Book picks similar to
Of Mikes and Men: A Lifetime of Braves Baseball by Pete Van Wieren
License to Deal: A Season on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent
Jerry Crasnick - 2005
Now the true inside story of the sports agent business is exposed as never before.During baseball's evolution from national pastime to a $3.6 billion business, the game's agents have played a pivotal role in driving and (some might say) ruining the sport. In a world of unchecked egos and minimal regulation, client-stealing and financial inducements have become commonplace, leading many to label the field a cesspool, devoid of loyalties and filled with predators.Matt Sosnick entered these shark-infested waters in 1997, leaving a job as CEO of a San Francisco high-tech company to represent ballplayers--and hoping to do so while keeping his romantic love of baseball and his integrity intact. License to Deal follows Sosnick as he deals with his up-and-coming clients (his most famous is the 2003 rookie-of-the-year pitching sensation Dontrelle Willis). We become privy to never-before-disclosed stories behind the rise of baseball's most powerful agent, Scott Boras. And we get a novel perspective on the art of the deal and the economics of baseball.By one of baseball's most respected sportswriters, who is now ESPN.com's lead Insider baseball reporter, License to Deal, like Michael Lewis's bestselling Moneyball, will provide fuel for many a heated baseball discussion.
Dr. Z: The Lost Memoirs of an Irreverent Football Writer
Paul Zimmerman - 2017
Z came to expect a certain alchemical, trademark blend: words which were caustic and wry, at times self-deprecating or even puzzling, but always devilishly smart with arresting honesty. A complex package, that's the Doctor. The one-time sparring partner of Ernest Hemingway, Paul Zimmerman is one of the modern era's groundbreaking football minds, a man who methodically charted every play while generating copious notes, a human precursor to the data analytics websites of today. In 2008, Zimmerman had nearly completed work on his personal memoirs when a series of strokes left him largely unable to speak, read, or write. Compiled and edited by longtime SI colleague Peter King, these are the stories he still wants to see told. Dr. Z’s memoir is a rich package of personalities, stories never shared about such characters as Vince Lombardi, Walter Payton, Lawrence Taylor, and Johnny Unitas. Even Joe Namath, with whom Zimmerman had a legendary and well-documented 23-year feud, saw fit to eventually unburden himself to the remarkable scribe. Also included are Zimmerman's encounters with luminaries and larger-than-life figures outside of sports, notably Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch, and Hunter S. Thompson. But not to be missed are Zimmerman's quieter observations on his own life and writing, witticisms and anecdotes which sway between the poignant and hilarious. No matter the topic, Dr. Z: the Lost Memoirs of an Irreverent Football Writer proves essential, compelling reading for sports fans old and new.
Loudmouth: Tales (and Fantasies) of Sports, Sex, and Salvation from Behind the Microphone
Craig Carton - 2013
The station manager who hired him was the first to recognize his considerable on-air talent, and helped start what has become a legendary radio career. Often compared to Howard Stern, Carton has hosted a series of highly rated shows, and in 2007 he joined WFAN, where he and Boomer Esiason host an eponymous show every morning for four hours out of a studio in New York City.In this debut book, Carton invites the reader to join him as he recounts tales from his suburban youth, defends his long-held love affair with the New York Jets, reminisces about the shenanigans of some of the highest paid and most celebrated athletes playing today, and reflects on his work as one of radio’s craftiest, most hilarious personalities ever to get behind the microphone.
Planet of the Umps: A Baseball Life from Behind the Plate
Ken Kaiser - 2003
From the first day he hit a minor league catcher with a pool table to the fateful day baseball called him out on a strike, Kaiser was one of the game's most popular and colorful characters. And in this autobiography-written with the co-author of Ron Luciano's classic bestseller The Umpire Strikes Back - Kaiser brings to life his wild adventures from the pro wrestling arena to the baseball diamond.This is the hysterically true story of four decades of baseball as lived and loved on the playing field, from Ted Williams and Billy Martin to Derek Jeter and Mark McGwire, from one-eyed umpires to space-age technology. And as he did throughout his long and sometimes controversial career, the larger-than-his-chest-protector Kaiser called 'em as he saw 'em.
