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Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back
Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back
by Josh Hamilton
Paperback from FaithWords
ISBN: 1599951606

Josh Hamilton was the first player chosen in the first round of the 1999 baseball draft. He was destined to be one of those rare "high-character " superstars. But in 2001, working his way from the minors to the majors, all of the plans for Josh went off the rails in a moment of weakness. What followed was a 4-year nightmare of drugs and alcohol, estrangement from friends and family, and his eventual suspension from baseball.
BEYOND BELIEF details the events that led up to the derailment. Josh explains how a young man destined for fame and wealth could allow his life to be taken over by drugs and alcohol. But it is also the memoir of a spiritual journey that breaks through pain and heartbreak and leads to the spectacular rebirth of his major-league career.
Josh Hamilton makes no excuses and places no blame on anyone other than himself. He takes responsibility for his poor decisions and believes his story can help millions who battle the same demons. "I have been given a platform to tell my story" he says. "I pray every night I am a good messenger." Also, as part of the paperback edition of BEYOND BELIEF, Josh's journey has been updated to include developments in his recovery.
 

 
The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter
The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter
by Ian O'Connor
Hardcover from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0547327935
Every spring, Little Leaguers across the country mimic his stance and squabble over the right to wear his number, 2, the next number to be retired by the world's most famous ball team. Derek Jeter is their hero. He walks in the footsteps of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle, and someday his shadow will loom just as large. Yet he has never been the best player in baseball. In fact, he hasn't always been the best player on his team. But his intangible grace and Jordanesque ability to play big in the biggest of postseason moments make him the face of the modern Yankee dynasty, and of America's game.In The Captain, best-selling author Ian O'Connor draws on extensive reporting and unique access to Jeter that has spanned some fifteen years to reveal how a biracial kid from Michigan became New York's most beloved sports figure and the enduring symbol of the steroid-free athlete. O'Connor takes us behind the scenes of a legendary baseball life and career, from Jeter's early struggles in the minor leagues, when homesickness and errors in the field threatened a stillborn career, to his heady days as a Yankee superstar and prince of the city who squired some of the world's most beautiful women, to his tense battles with former best friend A-Rod. We also witness Jeter struggling to come to terms with his declining skills and the declining favor of the only organization he ever wanted to play for, leading to a contentious contract negotiation with the Yankees that left people wondering if Jeter might end his career in a uniform without pinstripes.Derek Jeter's march toward the Hall of Fame has been dignified and certain, but behind that leadership and hero's grace there are hidden struggles and complexities that have never been explored, until now. As Jeter closes in on 3,000 hits, a number no Yankee has ever touched, The Captain offers an incisive, exhilarating, and revealing new look at one of the game's greatest players in the gloaming of his career.Every spring, Little Leaguers across the country mimic his stance and squabble over the right to wear his number, 2, the next number to be retired by the world's most famous ball team. Derek Jeter is their hero. He walks in the footsteps of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle, and someday his shadow will loom just as large. Yet he has never been the best player in baseball. In fact, he hasn't always been the best player on his team. But his intangible grace and Jordanesque ability to play big in the biggest of postseason moments make him the face of the modern Yankee dynasty, and of America's game.In The Captain, best-selling author Ian O'Connor draws on extensive reporting and unique
access to Jeter that has spanned some fifteen years to reveal how a biracial kid from Michigan became New York's most beloved sports figure and the enduring symbol of the steroid-free athlete. O'Connor takes us behind the scenes of a legendary baseball life and career, from Jeter's early struggles in the minor leagues, when homesickness and errors in the field threatened a stillborn career, to his heady days as a Yankee superstar and prince of the city who squired some of the world's most beautiful women, to his tense battles with former best friend A-Rod. We also witness Jeter struggling to come to terms with his declining skills and the declining favor of the only organization he ever wanted to play for, leading to a contentious contract negotiation with the Yankees that left people wondering if Jeter might end his career in a uniform without pinstripes.Derek Jeter's march toward the Hall of Fame has been dignified and certain, but behind that leadership and hero's grace there are hidden struggles and complexities that have never been explored, until now. As Jeter closes in on 3,000 hits, a number no Yankee has ever touched, The Captain offers an incisive, exhilarating, and revealing new look at one of the game's greatest players in the gloaming of his career.
 
