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24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid

24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid

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THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE BESTSELLER

The legendary Willie Mays shares the inspirations and influences responsible for guiding him on and off the field in this reflective and inspirational memoir.

Even if, like me, you thought you had pretty much read and heard all there was to read and hear about Willie Mays, this warmhearted book will inform and reward you. And besides, what true baseball fan can ever get enough of Willie Mays? Say Hey! Read on and enjoy. --From the Foreword by Bob Costas

"It's because of giants like Willie that someone like me could even think about running for President." --President Barack Obama

Widely regarded as the greatest all-around player in baseball history because of his unparalleled hitting, defense and baserunning, the beloved Willie Mays offers people of all ages his lifetime of experience meeting challenges with positivity, integrity and triumph in 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid.

Presented in 24 chapters to correspond with his universally recognized uniform number, Willie's memoir provides more than the story of his role in America's pastime. This is the story of a man who values family and community, engages in charitable causes especially involving children and follows a philosophy that encourages hope, hard work and the fulfillment of dreams.

"I was very lucky when I was a child. My family took care of me and made sure I was in early at night. I didn't get in trouble. My father made sure that I didn't do the wrong thing. I've always had a special place in my heart for children and their well-being, and John Shea and I got the idea that we should do something for the kids and the fathers and the mothers, and that's why this book is being published. We want to reach out to all generations and backgrounds. Hopefully, these stories and lessons will inspire people in a positive way." --Willie Mays

Amateurs: The Story of Four Young Men and Their Quest for an Olympic Gold Medal

Amateurs: The Story of Four Young Men and Their Quest for an Olympic Gold Medal

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"Astonishing . . . Moving . . . One of the best books ever written about a sport."
; *Walter Clemons
Newsweek
"A PENETRATING, FASCINATING AND REMARKABLY SUSPENSEFUL NARRATIVE."
; *David Guy
Chicago Tribune
In The Amateurs, David Halberstam once again displays the unique brand of reportage, both penetrating and supple, that distinguished his bestselling The Best and the Brightest and October 1964. This time he has taken for his subject the dramatic and special world of amateur rowing. While other athletes are earning fortunes in salaries and-or endorsements, the oarsmen gain fame only with each other and strive without any hope of financial reward.
What drives these men to endure a physical pain known to no other sport? Who are they? Where do they come from? How do they regard themselves and their competitors? What have they sacrificed, and what inner demons have they appeased? In answering these questions, David Halberstam takes as his focus the 1984 single sculls trials in Princeton. The man who wins will gain the right to represent the United States in the 84 Olympiad; the losers will then have to struggle further to gain a place in the two- or four-man boats. And even if they succeed, they will have to live with the bitter knowledge that they were not the best, only close to it.
Informative and compelling, The Amateurs combines the vividness of superb sportswriting with the narrative skills of a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent.
"RIVETING."
; *Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball

Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Acclaimed sports journalist Jack McCallum delivers the untold story of the greatest team ever assembled: the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team. As a writer for Sports Illustrated, McCallum enjoyed a courtside seat for the most exciting basketball spectacle on earth, covering the Dream Team from its inception to the gold medal ceremony in Barcelona. Drawing on fresh interviews with the players, McCallum provides the definitive account of the Dream Team phenomenon. He offers a behind-the-scenes look at the controversial selection process. He takes us inside the team's Olympic suites for late-night card games and bull sessions where superstars like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird debated the finer points of basketball. And he narrates a riveting account of the legendary intrasquad scrimmage that pitted the Dream Teamers against one another in what may have been the greatest pickup game in history. In the twenty years since the Dream Team first captivated the world, its mystique has only grown. Dream Team vividly re-creates the moment when a once-in-a-millennium group of athletes came together and changed the future of sports--one perfectly executed fast break at a time.