Loose Balls: Easy Money, Hard Fouls, Cheap Laughs, & True Love in the NBA
Jayson Williams - 2000
From revelations about the meanest, softest, and smelliest players in the league, to Williams’s early days as a “young man with a lot of money and not a lot of sense,” to his strong and powerful views on race, privilege, and giving back, Loose Balls is a basketball book unlike any other.No inspirational pieties or chest-thumping boasting here—instead, Jayson Williams gives us the real insider tales of refs, groupies, coaches, entourages, and all the superstars, bench warmers, journeymen, clowns, and other performers in the rarefied circus that is professional basketball.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Dick Bremer: Game Used: My Life in Stitches with the Minnesota Twins
Dick Bremer - 2020
Millions of fans have enjoyed Bremer’s observations, insight, and magical storytelling on television broadcasts. Now, in this striking memoir, the Minnesota native and lifelong Twins fan takes fans behind the mic, into the clubhouse, and beyond as only he can. Told through 108 unique anecdotes–one for each stitch in a baseball–Bremer weaves the tale of a lifetime, from childhood memories of the ballfield in remote Dumont, Minnesota, to his early radio days as the “Duke in the Dark,” to champagne soaked clubhouses in 1987 and 1991, and his encounters with Twins legends ranging from Calvin Griffith and Harmon Killebrew, to Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek, to Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Game Used gives fans a rare seat alongside Bremer and his broadcast partners, including Killebrew, Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris, Jim Kaat, Tom Kelly, and other Twins legends.
The Rotation: A Season with the Phillies and the Greatest Pitching Staff Ever Assembled
Jim Salisbury - 2012
Plus, the Philadelphia Phillies' 2011 rotation also happens to include Cole Hamels--the 2008 NLCS and World Series MVP--and an alternating fifth starter. This awe-inducing rotation has been the talk of baseball since coming together in December 2010. They were featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2011 baseball- preview edition, interviewed on the MLB Network on opening day of spring training, covered in the New York Times Magazine, and mentioned in numerous newspapers and magazines nationwide.Authored by two of the most knowledgable and connected Phillies beat writers, The Rotation is a remarkably detailed day-in-the-life story of one complete season with a Major League Baseball starting-pitching staff. The authors offer deep daily access to the Phillies players, coaches, and front-office staff, as well as the players and staff of other major league teams and the national baseball media.With firsthand reporting and extensive interviews, plus two full-color photo inserts, this is a fascinating and detailed look into the day-to-day operation of what is arguably the greatest pitching rotation ever assembled. It is a must-read for Phillies fans and general baseball fans alike.
The Big Chair: The Smooth Hops and Bad Bounces from the Inside World of the Acclaimed Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager
Ned Colletti - 2017
. . Mr. Colletti's book might be even more groundbreaking [than Moneyball] in some ways: It's a nearly unprecedented opportunity to see what running a baseball franchise looks like through the eyeballs of an actual general manager. . . [Colletti] has a gift for entertaining storytelling. . . These are stories modern general managers rarely tell, except in late-night gatherings at their favorite bars with people they know and trust. So to read them here, told in such colorful detail, makes you feel as if Ned Colletti has just invited you to plop down on the next bar stool." --Wall Street Journal "Ned Colletti is a baseball treasure with fascinating stories to tell from inside the game. The Big Chair is your all-access pass. After reading this book, you will not only understand the job of a general manager better but also the game of baseball itself."--Tom Verducci, author of The Cubs Way and co-author of The Yankee YearsAn unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at the career of famed former Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager (a position also known as "The Big Chair"), whose tenure spanned nine of the most exciting and turbulent years in the franchise's history.During his tenure with the Dodgers, Colletti had the highest winning percentage of any general manager in the National League. In The Big Chair, he lets readers in on the real GM experience from his unique vantage point--sharing the inner workings of three of the top franchises in the sport, revealing the out-of-the-headlines machinations behind the trades, the hires and the deals; how the money really works; how the decision-making really works; how much power the players really have and why--the real brass tacks of some of the most pivotal decisions made in baseball history that led to great success along with heartbreak and failure on the field. Baseball fans will come for the grit and insight, stay for the heart, and pass it on for the wisdom.Ned Colletti began his MLB career with his beloved hometown team, the Chicago Cubs, more than 35 years ago. He worked in Chicago for a dozen years and was in the front office when the Cubs won the National League East in 1984 and 1989, after which he moved on as director of baseball operations for the SF Giants. By 1996, he became the Assistant GM for the Giants, before being hired as the GM in Los Angeles in 2006. There he oversaw the Dodgers through the highly publicized and acrimonious divorce battle between Frank and Jamie McCourt that culminated in the equally highly publicized sale of the team. He was present at the press conference where Don Mattingly, having just watched his team eliminated from the playoffs, used the post-season conference to vehemently discuss his lack of a contract extension. He brought marquee names like Greg Maddux and Clayton Kershaw to LA, as well as marquee drama with the likes of Manny Ramirez and Yasiel Puig; hired future Hall of Famer Joe Torre as manager; and oversaw fourteen Dodgers playoff wins. And these are just a few of the highlights.Colletti serves up a huge dish of first-hand experiences with some of the biggest names in baseball history (Barry Bonds, Greg Maddux, Don Mattingly, Don Zimmer, Tommy Lasorda, Scott Boras, Vin Scully, and more). From his humble early years living in a Chicago garage to his path to one of the most prestigious positions in professional sports, his very public and illustrious career has left a permanent handprint in the history of America's sport--and now he's ready to share the insight only those who have sat in The Big Chair have ever seen.
