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By Matthew F Christopher. 2003
After playing the sport he loved in his home country of Japan for 17 years, Ichiro left in 2000 and…joined the Seattle Mariners. Would Ichiro succeed in the world's most challenging baseball league? Includes black-and-white photos and players' statistics.
"Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known.…Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings in Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation." Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from a Birmingham Jail 1963Anybody who is familiar with the Civil Rights movement knows that 1964 was a pivotal year. And in Birmingham, Alabama - perhaps the epicenter of racial conflict - the Barons amazingly started their season with an integrated team. Johnny "Blue Moon" Odom, a talented pitcher and Tommie Reynolds, an outfielder - both young black ballplayers with dreams of playing someday in the big leagues, along with Bert Campaneris, a dark-skinned shortstop from Cuba, all found themselves in this simmering cauldron of a minor league town, all playing for Heywood Sullivan, a white former major leaguer who grew up just down the road in Dothan, Alabama. Colton traces the entire season, writing about the extraordinary relationships among these players with Sullivan, and Colton tells their story by capturing the essence of Birmingham and its citizens during this tumultuous year. (The infamous Bull Connor, for example, when not ordering blacks to be blasted by powerful water hoses, is a fervent follower of the Barons and served as a long-time broadcaster of their games.) By all accounts, the racial jeers and taunts that rained down upon these Birmingham players were much worse than anything that Jackie Robinson ever endured.More than a story about baseball, this is a true accounting of life in a different time and clearly a different place. Seventeen years after Jackie Robinson had broken the color line in the major leagues, Birmingham was exploding in race riots....and now, they were going to have their very first integrated sports team. This is a story that has never been told.
By John Feinstein. 2008
Pitchers are the heart of baseball, and John Feinstein tells the story of the game today through one season and…two great pitchers working in the crucible of the New York media market. Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina have seen it all in the Major Leagues and both entered 2007 in search of individual milestones and one more shot at The World Series-Glavine with the Mets, Mussina five miles away with the Yankees. The two veterans experience very different seasons--one on a team dealing with the pressure to get to a World Series for the first time in seven years, the other with a team expected to be there every year. Taking the reader through contract negotiations, spring training, the ups of wins and losses, and the people in their lives-family, managers, pitching coaches, agents, catchers, other pitchers--John Feinstein provides a true insider's look at the pressure cooker of sports at the highest level.
By Will Leitch. 2010
A hilarious tribute to baseball and to the fathers and sons who share the love of the game.Are We Winning?…is built around a trip to Wrigley Field to watch the St. Louis Cardinals play the Chicago Cubs--the "lovable losers" to most fans but the hated enemy to the Leitch men. Along for the ride are both Will's father, the gregarious but not-exactly demonstrative Midwestern titan who, despite being a die-hard Cards fan and living his whole life just 200 miles south of Chicago, had never been to Wrigley Field before this game, and Will's college friend, a lifelong Cubs fan. The Cardinals have recently fallen out of the pennant race, and the Cubs, as it turns out, are attempting to clinch the division on this Saturday afternoon in September. The pitchers are Ted Lilly for the Cubs and Joel Pineiro for the Cardinals. It's just a regular game. Play ball.The book unfolds in half-inning increments where Will gives one-of-a-kind insight on the past, present, and future of the game--from Pujols' unrivaled greatness to the myth that steroids have ruined baseball. Along the way, he shares memories of his father and growing up in the small town of Mattoon, including the year his dad coached his Little League team and nicknamed a scrawny kid "Bulldog," and an unlikely postgame episode involving a biker bar and Mr. Holland's Opus. And there is beer. Lots and lots of beer.Are We Winning? is a book about the indelible bond that links fathers and sons. For the Leitch men it's baseball that holds them together--not that either of them would ever be so weak as to admit it. No matter how far apart they are or what's going on in their lives, they'll always be able to talk about baseball. It's the story of being a fan, a story about fathers, sons, and legacies. And one perfect game.
