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41. The Little Team That Could/the
42. Just Let Me Play: The Story of
$16.47 $14.25 list($24.95)
43. Ball Four: The Final Pitch
$16.47 $14.95 list($24.95)
44. I'm Just Getting Started: Baseball's
$9.00 $7.70 list($12.00)
45. Why Is The Foul Pole Fair? : Answers
$12.89 $11.00 list($18.95)
46. Our Red Sox: A Story Of Family,
$21.56 list($26.95)
47. A Yankee Century: A Celebration
$8.50 list($19.95)
48. Diamonds: The Evolution of the
$45.26 list($50.00)
49. The Game That Was: The George
$22.95 $15.56
50. Minor Miracles: The Legend &
$18.45 $12.98 list($27.95)
51. It's Only Me: The Ted Williams
$10.17 $9.00 list($14.95)
52. 101 Reasons to Love the Yankees
$3.24 list($19.95)
53. Bart: A Life of A. Bartlett Giamatti
$19.77 $4.82 list($29.95)
54. Play Ball!: A Tribute to Our National
$16.96 $4.99 list($19.95)
55. Denny Matthews's Tales from the
$11.20 $1.33 list($14.00)
56. The Head Game: Baseball Seen from
$18.00 $10.50
57. Minor League Baseball and Local
$13.97 $12.00 list($19.95)
58. The Wit and Wisdom of Yogi Berra
$25.00 $0.74
59. Fairball
$4.83 list($7.50)
60. I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron

41. The Little Team That Could/the Incredible, Often Wacky Story of the Two-Time Little League World Champions
by Jeff Burroughs, Tom Hennessy
list price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1566250080
Catlog: Book (1994-05-01)
Publisher: Bonus Books
Sales Rank: 588528
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Every Little League Parent Should Read
10 years ago when I bought this book at my local Target and had it signed by both authors, my first grandson was mere days old and I bought it for the future.The future is NOW.My grandsons are playing baseball in the same park that the '92 and '93 winning teams came from so the book has a very special meaning.Jeff Burroughs and Tom Hennessy's description of the actions of Little Leaguers, Coaches, Managers and officials is dead on, even now 10 years later.When I was reading this book, I was either laughing hysterically, trying to read bits and pieces aloud to "Grandpa" or nodding in total agreement and understanding.This is a must read for every Little League Parent/Grandparent, but for pete's sake, don't let the kids read it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Billy Gwinn Gives the Story About him 5 Stars
This book is a classic.I lived through these stories and they are all true.It was the greatest year of my life being a Long Beach Little League World Champ, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.This book allows me to remember everything that happened in the summer of '93.I get goosebumps thinking about it.I loved it!I recommend for everyone to give this book a read.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!!!!What An Awesome Book!
After reading this book I think everyone should!This book is a great book about the adventure in winning the Little Leauge World Series two years in a row.This book gives a great description on all the players and other coaches.This book helped me believ e you can do anything if you really work hard towards your goals!!!!I learned many pointers off this book and enjoyed reading it!!!!!!I suggest everybody should read this book!

4-0 out of 5 stars A very fast read
For those involved in the national organization of Little League, especially at the all-star level, this is a very entertaining book. Lots of interesting details about the protocol and the accomodations at the regional level and also at Williamsport. Burroughs is very funny describing his escapades as a coach, dealing with all of the classic issues from managing disgruntled parents to dealing with kids who are slightly left-of-center. If you are a Little League addict, I recommend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable.I highly recommend it.
The Little Team That Could was pure enjoyment.Jeff Burroughs gives an honest, balanced account of the 1992-1993 Long Beach Little League All-Star teams that reached the pinnacle of success.He describes the thrill of victory and the joy of working with young people.At the same time, he tells about the aggravation of dealing with some Little League parents, officials, and umpires.As a manager in the Little League program for 17 years, I could relate to both the good and the bad.I am so glad I found this book on wholeheartedly recommend it to any Little League coach, parent, or player. ... Read more

42. Just Let Me Play: The Story of Charlie Sifford, the First Black PGA Golfer
by Charlie Sifford
list price: $22.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 094516744X
Catlog: Book (1992-05-01)
Publisher: British American Publishing
Sales Rank: 413311
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars So so...
It is readable. The story of Sifford is a very inspiring one. The book was just written in a horrible way. Every other sentance starts with the word "hell". It gets boring afterwards. The first half of the book moves very slowly, but the second half picks up a little more speed. This book will let people know that before Tiger Woods, there was Charlie, Lee Elder, and a lot of other guys too. It is a very good book. What Sifford went through was just horrid, but that's the reality of the world we live in. I could never blame him for being so bitter after all these years of obstacles and not being praised for what he has done. Never mind praise - just for not being allowed to play the game of golf. My limited grasp on golf parlance probably made it a little boring to read this book. But it's a good book, although it may make you a little sleepy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book!!!
I read this book a few years back before it was offered through normal distribution channels. Mr. Sifford was actually distributing this book from his home. Being from Greensboro and a golfer, I was extremely impressed by Mr. Sifford's commitment to the game and his determination to play as a PGA professional. You truly wonder what the golfing world has already missed by not allowing Mr. Sifford and other African American golfers to pursue their dreams. When Mr. Sifford was attempting to break the "color barrier" there were more black professional golfers than there is today! His story is heartbreaking and encouraing, what he and other black golfers experienced (to include in my hometown of Greensboro NC) is almost beyond belief! I would strongly recommend reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Any hacker worth his putter should read this one !
This book took me to a time when all african -americans could look to their heritage with pride. Jackie Robinson was a great man and I place the accomplishments of Charlie Sifford right along side of his. He showed us what real intestinal fortitude is all about. This should be required reading for all youngsters interested in participating in sports. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great story of courage under enormous pressure. This book teaches us about the strength and character we all posess inside. ... Read more

43. Ball Four: The Final Pitch
by Jim Bouton
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 097091170X
Catlog: Book (2001-04-01)
Publisher: Bulldog Publishing (MA)
Sales Rank: 193442
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A book deep in the American vein, so deep in fact it is by no means a sports book" —David Halberstam

"Ball Four is a people book, not just a baseball book." —Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

