Featured Items
I Love This Game!: My Life and Baseball
I Love This Game!
My Life and Baseball
Hardcover      ISBN: 0060177101

The major league player describes his childhood in Chicago's South Side, his introduction to baseball on improvised fields, his discovery by a scout, and his experiences in the major leagues

Catch Them Being Good: Everything You Need to Know to Successfully Coach Girls
Catch Them Being Good
Everything You Need to Know to Successfully Coach Girls
Hardcover      ISBN: 0670031224

When Tony DiCicco first became head coach of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team, his star player, Mia Hamm, gave him this piece of advice: "Coach us like men, but treat us like women." Now the most successful coach in American international soccer history shows coaches and parents how to get the most out of young female players.
"Catch Them Being Good" provides an outline for how to build a team-from selecting players and setting team goals to giving instructional feedback, dealing with wins and losses, and building chemistry. The book also offers exercises and drills that any coach can implement, along with invaluable advice on the differences in coaching males and females. In addition, this book is an important tool for parents, as DiCicco and Hacker answer some of their most common questions: How can I tell if the coach is doing a good job? What if I have a problem with the coach? What should I do if my child wants to quit? Abounding with stories about the personalities of the championship teams, "Catch Them Being Good" is the ultimate soccer book for parents, coaches, and athletes-from America's soccer authority.

The Only Way I Know
The Only Way I Know
Hardcover      ISBN: 0670871931

He says it's no big deal - he simply shows up for his job every day, just like millions of other working people. But when Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr., reported to the baseball field on September 6, 1995, for a record-breaking 2,131st consecutive time, Americans felt otherwise. In an era of big-money sports, strikes, and grandstanding, the hardest-working ballplayer in the world had single-handedly put the "great" back in America's greatest game.
Now, with the candor and grace that have endeared him to fans, Ripken tells the story of his journey to that moment and beyond.
Best of all, Cal takes us inside the brain of one of the game's smartest players. He dissects the dedication to craft it takes to be a shortstop - especially when you're six-foot-four. He takes us through his strategies at the plate and in the field, his attention to the tiniest detail of positioning, or glove selection, or batting stance. It's a private lesson with one of the true masters of the art of playing baseball.
Cal Ripken knows what it means to make a commitment, like the one he's made to his hometown and its team for his whole career, and to his own family. In this rich and rewarding memoir, we find out why he gives back as much as he takes from the game and the fans - it's the only way he knows.

As They See 'em: a Fan's Travels in the Land of Umpires
As They See 'em
a Fan's Travels in the Land of Umpires
Hardcover      ISBN: 0743294114

Millions of American baseball fans know, with absolute certainty, that umpires are simply overpaid galoots who are doing an easy job badly. Millions of American baseball fans are wrong.

"As They See 'Em" is an insider's look at the largely unknown world of professional umpires, the small group of men (and the very occasional woman) who make sure America's favorite pastime is conducted in a manner that is clean, crisp, and true. Bruce Weber, a "New York Times" reporter, not only interviewed dozens of professional umpires but entered their world, trained to become an umpire, and then spent a season working games from Little League to big league spring training.

"As They See 'Em" is Weber's entertaining account of this experience as well as a lively exploration of what amounts to an eccentric secret society, with its own customs, its own rituals, its own colorful vocabulary. (Know what a "whacker" is? A "pole bender"? "Rat cheese"? Think you could "strap it on" or "take the stick"?) He explains the arcane set of rules by which umps work and details the exasperating, tortuous path that allows only a select few to graduate from the minor leagues to the majors. He describes what it's like to work in a ballpark where not only the fans but the players, the managers and coaches, the announcers, the team owners, and even the league presidents, resent them -- and vice versa. And he asks, quite sensibly, why anyone would do a job that offers the chance to earn only blame and never credit.

Weber reveals how umps are tutored to work behind the plate, what they learn to watch for on the bases, and how proper positioning for every imaginable situation on the field is drilled into them. He describes how they're counseled to respond -- or not -- to managers who are screaming at them from inches away with purposeful inanity, and tells us exactly which "magic" words result in an automatic ejection. Writing with deep knowledge of and affection for baseball, he delves into such questions as: Why isn't every strike created equal? Is the ump part of the game or outside of it? Why doesn't a tie go to the runner? And what do umps and managers say to each other during an argument, really?

In addition to professional umpires, Weber spoke to current and former players including Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Tom Glavine, Barry Zito, Paul Lo Duca, Kenny Lofton, Ron Darling, and Robin Yount, as well as former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent, Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, and many others in the professional game. He attended the 2006 and 2007 World Series, interviewing the umpire crews who called those games and who spoke candidly about the pressure of being scrutinized by millions -- maybe billions -- of fans around the world, all of them armed with television's slo-mo, hi-def instant replay. As fans know, in 2008, a rash of miscalled home run balls led baseball, for the first time, to use replay to help big league umps make their decisions.Weber discusses these events and the umpires' surprising reaction to them.

