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By Willie Mays, John Shea. 1951
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERThe legendary Willie Mays shares the inspirations and influences responsible for guiding him on and…off the field in this reflective and inspirational memoir."Even if, like me, you thought you had pretty much read and heard all there was to read and hear about Willie Mays, this warmhearted book will inform and reward you. And besides, what true baseball fan can ever get enough of Willie Mays? Say Hey! Read on and enjoy." —From the Foreword by Bob Costas “It’s because of giants like Willie that someone like me could even think about running for President.” —President Barack ObamaWidely 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.“I was very lucky when I was a child. My family took care of me and made sure I was in early at night. I didn’t get in trouble. My father made sure that I didn’t do the wrong thing. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for children and their well-being, and John Shea and I got the idea that we should do something for the kids and the fathers and the mothers, and that’s why this book is being published. We want to reach out to all generations and backgrounds. Hopefully, these stories and lessons will inspire people in a positive way.” —Willie Mays
By Leonard Koppett. 2004
Baseball's greatest asset is the richness of its lore, and Leonard Koppett has made the entire treasure of the game's…history accessible in one enjoyable volume. In his lively narratives on the shape and significance of each season from baseball's nineteenth-century beginnings to the updated and expanded sections on the last decade, Koppett explains the changes in baseball-the-game and baseball-the-business that forged the major leagues we know today. Each chapter recounts trends, players, and events during different eras; offers succinct seasonal recaps, and summarizes how the consequences of that particular baseball era set the stage for the next. On the origins and evolution of on-the-field play—from the 1880s origin of pitching high and tight then low and away, to modern-day use of body armor at bat—plus statistics and record-breaking achievements, Koppett's got it covered. On business and organizational controversies, such as the introduction of night baseball, radio and TV broadcasting, free agency, strike actions, divisional play-offs, and the policies of owners and commissioners, Koppett's got it covered. One-stop reading for the most essential stories, statistics, and opinions on the major leagues, Koppett's Concise History of Major League Baseball is the most original baseball reference available.
By E. Ethelbert Miller. 2021
Much-honored Washington, D.C. poet activist E. Ethelbert Miller delights and surprises us with his deft imaginings and portraits. Ethelbert&’s poems…play out in baseball rhythm and express the joy of living, despite the bitter challenges in today&’s world. These poems define our time and allow us to see ourselves as human through the lens of baseball, family and music. When Your Wife Has Tommy John Surgery and Other Baseball Stories is Miller's second book of baseball poems. Here he touches new bases. There are poems about Marcel Duchamp and Ornette Coleman as well as Whitey Ford and Don Larsen. Miller's poems move the outdoor game indoors where there are moments of disappointment and despair. Baseball can be a blues game. Tommy John surgery is a way of holding onto hope. Many of these poems were written during the Covid pandemic. They beckon fans back to the ballpark. They remind us to enjoy a game that is precious and maybe even essential to our wellness. Coming after If God Invented Baseball, Miller seems to emerge from a literary dugout after a brief rain delay, ready to celebrate the American pastime again.
By Lew Freedman. 2021
The 1930 Major League baseball season was both marvelous and horrendous, great for hitters, embarrassing for pitchers. In totality it…was just this side of insane as an outlier among all seasons.Major League Baseball began with the founding of the National League in 1876. In the 145 seasons since then, one season stands out as unique for the astounding nature of hitting: 1930.A flipside of 1968&’s &“Year of the Pitcher,&” when the great St. Louis Cardinals Bob Gibson compiled a 1.12 earned run average and Detroit Tigers Denny McLain won 31 games, the 1930 season was when the batters reigned supreme. During this incredible season, more than one hundred players batted .300, the entire National League averaged .300, ten players hit 30 or more home runs, and some of the greatest individual performances established all-time records. From New York Giants Bill Terry&’s .401 average—the last National Leaguer to hit over .400—to the NL-record 56 home runs and major league–record 192 runs batted in by Chicago Cubs Hack Wilson, the 1930 season is a wild, sometimes unbelievable, often wacky baseball story.Breaking down the anomaly of the season and how each team fared, veteran journalist Lew Freeman tells the story of a one-off year unlike any other. While the greats stayed great, and though some pitchers did hold their own—with seven winning 20 or more games, including 28 by Philadelphia Athletics&’ Lefty Grove and 25 by Cleveland Indians&’ Wes Ferrell—Freedman shares anecdotes about those players that excelled in 1930, and only 1930. More than ninety years later, 1930 offers insight into a season that still stands the test of time for batting excellence.
