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Foreword by Doris Kearns Goodwin 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 twenty 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 twenty-first 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 forty 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 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. Illustrated with sixteen pages of photographs.
A daily fix of stats, trivia, and ballfield lore for baseball fans. The green of the field; the roar of the crowd; the crack of the bat when it connects with the ball, knocking it out of sight: This is the calendar that takes obsessive baseball fans right to the ballpark. Every day is packed with stats, history, and fascinating factoids. There are immortal records: Name the National League player who holds the record for stealing home the most times in a season*: A) Jackie Robinson, B) Pete Reiser, C) Tim Raines, D) Lou Brock. Quotes: My own little rule was two for one--if one of my teammates got knocked down, then I knocked down two on the other team.--Don Drysdale, Hall of Fame pitcher. Plus awards, famous firsts, dubious distinctions, and more. *B: Dodgers outfielder "Pistol Pete" Reiser stole home seven times in 1946.
In Inventing Baseball Heroes, Amber Roessner examines "herocrafting" in sports journalism through an incisive analysis of the work surrounding two of baseball's most enduring personalities -- Detroit Tigers outfielder Ty Cobb and New York Giants pitcher Christy Mathewson. While other scholars have demonstrated that the mythmakers of the Golden Age of Sports Writing (1920--1930) manufactured heroes out of baseball players for the mainstream media, Roessner probes further, with a penetrating look at how sportswriters compromised emerging professional standards of journalism as they crafted heroic tales that sought to teach American boys how to be successful players in the game of life.
Cobb and Mathewson, respectively stereotyped as the game's sinner and saint, helped shape their public images in the mainstream press through their relationship with four of the most prominent sports journalists of the time: Grantland Rice, F. C. Lane, Ring Lardner, and John N. Wheeler. Roessner traces the interactions between the athletes and the reporters, delving into newsgathering strategies as well as rapport-building techniques, and ultimately revealing an inherent tension in objective sports reporting in the era.
Inventing Baseball Heroes will be of interest to scholars of American history, sports history, cultural studies, and communication. Its interdisciplinary approach provides a broad understanding of the role sports journalists played in the production of American heroes.
Imagining a year in which the Phillies never lose a single game, this idealistic resource identifies the most memorable victory in the team's history on every single day of the baseball calendar season, from late March to late October. Ranging from games with incredible historical significance and individual achievement to those with high drama and high stakes, the book envisions the impossible: a blemish-free Phillies season. Evocative photos, original quotes, thorough research, and engaging prose and analysis add another dimension.
To everyone who truly loves the game, Mickey Mantle epitomizes the golden age of baseball, when the mighty New York Yankees indisputably ruled, appearing in an unprecedented twelve World Series in fourteen years! In this intimate memoir, Mantle recounts the joys and trials of his rise from rural Oklahoma youngster to the pinnacle of baseball greatness.
In "All My Octobers," the one and only Mick relives every one of his World Series appearances -- from the 1951 battle when he played alongside an aging Joe DiMaggio to his three-home-run performance in the 1964 showdown. In addition to the on-field heroics, Mantle talks candidly about the injuries, the alcohol, the parties and celebrations, and the terrible toll they can take on a young athlete's life. But most of all, it is a remembrance of October greatness, of postseason pyrotechnics . . . and a loving appreciation of a team of titans that achieved something marvelous and unequaled to this day.
A riveting look at what is really said and done behind closed doors with the New York Yankees, the most famous and wealthiest sports franchise in the world Using the 2018 baseball season as the backdrop, Inside the Empire gives readers the real, unvarnished "straight-from-the-gut" truth from Brian Cashman, Aaron Boone, Giancarlo Stanton, C.C. Sabathia--even Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine--and many more. This is baseball's version of HBO's award-winning NFL series "Hard Knocks." Klapisch and Solotaroff take you deep into the Yankees clubhouse, their dugout, and the front office and pull back the curtain so that every fan can see what really goes on. Bottom line? You may think you know everything about the storied franchise of the New York Yankees and what makes them tick. But Inside the Empire will set the record straight, and drop bombshells about iconic figures along the way. There's never been a baseball book quite like it.
