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It's Tory Dare's first week on the job in a small New England town, about 50 miles and thirty years south of Boston. First headache for the new town administrator.
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Creamer reveals the complex man behind the sports legend. From Ruth's early days in a Baltimore orphanage, to the glory days with the Yankees, to his later years, Creamer has drawn a classic portrait of an American original. The Lords of the Realm by John Helyar.

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Helyar Barbarians at the Gate presents a history of player-owner labor relations that dissects baseball for the big-business it is. As background, he shows how the owners intimidated players into accepting low salaries and prohibited their movement through the reserve clause, which made the player the property of his team forever. The central character of the book is union organizer Marvin Miller. Helyar relates how Miller overcame anti-union feelings of the players, and how he succeeded in overturning the reserve clause with the cases of Catfish Hunter, Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith.

He scored another win after the strike of , when he hood-winked the baseball owners into salary arbitration, which grossly inflated salaries. We're shown the commissioners: pompous Bowie Kuhn; Peter Ueberroth and his disastrous "collusion" policies that caused the owners to pay millions of dollars in retribution to players for restricting their free movement; and Fay Vincent, whose tenure was soap-operish.

This enlightening and provocative book may be too legalistic for the casual fan.

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The Summer Game by Roger Angell. The headlines proclaimed the fix of the World Series and attempted cover-up as "the most gigantic sporting swindle in the history of America! Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire scene-by-scene story of the fantastic scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation's leading gamblers to throw the Series in Cincinnati.

Asinof vividly describes the tense meetings, the hitches in the conniving, the actual plays in which the Series was thrown, the Grand Jury indictment, and the famous trial. Moving behind the scenes, he perceptively examines the motives and backgrounds of the players and the conditions that made the improbable fix all too possible. Here, too, is a graphic picture of the American underworld that managed the fix, the deeply shocked newspapermen who uncovered the story, and the war-exhausted nation that turned with relief and pride to the Series, only to be rocked by the scandal.


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Far more than a superbly told baseball story, this is a compelling slice of American history in the aftermath of World War I and at the cusp of the Roaring Twenties. A False Spring by Pat Jordan. In A False Spring , Pat Jordan traces the falling star of his once-promising pitching career, illuminating along the way his equally difficult personal struggles and quest for maturity.

As the promised land of the majors recedes because of his inconsistency and lack of control, the young man who had previously known only glory and success is forced to face himself.

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Summer of '49 by David Halberstam. Baseball came of age in the summer of Postwar America looked to baseball for a sense of normalcy in its life; television began to have an impact on the sport; Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Summer of '49 is more than a collection of anecdotes. It is a study of all the elements and personalities that influenced baseball that year and beyond. Halberstam brings them together in such an enjoyable, interesting, and informative manner that a reader needn't be a baseball fan to appreciate the book.

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The Natural by Bernard Malamud. He has really raised the whole passion and craziness and fanaticism of baseball as a popular spectacle to its ordained place in mythology. In this gripping account of one of the most important steps in the history of American desegregation, Jules Tygiel tells the story of Jackie Robinson's crossing of baseball's color line.


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Examining the social and historical context of Robinson's introduction into white organized baseball, both on and off the field, Tygiel also tells the often neglected stories of other African-American players--such as Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron--who helped transform our national pastime into an integrated game. Drawing on dozens of interviews with players and front office executives, contemporary newspaper accounts, and personal papers, Tygiel provides the most telling and insightful account of Jackie Robinson's influence on American baseball and society.

The Southpaw by Mark Harris. The Southpaw is a story about coming of age in America by way of the baseball diamond. Lefthander Henry Wiggen, six feet three, a hundred ninety-five pounds, and the greatest pitcher going, grows to manhood in a right-handed world.

From his small-town beginnings to the top of the game, Henry finds out how hard it is to please his coach, his girl, and the sports page—and himself, too—all at once. Although Mark Harris loves and writes tellingly about the pleasures of baseball, his primary subject has always been the human condition and the shifts of mortal men and women as they try to understand and survive what life has dealt them. This new Bison Books edition celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Southpaw.

In his introduction to this edition, Mark Harris discusses the genesis of the novel in his own life experience. Arguing about the merits of players is the baseball fan's second favorite pastime and every year the Hall of Fame elections spark heated controversy.

