The Cooperstown Casebook

The Cooperstown Casebook Author Jay Jaffe
ISBN-10 9781466882188
Release 2017-07-25
Pages 368
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The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, tucked away in upstate New York in a small town called Cooperstown, is far from any major media market or big league stadium. Yet no sports hall of fame’s membership is so hallowed, nor its qualifications so debated, nor its voting process so dissected. Since its founding in 1936, the Hall of Fame’s standards for election have been nebulous, and its selection processes arcane, resulting in confusion among voters, not to mention mistakes in who has been recognized and who has been bypassed. Numerous so-called “greats” have been inducted despite having not been so great, while popular but controversial players such as all-time home run leader Barry Bonds and all-time hits leader Pete Rose are on the outside looking in. Now, in The Cooperstown Casebook, Jay Jaffe shows us how to use his revolutionary ranking system to ensure the right players are recognized. The foundation of Jaffe’s approach is his JAWS system, an acronym for the Jaffe WAR Score, which he developed over a decade ago. Through JAWS, each candidate can be objectively compared on the basis of career and peak value to the players at his position who are already in the Hall of Fame. Because of its utility, JAWS has gained an increasing amount of exposure in recent years. Through his analysis, Jaffe shows why the Hall of Fame still matters and how it can remain relevant in the 21st century.



The Cooperstown Casebook

The Cooperstown Casebook Author Jay Jaffe
ISBN-10 9781250071217
Release 2017-07-25
Pages 464
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The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, tucked away in upstate New York in a small town called Cooperstown, is far from any major media market or big league stadium. Yet no sports hall of fame’s membership is so hallowed, nor its qualifications so debated, nor its voting process so dissected. Since its founding in 1936, the Hall of Fame’s standards for election have been nebulous, and its selection processes arcane, resulting in confusion among voters, not to mention mistakes in who has been recognized and who has been bypassed. Numerous so-called “greats” have been inducted despite having not been so great, while popular but controversial players such as all-time home run leader Barry Bonds and all-time hits leader Pete Rose are on the outside looking in. Now, in The Cooperstown Casebook, Jay Jaffe shows us how to use his revolutionary ranking system to ensure the right players are recognized. The foundation of Jaffe’s approach is his JAWS system, an acronym for the Jaffe WAR Score, which he developed over a decade ago. Through JAWS, each candidate can be objectively compared on the basis of career and peak value to the players at his position who are already in the Hall of Fame. Because of its utility, JAWS has gained an increasing amount of exposure in recent years. Through his analysis, Jaffe shows why the Hall of Fame still matters and how it can remain relevant in the 21st century.



Electric October

Electric October Author Kevin Cook
ISBN-10 9781250116574
Release 2017-08-15
Pages 320
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The story of six ordinary ballplayers whose paths crossed in the 1947 World Series--and the ways that epic October changed their lives The 1947 World Series was “the most exciting ever” in the words of Joe DiMaggio, with a decade’s worth of drama packed into seven games between the mighty New York Yankees and underdog Brooklyn Dodgers. It was Jackie Robinson’s first Series, a postwar spectacle featuring Frank Sinatra, Ernest Hemingway and President Harry Truman in supporting roles. It was also the first televised World Series – sportswriters called it “Electric October.” But for all the star power on display, the outcome hinged on role players: Bill Bevens, a journeyman who knocked on the door of pitching immortality; Al Gionfriddo and Cookie Lavagetto, bench players at the center of the Series’ iconic moments; Snuffy Stirnweiss, a wartime batting champion who never got any respect; and managers Bucky Harris and Burt Shotton, each an unlikely choice to run his team. Six men found themselves plucked from obscurity to shine on the sport’s greatest stage. But their fame was fleeting; three would never play another big-league game, and all six would be forgotten. Kevin Cook brings the ’47 Series back to life, introducing us to men whose past offered no hint they were destined for extraordinary things. For some, the Series was a memory to hold onto. For others, it would haunt them to the end of their days. And for us, Cook offers new insights—some heartbreaking, some uplifting—into what fame and glory truly mean.