A riveting inside account of the most unforgettable season in Los Angeles Dodgers history, from the COVID-delayed start through the…incredible playoff run, by the broadcaster who saw it all.As America&’s Pastime reeled from a global pandemic, the LA Dodgers rallied to win arguably the most difficult baseball season ever played. Amid strict new rules and Coronavirus outbreaks on other teams that wreaked havoc on the schedule, the Dodgers maintained a laser focus as a team and organization, and ultimately, won the first bubbled playoffs in the history of Major League Baseball. In COVID Curveball, author and Dodgers&’ broadcaster Tim Neverett takes us through this unprecedented season, offering exclusive access and firsthand, edge-of-your-seat, play-by-play coverage of the surreal days and weeks that led up to the dramatic championship climax. It&’s a highly entertaining, often humorous chronicle of the quirky nature of the season, the goings-on behind the scenes at the stadium and MLB at large, as well as the unique chemistry forged in the diverse and dynamic clubhouse. Along with insights into the potent lineup that produced jaw-dropping moments by Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Max Muncy, and Cody Bellinger, the book also celebrates the incredible achievements of Clayton Kershaw that cemented his Hall-of-Fame legacy, and the remarkable job done by Dave Roberts and the Dodgers&’ executives and ownership. Highlighted by empty stands, remote broadcasts, and relentless testing, 2020 was perhaps the strangest baseball season ever…but it produced the most savored World Series celebration in the history of the game. Includes an in-depth foreword by Dodgers&’ legend Orel Hershiser.
By John Vampatella. 2021
A gripping detailed recap of the wildly insane, oft-overlooked, extra-innings classic that turned the 2004 ALCS into the most memorable…playoff series in modern history.No team had ever come back from a 3–0 deficit to win a postseason series in baseball. In the history of MLB postseason play going into Game 5, there had been twenty-five series to start out 3–0. Of those, twenty ended in sweeps, two made it to a sixth game, and none had made it to a seventh game. The Forgotten Game details one of the greatest games in baseball history between the two most bitter rivals in the sport. For years the two teams fought for American League supremacy, with the Yankees usually coming out on top. Following an incredible 2003 playoff series, the two teams squared off again in 2004 for the right to go to the World Series. The Yankees won the first three games in convincing fashion, and it seemed, yet again, they would eliminate the Red Sox…until Boston miraculously won Game 4. Most fans remember the steal by Dave Roberts that sparked the game-tying rally in the ninth to keep Boston&’s hopes alive. And most fans remember Curt Schilling&’s sutured ankle in Game 6. But Game 5 was a do-or-die moment for the Red Sox, and they delivered in epic fashion. Yet, despite being the pivotal game in the series, it hasn&’t drawn the attention the others have. The Forgotten Game breaks down Game 5 on a virtual pitch-by-pitch basis, from the battle between Pedro Martinez and Mike Mussina, to the clutch performances by Tim Wakefield and David Ortiz, while breaking down the strategies the managers employed, and stories of how various players made their way to their respective teams for that fateful night. Never before has the story of Game 5 been told in such vivid and riveting detail. &“If you&’ve devoured everything Red Sox-Yankees you&’ll LOVE IT. If you are new to the rivalry and era you will understand it for the first time. I couldn&’t put it down and loved the historical context of each inning. I loved it.&” —Gar Ryness (Batting Stance Guy) &“While most people remember Boston's dramatic game 4 victory or Curt Schilling's bloody sock heroics in game 6, game 5 was truly the unsung hero of the series. John Vampatella does a magnificent job of explaining why while providing tremendous background and anecdotes that all baseball fans will enjoy. The Forgotten Game is an absolute must for Red Sox fans of all ages!&” —Scott Cordischi, WEEI sports talk show host
By Gerald C. Wood. 2013
WINNER OF THE 2014 SEYMOUR MEDAL sponsored by the Society for American Baseball Research and finalist for 2014 SABR Larry…Ritter AwardThough his pitching career lasted only a few seasons, Howard Ellsworth &“Smoky Joe&” Wood was one of the most dominating figures in baseball history—a man many consider the best baseball player who is not in the Hall of Fame. About his fastball, Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson once said: &“Listen, mister, no man alive can throw harder than Smoky Joe Wood.&” Smoky Joe Wood chronicles the singular life befitting such a baseball legend. Wood got his start impersonating a female on the National Bloomer Girls team. A natural athlete, he pitched for the Boston Red Sox at eighteen, won twenty-one games and threw a no-hitter at twenty-one, and had a 34-5 record plus three wins in the 1912 World Series, for a 1.91 ERA, when he was just twenty-two. Then in 1913 Wood suffered devastating injuries to his right hand and shoulder that forced him to pitch in pain for two more years. After sitting out the 1916 season, he came back as a converted outfielder and played another five years for the Cleveland Indians before retiring to coach the Yale University baseball team.With details culled from interviews and family archives, this biography, the first of this rugged player of the Deadball Era, brings to life one of the genuine characters of baseball history.