When Ball Four was first published in 1970, it hit the sports world like a lightning bolt. Commissioners, executives, players and sportswriters were thrown into a state of shock. Stunned. Scandalized. The controversy was front-page news.
Sportswriters called Bouton a Judas, a Benedict Arnold and a "social leper." Commissioner Bowie Kuhn tried to force the author to sign a statement saying that the book wasn't true. One team actually burned a copy of Ball Four in protest.And Bouton is still not invited to Oldtimers' Day at Yankee Stadium.
Fans, however, loved Ball Four and serious critics called it an important document. It was also very popular among people who didn't ordinarily follow baseball, because Ball Four is not strictly a book about baseball, but one about people who happen to be baseball players. And it's hilariously funny.
For the twentieth-anniversary edition of this historic book, Bouton has written a new epilogue, detailing his career as an inventor, his battles with the Wrigley Company over bubble gum, his take on the Pete Rose controversy, and how baseball looks two decades after he changed its public image forever. ... Read more

Reviews (75)

5-0 out of 5 stars True Major League Baseball world revealed !!!!!!
Jim Bouton is not a name that comes up when discussing the all time greats of baseball. However, when discussing the all time greatest baseball novels, his name should come up every time. Ball Four is a fantastic day-in-the-life recounting of a single player's (Bouton's) Major League season - more specifically, the season being 1969, and his playing days that year split between the upstart franchise Seattle Pilots, and the beleagured, relatively new Houston Astros. What sets the novel apart is it's absolutely brutal, truthful (but very taboo) telling of the player's and coach's personalities and lifestyles. Not a single vulgarity or shocking sequence is missed in Bouton's daily log he kept which eventually became this famous non-fiction piece. It also created more enemies in the game than he could've imagined. He only played one and a half more seasons after it's publication, and is a testament to a very intelligent, and brave athlete who wrote with a beautifully relaxing, very funny, and down-to-earth tone. A great read for true baseball fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars Baseball classic
When "Ball Four" was published in 1970, Jim Bouton was attacked by players, sportswriters, and the owners for revealing the secret, sordid underbelly of professional baseball. Which should be enough right there to get you to read this thing. But in "Ball Four," Bouton also reveals the humanity of baseball, the fear, the hate, and the fun, which makes it one of the classics of baseball literature and a must read.

Basically, "Ball Four" is a diary of the 1968 season written by a journeyman middle-relief knuckleballer. Before injuring his arm, and turning to the knuckleball, Bouton was a fireball pitcher for the New York Yankees. In his rookie season in 1962, Bouton won two games for the Yanks in the World Series. He played with Mantle and Ford. Then his arm went dead, and he found himself back in the minors, where he taught himself to throw the knuckler. The Yanks didn't think much of him anymore and traded him to the expansion Seattle Pilots (which left Seattle after a single year for...get this...Milwaukee), where he earned a spot as a spot starter and mopup long relief man.

The book reveals the personalities of the players and managers and owners. It tells what the players do on the road, in the bullpen, in the minors. It reveals the petty nature of the coaching staff, who are usually all old-time baseball men, not very clever, not prone to trying new ways. It talks about the dicey contract negotiations by players in the days of the reserve clause, when average players made an average wage.

Bouton travels in the world of boys. The players are mostly kids in their 20s, not educated, and spent their formative years in baseball. They like pranks. They like women, but they don't know either how to talk about them, or how to talk with them. Most of the time, they just try to look up their skirts. They drink. They sneak in past curfew.

But Bouton also works in a competitive business market. Pitchers hide their arm injuries for fear of being sent down. Players fume over bench time. Coaches think small, because to be creative and new means being out of a job. And baseball is all these guys have. They have nothing else to turn to.

Certainly in light of recent ballplayer behavior - think of the Pittsburgh cocaine scandals, Strawberry and Gooden, and the thuggish, drug-addled violence associated with football and basketball - "Ball Four" depicts a harmless and almost nostalgic view of baseball. But it still stands as a baseball classic for its honesty, its authenticity, and you wonder how much has changed since 1968.

In the end, the players, owners, and writers should have celebrated the publication of "Ball Four." Sure, it did spawn a string of subsequent tell-alls, and it did forever swing aside the curtain shielding the ballplayer from public scrutiny, but this is a modern age, and we want heroes with all their flaws. Who is it more fun to root for on the field, a straw dummy propped up by a marketing machine, or a man?

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Insight in Pro Baseball
My teacher for my History of Sports class recommended this book and I bought it. He told us that is was a very controversial book at the time because it spoke of things that were better left unspoken. That is the best recommendation you can get!

It is a very funny book, sometimes Bouton describes things that could be in a movie about baseball, a National Lampoon version that is. There is drinking gambling and looking at girls from all angles. But didn't we all expect them to this anyway?

He was ostracized by baseball but it is really harmless fun, the new sections in this edition also talk about what happened after the first edition came out. Get it

5-0 out of 5 stars Damn near perfect
Jim Bouton's Ball Four has rightly been called the best sports book of all times by publications that actually matter, but I figure I'll throw my two cents in, too. In a day before an ol' ballplayer could hire a ghost and slap together some fond memories or pathetic pleas for forgiveness (hiya, Pete Rose), Bouton, making a comeback as a knuckleballer with the expansion Seattle Pilots, toted a tape recorder with him for an entire year in order to write this day-by-day account of life in the bigs.
The humor is at once anecdotal and observational, and, most importantly, consistent. The Seattle Pilots were rather like the Cleveland Indians in the film Major League - a haphazard collection of rookies and cast-offs trying to make it. Of course, Major League had to have the whole underdog thing going on.
The issues that face baseball today - drugs, salaries, lack of interest by hometown fans, the Yankees being the source of all evil - are all present in Ball Four. The only part of the book that hasn't aged perfectly is the scale of the salaries - Bouton and his teammates hold out for an increase of a few thousand dollars, instead of the millions today's players make.
In summation, there is no baseball book you should read before this one, and there are precious few books you should read, period, before this one. Ball Four is in every right an American masterpiece.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
Ball Four is a must read for all sports fans. The first of it's kind, Bouton takes readers on the wild ride of a baseball pitcher that has played with the greats (Yankees) and the not so greats (Pilots). Ball Four is a book that reaches all generations and should be on every book shelf. ... Read more

44. I'm Just Getting Started: Baseball's Best Storyteller on Old School Baseball, Defying the Odds, and Good Cigars
by Jack McKeon, Kevin Kernan
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572437111
Catlog: Book (2005-03-30)
Publisher: Triumph Books
Sales Rank: 268820
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jack McKeon became a baseball legend by doing things his way, and he shares his remarkable odyssey with the same reckless abandon. The cigar-chomping, storytelling principal of the proverbial old school made the most of a late-in-life opportunity and led the Florida Marlins to victory in the 2003 World Series. His journey to becoming the oldest manager to reach baseball’s promised land is as hilarious as it is unlikely, and you will believe him when he tells you he’s not stopping there. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars STOP THE PRESSES!!!! A good idea for Jack McKeon?
"I'm Just Getting Started: Baseball's Best Storyteller on Old School Baseball, Defying the Odds, and Good Cigars" had the unfortunate luck to be released at approximately the same time as Jose Canseco's much more popular book - - "Juiced : Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big."