By Matt Christopher. 2015
This entry in a brand new line of sports biographies from Matt Christopher takes readers onto the plate with a…baseball legendBabe Ruth was baseball's first true power hitter, a strong pitcher, and smart outfielder who made some amazing game-saving catches. His love of the sport came through in his playfulness on the field and drive to win, but Babe had to overcome a lot of obstacles in order to become the greatest. This comprehensive biography - with bonus photos and infographics - tells the story behind the legend.
By Rob Neyer. 2001
By Matthew F Christopher. 2007
For more than a century, the World Series has captivated baseball fans. From Babe Ruth's Called Shot in 1932 and…Reggie Jackson's three-in-a-row home runs in 1977, to the "reverse the curse" wins by Boston in 2004 and Chicago in 2005--this action-packed volume is sure to please. Quotes from the star athletes, photos of the best plays, and a complete list of results since the first series in 1903 round out the book that young baseball fans will find is an out-of-the park home run!
By Tim Wendel. 2012
The extraordinary story of the 1968 baseball season--when the game was played to perfection even as the country was being…pulled apart at the seams From the beginning, '68 was a season rocked by national tragedy and sweeping change. Opening Day was postponed and later played in the shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral. That summer, as the pennant races were heating up, the assassination of Robert Kennedy was later followed by rioting at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. But even as tensions boiled over and violence spilled into the streets, something remarkable was happening in major league ballparks across the country. Pitchers were dominating like never before, and with records falling and shut-outs mounting, many began hailing '68 as "The Year of the Pitcher." In Summer of '68, Tim Wendel takes us on a wild ride through a season that saw such legends as Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, Don Drysdale, and Luis Tiant set new standards for excellence on the mound, each chasing perfection against the backdrop of one of the most divisive and turbulent years in American history. For some players, baseball would become an insular retreat from the turmoil encircling them that season, but for a select few, including Gibson and the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals, the conflicts of '68 would spur their performances to incredible heights and set the stage for their own run at history. Meanwhile in Detroit--which had burned just the summer before during one of the worst riots in American history--'68 instead found the city rallying together behind a colorful Tigers team led by McLain, Mickey Lolich, Willie Horton, and Al Kaline. The Tigers would finish atop the American League, setting themselves on a highly anticipated collision course with Gibson's Cardinals. And with both teams' seasons culminating in a thrilling World Series for the ages--one team playing to establish a dynasty, the other fighting to help pull a city from the ashes--what ultimately lay at stake was something even larger: baseball's place in a rapidly changing America that would never be the same. In vivid, novelistic detail, Summer of '68 tells the story of this unforgettable season--the last before rule changes and expansion would alter baseball forever--when the country was captivated by the national pastime at the moment it needed the game most.
By Randy Miller. 2010
To Philadelphia Phillies fans, he was the soundtrack of summer. To millions of football fans across America, he was the…“Voice of the NFL. ” And as open and giving as Harry Kalas was throughout his professional and personal life, there are countless layers of the man that have remained unknown . . . until now. Author Randy Miller interviewed more than 160 people—including all of Harry’s surviving family, many of his close friends from childhood to present, numerous colleagues from baseball and the NFL, and even Harry’s longtime personal psychologist—to craft a loving and shockingly honest portrayal of one of the most celebrated broadcasters in the history of sports. With incredible details from all phases of his life—from his upbringing in the Chicago suburbs, to his Hall of Fame broadcasting career in baseball, to his ubiquitous voiceover work with the NFL, to his personal vices for drinking and women, to his legendary friendship with Richie “Whitey” Ashburn, to his ongoing feud with on-air partner Chris Wheeler—Harry the K: The Remarkable Life of Harry Kalas will surprise, delight, and enlighten all fans of the man they called “Harry the K. ”
