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24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid
Widely regarded as the greatest all-around player in baseball history because of his unparalleled hitting, defense and baserunning, the beloved Willie Mays offers people of all ages his lifetime of experience meeting challenges with positivity, integrity and triumph in 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid.Presented in 24 chapters to correspond with his universally recognized uniform number, Willie’s memoir provides more than the story of his role in America’s pastime. This is the story of a man who values family and community, engages in charitable causes especially involving children and follows a philosophy that encourages hope, hard work and the fulfillment of dreams.
The Science of Hitting (Revised & Updated Edition)
Ted Williams is our greatest living expert on how to hit a baseball -- the last baseball player to hit .400 in the major leagues. Williams's career hitting statistics will stand forever as a monument to his complete mastery of the single most difficult thing to do in sport: .344 lifetime batting average, 521 home runs, 1839 RBI and 2654 hits. The Science of Hitting has reigned as the classic handbook on hitting since being published in 1971 -- and now it's even better!
The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports
Yahoo’s lead baseball columnist offers an in-depth look at the most valuable commodity in sports - the pitching arm - and how its vulnerability to injury is hurting players and the game, from Little League to the majors.Every year, Major League Baseball spends more than $1.5 billion on pitchers - five times more than the salary of every NFL quarterback combined. Pitchers are the game’s lifeblood. Their import is exceeded only by their fragility. One tiny band of tissue in the elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament, is snapping at unprecedented rates, leaving current big league players vulnerable and the coming generation of baseball-playing children dreading the three scariest words in the sport: Tommy John surgery.Jeff Passan traveled the world for three years to explore in-depth the past, present, and future of the arm, and how its evolution left baseball struggling to wrangle its Tommy John surgery epidemic. He examined what compelled the Chicago Cubs to spend $155 million on one arm. He snagged a rare interview with Sandy Koufax, whose career was cut short by injury at thirty, and visited Japan to understand how another baseball-mad country treats its prized arms. And he followed two major league pitchers, Daniel Hudson and Todd Coffey, throughout their returns from Tommy John surgery. He exposes how the baseball establishment long ignored the rise in arm injuries and reveals how misplaced incentives across the sport stifle potential changes.Injuries to the UCL start as early as Little League. Without a drastic cultural shift, baseball will continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually to damaged pitchers, and another generation of children will suffer the same problems that vex current players. Informative and hard-hitting, The Arm is essential reading for everyone who loves the game, wants to keep their children healthy, or relishes a look into how a large, complex institution can fail so spectacularly.
Ninety Percent Mental
Bob Tewksbury shows readers a side of the game only he can provide, given his singular background as both a longtime MLB pitcher and a mental skills coach for two of the sport's most fabled franchises, the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants. Fans watching the game on television or even at the stadium don't have access to the mind games a pitcher must play in order to get through an at-bat, an inning, a game. Tewksbury explores the fascinating psychology behind baseball, such as how players use techniques of imagery, self-awareness, and strategic thinking to maximize performance, and how a pitcher's strategy changes throughout a game. He also offers an in-depth look into some of baseball's most monumental moments and intimate anecdotes from a "who's who" of the game, including legendary players who Tewksbury played with and against (such as Mark McGwire, Craig Biggio, and Greg Maddux), game-changing managers and executives (Joe Torre, Bruce Bochy, Brian Sabean), and current star players (Jon Lester, Anthony Rizzo, Andrew Miller, Rich Hill).With Tewksbury's esoteric knowledge as a thinking-fan's player and his expertise as a "baseball whisperer", this entertaining book is perfect for any fan who wants to see the game in a way he or she has never seen it before. Ninety Percent Mental will deliver an unprecedented look at the mound games and mind games of Major League Baseball.