With the assistance of Kevin Kernan, Jack McKeon recounts his life in 211 double spaced and large font pages.Of note, Amazon lists the book at 213 pages, but the last two pages detail the manager's record.This is an important fact as it personifies the book in a nutshell.It appears that the author(s) filled in space simply to increase the page count and this detracts from the value of the book.

While the stories are interesting, the editing is horrible and while reading this book, the reader constantly envisions Jack McKeon dictating his words and Kevin typing these words exactly as spoken and then submitting these same words for approval from the publisher without editing.

Most of the book focuses on Mr. McKeon's managerial days and it does a good job of making the reader appreciate how hard he has worked and how far he has come.Jack McKeon uses this book to obtain his revenge on those who let him go (i.e. Cincinnati comes up a lot in the book), but I have no problem with this as he is sailing on top at the present moment.In addition, revenge is best served on a cold platter and he utilizes this mantra well.

Having said this, the book is essentially a hodgepodge of words put together.Sure, it may sound like a conversation, but many ideas are repeated and unnecessary.If you remove the letters from fans, reduce the font, and eliminate the double spacing, you will realize that this book is not quite worth the $16.47 Amazon price.
... Read more

45. Why Is The Foul Pole Fair? : Answers to 101 of the Most Perplexing Baseball Questions
by Vince Staten
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074325791X
Catlog: Book (2004-04-02)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 33153
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Chicken soup for the baseball lover's soul -- the inimitable Vince Staten takes you out to the ol' ballgame and answers all the baseball questions your dad hoped you wouldn't ask. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nicely Done
As the author watches a game with his son, some questions come to mind; he provides the reader answers to them in an entertaining way. I especially liked the true-to-life description of why catchers wear cups (chapter 13). It is a good, easy read for fans of all ages. You'll find answers to questions you weren't aware you didn't know the answer to.

4-0 out of 5 stars An afternoon chat with a good friend
I was expecting an exhaustive encyclopedia of baseball trivia. T his book is not that!

Instead, it's a meandering, enjoyable chat with a knowledgeable friend about baseball on a summer afternoon on the porch. Vince Staten frames his entire book around a big league game he attended with his grown son, but somehow every facet of that experience leads off on a tangent to a fascinating exploration of baseball stadium and game trivia from the ticket buying experience (which leads to essays on ticket printing and turnstiles), to telling his son about the time a shortstop lost a ball because it bounced off a pebble (which leads to an in-depth interview of a groundskeeper), to a certain snugness in the stadium seat (which leads to a well researched essay on studies through the decades of the width of the typical American backside).

These essays have certainly made my baseball game experiences more enjoyable and given me a store of trivia to trot out at parties!

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Answers to Rarely Asked Questions
Vince Staten is a long time fan who has has written a baseball book almost entirely devoid of the common and usual ingredients found in most baseball books, such as statistics or rehashed history. Staten uses a baseball game attended by himself and his son to provide the reader with interesting information and anecdotes about non-playing aspects of the game and the sport. This book is not for fans into sabermetrics or player bios. This book is for fans who want to know more about topics peripheral to the actual game, such as how: stadiums are architected; playing fields are maintained; balls and bats are designed; ballpark food and souvenirs are selected and sold. We never really learn why foul poles and foul lines are fair in baseball, while their equivalents in other sports are not, but the the reader does enjoy learning more about the trivial details and background of baseball's infrastructure and history.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Look At The Game Behind The, Scenes
This is another in Vince Staten's entertaining and informative books that focus on a slice of Americana--in this case, the grand American game of baseball. I've enjoyed all of Staten's books that I've read so far, this one more than some, I think because of the personal touch he brings to it. His own childhood memories of the game should strike a resonant chord with a couple of generations, and his visit to Riverfront Stadium with his son truly helps us see things from a fan's eye-view. If you've ever wondered what goes on in the press box, why there aren't more concession stands or the technical issues involved in maintaining an infield or manufacturing a ball, you should find this book enjoyable. Staten writing is relaxed, easygoing and liberally sprinkled with humor. A great bedtime read!

4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful and breezy trip through baseball history...
Staten writes a delightful little book about baseball. He answers every question that you never knew you wanted answered--and it is a fascinating trip. It will give a new perspective on the game. Staten wants to know where things come from and shares his love those little facts with readers. At it's core, it is a book about why some of us love baseball so much. It is about an afternoon with Dad watching the proverbial poetry in motion. ... Read more

46. Our Red Sox: A Story Of Family, Friends And Fenway
by Robert Sullivan
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578602343
Catlog: Book (2005-03-28)
Publisher: Emmis Books
Sales Rank: 293301
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For writer Robert Sullivan, rooting for the Red Sox was a family tradition. He grew up with the Red Sox and has stuck by them through thick and (long periods of) thin.He was with the team all along, including the high hopes years of 1967, 1978, 1986, 2003 and of course in 2004, and his reports from Fenway on gained him a wide audience and served as catalyst for OUR RED SOX.

The Red Sox World Series victory broke the long-standing "curse of the Bambino" and transcended the sport, the individuals in the uniforms, even the team. Sports Illustrated referred to it as a victory about a people (New Englanders), a loyalty, a family, a nation. OUR RED SOX is a funny, gentle and moving memoir from deep inside the strange land called Red Sox Nation. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Real Thing
Quite frankly, I'm a little tired of all the so-called "Life-time Sox Fans" suddenly discovering their penchant for the pen, not to mention the almighty dollar, conjuring up any excuse for a Red Sox flavored literary treat that ultimately leaves the reader unsatisfied. Robert Sullivan, his family, and his friends have truly lived through the agony and ecstacy of what it takes to wear the "B" on your hat. His book, "Our Red Sox", is written with Mr. Sullivan's inimicable wit and style and shares not only lively commentary on a most memorable year, but also personal and touching insights on what it truly means to be a "Fan."

