations that started off or ended each chapter and the chapter names were "Yogi-isms" which was also a nice touch.

The only problem I had with this book was that I ended up reading it too fast because I couldn't put the thing down. I was very impressed with Yogi Berra, he is truly the man, the myth, the legend that people have made him out to be and I believe that meeting him one day has just been put on my to-do list. As far as the book goes, I highly recommend it. It is a smooth reading book that you will enjoy and recall upon in the future. As I stated, I only like books I'm going to like, and this was one of them. ... Read more

37. Fathers Playing Catch with Sons : Essays on Sport (Mostly Baseball) (Mostly Baseball)
by Donald Hall
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0865471681
Catlog: Book (1984-01-01)
Publisher: North Point Press
Sales Rank: 240045
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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"Half of my poet friends," confides Donald Hall, one of America's best poets and essayists, "think I am insane to waste my time writing about sports and to loiter in the company of professional athletes. The other half would murder to take my place." Either way, aficionados--both of games and words--should simply be thankful.

Hall's lyrical voice, graceful craft, and spiritual bravado are evident throughout from the opening title essay--a first-person reminiscence of a spring-training sojourn with the Pirates--to a meditation on football that serves as the volume's final gun. In between, he offers lovely, finely tuned odes to Fenway Park, Old Timers' games, Ping-Pong, and former Celtic forward Kevin McHale. From a reader's perspective, "Proseball," a grand tour of baseball literature, is particularly poignant; as Hall goes down his line-up, your heart should break when you realize just how much good writing--from Roger Angell, Thomas Boswell, and Red Smith, for starters--is currently, and tragically, out of print. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic look at our childhood memories.
Donald Hall had taken me by the hand and walked me up the runway into the Polo Grounds for my first baseball game all over again. His recap from the drive to the ballpark, the surroundings, the weather right to the clothes he wore made me feel like it was 1962. This is a must read for a father of a young boy who is just starting to attend sporting events. The stories brought a tingle to my spine and a tear to my eye. I relived watching Larry Jackson beat my Mets and remembered getting my first autograph by Sandy Koufax. Being 42 didn't matter anymore, I felt like I was 6 years old again and seeing the greenest grass I had ever witnessed albeit at such a young age and growing up in New York City. It is a book you read to your son at bedtime and you hope he never falls asleep so you can keep reading. ... Read more

38. Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fan's Soul : Inspirational Stories of Baseball, Big-League Dreams and the Game of Life
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Mark Donnelly, Chrissy Donnelly, Tommy Lasorda
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558749659
Catlog: Book (2001-10-16)
Publisher: HCI
Sales Rank: 33920
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Play Ball!"These words resonate with special meaning in the minds of anyone who has ever enjoyed a game of baseball.Every fan will be amused and touched by stories of sportsmanship and victory gathered from the clay diamonds of America.

A tribute to America's favorite past time, Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fan's Soul is written by people at every level of competition, from World Series champions to tee-ball moms.Their inspiring stories highlight the best of baseball, the importance of sportsmanship and a love of the game.Whether these stories take place on the field of a local YMCA or under the bright lights of a major league ballpark, the focus is the same: The Love of the Game. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars very inspiring
this book was very inspiring. The stories are all well written and ammussing. I haven't read any of the other books in the series and I don't plan on reading them either but I really enjoyed this one though and I recomend this book to all baseball fans

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book about baseball and life lessons
Chicken Soup For The Baseball Fan's Soul is one great book. The stories are about personal experiences, humor, sportsmanship, life lessons, and the fun that baseball provides.

Some of the stories are actually written by the athletes themselves with others by journalists who have covered the games with their views on the game and the players, and other stories by the everyday sports fan just like you and me. Some of the stories are very humorous while others touching. Before each chapter are very inspiring quotations. Added between some of the stories are baseball comics that will make you laugh.

Every story in this book is well worth-reading from the humorous to the serious stories. This book made tears swell in my eyes and laugh out loud in some stories as a baseball player. This book will inspire the true baseball player or fan. This book is easy to get into it and want to keep reading for a long time, but is also a great book to read one story at a time.