No Days Off: My Life with Type 1 Diabetes and Journey to the NHL
Max Domi - 2019
A portion of proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research.“Max, you have type 1 diabetes,” the doctor said. My mom and I looked at each other. For her, time stood still for a second as our entire future as a family shifted. But I had no clue what the diagnosis meant. So I said the first thing that came to mind. “Can I still play hockey?” As a kid, when Max Domi was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he only ever had one answer: a hockey player. Growing up the son of a professional hockey player—Tie Domi—Max saw from an early age what it took to make the NHL: grit, talent, and the support of a team. Over countless hours in the garage, at the rink, and in the gym, Max chased his dream. It seemed that Max was born to be on the ice. But then, when he was twelve years old, Max started getting sick. And sicker. Eventually, he and his family learned the truth: Max had type 1 diabetes. Overnight, Max and his family found their lives upended. All Max wanted was to be a normal kid, but suddenly, the simplest things—a game of basketball with friends, a family meal, a school field trip—were complicated with a thousand different considerations. Would people notice or make fun of him if he carried his blood-testing kit everywhere? Would his teammates think he was weak if his blood sugar went low at hockey practice? How much insulin did he need after a meal? And all the while, the fear of what might happen if things went wrong hung over his head. Max had to grow up quickly. As he struggled to find his new normal, Max slowly began to realize that overcoming his disease demanded the same qualities that it took to be a hockey player—mental and physical toughness, maturity, and the love and care of family and friends. Bit by bit, he learned—sometimes the hard way—not just to control his diabetes, but to turn it into an advantage. If managing his disease was going to demand that Max be stronger, more prepared, and more disciplined than anyone else, then he wouldn’t just be good at those things: he’d be the best. He’d do whatever it took to move him closer to his dream of playing in the NHL. Inspiring, heartwarming, and exciting, No Days Off is a memoir about what it’s like to be a kid whose world is turned upside down, and what it takes to face adversity.
Built to Win: Inside Stories and Leadership Strategies from Baseball's Winningest GM
John Schuerholz - 2006
Baseball is John Schuerholz's world--everyone is just playing in it. Now, in BUILT TO WIN, the legendary manager takes readers behind the scenes of the most successful franchise in recent history--and shows how his unique philosophies and leadership have helped the Atlanta Braves achieve something no team has ever come close to accomplishing. He candidly peels back the curtain, from his first World Series with the Kansas City Royals to his departure for the struggling Braves. No sooner did Schuerholz arrive than they won their first title in 1991...and the rest is history.
Straw: Finding My Way
Darryl Strawberry - 2009
A National League Rookie of the Year, eight-time MLB All Star, and four-time World Series Champion, Strawberry’s baseball achievements were often overshadowed by his struggles off the field. In Straw, he tells it all: his boyhood in Crenshaw, Los Angeles; his rise to baseball superstardom; the high life and low life; his brushes with the law; his triumphant battle over cancer; his religious awakening, and his marriage to the love of his life.