5-0 out of 5 stars For all Red Sox Fans
Robert Sullivan has given us an easy to read treasure by which to remember our beloved Red Sox. He reminds us of how we shared the trials and tribulations of the Sox with those closest to us-year after year. The irony is that Sullivan has been living and working in NY for over 20 years and has had to share his "Sox thoughts" with a small group of BOSOX fans in NY called "blowhards." In Sullivan's depiction of the ALCSyou feel like you are in Yankee stadium with him experiencing the unbelievable happen. This is a classic that I read in one night because I couldn't put it down. I have passed it on to friends and family( just sox fans of course). I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Barry A. Plummer

5-0 out of 5 stars A strange and wonderful journey
This book helps people to understand, what it means to be a true Red Sox fan. The author takes us on an adventure sharing his personal experiences through his eyes and those of his family and friends. The pain, the frustration and finally, the bliss is all hear for us to share. You do not have to be a sports junkie to love this book. Lots of tears,laughs and memories. A great read. ... Read more

47. A Yankee Century: A Celebration of the First Hundred Years of Baseball's Greatest Team
by Harvey Frommer, Paul O'Neill
list price: $26.95
our price: $21.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425186172
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover
Sales Rank: 19246
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This handsome and definitive volume celebrates a legendary century of Yankee history, with:

€ Rare photographs
€ Statistics
€ A Yankee quiz
€ Introduction by Yankee great Paul O'Neill
€ Profiles of such legends as Mickey Mantle, Don Mattingly, Babe Ruth, Derek Jeter, Joe DiMaggio, and many more
€ Tales of rivalries, triumphs, and unforgettable moments on and off the field
€ The victories, sweeps, and stumbles
€ Quotes, lists, tributes, and trivia
... Read more

Reviews (35)

A Yankee Century may at first glance seem like a special interest book, and it will indeed appeal particularly to Yankee fans. However, because of their sheer dominance--it really was their century--the history of the Yankees is to a unique extent a history of baseball in general. Where 100 years of a team like the Reds would inevitably have vast dry patches, we all know and rooted vigorously for or against the Yankees of many different eras. Thus while there are delights in store for the fanatic--like the fact that Babe Ruth by himself had more homeruns (60) in 1927 than the 2nd place team (the A's with 56) or that when Grover Cleveland Alexander had his legendary confrontation with Tony Lazzeri, the Yankee was just 22 years old, just a kid really--no one who follows the game will have trouble finding material here that interests them. Mr. Frommer has included copious illustrations and the book is broken up into a wide variety of sections, from quizzes to profiles to statistics. This makes the book very accessible and, in the best sense, putdownable. It's a book that you want to delve into a bit at a time and to skip around in, rather than to read in one sitting. It's like a king-size Whitman Sampler.

New York Yankees are the most popular, successful and enduring franchise in any sport. With all the amazing history that they have, can it be summed up in one book? The answer is no but this book does a great job of giving you a lot of their history in one book.
The beauty of this book is the little things, the attention that Harvey Frommer gave each page and each section. He listed so many facts in this book that any baseball fan would find this a great read.
The book has great quotes, timelines, short stories, player bios, full breakdowns of great records like the Joe DiMaggio hitting streak and when Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's record (the breakdown of Ruth's 60 is in the book too!). The quotes are great too and there is a lot of information in this book that has never been seen before like Mickey Mantle's Hall of Fame speech!
The nickname section is priceless and all of them are explained in good detail. The pictures are well above average too as you will see a younger Casey Stengel, Thurman Munson, Ruth, Mantle, Maris, and Mel Allen. That's right even the great announcers that have worked for the Yankees over the years get their moment in the sun too.
Expect a lot of Billy Martin mentions and Yogi-isms in this Yankee treasure. There are also mentions of movies and really anything that has happened to the Bronx Bombers like Yankee Firsts and Lasts. And this book even has every manager to ever put on the pinstripes.
This book will cost you just over twenty dollars, but for the money you get a ton of baseball knowledge so it is well worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars How about that, folks?
In the northeast, the winter of 2003-2004 will be remembered as one of the snowiest, iciest, coldest and dreariest in recent memory. A YANKEE CENTURY was the perfect cure for those miserable days. Filled with the baseball history that took place on the sun-drenched field of Yankee Stadium, Harvey Frommer has provided us Yankee [and most baseball] fans with a warm nostalgia and a good feeling for the springs and summers to come.

With equal parts statistics and anecdote, the book is a well-balanced exploration into the most successful sports franchise in history. Peppered with wonderful photos (some that I had never seen before), this 400+ page book moves swiftly. The writing is respectful without becoming sentimental. And Paul O'Neill, who I will always remember as our favorite water-cooler kicking hothead, proves to be a sensitive and articulate commentator. Congratulations to both writers.

A YANKEE CENTURY is a great exploration into the Bronx Bombers, and by extension, to the history of 20th century baseball itself.

5-0 out of 5 stars IRRESISTIBLE! . IRRESISTIBLE! .
The Olympian

A Yankee Century" ($16, Berkley). Baseball's spring training does not truly reside in the deserts of Arizona or near the sands and swamps of Florida. It resides in the hearts and minds of children-turned-adults, who carry with them years of baseball lore and feelings (rational or not) of intense rivalry.

So the paperback version of "A Yankee Century" is just the ticket for warming up to the first crack of the bat. As one raised on the Baltimore Orioles, I can do nothing else but hate (rationally or not) the Yankees.

That said, 100 years of Yankee baseball is a walk through much of baseball history. Harvey Frommer's book covers so many of the details that fans love to savor that it's irresistible.

Frommer stays out of the statistic pit (although there are plenty of numbers), instead making a winning delivery out of stories and quotes that will help baseball fans stay sane on a rainy late-January afternoon.

The Olympian, Olympia Washington

5-0 out of 5 stars A YANKEE BOOK TO CHERISH!
This N' That with Tony Mack:


BRISTOL, CONN---Earlier this year, you may have read a book review I wrote on the historic relationship between Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson. That book was penned by noted baseball writer and historian Harvey Frommer.

Prof. Frommer has since come out with another historic baseball book, this time about the sport's most celebrated franchise.

Frommer, who authored "The New York Yankee Encloypedia", has now penned "A Yankee Century: A Celebration of the First 100 Years of Baseball's Greatest Team".

