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Baseball

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  1. 7.1 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    From the first third-generation baseball player in Major League Baseball history, a sometimes moving, always candid look at his family’s seventy years in the world of professional baseball. Bret Boone made history in 1992 as the first third-generation major leaguer in baseball history. A five-foot-ten firecracker who was spurned by scouts for his small size, supposed lack of power, and temper tantrums (one scout called him a “helmet-throwing terror”), Bret didn’t care about family legacy; he wanted to make his own way. He did just that, building a fourteen-year career that included three all-star appearances, four Gold Gloves, a bout with alcoholism, and the ignominy of being traded for the infamous “player to be named later.” Now that he’s coaching minor leaguers half his age, and his fifteen-year-old son has the potential to be a fourth-generation major leaguer, Bret is ready to reflect on and tell the story of baseball from the perspective of his family’s seventy-year history in the sport. Combining the brashness and candor of Ball Four with a dollop of Big Russ and Me sentiment, this book will trace the evolution of the game—on the field and behind the scenes—from Ray Boone’s era in the 1950s to Bret and Aaron’s era in the 1990s and 2000s, when players made millions, dined on lobster in the clubhouse, injected themselves with PEDs, and had their choice of “Annies”—female clingers, or as today’s players call them, “road beef.” Along the way, the book will touch on pieces of Boone family lore, including Bret hitting zero dingers in a home run derby and Aaron’s home run (if you don’t know what this is referring to, then consult the nearest Red Sox fan). Blending nostalgia, behind-the-scenes profanity, close analysis of the game that only players can offer, and insight into baseball’s ongoing evolution as a sport and a business, Bret Boone will offer a one-of-a-kind look at America’s favorite pastime from a family who has seen it all.

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    Home Game

    7.1 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    3.8 hrs • 4/26/2016 • Unabridged

    The inside story of Hank Aaron’s chase for the home run record In One for the Record, George Plimpton recounts Hank Aaron’s thrilling race to become the new home-run champion. Amidst media frenzy and death threats, Aaron sought to beat Babe Ruth’s record. In 1974, he finally succeeded. A fascinating examination of the psychology of baseball players, One for the Record gives an absorbing account of the men on the mound who had to face Aaron. But the audiobook’s true genius lies in the portrait of Aaron himself and his discussions on his philosophy on hitting and the game of baseball.

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    One for the Record

    Foreword by Bob Costas
    Read by Rick Adamson
    3.8 hrs • 4/26/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    4.6 hrs • 4/26/2016 • Unabridged

    The baseball classic that Ernest Hemingway called “beautifully observed and incredibly conceived,” now recorded and including a foreword from Jane LeavyThe first of Plimpton’s remarkable forays into participatory journalism, Out of My League chronicles with wit, charm, and grace what happens when a self-professed amateur has the chance to answer every fan’s question: could he strike out a major league star? Plimpton’s inspired idea—to get on the mound and pitch a few innings to the All-Stars of the American and National Leagues—begins as a fun-filled stunt and comes to a deeply hellish, nearly humiliating end. This honest and hilarious tale features Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Whitey Ford, Ralph Houk, and other baseball greats and is “a baseball [audio]book such as no one else ever wrote, and one of the best ever.” —New York Herald Tribune

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    Out of My League

    Foreword by Jane Leavy
    Read by Robert Fass
    4.6 hrs • 4/26/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 12.0 hrs • 4/5/2016 • Unabridged