By David George Surdam. 2011
Organized baseball has survived its share of difficult times, and never was the state of the game more imperiled than…during the Great Depression. Or was it? Remarkably, during the economic upheavals of the Depression none of the sixteen Major League Baseball teams folded or moved. In this economist&’s look at the sport as a business between 1929 and 1941, David George Surdam argues that although it was a very tough decade for baseball, the downturn didn&’t happen immediately. The 1930 season, after the stock market crash, had record attendance. But by 1931 attendance began to fall rapidly, plummeting 40 percent by 1933. To adjust, teams reduced expenses by cutting coaches and hiring player-managers. While even the best players, such as Babe Ruth, were forced to take pay cuts, most players continued to earn the same pay in terms of purchasing power. Baseball remained a great way to make a living. Revenue sharing helped the teams in small markets but not necessarily at the expense of big-city teams. Off the field, owners devised innovative solutions to keep the game afloat, including the development of the Minor League farm system, night baseball, and the first radio broadcasts to diversify teams&’ income sources. Using research from primary documents, Surdam analyzes how the economic structure and operations side of Major League Baseball during the Depression took a beating but managed to endure, albeit changed by the societal forces of its time.
By Mort Zachter. 2015
In descriptions of athletes, the word “hero” is bandied about and liberally attached to players with outstanding statistics and championship…rings. Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life is the story of a man who epitomized heroism in its truest meaning, holding values and personal interactions to be of utmost importance throughout his life—on the diamond, as a marine in World War II, and in his personal and civic life. A New York City icon and, with the Brooklyn Dodgers, one of the finest first basemen of all time, Gil Hodges (1924–72) managed the Washington Senators and later the New York Mets, leading the 1969 “Miracle Mets” to a World Series championship. A beloved baseball star, Hodges was also an ethical figure whose sturdy values both on and off the field once prompted a Brooklyn priest to tell his congregation to “go home, and say a prayer for Gil Hodges” in order to snap him out of the worst batting slump of his career.Mort Zachter examines Hodges’s playing and managing days, but perhaps more important, he unearths his true heroism by emphasizing the impact that Hodges’s humanity had on those around him on a daily basis. Hodges was a witty man with a dry sense of humor, and his dignity and humble sacrifice sometimes masked a temper that made Joe Torre refer to him as the “Quiet Inferno.” The honesty and integrity that made him so popular to so many remained his defining elements. Firsthand interviews of the many soldiers, friends, family, former teammates, players, and managers who knew and respected Hodges bring the totality of his life into full view, providing a rounded appreciation for this great man and ballplayer.
By Stephen King, Stewart O'Nan. 2004
Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan, lifelong Boston Red Sox addicts, chronicle the 2004 baseball season from spring training to the…last dramatic game, in their dramatic World Series-winning season.Who better to follow the fortunes of a 'cursed' team like the Boston Red Sox than two renowned horror writers and lifelong Red Sox addicts? Red Sox fans have seen it all since 1918... except that elusive World Championship. The memory of 2003's devastating ALCS Game 7 loss and the anticipation of new ace Curt Schilling's impact made this season that much more compelling. Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan joined the rest of the Red Sox Nation to cheer on the Olde Town Team, with the eternal hope that this might be their year. On 27th October 2004, the Red Sox finally prevailed, taking an unassailable 4-0 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the best of seven World Series. Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan's email correspondence about the dramatic and ultimately heartbreaking 2003 season inspired the idea for FAITHFUL, a book that records the Sox's 2004 baseball season from start to spectacular finish.