Not only does Frommer give an oral history of the Pinstripes, but there are several rare photos of Yankee greats past and present.

From Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter, Lou Gehrig to Reggie Jackson, and all those in between, "A Yankee Century" is keepsake dream for fans of the Bronx Bombers and a nightmare for Yankee haters all over.

Even though this review is being written by a lifelong Met fan, I found this to be a very entertaining read.

One of the things that was enjoyable about the book is how Frommer has separate "Yankee Stories" on the well-known and lesser known ex-Yankees.

A humble Chris Chambliss talks about coming over from the lowly Cleveland Indians in a 1975 and then winning the pennant with a dramatic homer in the 1976 ALCS against the Royals.

Frommer also writes about the plight of Elston Howard, the first Black to play for the Yankees. His struggles on and off the field are chronicled along with a review of his very understated career as a player and coach.

The breathtaking and sometimes tumulous career of Reggie Jackson in pinstripes is also well chronicled. "Mr. October" had one of the greatest moments in Yankee history when he hit three homers in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series.

At the time, it gave the Yanks their first World Series title in 13 seasons and he would help them go back to the next season.

Among some of the other African American players that are featured in Prof. Frommer's book are Jeter, current third base coach and ex-captain Willie Randolph, Bernie Williams, and Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.

The book also includes a comprehensive trivia quiz, quotes, anecdotes, and other entertaining features for all baseball fans, Yankee or otherwise.

If you know a true Yankee fan, it's a great addition to their library.

If you know a true Yankee hater, this will be a best way to start an arguement. ... Read more

48. Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark
by Michael Gershman
list price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395735246
Catlog: Book (1995-03-01)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (P)
Sales Rank: 940742
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book about ballparks I have ever read
Michael Gershman has done an extraordinary amount of research and it shows! This is a beautifully written and informative account of the evolution of the baseball stadium. A must have for any true baseball historian.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good book, but misleading title
This is a nice read, filled with nifty anecdotes, and very well researched.

But, its more about the history of baseball in general and not on its playgrounds.

I would say that if you want a history of baseball, this is a good book, but if you're looking for a nice coffeetable book with lots of color pictures, look elsewhere (the photos are all black and white) and likewise if you are looking for a book focusing on the architectural elements, look elsewhere.

1-0 out of 5 stars Look elsewhere
The book has lots of terrific pictures, but if you're looking for something to tell you what the inside of Ebbets Field or Crosley Field looked like, this book is short on such details. There are many stories mined from the usual resources recounting what led to the building of the ballparks, and great moments inside them, but "Diamonds" is near useless for getting a sense of detail about these ballparks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book on the history of the ballpark
Michael Gershman's "Diamonds" is a killer book! I was interested in learning about the old ballparks, like Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds, and "Diamonds" gives a complete historical perspective on the architecture, personality, and importance of ballparks in America. Gershman gives a synapis of all the major ballparks of the 19th and 20th centuries. The writing is excellent, and you can tell Mr. Gershman has done some pretty extensive research; while you're reading the book, he makes you feel as though you're actually sitting in the ballpark. Or, at least, you'll want to go back in time and take in a game at one of those great old ballparks.

And, as you make your way through the book, you realize that through telling the history of the ballpark, Mr. Gershman is telling the history of baseball itself. Ballparks provide the theatre; the game provides the drama. Anyone just interested in learning about baseball history will enjoy this book. ... Read more

49. The Game That Was: The George Brace Baseball Photo Collection
by Richard Cahan, Mark Jacob, George Brace
list price: $50.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809232006
Catlog: Book (1996-03-01)
Publisher: Contemporary Books
Sales Rank: 515400
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pictoral review of men who played for the love of the game!
I picked this book up and could not put it down until I read it from cover to cover. I swear I could hear the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd as I moved from page to page looking at the pictures and reading the commentary. The warmth of the pictures has made this the number one selection in my personal baseball library.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Landslide MVB (Most Valuable Book)!
If this book's photographs represent only a fraction of Mr. Brace's total collection of negatives, then more should be rolling off the presses. Not only do they offer a great glimpse into a glorious past, the captions are equally superb. This is a work that's more than baseball: it's American history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Required reading for any true Baseball Fan!
Had the privilege of meeting and knowing George Brace. This book is an excellent portrayal of the work of one of the world's few true gentlemen. Well written! You are correct...It is and will be a collector's item. ... Read more

50. Minor Miracles: The Legend & Lure of Minor League Baseball
by David Pietrusza
list price: $22.95
our price: $22.95
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Asin: 0912083824
Catlog: Book (1995-08-01)
Publisher: Diamond Communications
Sales Rank: 719914
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51. It's Only Me: The Ted Williams We Hardly Knew
by John Underwood
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572436956
Catlog: Book (2005-04-30)
Publisher: Triumph Books
Sales Rank: 109606
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ever wonder what it would be like to go back in time to have a conversation with a legend?It’s Only Me: The Ted Williams We Hardly Knew allows readers to experience the baseball great’s views and personality through the immediacy of recorded conversations and personal stories. Author John Underwood has collected the most powerful and poignant moments from his previously unreleased archive of discussions with Williams to set the record straight on a misunderstood icon.This book and its audio CD companion paint a sensitive and nuanced portrait of an American icon, one that reveals a side of Williams’ character and personality never before glimpsed by the American public. It’s Ted Williams at his most unguarded. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for the "well versed" Williams fan.
Great book by John Underwood!
Those familiar with many Ted Williams books and articles will recognize some of the stories in the book, but anything with Ted talking "off the cuff" is great. The CD recording included with the book of Ted giving his opinions, experiences and thoughts is priceless! Mr. Underwood, if you read this you should release all of your Williams recordings on CD. I guarentee they'd be very popular!!

This should not be the first Ted Williams book you read. I suggest "My Turn at Bat" also by Underwood or "Ted Williams: An American Hero." by Leigh Montville as your first Williams read. ... Read more

52. 101 Reasons to Love the Yankees : And 10 Reasons to Hate the Red Sox
by Ron Green
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 1584794011
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Sales Rank: 195650
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Book Description

From their early days at the Polo Grounds, the New York Yankees were destined for greatness. Now with 26-yes 26-World Series titles to their name, the Yankees are baseball's most successful team, and their devoted fans have a multitude of reasons to cheer them on year after year.