    Yahoo’s lead baseball columnist offers an in-depth look at the most valuable commodity in sports—the pitching arm—and how its vulnerability to injury is hurting players and the game, from Little League to the majors. Every year, Major League Baseball spends more than $1.5 billion on pitchers—five times more than the salary of every NFL quarterback combined. Pitchers are the game’s lifeblood. Their import is exceeded only by their fragility. One tiny band of tissue in the elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament, is snapping at unprecedented rates, leaving current big-league players vulnerable and the coming generation of baseball-playing children dreading the three scariest words in the sport: Tommy John surgery. Jeff Passan traveled the world for three years to explore in-depth the past, present, and future of the arm, and how its evolution left baseball struggling to wrangle its Tommy John surgery epidemic. He examined what compelled the Chicago Cubs to spend $155 million on one arm. He snagged a rare interview with Sandy Koufax, whose career was cut short by injury at thirty, and visited Japan to understand how another baseball-mad country treats its prized arms. And he followed two major league pitchers, Daniel Hudson and Todd Coffey, throughout their returns from Tommy John surgery. He exposes how the baseball establishment long ignored the rise in arm injuries and reveals how misplaced incentives across the sport stifle potential changes. Injuries to the UCL start as early as Little League. Without a drastic cultural shift, baseball will continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually to damaged pitchers, and another generation of children will suffer the same problems that vex current players. Informative and hard-hitting, The Arm is essential reading for everyone who loves the game, wants to keep their children healthy, or relishes a look into how a large, complex institution can fail so spectacularly.

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    The Arm by Jeff Passan

    The Arm

    12.0 hrs • 4/5/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 7.3 hrs • 3/28/2016 • Unabridged

    When Charlie Finley bought the A’s in 1960, he was an outsider to the game—an insurance businessman with a larger-than-life personality. He brought his cousin Carl on as his right-hand man, moved the team from Kansas City to Oakland, and pioneered a new way to put together a winning team. With legendary players like Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, and Vida Blue, the Finleys’ Oakland A’s won three straight World Series and riveted the nation. Now Carl Finley’s daughter Nancy reveals the whole story behind her family’s winning legacy—how her father and uncle developed their scouting strategy, why they employed odd gimmicks like orange baseballs and “mustache bonuses,” and how the success of the ’70s Oakland A’s changed the game of baseball.

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    Finley Ball by Nancy Finley

    Finley Ball

    7.3 hrs • 3/28/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 9.2 hrs • 3/22/2016 • Unabridged

    In 1986, the bad guys of baseball won the World Series. Now, Erik Sherman, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Mookie, profiles key players from that infamous Mets team, revealing never-before-exposed details about their lives after that championship year … as well as a look back at the magical season itself. Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Lenny Dykstra, Mookie Wilson, Howard Johnson, Doug Sisk, Rafael Santana, Bobby Ojeda, Wally Backman, Kevin Mitchell, Ed Hearn, Danny Heep, and the late Gary Carter were all known for their heroics on the field. For some of them—known as the “Scum Bunch”—their debauchery off the field was even more awe-inspiring. But when that golden season ended, so did their aura of invincibility. Some faced battles with addiction, some were traded, and others struggled just to keep their lives together. Through interviews with these legendary players, Erik Sherman offers fans a new perspective on a team that will forever be remembered in sports history.

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    Kings of Queens

    Foreword by Davey Johnson
    9.2 hrs • 3/22/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 10.4 hrs • 11/17/2015 • Unabridged

    From the acclaimed New Yorker writer and editor, a compendium of writings that celebrate the view from the tenth decade of his richly lived life In February 2014, the New Yorker published an essay by Roger Angell called “This Old Man,” a meditation on life at age ninety-three. With great humor and not an ounce of self-pity or sentimentality, Angell wrote about health, mind, and memory; reckoning with the past and a long list of friends and family who have died; daily joys and struggles; and, above all, love. Cheerful and beautiful and moving, the piece became an instant classic, won a National Magazine Award, and has been shared and discussed by legions of readers young and old. “This Old Man” is the centerpiece of Angell’s new book, which gathers essays, letters, photos, comic verse, and drawings that in aggregate present a kaleidoscopic portrayal of a deeply engaged and vibrant life. Angell’s fluid prose and native curiosity make him an amiable and compelling companion on the page. Whether the subject is coping with the loss of his wife, Carol, editing John Updike, the seventh game of the 2014 World Series, his appreciation of fox terriers, or the Fourth of July ceremonies in his summer home in rural Maine, what links the pieces (most of recent vintage) is the deep sense of gratitude that suffuses them. Gratitude for the people he has known, the experiences he’s had, the writers and friends and baseball players he admires. It’s a portrait of a full and fascinating life, but a portrait always directed generously outward. Angell is New Yorker royalty. Son of Katharine S. White, the first fiction editor of the New Yorker, and stepson of E. B. White, Angell wrote his first piece for the magazine in 1944 and was for many years chief fiction editor himself. His affectionate take on the magazine and the personalities who’ve worked there makes for a lively slice of twentieth (and twenty-first) century cultural history. He is even better known as a baseball writer—he’s in the Hall of Fame with Babe Ruth and Willie Mays!—and the baseball writing in the book is pure heaven for fans of the national pastime. Engaging, sharp, and wonderfully written, This Old Man is a pure pleasure to listen to.