In a book that's sure to thrill--and infuriate--countless fans, Bill James takes a hard look at the Hall, probing its history, its politics and, most of all, its decisions. Joe DiMaggio was, at every turn, one man we could look at who made us feel good. In the hard-knuckled thirties, he was the immigrant boy who made it big -- and spurred the New York Yankees to a new era of dynasty. He was Broadway Joe, the icon of elegance, the man who wooed and won Marilyn Monroe -- the most beautiful girl America could dream up.

Joe DiMaggio was a mirror of our best self. And he was also the loneliest hero we ever had. In this groundbreaking biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Richard Ben Cramer presents a shocking portrait of a complicated, enigmatic life. The story that DiMaggio never wanted told, tells of his grace -- and greed; his dignity, pride -- and hidden shame.

It is a story that sweeps through the twentieth century, bringing to light not just America's national game, but the birth and the price of modern national celebrity. Total Baseball by John Thorn The most complete, authoritative, and informative baseball encyclopedia available. No other book gives you: 1 The complete statistics for all of the more than 13, major league players, with a full array of new and revealing stats compiled from an unparalleled historical database. The Long Season by Jim Brosnan The classic inside account of a baseball year by a major league pitcher. It begins, appropriately, with the winter doldrums and sweating out a new contract, then follows the author and his family to spring training in Florida and through the full season's schedule to October.

One of the best baseball books ever written. It is probably one of the best American diaries as well. He helped virtually end the system that bound an athlete to one team forever, and thereby raised salaries enormously. New Thinking Fan's Guide to Baseball by Leonard Koppett An updated, rewritten version of the baseball classic, A Thinking Man's Guide to Baseball , this book by New York Times national edition columnist Koppett delivers what its title promises: a challenging, thoughtful discourse on a sport that, for the true fan, cannot be overanalyzed.

Drawing on his decades of baseball reporting since the days the Dodgers and Giants called New York home and countless interviews with players, managers and others, the author addresses all facets of the game--from elements of play on the field to "behind the scenes" subjects, including, significantly, lawyers and agents. Often, the less obvious topics are most compelling, such as the chapter on signs and his argument that managers "who have great effect on any given game are the exceptional ones.

Throughout Koppett provides historical perspective and shows that the "changeless" game has always changed and continues to change. Reading this is the fan's equivalent of players' spring training. The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics by Alan Schwarz and Peter Gammons Sports journalist Schwarz brings to the fore this intelligent, smartly researched and often hilarious look at the use of statistics in baseball, which Schwarz definitively shows to "date back to the game's earliest days in the 19th century.

The book's success is rooted in its focus on the people "obsessed with baseball's statistics ever since the box score started it all in ," rather than being about the statistics themselves.

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The reader is presented with enthusiastic but unvarnished looks at such key figures as Henry Chadwick, whose love for numbers led to his inventing the box score grid that remains, Schwarz shows, "virtually unchanged to this day"; Allan Roth, the numbers man hired by the Brooklyn Dodgers who was as important to the team's success as its famed GM Branch Rickey; and the all-but-forgotten work of George Lindsey, one of the first people to apply statistical analysis to weigh various baseball strategies.

Delivered in a delightfully breezy and confident style, this volume also serves as an excellent alternate or parallel history of the sport, as we see how the statistics influenced the game itself—such as the banning of the spitball—as much as they were used to detail individual games. You Know me Al by Ring W. Lardner First great success of Ring Lardner was "You Know Me Al", a fictional series of letters from a popular baseball hero to his friend, slowly revealing the hero as a semiliterate, crude, conceited, self-deceiving boob.


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It was later published in the book form in You Know Me Al shows Lardner as a satirical master: a fine and misanthropic storyteller with a excellent feel for the niceties of characters and speech. Nine Innings by Daniel Okrent You'll never watch baseball the same way again. A timeless baseball classic and a must read for any fan worthy of the name, Nine Innings dissects a single baseball game played in June -- inning by inning, play by play. Daniel Okrent, a seasoned writer and lifelong fan, chose as his subject a Milwaukee Brewers Baltimore Orioles match up, though it could have been any game, because, as Okrent reveals, the essence of baseball, no matter where or when it's played, has been and will always be the same.