101 Reasons to Love the Yankees is a rousing celebration of the Bronx Bombers-from the days of Hilltop Park to the present-told through historic and contemporary photos, baseball cards, trivia, sports lore, and memorabilia. The book captures 101 highlights of this baseball dynasty: the pinstripes, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Yankee Stadium, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi-isms, Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, the subway series, legendary closer Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, George Steinbrenner, the World Series wins, and more. Also included are ten bonus reasons to hate the rival Red Sox. 101 Reasons to Love the Yankees is an irrefutable reminder of how the Yankees captured the hearts of past generations-and continue to do the same for the newest generation of baseball lovers. AUTHOR BIO: Ron Green, Jr., a native of North Carolina, is a sportswriter for The Charlotte Observer. A loyal Yankees fan since childhood, he still imagines playing center field the way Mickey Mantle once did. This is his first book. His brother, David Green, is the author of 101 Reasons to Love the Red Sox.
... Read more

53. Bart: A Life of A. Bartlett Giamatti by Him and About Him
by Anthony Valerio
list price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0151106940
Catlog: Book (1991-10-01)
Publisher: Harcourt
Sales Rank: 958336
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54. Play Ball!: A Tribute to Our National Pastime CD
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060592435
Catlog: Book (2004-03)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 107344
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Book Description

Baseball inspires writers like no other American sport. From columns written by sports journalists, to short stories, to memoirs penned by the greats of the game, baseball writing holds a place of its own in modern literature. Play Ball! celebrates this writing, bringing to life the sound of the ball hitting the sweet spot, the roar of the crowd, the thrill of a grand slam and the agony of a strikeout. And most importantly, the pure joy of the game, for whether we're on the field or in the last row of the bleachers, we're all fans.

This collection highlights the poetry, exuberance, and heartbreak of the game that is, in Roger Angell's words, "one of the reasons that summer exists." Classic stories from baseball's earthy beginnings, profiles of icons such as Joe DiMaggio, Carl Erskine, and 'Hammerin' Hank" Aaron, graceful essays on the moment a ballplayer becomes an idol, and humorous accounts of modern baseball's international reach – Play Ball! presents a lively and passionate tribute to America's favorite pastime.

... Read more

55. Denny Matthews's Tales from the Royals Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Stories Ever Told
by Denny Matthews, Matt Fulks, Frank White
list price: $19.95
our price: $16.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582617260
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Sports Publishing
Sales Rank: 119335
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Book Description

Amos Otis, Frank White, George Brett, Hal McRae, Dan Quisenberry, Bret Saberhagen, Paul Splittorff. One mention of any of those names can bring about visions of great baseball, determination, hard-nosed, and winning. However, one vision out-weighs all others: the boys in blue & the Kansas City Royals. The Kansas City Royals, an expansion club in the American League in 1969, struggled during their early existence. It didn't take long, however, before the Royals established themselves as one of the most successful franchises in baseball. That success culminated with the winning of the 1985 World Series. Since 1969, the Royals have developed great players that have had fun. Along the way, they also have developed a winning tradition. Although the Royals have received the "small-market" tag in recent years, the organization still boasts a proud heritage. In Denny Matthews' Tales from the Royals Dugout, longtime Royals radio broadcaster Denny Matthews relives the clu! b's great moments and proud tradition. Sit back and enjoy never-before-told anecdotes, including from the team's great rivalries with the New York Yankees, Oakland A's, and the remarkable players who have helped form the legend of the Kansas City Royals. ... Read more

56. The Head Game: Baseball Seen from the Pitcher's Mound
by Roger Kahn, Murray Tinkelman
list price: $14.00
our price: $11.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156013045
Catlog: Book (2001-04-02)
Publisher: Harvest/HBJ Book
Sales Rank: 104008
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Beyond the techniques and training, baseball begins with one player facing another and the psychological battle that they wage-the head game. In his critically acclaimed and bestselling new book, Roger Kahn presents the story of this supreme war of wits and the people who changed the course of baseball by playing, what he calls, chess at 90 miles an hour. In The Head Game, Kahn investigates not only grips, tactics, and physics, but also the intelligence, maturity, and competitive fire that has inspired some of the greatest hurlers in history.
By covering renowned pitchers and pitching minds-from Christy Mathewson, Cy Young, Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson, and Bruce Sutter to today's reigning pitching coach, Leo Mazzone-Roger Kahn sheds new light on baseball's most pivotal contest. A delightful and edifying tour of America's favorite pastime seen through the pitcher's eyes, The Head Game "is as lively and familiar and old-shoe as the game itself, even today" (Los Angeles Times).

... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book, a must read!
Roger Kahn has, AGAIN, written a superb book about the game of baseball! This time turning his keen eye on pitching and pitchers, Kahn brings into sharp focus the art of pitching. So much more than just throwing a ball with amazing speed and pinpoint accuracy, Kahn's analogy of being on the mound and being in a chess game is an apt one. Taking respectful exception to the other lay reviewer, I thought it was marvelous that Kahn found John Tunis and actually interviewed him about his recollections of being at the last game of the first world series, after buying his ticket from Cy Young! Tunis did make a slight mistake in his "The American Way in Sport;" the recounted single to left was actually a single to right . . . forgivable lapse in memory. Other books have been written about pitching, but none as successful, or engaging as Kahn's "The Head Game."

5-0 out of 5 stars The Learning Game
I thought I knew a lot about baseball, but Roger Kahn taught me that I had a lot more to learn. In his entertaining style, Kahn explains that pitching is much more than having a strong arm and putting lots of "stuff" on the ball. Pitching is mental, or as Kahn calls it, "The Head Game". Did you ever wonder why a can't miss pitching prospect does not make it? Read this book and you will understand why. Not only is this an informative book, it is riviting. As a baseball fan, I had trouble putting it down until I finished it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Head game
The book The Head Game, is written by the famous author Roger Kahn. He is the author of the book The Boys of Summer. I think this is great book to read. The stories are incredible and describes something I could only imagine. The book goes beyond the game and contains exciting historical accounts. The pictures in this book are amazing. The Head Game taught me how to throw a curve ball. Overall this book is wonderful, everything you want in a book is in The Head Game.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great view from the mound
Clem Labine,Hoss Radbourn and Jesse James,Cy Young,Christy Mathewson,Spahn and Sain , Kofax and Sutter. Great personal stories ,well researched and very hard to put down. A must for any serious fan of the game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Roger Kahn is Always Worth Reading
I am a big fan of Roger Kahn so I knew I was in for a good read. Yes, the title may suggest the psychological warfare that exists between pitcher and batter, and some of that does exist in the book. I CAN understand why those who expected more of this in the book would be disappointed. I appreciated reading about players from the 19th century in addition to those who dominated during the 20th century. Kahn didn't disappoint me in what he had to say about the pitchers he discusses. It isn't a tired rehash of what other authors have to say. Roger has a way of expressing himself in ways that I appreciate and find interesting. In regard to the whippersnappers at ESPN who voted Michael Jordan as the greatest athlete in the 20th century, Roger asks you to consider the fact that can it be that "the greatest athlete of the century couldn't hit .250 in the minor leagues." Kahn would pick either Jackie Robinson "because no one was as good as Robinson in as many sports" or Babe Ruth because "Ruth might have become baseball's greatest pitcher if he had not changed course and become baseball's greatest slugger." If you are looking for a technical book about baseball try "Tim McCarver's Baseball for Brain Surgeons and Other Fans." If you want a great read about some of baseball's best pitchers you can't go wrong with The Head Game by Roger Kahn. Trust me on this one. ... Read more