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    This Old Man

    10.4 hrs • 11/17/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 0.1 hrs • 11/9/2015

    On October 3, 1951, the New York Giants’ Bobby Thomson hit a dramatic ninth inning game-winning home run off the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds in the decisive third game of a three-game playoff to win the National League pennant. It would be known in baseball lore as the “Shot Heard ‘round the World.” The game—the first ever televised nationally—was seen by millions of viewers across America and heard on radio by millions more, including thousands of American servicemen stationed in Korea, listening on Armed Forces Radio.

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  9. 7.7 hrs • 10/27/2015 • Unabridged

    En 2007, Mike Lowell, el jugador de tercera base de los Red Sox, llevo a su equipo a ganar la Serie Mundial por segunda vez en cuatro aNos. Para lograrlo, tuvo que vencer una multitud de obstaculos. Como pudo triunfar es una gran historia de superacion, un modelo a seguir ante la adversidad que ha experimentado a lo largo de su vida Mike Lowell, y el Exito al ser unos de los mejores jugadores de beisbol de los Ultimos tiempos. Este libro resulta ser un relato muy conmovedor y entusiasta, narrAndonos como paso su niNez en Puerto Rico, pasando por los altibajos dentro de su carrera en el deporte profesional y hasta la batalla contra el cancer, lo que lo ha llevado a ser un ser humano excepcional y ejemplo para milliones de personas.

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    Alma de campeon

    By Mike Lowell, with Rob Bradford
    7.7 hrs • 10/27/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 6.7 hrs • 7/23/2015 • Unabridged

    In Baseball, one of the great bards of America’s Grand Old Game gives a rousing account of the sport, from its pre-Republic roots to the present day. George Vecsey casts a fresh eye on the game, illuminates its foibles and triumphs, and performs a marvelous feat: making a classic story seem refreshingly new. Baseball is a narrative of America’s can-do spirit, in which stalwart immigrants such as Henry Chadwick could transplant cricket and rounders into the fertile American culture and in which die-hard unionist baseballers such as Charles Comiskey and Connie Mack could eventually become the tightfisted avatars of the game’s big-money establishment. It’s a celebration of such underdogs as a rag-armed catcher-turned-owner named Branch Rickey and a sure-handed fielder named Curt Flood, both of whom flourished as true great men of history. But most of all, Baseball is a testament to the unbreakable bond between our nation’s pastime and the fans, who’ve remained loyal through the fifty-year-long interdict on black athletes, the Black Sox scandal, franchise relocation, and the use of performance-enhancing drugs by some major stars. Reverent, playful, and filled with Vecsey’s charm, Baseball begs to be read in the span of a rain-delayed doubleheader, and so enjoyable that, like a favorite team’s championship run, one hopes it never ends.

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    Baseball

    Directed by Jeff Brick
    6.7 hrs • 7/23/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 1.4 hrs • 7/14/2015 • Unabridged

    From the voice of Fenway Park comes a collection of 64 humorous and nostalgic poems celebrating the Boston Red Sox. A commonwealth institution and popular local television personality who is also the announcer, ambassador, and poet laureate for Fenway Park, Dick Flavin has entertained audiences with his incredible poetic talent and abiding love for the Red Sox before countless home games for more than 20 years. Now this legendary talent’s poems are gathered together for the first time in this keepsake volume. As a beloved Red Sox insider, Flavin has been privileged to watch history in the making, from the team’s 2005 World Series victory that finally broke its nearly century-long “curse” to road tripping with Dom DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky to witnessing Ted Williams’ final appearance at the plate. His pithy and comedic verses—including such gems as “The Beards of Summer,” “Long Live Fenway Park,” and his best known “Teddy at the Bat”—pay homage to the American pastime, New England’s favorite team and players (and the curses and legends that have followed it), and the passionate Nation that has remained faithful through victory and defeat.

