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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 20.0 hrs • 7/15/2014 • Unabridged

    A deluxe baseball treasury unlike any other, complete with essays and player bios from The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Everyone dreams of Cooperstown. It’s a hallowed name in baseball, for players as well as their fans. It’s a house where legends live; it’s everything that’s great about the game. Never before has the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum published a complete registry of inductees with extended biographies. In this unique, seventy-fifth anniversary edition, listen to the stories of every player inducted into the Hall, organized by position. Each section begins with an original essay by a living Hall of Famer who played that position: Hank Aaron, George Brett, Orlando Cepeda, Carlton Fisk, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Morgan, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken Jr., Nolan Ryan, and Robin Yount.

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  10. 10.2 hrs • 10/8/2013 • Unabridged

    A soul-baring, brutally candid, and richly eventful memoir of the two years—1977 and 1978—when Reggie Jackson went from outcast to Yankee legend In the spring of 1977 Reggie Jackson should have been on top of the world. The best player of the Oakland A’s dynasty, which won three straight World Series, he was the first big-money free agent, wooed and flattered by George Steinbrenner into coming to the New York Yankees, which hadn’t won a World Series since 1962. But Reggie was about to learn, as he writes in this vivid and surprising memoir, that until his initial experience on the Yankees “I didn’t know what alone meant.” His manager, the mercurial, alcoholic, and pugilistic Billy Martin, never wanted him on the team and let Reggie—and the rest of the team—know it. Most of his new teammates, resentful of his contract, were aloof at best and hostile at worst. Brash and outspoken, but unused to the ferocity of New York’s tabloid culture, Reggie hadn’t realized how rumor and offhand remarks can turn into screaming negative headlines—especially for a black athlete with a multimillion-dollar contract. Sickened by Martin’s anti-Semitism, his rages, and his quite public disparagement of his new star; ostracized by his teammates; and despairing of how he was stereotyped in the press, Reggie had long talks with his father about quitting. Things hit bottom when Martin plotted to humiliate him during a nationally televised game against the Red Sox. It seemed as if a glorious career had been derailed. But then Reggie vowed to persevere; his pride, work ethic, and talent would overcome Martin’s nearly sociopathic hatred. Gradually, he would win over the fans—and then his teammates—as the Yankees surged to the pennant. And one magical autumn evening, he became “Mr. October” in a World Series performance for the ages. He thought his travails were over—until the next season when the insanity began again. Becoming Mr. October is a revelatory self-portrait of a baseball icon at the height of his public fame and private anguish. Filled with revealing anecdotes about the notorious “Bronx Zoo” Yankees of the late 1970s and bluntly honest portrayals of his teammates and competitors, this is eye-opening baseball history as can be told only by the man who lived it.

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    Becoming Mr. October

    10.2 hrs • 10/8/13 • Unabridged
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  11. 16.3 hrs • 5/14/2013 • Unabridged

    Culturally, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were light-years apart. Yet they were nearly the same age and almost the same size, and they came to New York at the same time. They possessed virtually the same talents and played the same position. They were both products of generations of baseball-playing families, for whom the game was the only escape from a lifetime of brutal manual labor. Both were nearly crushed by the weight of the outsized expectations placed on them, first by their families and later by America. Both lived secret lives far different from those their fans knew. What their fans also didn’t know was the two men shared a close personal friendship, and that each was the only man who could truly understand the other’s experience.

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    Mickey and Willie

    16.3 hrs • 5/14/13 • Unabridged
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  12. 12.0 hrs • 5/14/2013 • Unabridged

    “Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings in Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation.”Martin Luther King, Jr.Letter from a Birmingham Jail1963 Anybody who is familiar with the Civil Rights movement knows that 1964 was a pivotal year. And in Birmingham, Alabama—perhaps the epicenter of racial conflict—the Barons amazingly started their season with an integrated team. Johnny “Blue Moon” Odom, a talented pitcher and Tommie Reynolds, an outfielder—both young black ballplayers with dreams of playing someday in the big leagues, along with Bert Campaneris, a dark-skinned shortstop from Cuba, all found themselves in this simmering cauldron of a minor league town, all playing for Heywood Sullivan, a white former major leaguer who grew up just down the road in Dothan, Alabama. Colton traces the entire season, writing about the extraordinary relationships among these players with Sullivan, and Colton tells their story by capturing the essence of Birmingham and its citizens during this tumultuous year. (The infamous Bull Connor, for example, when not ordering blacks to be blasted by powerful water hoses, is a fervent follower of the Barons and served as a long-time broadcaster of their games.) By all accounts, the racial jeers and taunts that rained down upon these Birmingham players were much worse than anything that Jackie Robinson ever endured. More than a story about baseball, this is a true accounting of life in a different time and clearly a different place. Seventeen years after Jackie Robinson had broken the color line in the major leagues, Birmingham was exploding in race riots…and now, they were going to have their very first integrated sports team. This is a story that has never been told.