57. Minor League Baseball and Local Economic Development (Sport and Society)
by Arthur T. Johnson
list price: $18.00
our price: $18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0252065026
Catlog: Book (1995-04-01)
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Sales Rank: 538215
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Local Communities
When it comes to considering, funding and building minor league baseball stadiums, economic development agencies and local governments don't need to reinvent the wheel. This book outlines the experiences of other communities in relatively useful detail. Learn from their experiences and establish a workable platform from which to build your own approach to funding and building (or perhaps deciding not to build) a minor league park in your community.

3-0 out of 5 stars While it is somewhat out-dated, it is still very interesting
This book charts the stadium and minor league baseball developments in 15 cities in the US. The author spends much of his time discussing the inter-workings with the local governments and the minor league teams. Also into consideration is the city planning and community involvement. This book is very interesting if you are interested in the business side of baseball or the inter-workings of government. The book speaks mainly about developements in the 1980s, some of which have changed over the years. An example would be Durham and their lack of a modern stadium, which changed in the mid 1990s. While some data is out-dated, it is still a good source for infomration. ... Read more

58. The Wit and Wisdom of Yogi Berra
by Phil Pepe, Whitey Ford
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572434724
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Triumph Books
Sales Rank: 251787
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59. Fairball
list price: $25.00
our price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553502638
Catlog: Book (2000-04)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 676739
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

4 Cassettes 6 hours
Read by Author

It's Costas unplugged--a provocative, no-holds-barred assessment of the troubled state of Major League Baseball, with innovative strategies for restoring the thrill of genuine competition and rescuing fans from the forces that have diluted the sheer joy of the game.

No one calls ballgames better than Bob Costas, and no one is more knowledgeable and eloquent about baseball and its timeless appeal.Now, from his ideal perspective as an authority and true fan, the renowned broadcaster shares his honest, unflinching views on the subversive forces that are diminishing the game for fans - and proposes realistic changes that can be made to protect and promote the game's best interests.

Taking a bold and refreshing stance, Costas examines the growing financial disparity which has resulted in more than two-thirds of the teams in major league baseball having no chance of contending for the World Series.He takes a hard look at how talent-starved teams are increasingly marketing themselves by promoting family entertainment at the ballpark over star attractions on the field.And he presents a withering critique of the wild-card system, the designated hitter and short-sighted league realignment proposals that are compromising the competitive flavor of the game.

Filled with stories of games and players as only Costas can tell them, and superbly balanced by his unbridled appreciation for what he calls the "moments of authenticity" that can still make baseball inspiring, FAIR BALL is a vision of our national pastime as it can be, a game that retains its traditional appeal while remaining a central part of American life for the next century.

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Reviews (86)

5-0 out of 5 stars COSTAS FOR COMMISSIONER!!
Bob Costas gives a clear and concise analysis of the state of major league baseball today and how it was just 15 years ago. Bob is not afraid to tell it like it is, and explains concrete reasons (not just "being a tradionalist") why gimmicks such as new ballparks, interleague play, wildcard play, etc., and why crippling events such as owners who know no limits to their spending or players who know no limits to their greed are destroying the grand old game.

But it's not a book of complaining. Oh, no. Bob gives a very comprehensive plan of how to fix many of these failures. There is one problem with most of his solutions -- they make sense. With today's wishy washy commissioner, with one or two owners having their own way no matter what, and with players who follow any ridiculous notion that their ill advised union throws out, ideas this well thought out will be immediately dismissed. Why fix team salary inequities when you can put Spider-man on the bases? Why control players' salaries when you can pump your players up with illegal steriods and then move the fences 25 feet closer to the plate? No, Bob's ideas will not be accepted in today's baseball family because they are not gimmicks.

Let's hope that when Selig steps down (or falls down), Costas is considered for his job. I actually think that Bob could push through some of these ideas.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good ideas to level the playing field...
I checked this book out of the library after seeing Bob Costas on the YES Network's "Center Stage." I've always admired Costas for both his intelligence and his love of baseball; he seems able to throw around facts and statistics from regular season games played thirty years ago. I also like Costas's seemingly "romantic" view of the game, although he denies that he has that attitude.

As baseball is played now, the Braves and Yankees (and probably a few other clubs) have a decided advantage over most other clubs based solely on their wealth. The rich teams buy the best players, win the World Series, make more money, and buy the best players, and win again, and make more money, etc. etc. Teams like the Devil Rays and the Expos really don't have a chance in hell of ever winning a pennant unless things change (or unless they do what Florida did in 1997 - spend tons of cash on outstanding players, win the Series, and then have a firesale).

This book has some totally valid ideas on how to make the game better... specifically, how to level the playing field so that every team has a chance. The ideas that Costas offers in this book are WORKABLE, and would appeal (for different reasons) to everybody involved in the game - from wealthy owners to poor owners, and wealthy baseball stars to rookies. And these ideas would accomplish what Costas and the rest of baseball fans want... they would LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD. After implementing these ideas, the World Series winner wouldn't be the one with the most money, rather the one with the best farm system, the one that made the best managerial choices, and the one whose players played the best. That's how the game should be.

Some of Costas's other ideas seem to be a matter of his personal preference; ideas that he feels would make the game more exciting. Such as no DH, no Wild Card (which he argues would make pennant races more exciting in September), leagues with only three divisions, etc. I don't necessarily agree or disagree with his ideas on these matters, but he may be correct - it might make the game more exciting.