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    Red Sox Rhymes by Dick Flavin

    Red Sox Rhymes

    Foreword read by Henry Strozier
    Read by Dick Flavin
    1.4 hrs • 7/14/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 0 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5
    8.5 hrs • 5/19/2015 • Unabridged

    After twenty consecutive losing seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, team morale was low, the club’s payroll ranked near the bottom of the sport, game attendance was down, and the city was becoming increasingly disenchanted with its team. Pittsburghers joked their town was the city of champions … and the Pirates. Big Data Baseball is the story of how the 2013 Pirates, mired in the longest losing streak in North American pro sports history, adopted drastic big-data strategies to end the drought, make the playoffs, and turn around the franchise’s fortunes. Award-winning journalist Travis Sawchik takes you behind the scenes to expertly weave together the stories of the key figures who changed the way the small-market Pirates played the game. For manager Clint Hurdle and the front office staff to save their jobs, they could not rely on a free agent spending spree, and instead they had to improve the sum of their parts and find hidden value. They had to change. From Hurdle shedding his old-school ways to work closely with Neal Huntington, the forward-thinking data-driven GM and his team of talented analysts; to pitchers like A. J. Burnett and Gerrit Cole changing what and where they threw; to Russell Martin, the undervalued catcher whose expert use of the nearly-invisible skill of pitch framing helped the team’s pitchers turn more balls into strikes; to Clint Barmes, a solid shortstop and one of the early adopters of the unconventional on-field shift, which forced the entire infield to realign into positions they never stood in before. Under Hurdle’s leadership, a culture of collaboration and creativity flourished as he successfully blended whiz kid analysts with graybeard coaches—a kind of symbiotic teamwork which was unique to the sport. Big Data Baseball is Moneyball on steroids. It is an entertaining and enlightening underdog story that uses the 2013 Pirates season as the perfect lens to examine the sport’s burgeoning big-data movement. With the help of data-tracking systems like PitchF/X and TrackMan, the Pirates collected millions of data points on every pitch and ball in play to create a tome of color-coded reports that revealed groundbreaking insights for how to win more games without spending a dime. In the process, they discovered that most batters struggled to hit two-seam fastballs, that an aggressive defensive shift on the field could turn more batted balls into outs, and that a catcher’s most valuable skill was hidden. All these data points, which aren’t immediately visible to players and spectators, are the bit of magic that led the Pirates to spin straw into gold, finish the 2013 season in second place, and end a twenty-year losing streak.

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    Big Data Baseball

    8.5 hrs • 5/19/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 8.2 hrs • 5/12/2015 • Unabridged

    A baseball rules book. A tape measure. A lottery ticket. These were in the pocket of Bengie Molina’s father when he died of a heart attack on the rutted Little League field in his Puerto Rican barrio. The items serve as thematic guideposts in Molina’s beautiful memoir about his father, who through baseball taught his three sons about loyalty, humility, courage, and the true meaning of success. Bengie and his two brothers—Jose and six-time All-Star Yadier—became famous catchers in the Major Leagues and have six World Series championships among them. Only the DiMaggio brothers can rival the Molinas as the most accomplished siblings in baseball history. Bengie was the least likely to reach the Majors. He was too slow, too sensitive, and too small. But craving his beloved father’s respect, Bengie weathered failure after deflating failure until one day he was hoisting a World Series trophy in a champagne-soaked clubhouse. All along he thought he was fulfilling his father’s own failed dream of baseball glory—only to discover it had not been his father’s dream at all. Written with the emotional power of sports classics such as Field of Dreams and Friday Night Lights, Molina is a love story between a formidable but flawed father and a son who, in unearthing answers about his father’s life, comes to understand his own.