This book really shows how hard you have to work to get better at baseball or any sport and how it can pay off. This is a must-read book for any baseball fan who wants to enjoy a great book about a great sport. ... Read more

39. Slouching Toward Fargo: : A Two-Year Saga Of Sinners And St. Paul Saints At The Bottom Of The Bush Leagues With Bill Murray, Darryl Strawberry, Dakota Sadie And Me
by Neal Karlen
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 038079215X
Catlog: Book (2000-03-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 355720
Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Slouching Toward Fargo, author Neal Karlen describes his two-year journey with the St. Paul Saints--the most audacious bushleague ballclub ever to plumb the bottom of the pro sports barrel. Coowned by comedian Bill Murray and run by Mike Veeck--son of the infamous sports promoter Bill Veeck--this motley collection of mutts, hopefuls, and has-beens has become a national phenomenon for playing with as much gusto off the field as on ... while proudly adhering to the timeless sports credo that it takes heart, skill, and cheap theatrics to plant devoted butts in stadium seats. This is where Darryl Strawberry was rehabilitated (the first time) and began his long comeback climb to the Majors. Jack Morris--once baseball's winningest pitcher and biggest s.o.b.--joined the team only to vanish without a trace. Baseball's first female player, Ila Borders, made history on the mound of the Saints' ever-sold-out Midway Stadium. And St. Louis Cardinals phenom, J.D. Drew, played here for $300 a month while holding out for Major League millions. Here is the true story of one championship season and one complete collapse; a tale told with high spirits and genuine affection of frantic fans and baseball Annies, a back-rubbing nun, a blind sportscaster, and a 300-pound pig ballboy; a glorious celebration of the boys who still play the game for the best of reasons: SO THEY CAN GET CHICKS.

In this era of spoiled millionaire athletes and Big Business baseball, the spirit of the Game is alive and well---if a bit deranged---in America's heartland.

In SLOUCHING TOWARD FARGO, author Neal Karlen describes his two-year journey with the St. Paul Saints---the most audacious bush-league ballclub ever to plumb the bottom of the pro sports barrel. Co-owned by comedian Bill Murray and run by Mike Veeck---son of the infamous sports promoter Bill Veeck---this motley collection of mutts, hopefuls, and has-beens has become a national phenomenon for playing with as much gusto off the field as on...while proudly adhering to the timeless sports credo that it takes heart, skill, and cheap theatrics to plant devoted butts in stadium seats. This is where Darryl Strawberry was rehabilitated (the first time) and began his long come-back climb to the Majors. Jack Morris---once baseball's winningest pitcher and biggest s.o.b.---joined the team only to vanish without a trace. Baseball's first female player, Ila Borders, made history on the mound of the Saints' ever-sold-out Midway Stadium. And St. Louis Cardinals phenom, J.D. Drew, played here for $300 a month while holding out for Major League millions. Here is the true story of one championship season and one complete collapse; a tale told with high spirits and genuine affection of frantic fans and baseball Annies, a back-rubbing nun, a blind sportscaster, and 300-pound pig ballboy; a glorious celebration of the boys who still play the game for the best of reasons: SO THEY CAN GET CHICKS.In this era of spoiled millionaire athletes and Big Business baseball, the spirit of the Game is alive and well---if a bit deranged---in America's heartland.