Why does a football spiral? How do some athletes jump so high? The answer is science! The Secret Science of…Sports helps kids better understand concepts of science, technology, engineering, and math through the sports they love to play and watch. Every sport -- from baseball to basketball, to football and soccer, to wrestling, tennis, and lacrosse -- involves a bit of science, technology, engineering, and math. You can't throw a ball without Newton's Law of Motion, and you can't calculate a player's stats without math. And every type of sports equipment -- a helmet, cleats, shoulder or knee pads -- were designed with the latest engineering and technology. The Secret Science of Sports breaks down normally difficult STEM concepts like forces of motion, gravity, algebra, and even neuroscience, in a language kids can -- and will want to -- understand. Divided into sections like chemistry, biology, physics, technology, and more, this handy guide uses examples from sports like soccer, baseball, softball, football, hockey, lacrosse, tennis, and others to explain important STEM concepts for kids ages 8 to 12. They'll learn how to use math to calculate a batter's average, why a tennis racket is shaped the way it is, how biology affects athletic performance, the aerodynamics behind competitive swimsuits, and much more. With dozens of original, captivating illustrations to engage young readers, kids will have fun while learning about key STEM ideas that will prepare them for years of schooling to come.
'No one does it better than Grisham' - Telegraph A father's guilt. A son's redemption. Thirty years have passed since…eleven-year-old Paul Tracy watched his troubled father, Warren, a pitcher for the New York Mets, clash with his childhood hero, the Cubs' golden-boy Joe Castle, in a contest from which no winners emerged.Now the news that his father is dying brings the memory of that day flooding back. Deciding that it's time to face up to what really happened on that baseball field in 1973, father and son make their way to Calico Rock, Arkansas, where either redemption or rejection awaits them.What readers are saying about CALICO JOE'Hooked from start to finish' - 5 STARS'Riveting' - 5 STARS'A delicious meal of a book!' - 5 STARS 350+ million copies, 45 languages, 9 blockbuster films:NO ONE WRITES DRAMA LIKE JOHN GRISHAM
By Chris Smith, Cc Sabathia. 2021
A raw, compelling memoir of baseball, family, fame, addiction, and recovery, by one of the most beloved baseball players of…his generation How does it feel to be born with enormous gifts, in a life shadowed by tragedy? What does it mean when the gift that opens the world for us is not enough to stop us from losing the things we love? And what new gifts do we find in that loss? Baseball had been CC Sabathia&’s life since he was a kid in gritty, baseball-obsessed Vallejo, California. He was a star by the time he was a preteen and a professional athlete when he was still a teenager. Everything he knew about how to be a person—an adult, a husband and father, a leader—he learned in rhythm with the baseball season, the every-fifth-day high-intensity spotlight of a starting pitcher, all while dealing with one of the sport&’s most turbulent eras: racism in a sport with diminishing black presence; the era of performance-enhancing drugs; and the increasing tension between high-value contracts and sports owners who moved players around like game pieces. But his biggest struggle was with his own body and mind: Buoyed his whole life by talent and a fiery competitive spirit, CC found himself dealing with the steady and eventually alarming breakdown of his own body and his growing addiction in a world that encouraged and enabled it.Till the End is the thrilling memoir of one of the most beloved players in the game, a veteran star of the sport&’s marquee team during its latest championship era. It&’s also a book about baseball—about the ins and outs of its most important and technical position and its evolution in this volatile era. But woven within it is the moving, universal story of resilience and mortality and discovering what matters.
By Marc Bona. 2021
Cleveland sports history goes well beyond The Shot, The Fumble, The Drive and so many other ignoble moments. Many of…the city's most illustrious sports tales are long-forgotten chapters of tribulations and tragedy, of fleeting fame and enduring milestones. There are forgotten firsts, such as football's first pass and the invention of baseball's slider having ties to Cleveland. There are overshadowed tragedies like a fatal crash involving an Indians pitcher occurring the same year two of the team's hurlers were killed in a high-profile boating accident. And then there are the near misses--like George Steinbrenner coming within seconds of owning the Indians and a famous musician who almost became a Cleveland Brown. From basketball to boxing, hockey to Heisman, journalist Marc Bona chronicles more than a century of unremembered tales.