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    Molina

    By Bengie Molina, with Joan Ryan
    Read by Henry Leyva
    8.2 hrs • 5/12/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 11.7 hrs • 5/5/2015 • Unabridged

    Before Pedro Martinez was the eight-time all star, three-time Cy Young Award winner, and World Series champion, before stadiums full of fans chanted his name, he was just a little kid from the Dominican Republic who sat under a mango tree and dreamed of playing pro ball. Now in Pedro, the charismatic and always colorful pitcher opens up for the first time to tell his remarkable story. In Pedro we relive it all in Technicolor brightness, from his hardscrabble days in the minor leagues clawing for respect; to his early days in lonely Montreal, where he first struggled with the reputation of being a headhunter; to his legendary run with the Red Sox when start after start he dazzled with his pitching genius; to his twilight years on the mound as he put the finishing touches on a body of work that made him an icon.

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    Pedro

    11.7 hrs • 5/5/15 • Unabridged
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  15. 20.3 hrs • 5/5/2015 • Unabridged

    The incredible inside story of power, money, and baseball’s last twenty yearsIn the fall of 1992, America’s national pastime is in crisis and already on the path to the unthinkable: cancelling a World Series for the first time in history. The owners are at war with each other, their decades-long battle with the players has turned America against both sides, and the players’ growing addiction to steroids will threaten the game’s very foundation.It is a tipping point for baseball, a crucial moment in the game’s history that catalyzes a struggle for power by three strong-willed men: Commissioner Bud Selig, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, and union leader Don Fehr. It’s their uneasy alliance at the end of decades of struggle that pulls the game back from the brink and turns it into a money-making powerhouse that enriches them all. This is the real story of baseball, played out against a tableau of stunning athletic feats, high-stakes public battles, and backroom political deals—with a supporting cast that includes Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, Joe Torre and Derek Jeter, George Bush and George Mitchell, and many more.Drawing from hundreds of extensive, exclusive interviews throughout baseball, The Game is a stunning achievement: a rigorously reported book and the must-read, fly-on-the-wall, definitive account of how an enormous struggle for power turns disaster into baseball’s Golden Age.

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    The Game

    20.3 hrs • 5/5/15 • Unabridged
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  16. 0 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5
    7.0 hrs • 4/21/2015 • Unabridged

    Seeing Home: The Ed Lucas Story is the incredible true tale of a beloved Emmy-winning blind broadcaster who refused to let his disability prevent him from overcoming many challenging obstacles and achieving his dreams. In 1951, when he was only twelve years old, Ed Lucas was hit between the eyes by a baseball during a sandlot game in Jersey City. He lost his sight forever. To cheer him up, his mother wrote letters to baseball superstars of the day, explaining her son’s condition. Soon Ed was invited into their clubhouses and dugouts, as the players and coaches personally made him feel at home. Despite the warm reception he got from his heroes, Ed was told repeatedly by others that he would never be able to accomplish anything worthwhile because of his limitations. But Hall-of-Famer Phil Rizzuto became Ed’s mentor and encouraged him to pursue his passion—broadcasting. Ed then overcame hundreds of barriers, big and small, to become a pioneer—the first blind person covering baseball on a regular basis, a career he has successfully continued for six decades. Ed may have lost his sight, but he never lost his faith, which got him through many pitfalls and dark days. When Ed’s two sons were very young, his wife walked out and left him to raise them all by himself, which he did. Six years later, Ed’s ex-wife returned and sued him for full custody, saying that a blind man shouldn’t have her kids. The judge agreed, tearing Ed’s sons away from their father’s loving home. Ed fought the heartbreaking decision with appeals all the way up to the highest level of the court system. Eventually he prevailed, marking the very first time in United States history that a disabled person was awarded custody over a non-disabled spouse. Even in his later years, Ed is still enjoying a remarkably blessed life. In 2006 he married his second wife, Allison, at home plate in old Yankee Stadium, the only time that such an event ever took place on that iconic spot. Yankee owner George Steinbrenner himself catered the whole affair, which was shown live on national television. Seeing Home: The Ed Lucas Story is truly a magical listen and a universally uplifting and inspirational tale for everyone, whether or not you happen to be a sports fan. Over his long and amazing life, Ed has collected hundreds of anecdotes from his personal relationships and encounters with everyone, from kings and presidents to movie stars and sports Hall-of-Famers, many of which he shares in this memoir.

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    Seeing Home: The Ed Lucas Story

    7.0 hrs • 4/21/15 • Unabridged
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