Holy Toledo: Lessons From Bill King, Renaissance Man of the Mic
Ken Korach - 2013
Bill was also one of the most influential broadcasters of all time, an inspiration to legions of his fellow broadcasters who looked up to him. No less an authority than John Madden tells Ken Korach in this 80,000-word testament to Bill’s uniqueness that when he turned from coaching to broadcasting, no one was more of an influence on him than Bill. But this was true of Bill the man as well, not merely Bill the broadcaster. “We all wanted to live vicariously through Bill. The things that he did, we wished we could do,” Madden tells Ken Korach. Korach, longtime voice of the A’s and Bill’s partner for ten seasons until King’s death in 2005, is the perfect one to bring Bill to life on the page. A half-century ago, Ken Korach was a kid in Los Angeles, spinning the night dial to tune in Warriors basketball games from faraway San Francisco for one reason: He just had to hear Bill. Now, in Holy Toledo – Lessons from Bill King, Renaissance Man of the Mic, he tells the remarkable story of King the legendary baseball, basketball and football broadcaster. Bill was a student of Russian literature, a passionate sailor, a fan of eating anything and everything from gourmet to onions and peanut butter, a remarkable painter. Korach draws on a lifetime of listening to and learning from King – as well as extensive research, including more than fifty interviews with King’s family members, colleagues, friends and associates – to create this rich portrait, eagerly awaited by thousands of fans who have flocked to the Holy Toledo Facebook page and heard about the book through Ken’s media appearances.Holy Toledo features a moving foreword by Hall of Fame broadcaster Jon Miller, previously of ESPN, and a brilliant cover by Mark Ulriksen, internationally recognized for his New Yorker magazine covers, that captures King’s flair and personality.Billy Beane“The best part about Bill wasn’t just that he was so good at his job but that he was so interesting outside of his job. His mustache epitomized that. He looked eccentric and he was eccentric, in a good way.”Bob Welch“If I had a hitter I had trouble with, I’d ask Bill how I should pitch him. He always had a good answer.”Greg Papa“Bill King was the greatest radio broadcaster in the history of the United States.”Tom Meschery“Talking with Bill was like talking with an encyclopedia.… If you wanted to talk sports, literature – when Bill talked you listened, because he always had something interesting to talk about.”Al Attles“He didn’t sugarcoat it. Bill was a departure from the way it was. If a player from the Warriors made a mistake, Bill told it like it was.”Ed Rush“I’d put the radio out the window and keep turning it to certain angles and it would go in and go out. I’d listen to the Warriors and the Raiders. To do all three sports like he did, he was phenomenal. He was out of this world.”Tom Flores“Bill made some of the great plays in the history of the Raiders even greater with his description. Those moments were kept alive in his voice.”Jason Giambi“He was such an incredible man. I had so much fun with him and he would always ask how my family was doing and I have the fondest memories of him. We would talk about life and all the things he had seen. He made me well rounded.”Rick Barry“He had the ability to see a game, a basketball game, and express what was happening in eloquent terms, at times instantaneously. When he was saying something, it was happening.”
The Carroll Shelby Story
Carroll Shelby - 2019
He was born to race —some of the fastest cars ever to tear up a speedway. Carroll Shelby wasn’t born to run. He was born to race—some of the fastest cars ever to tear up a speedway. The exciting new feature film Ford v Ferrari--starring Matt Damon as Shelby and Christian Bale as fellow racer Ken Miles--immortalizes the small-town Texas boy who won the notorious Le Mans 24-hour endurance challenge, and changed the face of auto racing with the legendary Shelby Cobra. But there’s much more to his high-velocity, history-making story.A wizard behind the wheel, he was also a visionary designer of speed machines that ruled the racetrack and the road. While his GT40s racked up victories in the world’s most prestigious professional racing showdowns, his masterpiece, the Ford Cobra, gave Europe’s formidable Ferrari an American--style run for its money. If you’ve got a need for speed, strap in next to the man who put his foot down on the pedal, kept his eyes on the prize, and never looked back.
Mr. Met: How a Sports-Mad Kid from Jersey Became Like Family to Generations of Big Leaguers
Jay Horwitz - 2020
As the beloved, longtime PR director for the New York Mets, he has witnessed and quietly shaped some of the most memorable moments in team history, becoming a trusted friend and mentor to generations of players, from Darryl Strawberry to Jacob deGrom. In this fascinating memoir, Horwitz tells the unlikely story of a childhood dream come true, offering an unparalleled insider's perspective on four dynamic and unpredictable decades of Mets baseball. Featuring reflections and anecdotes only Horwitz can tell, on subjects ranging from clubhouse hijinks to the chaotic New York media scene to navigating moments of greatness and defeat, Mr. Met is a remarkable behind-the-scenes ride that fans will not want to miss.