With a new Afterword by the author

"The absolute definitive work on the subject, a perfectly wonderful once-you-pick-it-up-you-won't-be-able-to-put-it-down book."--The Boston Globe

"An Olympic hoops dream."--Newsday

"What makes this volume a must-read for nostalgic hoopsters are the robust portraits of the outsize personalities of the participants, all of whom were remarkably open with McCallum, both then and now."--Booklist (starred review)

Inside Game: Bad Calls, Strange Moves, and What Baseball Behavior Teaches Us about Ourselves

Inside Game: Bad Calls, Strange Moves, and What Baseball Behavior Teaches Us about Ourselves

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In this groundbreaking book, Keith Law, baseball writer for The Athletic and author of the acclaimed Smart Baseball, offers an era-spanning dissection of some of the best and worst decisions in modern baseball, explaining what motivated them, what can be learned from them, and how their legacy has shaped the game.

For years, Daniel Kahneman's iconic work of behavioral science Thinking Fast and Slow has been required reading in front offices across Major League Baseball. In this smart, incisive, and eye-opening book, Keith Law applies Kahneman's ideas about decision making to the game itself.

Baseball is a sport of decisions. Some are so small and routine they become the building blocks of the game itself--what pitch to throw or when to swing away. Others are so huge they dictate the future of franchises--when to make a strategic trade for a chance to win now, or when to offer a millions and a multi-year contract for a twenty-eight-year-old star. These decisions have long shaped the behavior of players, managers, and entire franchises. But as those choices have become more complex and data-driven, knowing what's behind them has become key to understanding the sport. This fascinating, revelatory work explores as never before the essential question: What were they thinking?

Combining behavioral science and interviews with executives, managers, and players, Keith Law analyzes baseball's biggest decision making successes and failures, looking at how gambles and calculated risks of all sizes and scales have shaped the sport, and how the game's ongoing data revolution is rewriting decades of accepted decision making. In the process, he explores questions that have long been debated, from whether throwing harder really increases a player's risk of serious injury to whether teams actually "overvalue" trade prospects.

Bringing his analytical and combative style to some of baseball's longest running debates, Law deepens our knowledge of the sport in this entertaining work that is both fun and deeply informative.

Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever

Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever

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In 1956, a casual bet between two millionaires eventually pitted two of the greatest golfers of the era -- Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan -- against top amateurs Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi.

The year: 1956. Decades have passed since Eddie Lowery came to fame as the ten-year-old caddie to U.S. Open Champion Francis Ouimet. Now a wealthy car dealer and avid supporter of amateur golf, Lowery has just made a bet with fellow millionaire George Coleman. Lowery claims that two of his employees, amateur golfers Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi, cannot be beaten in a best-ball match, and challenges Coleman to bring any two golfers of his choice to the course at 10 a.m. the next day to settle the issue. Coleman accepts the challenge and shows up with his own power team: Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, the game's greatest living professionals, with fourteen major championships between them.

In Mark Frost's peerless hands, complete with the recollections of all the participants, the story of this immortal foursome and the game they played that day-legendarily known in golf circles as the greatest private match ever played-comes to life with powerful, emotional impact and edge-of-your-seat suspense.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

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Just before the 2002 season opens, the Oakland Athletics must relinquish its three most prominent (and expensive) players and is written off by just about everyone--but then comes roaring back to challenge the American League record for consecutive wins. How did one of the poorest teams in baseball win so many games?

In a quest to discover the answer, Michael Lewis delivers not only "the single most influential baseball book ever" (Rob Neyer, Slate) but also what "may be the best book ever written on business" (Weekly Standard). Lewis first looks to all the logical places--the front offices of major league teams, the coaches, the minds of brilliant players--but discovers the real jackpot is a cache of numbers?numbers!?collected over the years by a strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts: software engineers, statisticians, Wall Street analysts, lawyers, and physics professors.

What these numbers prove is that the traditional yardsticks of success for players and teams are fatally flawed. Even the box score misleads us by ignoring the crucial importance of the humble base-on-balls. This information had been around for years, and nobody inside Major League Baseball paid it any mind. And then came Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics. He paid attention to those numbers?with the second-lowest payroll in baseball at his disposal he had to?to conduct an astonishing experiment in finding and fielding a team that nobody else wanted.

In a narrative full of fabulous characters and brilliant excursions into the unexpected, Michael Lewis shows us how and why the new baseball knowledge works. He also sets up a sly and hilarious morality tale: Big Money, like Goliath, is always supposed to win . . . how can we not cheer for David?