An important and forgotten chapter in sports and African American history. Here is the first in-depth account of the birth of black baseball and its dramatic passage from grass-roots venture to commercial enterprise. In the late nineteenth century resourceful black businessmen founded ball teams that became the Negro Leagues. Racial bias aside, they faced vast odds, from the need to court white sponsors to negotiating ball parks. With no blacks in cities, they barnstormed small towns to attract fans, employing all manner of gimmickry to rouse attention. Drawing on major newspapers and obscure African-American journals, the author explores the diverse forces that shaped minority baseball. He looks unflinchingly at prejudice in amateur and pro circles and constant inadequate press coverage. He assesses the impact of urbanization, migration, and the rise of northern ghettoes, and he applauds those bold innovators who forged black baseball into a parallel club that appealed to whites yet nurtured a uniquely African American playing style. This was black baseball's finest hour: at once a source of great ethnic pride and a hardwon pathway for integration into the mainstream.
In a rare memoir about the Negro Leagues and its celebrated players, Frazier "Slow" Robinson offers an inspiring and often entertaining view of the black baseball diamond through a catcher's mask. In 1939, at the age of 29--after playing professional baseball for twelve years--Frazier Robinson caught the legendary Satchel Paige in barnstorming games from New Orleans to Walla Walla. Robinson played several more seasons in the Negro Leagues before finishing his career in Canada. While his career was a solid one, it was less spectacular than that of his friend and Hall-of-Famer, Satchel Paige, and so more typical of the experience of most Negro Leaguers. Richly embroidered with the threads of black society and of life as a black athlete in a racially divided nation, Robinson recounts his long career with the skill and ease of a natural storyteller. He covers, in remarkable detail, the personal perspective of the men, the teams, and the times that shaped this uniquely American subculture. From playing catcher for obscure industrial teams to barnstorming with Satchel Paige, he chronologically traces his nationwide path through the 1920s, '30s, '40s, and early '50s. The Foreword by John "Buck" O'Neil and Introduction by Gerald Early place Robinson squarely in the world of sports, African American culture, and American history.
In the vein of The Cubs Way and Astroball, the captivating inside story of the historic 2018 Boston Red Sox, as told through the assembly and ascendancy of their talented young core--the culmination of nearly a decade of reporting from a rising star at the Boston Globe. The 2018 season was a coronation for the Boston Red Sox. The best team in Major League Baseball--indeed, one of the best teams ever--the Sox won 108 regular season games and then romped through the postseason, going 11-3 against the three next-strongest teams baseball had to offer. As Boston Globe baseball reporter Alex Speier reveals, the Sox' success wasn't a fluke--nor was it guaranteed. It was the result of careful, patient planning and shrewd decision-making that allowed the Boston to develop a golden generation of prospects--and then build upon that talented core to assemble a formidable champion. Speier has covered the key players--Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley, Matt Barnes, and many others--since the beginning of their professional careers, as they rose through the minor leagues and ultimately became the heart of this historic championship squad. Drawing upon hundreds of interviews and years of reporting, Homegrown is the definitive look at the construction and ascendency of an extraordinary team. It is a story that offers startling insights for baseball fans of any team, and anyone looking for the secret to building a successful organization. Why do many highly touted prospects fail, while others rise out of obscurity to become transcendent? How can franchises help young players reach their full potential? And why, when teams invest tens of millions of dollars in young talent, are they so poor at providing them with a framework to thrive? Illustrated with eight pages of color photographs, Homegrown is the fascinating inside account of one of the greatest baseball teams ever, and a meditation on how to build a winner.
Imagining a year in which the lovable losers never lose a single game, this idealistic resource identifies the most memorable victory in Chicago Cubs history on every single day of the baseball calendar season, from late March to late October. Ranging from games with incredible historical significance and individual achievement to those with high drama and high stakes, the book envisions the impossible: a blemish-free Cubs season. Evocative photos, original quotes, thorough research, and engaging prose and analysis add another dimension.