In SLOUCHING TOWARD FARGO, author Neal Karlen describes his two-year journey with the St. Paul Saints---the most audacious bush-league ballclub ever to plumb the bottom of the pro sports barrel. Co-owned by comedian Bill Murray and run by Mike Veeck---son of the infamous sports promoter Bill Veeck---this motley collection of mutts, hopefuls, and has-beens has become a national phenomenon for playing with as much gusto off the field as on...while proudly adhering to the timeless sports credo that it takes heart, skill, and cheap theatrics to plant devoted butts in stadium seats. This is where Darryl Strawberry was rehabilitated (the first time) and began his long come-back climb to the Majors. Jack Morris---once baseball's winningest pitcher and biggest s.o.b.---joined the team only to vanish without a trace. Baseball's first female player, Ila Borders, made history on the mound of the Saints' ever-sold-out Midway Stadium. And St. Louis Cardinals phenom, J.D. Drew, played here for $300 a month while holding out for Major League millions. Here is the true story of one championship season and one complete collapse; a tale told with high spirits and genuine affection of frantic fans and baseball Annies, a back-rubbing nun, a blind sportscaster, and 300-pound pig ballboy; a glorious celebration of the boys who still play the game for the best of reasons: SO THEY CAN GET CHICKS. ... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book on baseball, real people and life!
This is a great sports book and people book. Neal Karlen tells a tale that is a story of the human spirit and the lessons we all have to learn. It's real life tales exemplified by folks of all stripes from the wealthy celebrities like Bill Murray and Jack Morris to the everyday folks who work for the St. Paul Saints. Neal spins a humorous and captivating book involving all of the above and more into a work that you enjoy and, at the same time, think about after reading it. Too bad there aren't more books of this ilk. Hopefully, this will give writers a path to follow.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book As Wild, Wacky And Wonderful As The Team It Covers
This is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. Neal Karlen was a writer for Rolling Stone, sent to St. Paul, Minnesota to "get the dirt" on Bill Murray, iconoclastic actor and part owner of the St. Paul Saints. The Saints are a minor league baseball team, part of the independent Northern League, and operated by Mike Veeck, son of the legendary Hall of Famer Bill Veeck. (Casual baseball fans will most likely recall the senior Veeck for having sent midget Eddie Gaedel up to bat as a pinch hitter. It was only one of many colorful stunts by the games' most creative promoter ever).

Karlen sticks around for a couple of years; the story for Rolling Stone never materializes, but along the way this book emerges, as much about Karlen's crisis of spirit as it is about the Saints and the zany cast of characters surrounding them. But along the way we meet many of those who have given the Saints and the Northern League their unique cachet: on the field performers like former Mets slugger Darryl Strawberry, who temporarily redeems his life and career during a two-month stay with the Saints; former pitching star Jack Morris, seeking one more taste of glory, but on his terms only; Ila Borders, the first female to play in a professional game; and Wayne "Twig" Terwillliger, player and coach for 50 seasons and quiet representative of so much that's right with the game.

There are also wonderful portraits of Sister Rosalind. the nun who offers massages at games; a blind radio announcer convinced he's on his way to the big leagues; an employee of one of the Saints' rivals who earns the title "Most Beloved Woman in the Northern League" and others who find solace, healing and a chance to keep dreaming dreams in this strange, wacky, wonderful firmamenent. I really hated to come to the end of this one. The empty feeling was almost as bad as the night the World Series ends.

5-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't get more charming than this
Totally winning, both as a portrait of a team (and town) with heart and of a freelance writer who's struggling with the angel (good, real reporting) and devil (fat Rolling Stone paycheck) on his shoulders. The angel wins, and the reader can't help but cheer. Sex, strong women, kooky characters, fiercely loyal fans, minor-league silliness, bratwurst and the honest-to-God love of baseball, which weirdly enough persists no matter how disillusioning the world gets--this book's for anyone who likes Bull Durham, scrappy writers, or independence of spirit in any form. Ignore the minor editing errors; the book's worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of top baseball books i have read
i didn't think the minor leagues could be as interesting as the majors, but this proves i was wrong.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious - Couldn't Put It Down!
I picked this up at my boyfriend's house, read the first few pages, and stayed home on the sofa for an entire weekend because I couldn't put this book down. I'm not a baseball fan, and not from the Midwest, but Karlen's hilarious and equally moving tale of his two years following around this team of wanna-bes, has-beens, and dreamers (some who "made it," some who didn't) had me chortling out loud and even getting teary-eyed at times. This is really a book about Karlen's own search not just for material for his Rolling Stone article (how this book began), but for his own soul as well. Karlen's writing is always entertaining, leaving you wanting more. I'm buying a bunch of these as late Christmas presents -- it's the best gift I can think of. Uplifting, thought-provoking, and one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. You'll never find characters like this in fiction -- what's amazing is they're all real. It should be a movie. ... Read more