Stan Musial: An American Life
Stan Musial: An American Life
by George Vecsey
Hardcover from ESPN
Media Published: 2011-
ISBN: 0345517067

When baseball fans voted on the top twenty-five players of the twentieth century in 1999, Stan Musial didn't make the cut. This glaring omission--later rectified by a panel of experts--raised an important question: How could a first-ballot Hall of Famer, widely considered one of the greatest hitters in baseball history, still rank as the most underrated athlete of all time?
In Stan Musial, veteran sports journalist George Vecsey finally gives this twenty-time All-Star and St. Louis Cardinals icon the kind of prestigious biographical treatment previously afforded to his more celebrated contemporaries Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. More than just a chronological recounting of the events of Musial's life, this is the definitive portrait of one of the game's best-loved but most unappreciated legends, told through the remembrances of those who played beside, worked with, and covered "Stan the Man" over the course of his nearly seventy years in the national spotlight.
Stan Musial never married a starlet. He didn't die young, live too hard, or squander his talent. There were no legendary displays of temper or moodiness. He was merely the most consistent superstar of his era, a scarily gifted batsman who compiled 3,630 career hits (1,815 at home and 1,815 on the road), won three World Series titles, and retired in 1963 in possession of seventeen major-league records. Away from the diamond, he proved a savvy businessman and a model of humility and graciousness toward his many fans in St. Louis and around the world. From Keith Hernandez's boyhood memories of Musial leaving tickets for him when the Cardinals were in San Francisco to the little-known story of Musial's friendship with novelist James Michener--and their mutual association with Pope John Paul II--Vecsey weaves an intimate oral history around one of the great gentlemen of baseball's Greatest Generation.
There may never be another Stan the Man, a fact that future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols--reluctantly nicknamed "El Hombre" in Musial's honor--is quick to acknowledge. But thanks to this long-overdue reappraisal, even those who took his greatness for granted will learn to appreciate him all over again.

 
The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran
The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran
by Dirk Hayhurst
Paperback from Citadel Press
ISBN: 0806531436
"After many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years spent in the bullpen, I can verify that this is a true picture of baseball."--Tim McCarver "There are great truths within, of the kind usually unspoken. And as he expresses them, Dirk Hayhurst describes himself as 'a real person who moonlights as a baseball player.' In much the same manner, while The Bullpen Gospels chronicles how all of us face the impact when we learn reality is both far meaner and far richer than our dreams--it also moonlights as one of the best baseball books ever written."--Keith Olbermann "A bit of Jim Bouton, a bit of Jim Brosnan, a bit of Pat Jordan, a bit of crash Davis, and a whole lot of Dirk Hayhurst. Often hilarious, sometimes poignant. This is a really enjoyable baseball read."--Bob Costas "Fascinating. . .a perspective that fans rarely see."--Trevor Hoffman, pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers "The Bullpen Gospels is a rollicking good bus ride of a book. Hayhurst illuminates a baseball life not only with wit and humor, but also with thought-provoking introspection."--Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated "Dirk Hayhurst has written a fascinating, funny and honest account on life in the minor leagues. I loved it. Writers can't play baseball, but in this case, a player sure can write."--Tim Kurkjian, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine, analyst/reporter ESPN television "Bull Durham meets Ball Four in Dirk Hayhurst's hilarious and moving account of life in baseball's glamour-free bush leagues."--Rob Neyer, ESPN.com 
"If Holden Caulfield could dial up his fastball to 90 mph, he might have written this funny, touching memoir about a ballplayer at a career--and life--crossroads. He might have called it 'Pitcher in the Rye.' Instead, he left it to Dirk Hayhurst, the only writer in the business who can make you laugh, make you cry and strike out Ryan Howard."--King Kaufman, Salon "The Bullpen Gospels is a funny bone-tickling, tear duct-stimulating, feel-good story that will leave die-hard baseball fans--and die-hard human beings, for that matter--well, feeling good."--Bob Mitchell, author of Once Upon a Fastball
 
The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
by Lawrence S. Ritter
Paperback from Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Media Published: 2010-
ISBN: 0061994715

Baseball was different in earlier days--tougher, rawer, more intimate--when giants like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb ran the bases. In the monumental classic The Glory of Their Times, the golden era of our national pastime comes alive through the vibrant words of those who played and lived the game.