This exhilarating account skips the unforgettable athletic achievements, heroic performers, and exhilarating moments that remind fans of everything they love about sports and honest competition and gives the real skinny on baseball's unknown history. Author Robert Schnakenberg takes readers through a decidedly snarky trip through the game's rich history of buffoonery, thuggery, fashion missteps, ballpark promotions gone awry, batboys with metals claws for hands, afros, mustaches, mistresses, overzealous mascots, existence-of-dinosaurs deniers, indelible baseball-themed candy bars, wife-swapping, and hundreds of other unbelievable-but-true aspects of America's national pastime.
This is the untold story of black semi-professional baseball in the Lone Star State. While baseball may have long been considered an all-American sport in which a melting pot could celebrate ethnic heroes like Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Connie Mack, and Stan Musial, racial segregation excluded blacks from an otherwise democratic picture. Such was certainly the case in Texas, where, in the state's first professional matchup soon after the Civil War, the R. E. Lees faced the Stonewalls-and African Americans, not surprisingly, played no part. Drawing upon oral histories and mining such rare sources as rosters and box scores from black newspapers, Rob Fink situates Texas' African American teams and players against the rise and decline of professional Negro Leagues. From the 1880s Galveston Flyaways through Dallas shortstop Ernie Banks' signing with the Chicago Cubs in 1953, ""Playing in Shadows"" brings to light an important but little-studied inning in American sport.
IN THE GRAND TRADITION OF "EIGHT MEN OUT" . . .
Did the Chicago Cubs throw the World Series in 1918--and get away with it?
Who were the players involved--and why did they do it?
Were gambling and corruption more widespread across the leagues than previously believed?
Were the players and teams "cursed" by their actions?
Finally, is it time to rewrite baseball history?
With exclusive access to surprising new evidence, Sporting News reporter Sean Deveney details a scandal at the core of baseball's greatest folklore--in a golden era as exciting and controversial as our sports world today. This inside look at the pivotal year of 1918 proves that baseball has always been a game overrun with colorful characters, intense human drama, and explosive controversy.
""The Original Curse" is not just about baseball. It is a
sweeping portrait of America at war in 1918. . . . In the end, the
proper question is not, 'How could a player from that era fix the
World Series?' It's, 'How could he not?'"
"Sean Deveney plays connect-the-dots in this intriguing account
of a possible conspiracy to throw the 1918 World Series. Thoroughly
researched and well written, "The Original Curse" is a must-read
for baseball fans and anyone who loves a good mystery. Is Max Flack
the Shoeless Joe of the 1918 Cubs? Deveney lays out the case and
let's readers decide if the fix was in."
"This book gives the reader a fun and honest look at baseball as
it used to be-- the good guys, the gamblers, the cheaters, the
drunks, the inept leaders. But, more than that, it puts those
characters into the context of Chicago, Boston and America at the
time of World War I, and you wind up with a unique way to explain
the motivations of those characters."
"Deveney's painstaking study of the 1918 World Series between
the Cubs and Red Sox argues that the Black Sox scandal was not an
aberration and might have had an antecedent. Deveney's scholarship
does not detract from his ability to spin a good tale: his tendency
to imagine players' conversations will remind readers of Leigh
Montville's "The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth."... A
welcome companion to Susan Dellinger's "Red Legs and Black Sox: Edd
Roush and the Untold Story of the 1919 World Series," Deveney's
book contributes greatly to our understanding of this decisive
period in baseball and American morals."