What She Ate

What She Ate Author Laura Shapiro
ISBN-10 9780698178946
Release 2017-07-25
Pages 320
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A beloved culinary historian’s short takes on six famous women through the lens of food and cooking—what they ate and how their attitudes toward food offer surprising new insights into their lives. "Establishes Laura Shapiro as the founder of a delectable new literary genre: the culinary biography."--Megan Marshall, Pulitzer-prize winning biographer Everyone eats, and food touches on every aspect of our lives—social and cultural, personal and political. Yet most biographers pay little attention to people’s attitudes toward food, as if the great and notable never bothered to think about what was on the plate in front of them. Once we ask how somebody relates to food, we find a whole world of different and provocative ways to understand her. Food stories can be as intimate and revealing as stories of love, work, or coming-of-age. Each of the six women in this entertaining group portrait was famous in her time, and most are still famous in ours; but until now, nobody has told their lives from the point of view of the kitchen and the table. It’s a lively and unpredictable array of women; what they have in common with one another (and us) is a powerful relationship with food. They include Dorothy Wordsworth, whose food story transforms our picture of the life she shared with her famous poet brother; Rosa Lewis, the Edwardian-era Cockney caterer who cooked her way up the social ladder; Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and rigorous protector of the worst cook in White House history; Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress, who challenges our warm associations of food, family, and table; Barbara Pym, whose witty books upend a host of stereotypes about postwar British cuisine; and Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan, whose commitment to “having it all” meant having almost nothing on the plate except a supersized portion of diet gelatin.



Smart Baseball

Smart Baseball Author Keith Law
ISBN-10 9780062490254
Release 2017-04-25
Pages 304
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Predictably Irrational meets Moneyball in ESPN veteran writer and statistical analyst Keith Law’s iconoclastic look at the numbers game of baseball, proving why some of the most trusted stats are surprisingly wrong, explaining what numbers actually work, and exploring what the rise of Big Data means for the future of the sport. 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, teh 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.



Last Train to Cooperstown

Last Train to Cooperstown Author Kevin L. Mitchell
ISBN-10 1612964893
Release 2015-03-05
Pages 144
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Banned from Major League baseball for nearly the first half of the 20th Century due to racial discrimination, African Americans formed their own professional teams. In 2005 there were 24 former Negro League players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. However, this did not give Negro League baseball the recognition deserved for its contribution to the sport. A committee of baseball historians recommended seventeen other deserving inductees for the 2006 Hall of Fame class. This inadvertently shut the door on future inductees from the Negro Leagues. This could change with more research of the era in the future. But metaphorically, there will never be another train to Cooperstown from Negro League baseball like in 2006. "Last Train to Cooperstown" uncovers and brings to light the deep, unshakable, and everlasting roots African-Americans have in America's great game.



A Legend for the Legendary

A Legend for the Legendary Author James A. Vlasich
ISBN-10 0879724943
Release 1990-01-01
Pages 266
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The origins of baseball are controversial. James A. Vlasich discusses the debates between two men intimately involved in nineteenth-century baseball, Henry Chadwick and Albert G. Spalding. Abner Graves of the Mills Commission claimed that Abner Doubleday had invented the game and he had done it in Cooperstown, New York. This claim was scrutinized at the time but the myth became etched into baseball history. Through the years, however, some critics have questioned the Mills Commission report. The problem is that the Baseball Hall of Fame is built on this shaky foundation. The lack of diligence on the part of Spalding’s self-appointed committee has led to a credibility gap for the baseball shrine that continues a half century after its dedication. Indeed, the story of the building of the Baseball Hall of Fame is filled with intrigue worthy of a political thriller.



Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame

Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame Author Bill James
ISBN-10 9781439108376
Release 1995-04-06
Pages 464
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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.



The Year of the Pitcher

The Year of the Pitcher Author Sridhar Pappu
ISBN-10 9781328768131
Release 2017-10-03
Pages 400
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The Year of the Pitcher is the story of the remarkable 1968 baseball season, which culminated in one of the greatest World Series contests ever, with the Detroit Tigers coming back from a 3–1 deficit to beat the Cardinals in Game Seven of the World Series. In 1968, two remarkable pitchers would dominate the game as well as the broadsheets. One was black, the other white. Bob Gibson, together with the St. Louis Cardinals, embodied an entire generation's hope for integration at a heated moment in American history. Denny McLain, his adversary, was a crass self-promoter who eschewed the team charter and his Detroit Tigers teammates to zip cross-country in his own plane. For one season, the nation watched as these two men and their teams swept their respective league championships to meet at the World Series. Gibson set a major league record that year with a 1.12 ERA. McLain won more than 30 games in 1968, a feat not achieved since 1934 and untouched since. Together, the two have come to stand as iconic symbols, giving the fans “The Year of the Pitcher” and changing the game. Evoking a nostalgic season and its incredible characters, this is the story of one of the great rivalries in sports and an indelible portrait of the national pastime during a turbulent year—and the two men who electrified fans from all walks of life.