The voices of the game's distant past continue to reverberate with a distinct freshness in Lawrence S. Ritter's The Glory of Their Times. An oral history of the game in the first two decades of the century, Glory sends out its impressive roster of players to tell their own stories, and what stories they tell--the story of their times as well as of their game; the scorecard includes Rube Marquard, Babe Herman, Stan Coveleski, Smoky Joe Wood, and Wahoo Sam Crawford. A delight from cover to cover, Glory is the next best thing to having been there in the days when the ball may have been dead, but the personalities were anything but.

 
The Yankee Years
The Yankee Years
by Joe Torre, Tom Verducci
Paperback from Anchor
Media Published: 2010-
ISBN: 0767930428

The definitive story of one of the greatest dynasties in baseball history, Joe Torre's New York Yankees.

When Joe Torre took over as manager of the Yankees in 1996, they had not won a World Series title in eighteen years. In that time seventeen others had tried to take the helm of America's most famous baseball team. Each one was fired by George Steinbrenner. After twelve triumphant seasons--with twelve straight playoff appearances, six pennants, and four World Series titles--Torre left the Yankees as the most beloved manager in baseball. But dealing with players like Jason Giambi, A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson is what managing is all about. Here, for the first time, Joe Torre and Tom Verducci take readers inside the dugout, the clubhouse, and the front office, showing what it took to keep the Yankees on top of the baseball world.

 
Sandy Koufax: A Lefty s Legacy (P.S.)
Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy (P.S.)
by Jane Leavy
Paperback from Harper Perennial
Media Published: 2010-
ISBN: 0061779008

No immortal in the history of baseball retired so young, so well, or so completely as Sandy Koufax. After compiling a remarkable record from 1962 to 1966 that saw him lead the National League in ERA all five years, win three Cy Young awards, and pitch four no-hitters including a perfect game, Koufax essentially disappeared. Save for his induction into the Hall of Fame and occasional appearances at the Dodgers training camp, Koufax has remained unavailable, unassailable, and unsullied, in the process becoming much more than just the best pitcher of his generation. He is the Jewish boy from Brooklyn, who refused to pitch the opening game of the 1965 World Series on Yom Kippur, defining himself as a man who placed faith over fame. This act made him the standard to which Jewish parents still hold their children. Except for his autobiography (published in 1966), Koufax has resolutely avoided talking about himself. But through sheer doggedness that even Koufax came to marvel at, Jane Leavy was able to gain his trust to the point where they talked regularly over the three years Leavy reported her book. With Koufax's blessing, Leavy interviewed nearly every one of his former teammates, opponents, and friends, and emerged with a portrait of the artist that is as thorough and stylish as was his command on the pitching mound.

 
Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball
Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball
by Bill Madden
Hardcover from Harper
Media Published: 2010-

No owner has changed the landscape of sports more than New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. From the moment he bought the team in 1973 for $10 million, Steinbrenner's monomaniacal pursuit was to restore the most fabled franchise in baseball history to its former glory. Today the New York Yankees are worth more than $1 billion and are once again world champions.

Award-winning sportswriter Bill Madden traces Steinbrenner from his early days in Cleveland through his years as a shipping magnate, a Nixon fund-raiser, and a champion horse breeder to the fateful moment when he bought the Yankees, even though his father disparaged George's desire to own a professional sports team as a "hobby." Over the next four decades, Steinbrenner's tumultuous reign included his epic battles with Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, even beloved Yankee captain Derek Jeter. His ruthless and free-spending tactics made him a lightning rod for controversy but they also paid off: Steinbrenner's Yankees have won seven championships and remain the gold standard in all sports. In the last few years, with his health declining, the Boss ceded control of the team to his sons, but not before lording over the team's historic transition from the House That Ruth Built to the House That George Built.

Throughout his three decades of covering the Yankees, Bill Madden has cultivated hundreds of sources at every level in the organization, from the many managers and front-office personnel Steinbrenner has fired to the bat boys who are ever present in the locker room. All of them have colorful stories about the man with whom they have enjoyed a love-hate relationship, but it is the Boss himself whose voice rises above the rest. And when Steinbrenner decided to give his final print interview, he spoke to Madden to set the record straight on his extraordinary life and career.

 

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