I really do believe I would be way up at the top of everything if I hadn't been injured. When I was healthy, I really believe I was the best of anyone I ever saw play.-Mickey Mantle, reflecting on his career Mickey Mantle is one of baseball's all-time greats. Playing for the New York Yankees for his entire professional career, Mantle was named to the All-Star team for 11 consecutive seasons, won three MVP awards, and was a seven-time World Series champion. He quickly became an icon who achieved hero status even while playing through injuries for most of his career. In Mantle: The Best There Ever Was, Tony Castro makes the impassioned argument that Mickey Mantle truly was the greatest ballplayer of all time. Acclaimed by the New York Times as the definitive biographer of baseball's fabled number 7, Castro shares many of his personal conversations with Mantle, demystifying the legend and revealing intimate, never-before-published details from Mantle's personal life. In addition, Castro offers illuminating new insights into Mantle's extraordinary career, including the head-turning conclusion based on the evolution of analytics that the beloved Yankee switch-hitting slugger may ultimately win acclaim as having fulfilled the weighty expectation once placed on him: being even greater than Babe Ruth. Drawing from hundreds of interviews with ex-teammates, friends, and family, Castro masterfully blends Mantle's public and private selves to present a fully rounded portrait of this complex, misunderstood national hero.
From the perspective of 2007, the unintentional irony of Chance's boast is manifest-- these days, the question is when will the Cubs ever win a game they have to have. In October 1908, though, no one would have laughed: The Cubs were, without doubt, baseball's greatest team-- the first dynasty of the 20th century. Crazy '08 recounts the 1908 season-- the year when Peerless Leader Frank Chance's men went toe to toe to toe with John McGraw and Christy Mathewson's New York Giants and Honus Wagner's Pittsburgh Pirates in the greatest pennant race the National League has ever seen. The American League has its own three-cornered pennant fight, and players like Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, and the egregiously crooked Hal Chase ensured that the junior circuit had its moments. But it was the National League's-- and the Cubs'-- year. Crazy '08, however, is not just the exciting story of a great season. It is also about the forces that created modern baseball, and the America that produced it. In 1908, crooked pols run Chicago's First Ward, and gambling magnates control the Yankees. Fans regularly invade the field to do handstands or argue with the umps; others shoot guns from rickety grandstands prone to burning. There are anarchists on the loose and racial killings in the town that made Lincoln. On the flimsiest of pretexts, General Abner Doubleday becomes a symbol of Americanism, and baseball's own anthem, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, is a hit. Picaresque and dramatic, 1908 is a season in which so many weird and wonderful things happen that it is somehow unsurprising that a hairpiece, a swarm of gnats, a sudden bout of lumbago, and a disasterdown in the mines all play a role in its outcome. And sometimes the events are not so wonderful at all. There are several deaths by baseball, and the shadow of corruption creeps closer to the heart of baseball-- the honesty of the game itself. Simply put, 1908 is the year that baseball grew up. Oh, and it was the last time the Cubs won the World Series. Destined to be as memorable as the season it documents, Crazy '08 sets a new standard for what a book about baseball can be.
Everyone knows Yogi Berra, the American icon. He was the backbone of the New York Yankees through ten World Series Championships, managed the National League Champion New York Mets in 1973, and his inscrutable Yogi-isms remain an indelible part of our lexicon. But no one knew him like his family did. My Dad, Yogi is Dale Berra's story of his unshakeable bond with his father, as well as a unique and intimate perspective on one of the great sports figures of the 20th Century. When Yogi wasn't playing or coaching, or otherwise in the public eye, he was home in the New Jersey suburbs, spending time with his beloved wife, Carmen, and his three boys, Larry, Tim, and Dale. Dale chronicles--as only a son could--his family's history, his parents' enduring relationship, and his dad's storied career. Throughout Dale's youth, he had a firsthand look at the Major Leagues, often by his dad's side during Yogi's years as a coach and manager. Dale got to know players like Tom Seaver, Bud Harrelson, and Cleon Jones. Mickey Mantle, Don Larsen, and Phil Rizzuto were lifelong family friends. Dale and his brothers all became professional athletes, following in their dad's footsteps. Dale came up with a great Pittsburgh Pirates team, playing shortstop for several years before he was traded to the New York Yankees and briefly united with his dad. But there were extraordinary challenges. Dale was implicated in a major cocaine scandal involving some of the biggest names in the sport, and his promising career was cut short by his drug problem. Yogi supported his son all along, ultimately staging an intervention. Dale's life was saved by his father's love, and My Dad, Yogi is Dale's tribute, and a must-have for baseball fans and fathers and sons everywhere.
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