The Streak

The Streak Author John Eisenberg
ISBN-10 9780544103979
Release 2017-07-04
Pages 352
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The fascinating story of baseball’s legendary “Ironmen,” two players from different eras who each achieved the coveted and sometimes confounding record of most consecutive games played When Cal Ripken Jr. began his career with the Baltimore Orioles at age twenty-one, he had no idea he would someday beat the historic record of playing 2,130 games in a row, a record set forty-two years before by the fabled “Iron Horse” of the New York Yankees, Lou Gehrig. Ripken went on to surpass that record by 502 games, and the baseball world was floored. Few feats in sports history have generated more acclaim. But the record spawns an array of questions. When did someone first think it was a good idea to play in so many games without taking a day off? Who owned the record before Gehrig? Whose streak—Gehrig’s or Ripken’s—was the more difficult achievement? Through probing research, meticulous analysis, and colorful parallel storytelling, The Streak delves into this impressive but controversial milestone, unraveling Gehrig’s at-times unwitting pursuit of that goal (Babe Ruth used to think Gehrig crazy for wanting to play every game), and Ripken’s fierce determination to stay in the lineup and continue to contribute whatever he could even as his skills diminished with age. The question looms: How do these streaks compare? There were so many factors: the length of seasons, the number of teams in the major leagues, the inclusion of nonwhite players, travel, technology, medical advances, and even media are all part of the equation. This is a book that captures the deeply American appreciation—as seen in the sport itself—for a workaday mentality and that desire to be there for the game every time it called.



Understanding The Old Man and the Sea

Understanding The Old Man and the Sea Author Patricia Dunlavy Valenti
ISBN-10 0313316317
Release 2002-01-01
Pages 198
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A companion to the Hemingway classic discusses such topics as the story's formal characteristics, historical background to life in Cuba, and sports featured in the story.



Sting Like a Bee

Sting Like a Bee Author Leigh Montville
ISBN-10 9780385536066
Release 2017-05-16
Pages 368
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An insightful portrait of Muhammad Ali from the New York Times bestselling author of At the Altar of Speed and The Big Bam. It centers on the cultural and political implications of Ali's refusal of service in the military—and the key moments in a life that was as high profile and transformative as any in the twentieth century. With the death of Muhammad Ali in June, 2016, the media and America in general have remembered a hero, a heavyweight champion, an Olympic gold medalist, an icon, and a man who represents the sheer greatness of America. New York Times bestselling author Leigh Montville goes deeper, with a fascinating chronicle of a story that has been largely untold. Muhammad Ali, in the late 1960s, was young, successful, brash, and hugely admired—but with some reservations. He was bombastic and cocky in a way that captured the imagination of America, but also drew its detractors. He was a bold young African American in an era when few people were as outspoken. He renounced his name—Cassius Clay—as being his 'slave name,' and joined the Nation of Islam, renaming himself Muhammad Ali. And finally in 1966, after being drafted, he refused to join the military for religious and conscientious reasons, triggering a fight that was larger than any of his bouts in the ring. What followed was a period of legal battles, of cultural obsession, and in some ways of being the very embodiment of the civil rights movement located in the heart of one man. Muhammad Ali was the tip of the arrow, and Leigh Montville brilliantly assembles all the boxing, the charisma, the cultural and political shifting tides, and ultimately the enormous waft of entertainment that always surrounded Ali. Muhammed Ali vs. the United States of America is an important and incredibly engaging book.



The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract

The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract Author Bill James
ISBN-10 1439106932
Release 2010-05-11
Pages 1024
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When Bill James published his original Historical Baseball Abstract in 1985, he produced an immediate classic, hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the “holy book of baseball.” Now, baseball's beloved “Sultan of Stats” (The Boston Globe) is back with a fully revised and updated edition for the new millennium. Like the original, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is really several books in one. The Game provides a century's worth of American baseball history, told one decade at a time, with energetic facts and figures about How, Where, and by Whom the game was played. In The Players, you'll find listings of the top 100 players at each position in the major leagues, along with James's signature stats-based ratings method called “Win Shares,” a way of quantifying individual performance and calculating the offensive and defensive contributions of catchers, pitchers, infielders, and outfielders. And there's more: the Reference section covers Win Shares for each season and each player, and even offers a Win Share team comparison. A must-have for baseball fans and historians alike, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is as essential, entertaining, and enlightening as the sport itself.