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In this particular moment of baseball history you will discover myriad aspects of the sport that are crucial to its nature but so often invisible to the fans -- the hidden language of catchers' signals, the physiology of pitching, the balance sheet of a club owner, the gait of a player stepping up to the plate. With the purity of heart and unwavering attention to detail that characterize our national pastime, Okrent goes straight to the core of the world's greatest game. You'll never watch baseball the same way again.

Baseball had Red Smith. Through his unmatched diction, allusions and irony, through his penetrating observations and well-considered opinions, through a style verging on poetic--Smith turned the everyday drama that is the game into beautiful, enduring art. This magnificent collection of selected columns showcases some of baseball's mythic figures, revealing that it was Red Smith who helped give them their legendary status. Smith's essays on Bobby Thomson's "shot heard 'round the world," Mickey Mantle's first game and Don Larsen's no-hit pitching in the World Series are all worthy of memorization, and his trenchant views on the reserve clause and the night World Series games are strikes down the middle.

As a bonus, the collection offers readers a fascinating look at how baseball writing has changed over the years, as have American attitudes. By the end, for example, women are no longer referred to as "tomatoes," and "coloreds" have become "blacks. Louis Cardinals, but this should in no way prevent any baseball fan from enjoying this book.

During one at-bat this talented slugger lined a ball so hard that the right fielder was able to play it off the top of the fence and throw Christobel Torrienti out at first base. The scout liked what he saw, but was disappointed in the player's appearance. In Only the Ball Was White, Robert Peterson tells the forgotten story of these excluded ballplayers, and gives them the recognition they were so long denied. Reconstructing the old Negro Leagues from contemporary sports publications, accounts of games in the black press, and through interviews with the men who actually played the game, Peterson brings to life the fascinating period that stretched from shortly after the Civil War to the signing of Jackie Robinson in We watch as the New York Black Yankees and the Philadelphia Crawfords take the field, look on as the East-West All-Star lineups are announced, and listen as the players themselves tell of the struggle and glory that was black baseball.

In addition to these vivid accounts, Peterson includes yearly Negro League standings and an all-time register of players and officials, making the book a treasure trove of baseball information and lore. From the subway ride to the ballpark, through batting practice and warm-ups, to the game-winning home run, A Day in the Bleachers describes inning by inning the strategies, heroics, and ineluctable rhythms of the opening game of the World Series. Here are the spectacular exploits of the Indians and Giants, and of a young player named Willie Mays, who made the most-talked-about catch in baseball history.

October by David Halberstam. Pulitzer Prize-winner Halberstam has always had a fondness for sports, and occasionally he turns away from his more "serious" historical pursuits to explore a particularly resonant moment in sporting time. Here it's the major-league baseball season, especially the World Series, which pitted the New York Yankees against the St.

Louis Cardinals. Halberstam likes to place his sports reporting within a significant social context, and this time he isolates the last pennant for the Yankee dynasty that stretched back to Babe Ruth and the late s--as signifying the end of an era dominated by mostly white, power-hitting baseball.

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The Cardinals, with their three black starters in the field and All-Star pitcher Bob Gibson, were ushering in a new era of speed and black stars. Halberstam wants to hang his hat on the theory that baseball changed dramatically in , and though he seems to be stretching a bit, let's give it to him. What really matters to most readers, after all, isn't the historical premise but the particulars: Halberstam's unerring eye for detail, his sense of team dynamics, and his sensitive, thoughtful profiles of the players and managers--including Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, and Elston Howard on the Yanks and Bob Gibson, Curt Flood, Bill White, and Lou Brock on the Cards.

Halberstam profiles each at length, how their past shaped their present and future, and he does the same with the teams. By any standard, this is a thoughtful, entertaining, and illuminating examination of two intriguing teams from baseball's golden era. Expect high demand among boomer-age fans. In the numbers-obsessed sport of baseball, statistics don't merely record what players, managers, and owners have done. Properly understood, they can tell us how the teams we root for could employ better strategies, put more effective players on the field, and win more games.

The revolution in baseball statistics that began in the s is a controversial subject that professionals and fans alike argue over without end.