The longtime Commissioner of Major League Baseball provides an unprecedented look inside professional baseball today, focusing on how he helped bring the game into the modern age and revealing his interactions with players, managers, fellow owners, and fans nationwide. More than a century old, the game of baseball is resistant to change - owners, managers, players, and fans all hate it. Yet, now more than ever, baseball needs to evolve - to compete with other professional sports, stay relevant, and remain America’s pastime, it must adapt. Perhaps no one knows this better than Bud Selig, who, as the head of MLB for more than 20 years, ushered in some of the most important, and controversial, changes in the game’s history - modernizing a sport that had remained unchanged since the 1960s. In this enlightening and surprising book, Selig goes inside the most difficult decisions and moments of his career, looking at how he worked to balance baseball’s storied history with the pressures of the 21st century to ensure its future. Part baseball story, part business saga, and part memoir, For the Good of the Game chronicles Selig’s career, takes fans inside locker rooms and board rooms, and offers an intimate, fascinating account of the frequently messy process involved in transforming an American institution. Featuring an all-star lineup of the biggest names from the last 40 years of baseball, Selig recalls the vital games, private moments, and tense conversations he’s shared with Hall of Fame players and managers and the contentious calls he’s made. He also speaks candidly about hot-button issues like the steroid scandal that threatened to destroy the game, telling his side of the story in full and for the first time.As he looks back and forward, Selig outlines the stakes for baseball’s continued transformation - and why the changes he helped usher in must only be the beginning.
Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero
On New Year's Eve 1972, following eighteen magnificent seasons in the major leagues, Roberto Clemente died a hero's death, killed in a plane crash as he attempted to deliver food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a devastating earthquake. David Maraniss now brings the great baseball player brilliantly back to life.
Atlanta Braves third baseman and National Hall of Famer Chipper Jones—one of the greatest switch-hitters in baseball history—shares his remarkable story, while capturing the magic nostalgia that sets baseball apart from every other sport.   Before Chipper Jones became an eight-time All-Star who amassed Hall of Fame–worthy statistics during a nineteen-year career with the Atlanta Braves, he was just a country kid from small town Pierson, Florida. A kid who grew up playing baseball in the backyard with his dad dreaming that one day he’d be a major league ballplayer.     With his trademark candor and astonishing recall, Chipper Jones tells the story of his rise to the MLB ranks and what it took to stay with one organization his entire career in an era of booming free agency. His journey begins with learning the art of switch-hitting and takes off after the Braves make him the number one overall pick in the 1990 draft, setting him on course to become the linchpin of their lineup at the height of their fourteen-straight division-title run.   Ballplayer takes readers into the clubhouse of the Braves’ extraordinary dynasty, from the climax of the World Series championship in 1995 to the last-gasp division win by the 2005 “Baby Braves”; all the while sharing pitch-by-pitch dissections of clashes at the plate with some of the all-time great starters, such as Clemens and Johnson, as well as closers such as Wagner and Papelbon. He delves into his relationships with Bobby Cox and his famous Braves brothers—Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, among them—and opponents from Cal Ripken Jr. to Barry Bonds. The National League MVP also opens up about his overnight rise to superstardom and the personal pitfalls that came with fame; his spirited rivalry with the New York Mets; his reflections on baseball in the modern era—outrageous money, steroids, and all—and his special last season in 2012.  Ballplayer immerses us in the best of baseball, as if we’re sitting next to Chipper in the dugout on an endless spring day.
The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse
When Rich Cohen was eight years old, his father took him to see a Cubs game. On the way out of the park, his father asked him to make a promise. “Promise me you will never be a Cubs fan. The Cubs do not win,” he explained, “and because of that, a Cubs fan will have a diminished life determined by low expectations. That team will screw up your life.”Cohen became not just a Cubs fan but one of the biggest Cubs fans in the world. In this book, he captures the story of the team, its players and crazy days. Billy Sunday and Ernie Banks, Three Finger Brown and Ryne Sandberg, Bill Buckner, the Bartman Ball, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo - the early dominance followed by a 107 year trek across the wilderness. It’s all here, in The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse - not just what happened, but what it felt like and what it meant.Featuring extensive interviews with players, owners, and coaches, this mix of memoir, reporting, history, and baseball theology - forty years in the making - has never been written because it never could be. Only with the 2016 World Series can the true arc ofthe story finally be understood.
Nolan Ryan's Pitcher's Bible
Nolan Ryan's Pitcher's Bible tells us the secrets of Ryan's success. Drawing on Ryan's practical experience and Tom House's research expertise, it shows how the right combination of exercise and motivation can help a pitcher develop to his greatest potential. Richly illustrated. SC, 174 pages.
The Bad Guys Won!