What is it about a quality fastball that brings us to the edge of our seats? How is it humanly…possible to throw more than 100 mph? And the big question: Who is the fastest pitcher ever? Drawing on interviews with current and former players, managers, scouts, experts, and historians, Tim Wendel delivers the answers to some of the most intriguing questions about the fastball, providing insight into one of baseball’s most exhilarating yet mystifying draws. In High Heat he takes us on a quest to separate verifiable fact from baseball lore, traveling from ballparks across the country to the Baseball Hall of Fame, piecing together the fascinating history of the fastball from its early development to the present form while exploring its remarkable impact on the game and the pitchers who have been blessed (or cursed) with its gift. From legends such as Nolan Ryan, Walter Johnson, Steve Dalkowski, and Satchel Paige to present-day standard bearers like Tim Lincecum, Billy Wagner, and Randy Johnson, Wendel examines the factors that make throwing heat an elusive ability that few have and even fewer can harness. Along the way he investigates the effectiveness of early speed-testing techniques (including Bob Feller’s infamous motorcycle test), explains why today’s radar gun readings still leave plenty of room for debate, and even visits an aerodynamic testing lab outside of Birmingham, Alabama, in order to understand the mechanics that make throwing heat possible in the first place. At its heart, High Heat is a reflection on our infatuation with the fastball-the expectation it carries, the raw ability it puts on display, and, most of all, the feats and trials of those who have attempted to master it. As Wendel puts it, “The tale of high heat can lead in several different directions at once, and the real story has more to do with triumph and tragedy that with the simple act of throwing a baseball. ”
By Matt Christopher. 2006
By Robert Santelli, Jenna Santelli. 2009
No sports fans are more in touch with the history and ephemera of their game than baseball fans. Hitting the…sweet spot of our national pastime, The Baseball Fans Bucket List presents a list of 162 absolute must things to do, see, get, and experience before you kick the bucket. Entries range from visiting Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ (site of the first pro baseball game), to starting a baseball card collection; experiencing Opening Day; attending your favorite teams Fantasy Camp; reading classic books like Ball Four, and much more! Each entry includes interesting facts, entertaining trivia, and practical information about the activity, item, or travel destination. Also included is a complete checklist so the reader can keep a running tally of their Bucket-List achievements. With todays tabloid stories of steroid abuse and off-the-field shenanigans encroaching on baseballs idyllic charm, this unique guidebook encourages readers to celebrate all thats good about being a fan.
By Matthew F Christopher. 2000
The number one sports writer for kids discusses the personal life and baseball career of Derek Jeter, the young man…from Michigan who achieved his dream to play shortstop for the New York Yankees. Includes career highlights and player's stats. Illustrations.
By Matthew F Christopher. 2002
Alex Rodriguez is the one of the most electrifying baseball players to hit the diamond in recent years. Drafted right…out of high school, he has suffered none of the adjustment problems that typically plague young players. On the contrary, he has shown the world what it means to be a superstar, not just on the field but in life. His outstanding play with the Seattle Mariners helped send that team to post-season playoff games year after year. Yet never has A-Rod let success and fame go to his head. Alex Rodriguez's commitment to the game and sportsmanship has made him respected and admired by fellow players and fans the world over. This new biography traces Alex's career from the Seattle Mariners to his latest position with the Texas Rangers.
Chris von der Ahe knew next to nothing about base1/4ball when he risked his lifeOCOs savings to found the franchise…that would become the St. Louis Cardinals. Yet the German-born beer garden proprietor would become one of the most important?and funniest?figures in the gameOCOs history. Von der Ahe picked up the team for one reason?to sell more beer. Then he helped gather a group of ragtag professional clubs together to create a maverick new league that would fight the haughty National League, reinventing big-league baseball to attract Americans of all classes. Sneered at as ?The Beer and Whiskey CircuitOCO because it was backed by brewers, distillers, and saloon owners, their American Association brought Americans back to enjoying baseball by offering Sunday games, beer at the ballpark, and a dirt-cheap ticket price of 25 cents. The womanizing, egocentric, wildly generous Von der Ahe and his fellow owners filled their teamsOCO rosters with drunks and renegades, and drew huge crowds of rowdy spectators who screamed at umpires and cheered like mad as the Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns fought to the bitter end for the 1883 pennant. In "The Summer of Beer and Whiskey," Edward Achorn re-creates this wondrous and hilarious world of cunning, competition, and boozing, set amidst a rapidly transforming America. It is a classic American story of people with big dreams, no shortage of chutzpah, and love for a brilliant game that they refused to let die.