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    Southern League

    12.0 hrs • 5/14/13 • Unabridged
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  13. 8.0 hrs • 3/26/2013 • Unabridged

    A hilarious celebration of the worst in baseball history: The boneheads, cheats, jerks and losers who make the grand old game so fun. Libraries and Internet sites are filled to groaning with debates about who the best ballplayers of all time were, but how many times can you argue about Mantle vs. Mays? Since baseball is a game of failure, it’s much more fun to dive into the fray and explore baseball’s worst: who was the lousiest pitcher of all-time? The biggest goat? The most despicable owner? The greatest cheater? Filip Bondy wields formidable research, advanced sabermetrics and his considerable wit to provide this indispensable guide to the less glorious side of our national pastime. Each chapter is filled with rich and colorful stories of the players unfortunate enough to be chosen in each category and is followed by a handy top-ten list, such as Most Overpaid Yankees. From a delightful survey of batters who fell below the dreaded “Mendoza Line” to a rundown of managers who had long careers distinguished by relentless losing to a roster of players who took steroids but still stunk, Who’s on Worst? is a thoroughly entertaining portrait of the personalities who deserve their place in baseball history as much as the immortals.

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    Who’s on Worst?

    8.0 hrs • 3/26/13 • Unabridged
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  14. 4.2 hrs • 3/5/2013 • Unabridged

    John Miley has compiled the most comprehensive audio account of baseball history in existence—a vast and wildly entertaining assemblage of game tapes from throughout the sport’s history. His archive contains classic moments, like the Shot Heard ’round the World, and amazing feats, like Carl Hubbell striking out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin—in order—in the 1934 All-Star Game. Narrated by Bob Costas, Baseball Forever! brings you highlights from Miley’s collection, with numerous clips available for the first time since their original transmission.  Bestselling author Jason Turbow (The Baseball Codes) mines the archive with Miley himself, taking us to some of baseball’s greatest settings—Yankee Stadium, Ebbets Field, Fenway Park—while guided by the game’s legendary broadcasters, like Mel Allen, Red Barber, Harry Caray, and Vin Scully. Miley and Turbow have carefully selected an abundance of highlights for Baseball Forever! that is sure to inform, entertain, and appeal to anybody nostalgic for baseball’s storied history.

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    Baseball Forever! by Jason Turbow, John Miley

    Baseball Forever!

    Compiled by Jason Turbow and John Miley
    Read by Bob Costas
    4.2 hrs • 3/5/13 • Unabridged
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  15. 1.0 hrs • 12/1/2012 • Unabridged

    Here is Joe DiMaggio, baseball’s man for all seasons in a stunning new audio documentary. DiMaggio’s life and times are chronicled here from the rough and ready streets of San Francisco to the shady winding lanes of Beverly Hills and, most importantly, the Yankee’s gritty sawdust dugout. This stunning audio biography includes touching celebrity tributes to the gentle giant of American sports as well as rare interviews with the man himself. A must have for all true baseball fans.

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    Baseball Legend Joe DiMaggio

    1.0 hrs • 12/1/12 • Unabridged
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  16. 8.2 hrs • 9/28/2012 • Unabridged

    From Sports Illustrated writer Chris Ballard comes the inspirational story of a coach, a baseball team, and the season they’d never forget. In 1971 a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to become the smallest school in Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands. There, sporting long hair and warming up to Jesus Christ Superstar, the Ironmen would play a dramatic game against a Chicago powerhouse that would change their lives forever. In a gripping, cinematic narrative, Sports Illustrated writer Chris Ballard tells the story of the team and its coach, Lynn Sweet—a hippie, dreamer, and intellectual who arrived in Macon in 1966, bringing progressive ideas to a town stuck in the Eisenhower era. Beloved by students but not administration, Sweet reluctantly took over a rag-tag team, intent on teaching the boys as much about life as baseball. Inspired by Sweet’s unconventional methods and led by fiery star Steve Shartzer and spindly curveball artist John Heneberry, the undersized, undermanned Macon Ironmen embarked on an improbable postseason run that infuriated rival coaches and buoyed an entire town. Beginning with Sweet’s arrival, Ballard takes listeners on a journey back to the Ironmen’s historic season and then on to the present day, returning to the 1971 Ironmen to explore the effect the game had on their lives’ trajectories—and the men they’ve become because of it. Engaging and poignant, One Shot at Forever is a testament to the power of high school sports to shape the lives of those who play them, and it reminds us that there are few bonds more sacred than those among a coach, a team, and a town.

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    One Shot at Forever

    8.2 hrs • 9/28/12 • Unabridged
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