It was 1986, and the New York Mets won 108 regular-season games and the World Series, capturing the hearts (and other assorted body parts) of fans everywhere. But their greatness on the field was nearly eclipsed by how bad they were off it. Led by the indomitable Keith Hernandez and the young dynamic duo of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, along with the gallant Scum Bunch, the Amazin's left a wide trail of wreckage in their wake - hotel rooms, charter planes, a bar in Houston, and most famously Bill Buckner and the hated Boston Red Sox. With an unforgettable cast of characters - including Doc, Straw, the Kid, Nails, Mex, and manager Davey Joshson - this “affectionate but critical look at this exciting season” (Publishers Weekly) celebrates the last of baseball's arrogant, insane, rock-and-roll-and-party-all-night teams, exploring what could have been, what should have been, and what never was.
The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life
The Phenomenon is the story of how St. Louis Cardinals prodigy Rick Ankiel lost his once-in-a-generation ability to pitch--not due to an injury or a bolt of lightning, but a mysterious anxiety condition widely known as "the Yips." It came without warning, in the middle of a playoff game, with millions of people watching. And it has never gone away.Yet the true test of Ankiel's character came not on the mound, but in the long days and nights that followed as he searched for a way to get back in the game. For four and a half years, he fought the Yips with every arrow in his quiver: psychotherapy, medication, deep-breathing exercises, self-help books, and, eventually, vodka. And then, after reconsidering his whole life at the age of twenty-five, Ankiel made an amazing turnaround: returning to the Major Leagues as a hitter and playing seven successful seasons.This book is an incredible story about a universal experience--pressure--and what happened when a person on the brink had to make a choice about who he was going to be.
Ten Innings at Wrigley: The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink
The dramatic story of a legendary 1979 slugfest between the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies, full of runs, hits, and subplots, at the tipping point of a new era in baseball history.
Incredible Baseball Trivia: More Than 200 Hardball Questions for the Thinking Fan
Match wits with the father of baseball trivia, David Nemec, a ten-time national champion as he presents more than 200 baseball stumpers that are artfully designed to test the depth of the reader’s knowledge about the game since 1871 including:• Who is the most recent major leaguer to compile 100 or more hits, 20 or more complete games, and 20 or more decisions in the same season? No, the answer is not who you think!• Who is the only pitcher to hurl a minimum of 5,000 career innings and surrender fewer hits per 9 innings than Walter Johnson?• What team had a record of 52–62 when the strike shut down the 1994 season but was on track to qualify for postseason play with the lowest winning percentage ever by a division or league first-place finisher?Every era of baseball history is represented from Cap Anson to Mike Trout, Cy Young to Clayton Kershaw, Ty Cobb to Jose Altuve, Babe Ruth to Giancarlo Stanton.Incredible Baseball Trivia is the ultimate test for knowledgeable baseball fans!
Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball
Will, George F.
In his classic tribute to America's pastime - now with a new introduction - political commentator, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and lifelong sports enthusiast George F. Will travels from the baseball field to the dugout to the locker room to get to the root of the game we all love. He breaks down the sport to its four basic components, managing, pitching, hitting, and fielding, and analyzes the way four of its notables, manager Tony La Russa, pitcher Orel Hershiser, outfielder Tony Gwynn, and shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., approach the game. One of the most acclaimed sports books ever written, Men at Work is a revelatory, and often surprising, study of professional baseball.
Baseball Field Guide: An In-Depth Illustrated Guide to the Complete Rules of Baseball
Now in its third edition--a clear guide to the complete rules of baseball! Admit it: Even if you're a diehard fan of our national pastime, sometimes an umpire's call can be a little baffling. And for newer fans, Major League Baseball's nuanced rules--developed and revised over decades--can be downright perplexing. Now updated throughout with the latest changes, such as the "Buster Posey rule" on collisions at home plate, the Baseball Field Guide explains every rule in plain English: Rules that apply before, during, and after the game Equipment specifications and field requirements Duties of the coaches, managers, and umpires Rules for spectators (yes, they have rules, too!) The clearest explanation anywhere of the infamous Infield Fly Rule, and much more! Designed for quick and intuitive searches, this entertaining reference will help you understand every aspect of the game and add to your enjoyment of the sport.
Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages
Teammate is the inspiring memoir from "Grandpa Rossy," the veteran catcher who became the heart and soul of the 2016 Chicago Cubs championship team.In 2016 the Cubs snapped a 108-year curse, winning the World Series in a history-making, seven-game series against the Cleveland Indians. Of the many storylines to Chicago's fairytale season, one stood out: the late-career renaissance of David Ross, the 39-year-old catcher who had played back-up for 13 of his 15 pro seasons.Beyond Ross's remarkably strong play, he became the ultimate positive force in the Cubs locker room, mentoring and motivating his fellow players, some of them nearly twenty years his junior. Thanks to Cubs Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, "Grandpa Rossy" became a social media sensation. No one, however, could have predicted that Ross's home run in his final career at bat would help seal the Cubs championship. Now, in Teammate, Ross shares the inspiring story of his life in baseball, framed by the events of that unforgettable November night.
The Cardinals Way - How One Team Embraced Tradition and Moneyball at the Same Time
The St. Louis Cardinals have experienced the kind of success that is rare in baseball. Regarded by many as the premier organization in Major League Baseball, they not only win, but do so with an apparently bottomless pool of talent, one that is mostly homegrown.Despite years of phenomenal achievements, including going to the World Series in 2004 and again in 2006, the Cardinals reinvented themselves using the "Cardinal Way," a term that has come to represent many things to fans, media, and other organizations, from an ironclad code of conduct to the team's cutting-edge use of statistic and analytics, and a farm system that has transformed baseball.Baseball journalist Howard Megdal takes fans behind the scenes and off the field, interviewing dozens of key players within the Cardinals organization, including owner Bill DeWitt and the general manager John Mozeliak. Megdal reveals how the players are assessed and groomed using an unrivaled player development system that has created a franchise that is the envy of the baseball world.In the spirit of Moneyball, The Cardinals Way tells an in-depth, fascinating story about a consistently good franchise, the business of sports in the twenty-first century and a team that has learned how to level the playing field, turning in season after successful season.
After the Miracle: The Lasting Brotherhood of the '69 Mets
The inside account of an iconic team in baseball history: the 1969 New York Mets—a consistently last-place team that turned it all around in just one season—told by ’69 Mets outfielder Art Shamsky, Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver, and other teammates as they reminisce about what happened then and where they are today.
For decades, statistics such as batting average, saves recorded, and pitching won-lost records have been used to measure individual players’ and teams’ potential and success. But in the past fifteen years, a revolutionary new standard of measurement - sabermetrics - has been embraced by front offices in Major League Baseball and among fantasy baseball enthusiasts. But while sabermetrics is recognized as being smarter and more accurate, traditionalists, including journalists, fans, and managers, stubbornly believe that the "old" way - a combination of outdated numbers and "gut" instinct - is still the best way. Baseball, they argue, should be run by people, not by numbers.In this informative and provocative book, the renowned ESPN analyst and senior baseball writer demolishes a century’s worth of accepted wisdom, making the definitive case against the long-established view. Armed with concrete examples from different eras of baseball history, logic, a little math, and lively commentary, he shows how the allegiance to these numbers - dating back to the beginning of the professional game - is firmly rooted not in accuracy or success, but in baseball’s irrational adherence to tradition.While Law gores sacred cows, from clutch performers to RBIs to the infamous save rule, he also demystifies sabermetrics, explaining what these "new" numbers really are and why they’re vital. He also considers the game’s future, examining how teams are using Data - from PhDs to sophisticated statistical databases - to build future rosters; changes that will transform baseball and all of professional sports.
The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood
Jane Leavy, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy, returns with a biography of an American original: number 7, Mickey Mantle. Meticulously reported and elegantly written, The Last Boy is a baseball tapestry that weaves together episodes from the author’s weekend with the Mick in Atlantic City, where she interviewed her hero in 1983 after he was banned from baseball, with reminiscences from friends and family. It is the story of a boy from Commerce, Oklahoma, who would lead the Yankees to seven world championships, be voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player three times, win the Triple Crown in 1956, and duel teammate Roger Maris for Babe Ruth’s home run crown in the summer of 1961 - a boy who would never grow up. The Last Boy is an uncommon biography, with literary overtones - not only a portrait of an icon but also an investigation of memory itself.