The Numbers Game

The Numbers Game Author Alan Schwarz
ISBN-10 9781466856080
Release 2013-10-29
Pages 288
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Most baseball fans, players and even team executives assume that the National Pastime's infatuation with statistics is simply a byproduct of the information age, a phenomenon that blossomed only after the arrival of Bill James and computers in the 1980s. They couldn't be more wrong. In this unprecedented new book, Alan Schwarz - whom bestselling Moneyball author Michael Lewis calls "one of today's best baseball journalists" - provides the first-ever history of baseball statistics, showing how baseball and its numbers have been inseparable ever since the pastime's birth in 1845. He tells the history of this obsession through the lives of the people who felt it most: Henry Chadwick, the 19th-century writer who invented the first box score and harped endlessly about which statistics mattered and which did not; Allan Roth, Branch Rickey's right-hand numbers man with the late-1940s Brooklyn Dodgers; Earnshaw Cook, a scientist and Manhattan Project veteran who retired to pursue inventing the perfect baseball statistic; John Dewan, a former Strat-O-Matic maven who built STATS Inc. into a multimillion-dollar powerhouse for statistics over the Internet; and dozens more. Almost every baseball fan for 150 years has been drawn to the game by its statistics, whether through newspaper box scores, the backs of Topps baseball cards, The Baseball Encyclopedia, or fantasy leagues. Today's most ardent stat scientists, known as "sabermetricians," spend hundreds of hours coming up with new ways to capture the game in numbers, and engage in holy wars over which statistics are best. Some of these men - and women -- are even being hired by major league teams to bring an understanding of statistics to a sport that for so long shunned it. Taken together, Schwarz paints a history not just of baseball statistics, but of the soul of the sport itself. The Numbers Game will be an invaluable part of any fan's library and go down as one of the sport's classic books.



Fastball John

Fastball John Author John D'Acquisto
ISBN-10 0692750274
Release 2016-09-07
Pages 560
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From his status as the #17 pick overall in the 1970 June draft in the shadow of his induction notice to his post-game minor league antics with Goose Gossage, Gorman Thomas and Charlie "Country Chuck" Manuel, former Rookie Pitcher of the Year John D'Acquisto explores the free love and "free agency" of 1972 California; the tragedy at Spring Training '74; John's role as a pawn in the struggle for clubhouse power between manager Charlie Fox and Bobby Bonds; deep inside the untold story of the Bob Gibson/D'Acquisto pitching duels; the endless nightlife and shady characters of 1976 San Francisco; the despair of ex-major leaguers deserted in the 1977 AAA baseball purgatory of sunny Honolulu; the backroom dealings between players and management ahead of the 1981 players' strike, and the fateful meeting between John and his former owner that may have derailed his career. "Heinie." Randy. Buzzie. "Sweet Matt." "Davvy." Marvin. "Mac." Juan. Jimmie Reese. Gibby & Torre. "Moff." Keith. "Onti." "Ras." Pete. "Simba" & Geno, among many others along for the ride. Featuring a foreword by popular 70's baseball historian Dan Epstein and flavored by music of the era. If you love the narrative structure of cable dramas like Mad Men and House of Cards, then you will adore this rich, period love story between a man and his profession.



Baseball America s Ultimate Draft Book

Baseball America s Ultimate Draft Book Author Allan Simpson
ISBN-10 1932391657
Release 2016-09-27
Pages 768
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Baseball America invented coverage of the baseball draft. So who better than Baseball America to chronicle 50 years of draft history? As the baseball draft grows in prominence and more and more fans connect winning on draft day to winning in the major leagues, the BA draft book takes you through 50 years of great draft stories and the biggest hits and misses in draft history. The Baseball America 50th Anniversary Draft Book combines all the information of a great reference title with all the great stories that make draft history so rich. For every year of the draft, from 1965-2015, you'll get a complete team by team draft list, with who signed and who didn't, who reached the big leagues and who washed out. And the draft lists are more than just lists; they also feature interesting tidbits on people who became prominent baseball or in other sports or other careers altogether. You'll get the story of the most prominent storylines and people for every year of the draft, as well as plenty of charts and photos to take you in-depth on every year. This book will feature lots of information that has never been publicly available before, especially with signing bonuses from the early days of the draft. It goes without saying that anyone who has an interest in the baseball draft will have to have this book, but anyone who loves good stories (longshots that became major league stars, touted phenoms who washed out) will find fun on every page of this book.



Spirit of 67

Spirit of  67 Author Thomas J. Whalen
ISBN-10 9781442233171
Release 2017-08-31
Pages 240
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Using the colorful and tumultuous 1960s as a backdrop, acclaimed author Thomas J. Whalen’s Spirit of ’67: The Cardiac Kids, El Birdos, and the World Series That Captivated America shows how the Red Sox and Cardinals waged an epic battle for baseball supremacy that captured the imagination of weary Americans looking for escape from the urban riots, racial turmoil, and antiwar protests that were roiling 1960s society. “How many people ever do anything that makes so many people happy?” Sox pitcher Gary Bell asked years later, in reference to their classic autumn clash. The book examines the unique bond that each team had with its own fanbase, going back to each franchise’s chaotic beginning at the turn of the twentieth century. Relating issues of ethnicity, politics, class, and economics, Whalen sets out to reveal the exactly what was at stake in the 1967 fall classic, and how echoes from that unforgettable season still ring through both cities, and American culture, to this day.