Pee Wees

Pee Wees

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A New York Times bestselling author takes a rollicking deep dive into the ultra-competitive world of youth hockey

Rich Cohen, the New York Times-bestselling author of The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse and Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football, turns his attention to matters closer to home: his son's elite Pee Wee hockey team and himself, a former player and a devoted hockey parent.

In Pee Wees: Confessions of a Hockey Parent, Cohen takes us through a season of hard-fought competition in Fairfield County, Connecticut, an affluent suburb of New York City. Part memoir and part exploration of youth sports and the exploding popularity of American hockey, Pee Wees follows the ups and downs of the Ridgefield Bears, the twelve-year-old boys and girls on the team, and the parents watching, cheering, conniving, and cursing in the stands. It is a book about the love of the game, the love of parents for their children, and the triumphs and struggles of both.

Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It

Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It

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In The Perfect Mile, Neal Bascomb, the New York Times bestselling author of Faster, presenst the riveting, true story of the three world-class athletes who individually became the first runners to break the four-minute mile.

There was a time when running the mile in four minutes was believed to be beyond the limits of human foot speed, and in all of sport it was the elusive holy grail. In 1952, after suffering defeat at the Helsinki Olympics, three world-class runners each set out to break this barrier.

Roger Bannister was a young English medical student who epitomized the ideal of the amateur -- still driven not just by winning but by the nobility of the pursuit. John Landy was the privileged son of a genteel Australian family, who as a boy preferred butterfly collecting to running but who trained relentlessly in an almost spiritual attempt to shape his body to this singular task. Then there was Wes Santee, the swaggering American, a Kansas farm boy and natural athlete who believed he was just plain better than everybody else.

Spanning three continents and defying the odds, their collective quest captivated the world and stole headlines from the Korean War, the atomic race, and such legendary figures as Edmund Hillary, Willie Mays, Native Dancer, and Ben Hogan. In the tradition of Seabiscuit and Chariots of Fire, Neal Bascomb delivers a breathtaking story of unlikely heroes and leaves us with a lasting portrait of the twilight years of the golden age of sport.





Swing Kings: The Inside Story of Baseball's Home Run Revolution

Swing Kings: The Inside Story of Baseball's Home Run Revolution

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The best baseball book I've read in years. -- Sam Walker - An exhilarating story of innovation. -- Ben Reiter - Swing Kings feels like a spiritual successor to Moneyball. -- Baseball Prospectus

From the Wall Street Journal's national baseball writer, the captivating story of the home run boom, following a group of players who rose from obscurity to stardom and the rogue swing coaches who helped them usher the game into a new age.

We are in a historic era for the home run. The 2019 season saw the most homers ever, obliterating a record set just two years before. It is a shift that has transformed the way the game is played, contributing to more strikeouts, longer games, and what feels like the logical conclusion of the analytics era. In Swing Kings, Wall Street Journal national baseball writer Jared Diamond reveals that the secret behind this unprecedented shift isn't steroids or the stitching of the baseballs, it's the most elemental explanation of all: the swing. In this lively narrative romp, he tracks a group of baseball's biggest stars--including Aaron Judge, J.D. Martinez, and Justin Turner--who remade their swings under the tutelage of a band of renegade coaches, and remade the game in the process.

These coaches, many of them baseball washouts who have reinvented themselves as swing gurus, for years were one of the game's best-kept secrets. Among their ranks are a swimming pool contractor, the owner of a billiards hall, and an ex-hippie whose swing insights draw from surfing and the technique of Japanese samurai. Now, as Diamond artfully charts, this motley cast has moved from the baseball margins to its center of power. They are changing the way hitting is taught to players of all ages, and major league clubs are scrambling for their services, hiring them in record numbers as coaches and consultants. And Diamond himself, whose baseball career ended in high school, enlists the tutelage of each swing coach he profiles, with an aim toward starring in the annual Boston-New York media game at Yankee Stadium.

Swing Kings is both a rollicking history of baseball's recent past and a deeply reported, character-driven account of a battle between opponents as old as time: old and new, change and stasis, the establishment and those who break from it. Jared Diamond has written a masterful chronicle of America's pastime at the crossroads.