Packed with fascinating reportage that reveals the game as never before and answers the kinds of questions that fans, exasperated by the cliches of conventional sports commentary, pose to themselves around the television set, Bruce Weber's "As They See 'Em" is a towering grand slam.

Softball Fundamentals
Softball Fundamentals
Paperback      ISBN: 0736055843

Take the field and play ball Softball Fundamentals will have you pitching, fielding, hitting, and baserunning like an experienced player in no time at all.

Learn to execute each of the game's key skills properly through the concise instruction and accompanying photos presented for each technique. More than 48 gamelike drills will speed your skill learning and improve your performance. You'll also learn how to apply your newfound skills in game situations and gain an understanding of offensive and defensive tactics to get an edge over your opponents.

Softball Fundamentals is the best way to master the basics of the sport as you play. With this book, you'll make the right play from the very first day.

See all the titles available in the Sports Fundamentals Series.

Batter Up: Celebrating a Century of Minnesota Baseball
Batter Up
Celebrating a Century of Minnesota Baseball
Hardcover      ISBN: 0931714974

This book examines a century of Minnesota baseball, from the Twins and Gophers to the Duluth Dukes and St. Paul Saints. Photos, biographies and memories create a compelling read for any sports buff, with a foreword by Harmon Killebrew.

Haunted Baseball: Ghosts, Curses, Legends, and Eerie Events
Haunted Baseball
Ghosts, Curses, Legends, and Eerie Events
Paperback      ISBN: 1599210223

Baseball and ghost stories are as American as apple pie. Haunted Baseball combines both with this fun and freaky collection of otherworldly yarns. Collected from baseball players, stadium personnel, umpires, front-office folks, and fans, the tales told here explore the spooky connection between baseball and the paranormal, including Babe Ruth sightings at a former brothel, the Curse of the Billy Goat that still haunts the Chicago Cubs, of hidden passageways within the depths of Dodger Stadium, and of the spirits of legendary stars that inspire modern-day players at Yankee Stadium. We hear why Johnny Damon believes in ghosts, and how the memories of a 9/11 hero inspired Ken Griffey Jr. to hit a home run against the Phillies--a team against which he'd never even gotten a hit There's the story of how Sam Rice settled a decades-old baseball controversy with a message from beyond the grave, and how the late Roberto Clemente had premonitions of his own death in a plane crash. With a wealth of anecdotes that have never before been told before, the authors present an entertaining and eerie look at our national pastime.

Summer of '49
Summer of '49
Paperback      ISBN: 0060884266

With incredible skill, passion, and insight, Pulitzer Prize-winningauthor David Halberstam returns us to a glorious time when the dreams of a now almost forgotten America rested on the crack of a bat.

The year was 1949, and a war-weary nation turned from the battlefields to the ball fields in search of new heroes. It was a summer that marked the beginning of a sports rivalry unequaled in the annals of athletic competition. The awesome New York Yankees and the indomitable Boston Red Sox were fighting for supremacy of baseball's American League, and an aging Joe DiMaggio and a brash, headstrong hitting phenomenon named Ted Williams led their respective teams in a classic pennant duel of almost mythic proportions--one that would be decided in an explosive head-to-head confrontation on the last day of the season.

Cobb: A Biography
A Biography
Hardcover      ISBN: 0945575645

Al Stump's gripping look at one of America's most famous sports heroes -- a man who walked the line between greatness and psychosis.

My Prison Without Bars: Pete Rose
My Prison Without Bars
Pete Rose
Hardcover      ISBN: 1579549276

PETE ROSE HOLDS MORE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL RECORDS THAN ANY OTHER PLAYER IN HISTORY. He stands alone as baseball's hit king having shattered the previously "unbreakable" record held by Ty Cobb. He is a blue-collar hero with the kind of old-fashioned work ethic that turned great talent into legendary accomplishments.

Pete Rose is also a lifelong gambler and a sufferer of oppositional defiant disorder. For the past 13 years, he has been banned from baseball and barred from his rightful place in the Hall of Fame-- accused of violating MLB's one taboo. Rule 21 states that no one associated with baseball shall ever gamble on the game. The punishment is no less than a permanent barring from baseball and exclusion from the Hall of Fame.

Pete Rose has lived in the shadow of his exile. He has denied betting on the game that he loves. He has been shunned by MLB, investigated by the IRS, and served time for tax charges in the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.

But he's coming back.

Pete Rose has never been forgotten by the fans who loved him throughout his 24-year career. The men he played with have stood by him. In this, his first book since his very public fall from grace, Pete Rose speaks with great candor about all the outstanding questions that have kept him firmly in the public eye. He discloses what life was like behind bars, discusses the turbulent years of his exile, and gives a vivid picture of his early life and baseball career. He also confronts his demons, tackling the ugly truths about his gambling and his behavior.

MY PRISON WITHOUT BARS is Pete Rose's full accounting of his life. No one thinks he's perfect. He has made mistakes-- big ones. And he is finally ready to admit them.