By Josh Hamilton, Tim Keown. 2008
Josh Hamilton was the first player chosen in the first round of the 1999 baseball draft. He was known not…only for his gargantuan homeruns, his speed on the bases and his fielding talent but also for his caring and humble character. He was destined to be one of those rare "high-character " superstars. <P><P>But in 2001, working his way from the minors to the majors, all of the plans for Josh went off the rails in a moment of weakness. What followed was a 4-year nightmare of drugs and alcohol, estrangement from friends and family, and his eventual suspension from baseball. <P><P>BEYOND BELIEF details the events that led up to the derailment. Josh explains how a young man destined for fame and wealth could allow his life to be taken over by drugs and alcohol. He will chronicle the details of the depths of his addiction. <P><P>But Josh's story is one of redemption and triumph. It is inspirational, life-affirming and, since Josh credits his finding faith in Christ for saving his life, it is also the memoir of a spiritual journey that breaks through pain and heartbreak and leads to the rebirth of his major-league career. Josh Hamilton makes no excuses and places no blame on anyone other than himself. He takes responsibility for his poor decisions and believes his story can help millions who battle the same demons. <P><P> "I have been given a platform to tell my story" he says. "I pray every night I am a good messenger."
By Jon Pessah. 2015
The incredible inside story of power, money, and baseball's last twenty years <P><P>In the fall of 1992, America's National Pastime…is in crisis and already on the path to the unthinkable: cancelling a World Series for the first time in history. The owners are at war with each other, their decades-long battle with the players has turned America against both sides, and the players' growing addiction to steroids will threaten the game's very foundation. <P><P>It is a tipping point for baseball, a crucial moment in the game's history that catalyzes a struggle for power by three strong-willed men: Commissioner Bud Selig, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, and union leader Don Fehr. <P><P>It's their uneasy alliance at the end of decades of struggle that pulls the game back from the brink and turns it into a money-making powerhouse that enriches them all. This is the real story of baseball, played out against a tableau of stunning athletic feats, high-stakes public battles, and backroom political deals--with a supporting cast that includes Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, Joe Torre and Derek Jeter, George Bush and George Mitchell, and many more. <P><P>Drawing from hundreds of extensive, exclusive interviews throughout baseball, The Game is a stunning achievement: a rigorously reported book and the must-read, fly-on-the-wall, definitive account of how an enormous struggle for power turns disaster into baseball's Golden Age.
By Robert Weintraub. 2013
In the spring of 1946, Americans were ready to heal. World War II was finally over, and hundreds of baseball's…stars were coming home. Players like Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Joe Dimaggio returned to the Majors with bats blazing, making the season one of the most memorable in history, capped with a thrilling seven-game World Series. And a new era began, with Jackie Robinson making his professional debut. Robert Weintraub brings to life little-known tales from the war years, including the "world series" servicemembers played in an abandoned Hitler Youth stadium in the fall of 1945. Once home, returning players set attendance records in a season that kicked off baseball's golden era. In THE VICTORY SEASON, Weintraub's in-depth research and storytelling talent enliven one of the sport's greatest periods.Europe in an attempt to experience just a bit of home. From the little-known "world series" services members played in the European theater in the fall of 1945 to the poignant stories of the only two major leaguers to die in the war, Robert Weintraub brings his in-depth research and signature storytelling talent to one of the sport's greatest seasons.
By Matthew F Christopher. 1969
By Derek Gentile. 2007
A revised and up-to-date edition of Baseball's Best 1,000, a must-have book for baseball fans obsessed with stats, quick facts,…and the age-old debate of who is the best player in history and why. Using various (and completely subjective) criteria including lifetime statistics, personal and professional contributions to the game at large, sportsmanship, character, popularity with the fans, and more, sports writer Derek Gentile ranks the best players of all time. Along with a ranking, information on each player is presented, including the teams on which he has played throughout his career, positions played, lifetime statistics, and a brief biography--as well as a photograph. Baseball's Best 1,000 is sure to spark controversy and debate among fans.