Tanking to the Top: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Most Audacious Process in the History of Professional Sports

Tanking to the Top: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Most Audacious Process in the History of Professional Sports

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"TANKING TO THE TOP is the best basketball book in years." --Wall Street Journal
How the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers trusted The Process -- a bold plan to get to first by becoming the worst.

Including exclusive interviews with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Coach Brett Brown, Sam Hinkie, and more.
When a group of private equity bigwigs purchased the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011, the team was both bad and boring. Attendance was down. So were ratings. The Sixers had an aging coach, an antiquated front office, and a group of players that could best be described as mediocre.

Enter Sam Hinkie -- a man with a plan straight out of the PE playbook, one that violated professional sports' Golden Rule: You play to win the game. In Hinkie's view, the best way to reach first was to embrace becoming the worst -- to sacrifice wins in the present in order to capture championships in the future. And to those dubious, Hinkie had a response: Trust The Process, and the results will follow.

The plan, dubbed "The Process," seems to have worked. More than six years after handing Hinkie the keys, the Sixers have transformed into one of the most exciting teams in the NBA. They've emerged as a championship contender with a roster full of stars, none bigger than Joel Embiid, a captivating seven-footer known for both brutalizing opponents on the court and taunting them off of it.

Beneath the surface, though, lies a different story, one of infighting, dueling egos, and competing agendas. Hinkie, pushed out less than three years into his reign by a demoralized owner, a jealous CEO, and an embarrassed NBA, was the first casualty of The Process. He'd be far from the last.

Drawing from interviews with nearly 175 people, TANKING TO THE TOP brings to life the palace intrigue incited by Hinkie's proposal, taking readers into the boardroom where the Sixers laid out their plans, and onto the courts where those plans met reality. Full of uplifting, rags-to-riches stories, backroom dealings, mysterious injuries, and burner Twitter accounts, TANKING TO THE TOP is the definitive, inside story of the Sixers' Process and a fun and lively behind-the-scenes look at one of America's most transgressive teams.

Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui's Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory

Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui's Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory

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The New York Times bestselling inspirational story of impoverished children who transformed themselves into world-class swimmers.

In 1937, a schoolteacher on the island of Maui challenged a group of poverty-stricken sugar plantation kids to swim upstream against the current of their circumstance. The goal? To become Olympians.

They faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The children were Japanese-American and were malnourished and barefoot. They had no pool; they trained in the filthy irrigation ditches that snaked down from the mountains into the sugarcane fields. Their future was in those same fields, working alongside their parents in virtual slavery, known not by their names but by numbered tags that hung around their necks. Their teacher, Soichi Sakamoto, was an ordinary man whose swimming ability didn't extend much beyond treading water.

In spite of everything, including the virulent anti-Japanese sentiment of the late 1930s, in their first year the children outraced Olympic athletes twice their size; in their second year, they were national and international champs, shattering American and world records and making headlines from L.A. to Nazi Germany. In their third year, they'd be declared the greatest swimmers in the world. But they'd also face their greatest obstacle: the dawning of a world war and the cancellation of the Games. Still, on the battlefield, they'd become the 20th century's most celebrated heroes, and in 1948, they'd have one last chance for Olympic glory.

They were the Three-Year Swim Club. This is their story.

Why We Swim

Why We Swim

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A Time Magazine Must-Read Book of 2020
A Best Book of the Season: BuzzFeed * Bustle * San Francisco Chronicle
A Best Book of the Year: NPR's Book Concierge * Washington Independent Review of Books

"A fascinating and beautifully written love letter to water. I was enchanted by this book." --Rebecca Skloot, bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

An immersive, unforgettable, and eye-opening perspective on swimming--and on human behavior itself.

We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the twenty-first century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world.

Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein's palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what it is about water that seduces us, despite its dangers, and why we come back to it again and again.

I felt like I was reading a love letter to swimming in this beautiful book.  It is so all-encompassing in the way it examines our relationship with being immersed in water and what an inherent part of us it is - after all, floating is our first human condition.  The author is a diehard swimmer (open water, cold water, miles of water) but you don’t have to be to thoroughly enjoy her reflections on human community, competition and creativity all enhanced by the art (not just the sport!) of swimming.  Just in time for warmer weather and coming summer sunshine. - Carrie