40. A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti
by A. Bartlett Giamatti, Kenneth S. Robson
list price: $15.95
our price: $11.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565121929
Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Sales Rank: 50006
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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By far the most literate of baseball's commissioners, the late Bart Giamatti, former president of Yale, was the game's most unashamedly vocal fan both before and during histenure as chief executive. The child of immigrants, he embraced baseball's very Americanness, and ascribed to its simple goal--coming home--a far-reaching, overall metaphor. His ardor was unguarded and unabashed, his approach sentimental and as expansive as a pair of foul lines diverging in the distance. Giamatti's oversized passion infuses everything in this slim volume, from his wistful elegy to Tom Seaver and his admonition to fans to clean up their act, to his pained public statement banning Pete Rose from the game for life. Best of all, his seductively lyrical essay "The Green Fields of the Mind" leads off the lineup. The latter alone--it begins by poignantly observing of baseball, "It breaks your heart. It's designed to break your heart"--is worth the price of admission. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Glorious Book About A Glorious Game
When renaissance scholar A. Bartlett Giamatti was asked to become president of Yale University, he said the only presidency he had ever aspired to was that of the American League. Instead, a few years later, he took the helm of the National League, and shortly after that, became commissioner of baseball. Tragically, his tenure in that office ended after only five months with his sudden death at the age of 51.

But Giamatti's legacy endures. and those who seek to understand or re-embrace it need only turn to this wonderful book. It's all here, opening with his wonderful essay, "The Green Fields of The Mind," which famously begins "It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart." There's his farewell to Tom Seaver, where the departure of Seaver and his wife Nancy from the Mets calls to mind a famous painting of Adam and Eve's expulsion from Eden. The book closes with its most powerful and saddest item--a statement Giamatti released to the press after banning Pete Rose from the game for life for betting on baseball.

If you love the "great and glorious game," you must read this book. Savor the beauty of the prose and the passionate idealism that drives it. And pause for a moment to reflect on what the game--and the world--lost with Bart Giamatti's passing.--William C. Hall

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, Thankfully
I read the essay "Green Fields of the Mind" in 1990 and have waited for a collection of Giamatti's work ever since. I know no other writer who so eloquently captures not only the magic of baseball, but how we experience it. I wish I could be half as passionate about my life as Giamatti was about the game we love. Buy the book and count how many times you tell yourself during its reading that you either need to lend it to a friend or buy a copy for someone you love. It transcends baseball without the obvious pretentions of academia. Should be read just before opening day, again on the day your favorite team is eliminated for the season and once more during the off-season.

5-0 out of 5 stars just loved this book...
I read this book outloud with my 12-year-old son in October 2000 during the playoffs and world series. We had borrowed it from the library, and ever since then he's been asking me to buy it. We finally have and now he's reading it again on his own. I thought it was too advanced for him, but there is a passion in this book you can't miss.

5-0 out of 5 stars The dignity of this great game.
Mr. Giamatti is very eloquent in his writings on the game of baseball. Of the many chapters, the one most appealing is the last chapter on Peter Edward Rose. I am an extreme fan of this great game and his words on that issue alone send chills through me everytime I read it.

If you love baseball, then you will love reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very passionate man
Throughout this book Giamatti is referred to as an idealist by others and at least once by himself. There is not a more accurate description of his writings contained in "A Great and Glorious Game."

What seperated Giamatti from others of like mind was his ability to act upon his impulses. Most famously, banishing Pete Rose from ever being associated with baseball again. An incredible unfortunate situation, but to all those who cannot accept Giamatti's judgment please read this book. For myself it clarified his motives and subsequent actions.

Beyond anything to do with Rose, this book is thoroughly engaging. Giamatti deftly exemplifies why many of us continually return to baseball every spring. Recommended for any baseball fan. ... Read more

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