I'd love to see Costas's ideas implemented. And I say this as a Yankee fan! If anybody is benefitting from the current model of business in the game, it's my beloved team... but still, I'd like to see other teams get a fair shake. Dominating the other teams year after year gets a little boring after awhile!

2-0 out of 5 stars Philosophically dubious
There isn't a book's worth of material here, that's for sure. This could easily have been boiled down to a lengthy magazine piece for Sports Illustrated. And his prose is merely serviceable - far short of George Will's eloquent standard.

I'm not familiar enough with the background of this debate to say whether his ideas are "original" or not. But they're certainly plausible enough to warrant examination. My only real beef with them is philosophical in nature, I suppose. He repeatedly insists that the few superstar players asked to sacrifice under his salary cap proposal could easily afford the loss.

First of all: they wouldn't be "asked" anything. They would be legally prohibited from earning their full market worth. Say it's "for the good of the game" if you like, but that seems like one slippery damned slope to me. Second: I don't know if that's a judgment you're entitled to make, Bob. I'm sure you're making plenty of scratch these days too. Feel free to donate as much of your salary to the Expos - in the name of "competitive balance" - as you like. But taking money out of someone's pocket - even Alex Rodriguez's pocket - without their consent is usually called theft.

5-0 out of 5 stars some good ideas about fixing a great game
Bob Costas brings up so interesting facts about how to save baseball it can also be stated as a case to save all profesional sports like the NHL so this is a good book for even non baseball fans

5-0 out of 5 stars For Every Problem, There Is a Solution
Though Major League Baseball is mired in a sea of problems, most dealing with economics, these are not problems that cannot be fixed. Bob Costas offers some cogent solutions to remedy most of these problems in order to restore the competitive integrity of the game. Costas' proposal to implement not only a salary cap but also a salary floor benefits not only the majority of the owners but also the players who make the minimum salary. He talks at length about the wild card and how he believes it should be abolished; I absolutely agree. Given the best-of-five first round, the team with the best record in each league should be rewarded, as the two best teams in each NFL conference are, with a bye (this is mentioned in the book, along with many more reasons for why there should be no wild card). Basically every major issue is brought up by Costas that needs to be rectified, and for many he answers questions many skeptics may pose. I would love to hear his evaluation of the most recent CBA, along with his take on the issue of steroids in baseball. ... Read more

60. I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story
by Hank Aaron
list price: $7.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061099562
Catlog: Book (1992-04-01)
Publisher: HarperTorch
Sales Rank: 198602
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars More than Home Runs, More than Baseball
I was a kid when Hank Aaron broke the Home Run record -- and I grew up thinking that's what he was about, like an early George Foster. The audio book, with a Foreword and Afterword read by Henry Aaron himself, really brings the player and the man to you. He was an all-around player, at least once he found a defensive position where he had major-league talent.

His offense was outstanding, setting many more records than just Most Home Runs and reaching many milestones. He also is a man of conscience and character that pushed through a number of color barriers without the flamboyance of some of today's leaders.

The narrative, read by Courtney Vance, shifts without warning between 1st and 3rd persons. I found this interesting and it helped hold my attention. If you enjoy baseball entertainment like the movie "Bull Durham", this is for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best Read If You Are A Fan
I Had a Hammer is a wonderful book if you are a fan of Hank Aaron or of baseball in general. Aaron gives insights into what it was like to come out of Alabama during the Jim Crow era from his days as a boy, to playing in the Negro Leagues, signing with the Braves, all the way up until his retirement from baseball.

That's the good part. As a life-long, Aaron fan I loved it. Unfortunately, the book lacks much of the passion and drive that led Aaron to breaking Ruth's unbreakable career home run record.

5-0 out of 5 stars One From The Heart.
Henry Aaron is probably the most underrated baseball player of all time. His story is seldom told or mysticized like other baseball gods. 'I Had A Hammer' is story from the heart. Honest and bold, it tells of Aaron's and other black players' struggle to make it in the big leagues. A must read even if you have the slightest interest in baseball.

5-0 out of 5 stars Goes Beyond all of the Home Runs.....
In this book, you'll find out that Hank Aaron is not just a home run smasher. Statistics show that he is an excellent all-round player, probably better than most fans make him out to be.

On top of being a star, Aaron's story is amazing with all of the racism, discrimination & hate that he went through.

After reading this book, you will probably wonder why No. 715 was only SECOND on mastercard's most memorable moments. Also, you may, like me, want Hank to keep the home run record forever. I'd rather have someone who worked hard for it than a hideously overpaid A-Rod, or stuck-up Bonds.

Bottom line: get this book if you enjoy sports at all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond just another sports biography
This is a terrific autobiography that transcends the classification of sports writing. It is written in a style and format that that is compelling and informative. The typical sports biographies tell a series of funny and dramatic inside stories around memorable moments in sports history that the subject participated in. When well done, the reader gets what he or she is looking for and then some. When poorly done we get some stale jokes, old stories and an inept attempt at describing the true meaning of courage. In "I Had a Hammer" Henry Aaron and Lonnie Wheeler have given us a glimpse at a young black man growing up in the Deep South to become the greatest home run hitter of all time. In the odyssey we see the elements of society alternately denigrate and celebrate this gifted athlete. We are given these insights through the co-writer's preambe to each chapter and the personal recollections of key players in the life and career of Hank Aaron. This array of perspectives is excellently done and gives the book a good flow. What gives it the greatest impact is the candid personal recollections of Mr. Aaron. He is outspoken in his contempt for the elements of racism that followed (or is it lead) him every step of the way to the top. Yet he is forgiving of many who may have slurred his race in the past and then later learned to overcome their biased opinions. Much of that transition came through their experiences with him and other early black major league ball players. This is a book about our nation's racial attitudes as seen through the experiences of the author.

Don't be mistaken, this is still an excellent book for the sports fan. The casual fan will come away with a greater sense of sports history. The Braves fan will really enjoy some of the historic events recreated in the middle chapters. The Milwaukee fan need only read the last paragraph of chapter 7 and a tear or two will likely fall. The Atlanta fan will come away with a challenge to accept the validity of Aaron's view of his experiences in that city. Some will and some won't. However, all sports fans will come away with an excellent education on race relations in America from the 1930' to very recent years. They will gain this insight not through a lecture by the authors but by the very human expressions of a man telling his own compelling story. ... Read more

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