Play Hungry: The Making of a Baseball Player
Pete Rose was a legend on the field. As baseball’s Hit King, he shattered records that were thought to be unbreakable. And during the 1970s, he was the leader of the Big Red Machine, the Cincinnati Reds team that dominated the game. But he’s also the greatest player who may never enter the Hall of Fame because of his lifetime ban from the sport. Perhaps no other ballplayer’s story is so representative of the triumphs and tragedies of our national pastime. In Play Hungry, Rose tells us the story of how, through hard work and sheer will, he became one of the unlikeliest stars of the game. Guided by the dad he idolized, a local sports hero, Pete learned to play hard and always focus on winning. But even with his dad’s guidance, Pete was cut from his team as a teenager—he wasn’t a natural. Rose was determined, though, and never would be satisfied with anything less than success. His relentless hustle and headfirst style would help him overcome his limitations, leading him to one of the most exciting and brash careers in the history of the sport.Play Hungry is Pete Rose’s love letter to the game, and an unvarnished story of life on the diamond. One of the icons of a golden age in baseball, he describes just what it was like to hit (or try to hit) a Bob Gibson fastball or a Gaylord Perry spitball, what happened in that infamous collision at home plate during the 1970 All-Star Game, and what it felt like to topple Ty Cobb’s hit record. And he speaks to how he let down his fans, his teammates, and the memory of his dad when he gambled on baseball, breaking the rules of a sport that he loved more than anything else. Told with candor and wry humor—including tales he’s never told before—Rose’s memoir is his final word on the glories and controversies of his life, and, ultimately, a master class in how to succeed when the odds are stacked against you.
The story of the 1969 New York Mets’ season has long since entered sports lore as one of the most remarkable of all time. But beyond the “miracle” is a compelling narrative of an unlikely collection of players and the hallowed manager who inspired them to greatness. For the fiftieth anniversary, renowned sports journalist Wayne Coffey brings to life a moment when a championship could descend on a city like magic, and when a baseball legend was authored one inning at a time.Future Hall of Fame ace Tom Seaver snagged the biggest headlines, but the enduring richness of the story lies in the core of a team comprised of untested youngsters, lightly regarded veterans, and four Southern-born African-American stalwarts who came of age in the shadow of Jackie Robinson. Most of the Mets regulars were improbable candidates for baseball stardom. The number two starting pitcher, Jerry Koosman, grew up on a Minnesota farm, never played high-school ball, and was only discovered because of a tip from a Mets’ usher. Outfielder Ron Swoboda was known for long home runs and piles of strikeouts, until he turned into a glove wizard when it mattered most.All of these men were galvanized by their manager: the sainted former Brooklyn Dodger Gil Hodges, whose fundamental belief in the power of every man on the roster, no matter his stats, helped backup players like Al Weis and J.C. Martin become October heroes. As the Mets powered through the season to reach a World Series against the best-in-a-generation Baltimore Orioles, Hodges’s steady hand guided a team that had very recently been the league laughingstock to an improbable, electrifying shot at sports immortality.
The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse
With inside access and reporting, Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer and FOX Sports analyst Tom Verducci reveals how Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon built, led, and inspired the Chicago Cubs team that broke the longest championship drought in sports, chronicling their epic journey to become World Series champions.
Life Is Yours to Win: Lessons Forged from the Purpose, Passion, and Magic of Baseball
Now in paperback, the winningest college baseball coach of all time shares his powerful philosophy on life and sports. Augie Garrido has led his University of Texas and Cal State baseball teams to more victories than any coach in any sport in NCAA history, and he has won more National Coach of the Year awards than any other college coach. But Garrido is no “win at all costs” type of leader; rather, he espouses a thinking person’s management style that focuses on building men of quality, whatever their abilities on the diamond. This extraordinary book culls his profoundly effective approach to life into a book that can inspire anyone. Based on the author’s journey of self-discovery, during which he moved from being driven by fear to being motivated by passion, Life Is Yours to Win presents a very hands-on and effective plan for self-improvement. Garrido explains how to remove fears, live each day with joy and passion, establish personal principles, and appreciate the value of failure in teaching lifelong lessons. What emerges is a refreshingly Zen-like approach to seizing life’s opportunities that emphasizes courage, living in the moment, and understanding that trophies are not the real goal. Filled with interesting, compelling stories from on and off the field, Life Is Yours to Win appeals to anyone, sports fan or not, who appreciates the wisdom of what it really means to be a winner.
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