By Michael Tackett. 2016
From an award-winning journalist, a real Field of Dreams story about a legendary coach and the professional-caliber baseball program he…built in America's heartland, where boys come summer after summer to be molded into ballplayers -- and men Clarinda, Iowa, population 5,000, sits two hours from anything. There, between the corn fields and hog yards, is a ball field with a bronze bust of a man named Merl Eberly, a baseball whisperer who specialized in second chances and lost causes. The statue was a gift from one of Merl's original long-shot projects, a skinny kid from the ghetto in Los Angeles who would one day become a beloved Hall-of-Fame shortstop: Ozzie Smith. The Baseball Whisperer traces the remarkable story of Merl Eberly and his Clarinda A's baseball team, which he tended over the course of five decades, transforming them from a town team to a collegiate summer league powerhouse. Along with Ozzie Smith, future manager Bud Black, and star player Von Hayes, Merl developed scores of major league players (six of which are currently playing). In the process, Merl taught them to be men, insisting on hard work, integrity, and responsibility. More than a book about ballplayers who landed in the nation's agricultural heartland, The Baseball Whisperer is the story of a coach who puts character and dedication first, and reminds us of the best, purest form of baseball excellence.
In the summer of 1932, with the Cubs in the thick of the pennant race, Billy Jurges broke off his…relationship with Violet Popovich to focus on baseball. The famously beautiful showgirl took it poorly, marching into his hotel room with a revolver in her purse. Both were wounded in the ensuing struggle, but Jurges refused to press charges. Even without their star shortstop, Chicago made it to the World Series, only to be on the wrong end of Babe Ruth's legendary Called Shot. Using hundreds of original sources, Jack Bales profiles the lives of the ill-fated couple and traces the ripple effects of the shooting on the Cubs' tumultuous season.
With The Gashouse Gang, John Heidenry delivers the definitive account of one the greatest and most colorful baseball teams of…all times, the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals, filled with larger-than-life baseball personalities like Branch Rickey, Leo Durocher, Pepper Martin, Casey Stengel, Satchel Paige, Frankie Frisch, andespecially the eccentric good ol' boy and great pitcher Dizzy Dean and his brother Paul. The year 1934 marked the lowest point of the Great Depression, when the U. S. went off the gold standard, banks collapsed by the score, and millions of Americans were out of work. Epic baseball feats offered welcome relief from the hardships of daily life. The Gashouse Gang, the brilliant culmination of a dream by its general manager, Branch Rickey, the first to envision a farm system that would acquire and "educate" young players in the art of baseball, was adored by the nation, who saw itselfscruffy, proud, and unbeatablein the Gang. Based on original research and told in entertaining narrative style, The Gashouse Gang brings a bygone era and a cast full of vivid personalities to life and unearths a treasure trove of baseball lore that will delight any fan of the great American pastime.
By Bill White, Willie Mays. 2011
There are very few major personalities in the world of sports who have so much to say about our National…Pastime. And even fewer who are as well respected as Bill White.Bill White, who's now in his mid 70s, was an All-Star first baseman for many years with the New York Giants, St.Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies before launching a stellar broadcasting career with the New York Yankees for 18 years. He left the broadcast booth to become the President of the National League for five years. A true pioneer as an African-American athlete, sportscaster, and top baseball executive, White has written his long-awaited autobiography in which he will be candid, open, and as always, most forthcoming about his life in baseball. Along the way, White shares never-before-told stories about his long working relationship with Phil Rizzutto, insights on George Steinbrenner, Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Bob Gibson, Bart Giamatti, Fay Vincent, and scores of other top baseball names and Hall of Famers. Best of all, White built his career on being outspoken, and the years fortunately have not mellowed him. UPPITY is a baseball memoir that baseball fans everywhere will be buzzing about.
Running Press Book Publishers: Baseball's Best Players Reflect on the Fathers Who Inspired Them to Love the Game
By Author Kevin Neary, Leigh A. Tobin. 2012
By Tom Brokaw, The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. 2014
A deluxe baseball treasury unlike any other, complete with essays, photos, and player bios from The National Baseball Hall of…Fame and Museum.Everyone dreams of Cooperstown. It's a hallowed name in baseball, for players as well as their fans. It's a house where legends live; it's everything that's great about the game. Never before has the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum published a complete registry of inductees with plaques, photographs, and extended biographies. In this unique, 75th anniversary edition, read the stories of every player inducted into the Hall, organized by position. Each section begins with an original essay by a living Hall of Famer who played that position: Hank Aaron, George Brett, Orlando Cepeda, Carlton Fisk, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Morgan, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken Jr., Nolan Ryan, and Robin Yount.