Browsing Posts in Book Reviews

Instant Baseball: The Baseball Instagrams of Brad Mangin, profiles hundreds of Instragrams photos taken by MLB fans. ESPN’s Pedro Gomez wrote the foreword, so make sure you check it out. It’s a great book and a must-have for any baseball fan. Buy it here today!

Dylan Dethier isn’t your average college student.

At seventeen, Dethier couldn’t help but think he’d never really did anything with his life. Two months before his freshman year started, he deferred college for a year to boldy go on where few, if any, golfers have gone before–to drive solo across country and a play a round of golf in all 48 states. In 18 in America: A Young Golfer’s Epic Journey to Find the Essence of the Game, Deither, now a 21-year-old junior at Williams College, tells a remarkable account of the courses he played, people he met, and the lessons he learned about America and himself. 

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Every caddie has a story: the salty Scot looping for tourists in the birthplace of the game, the congenial old Southerner impart time-earned wisdom on the hallowed fairways of Augusta National, the clean-cut mini-tour player earning quick cash to fund golf dreams of his own, the solitary vagabond, the master of the quick fix, the leveler of hard truths. They travel from port to port, walking and playing the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Nobody gets rich. There is no retirement plan. They only have each other–a brotherhood of crazy, colorful characters. Golf is the language they speak, and in most instances, the only thing they know as well. This is the life of the club caddie.

Loopers: A Caddie’s Twenty-Year Golf Odyssey by longtime caddie, John Dunn, is a stirring, candid and often laugh-out-loud funny narrative that chronicles the decades he spent caddying and playing historic tracks like Augusta, Shinnecock Hills, Olympic Club, Bandon Dunes, and the Old Course at St. Andrews. Dunn never expected that his summer job as a caddie at the local course in Connecticut might turn into something more. The lifers–as in ‘caddies for life’–that plied the link were an ensemble of misfits and degenerates that made the caddie yard look more like an OTB parlor than anything resembling a country club. Dunn’s stories are assuming, honest, and very good!

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Baseball and race relations have a long storied history together in America. Tom Dunkel’s new book, Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball’s Color Line, argues that when we speak of Jackie Robinson, Curt Flood, and other pioneers, we should also include Neil Churchill’s 1935 barnstorming squad from Bismark, North Dakota in the discussion.

During the Great Depression, one of the most improbable teams in baseball history was assembled by one of the sport’s most unlikely champions. A decade before Jackie Robinson broke into the Major Leagues, Churchill signed the best players he could find, regardless of race. Churchill field an integrated squad that took on all comers in spectacular fashion. Church drafted stars from the Negro Leagues, including Quincy Troupe, Hilton Smith, Ted Radcliffe, and the great Satchel Paige. Color Blind enlightens readers on this forgotten team.

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Nailed! is a dramatic biography of Lenny Dykstra—the heroic center fielder for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies in the ’80s and ’90s whose gritty play earned him the nickname “Nails.” Dykstra’s unlikely post-baseball rise in the business world is a success story that is only matched by the sordid tale of his ultimate downfall.

From famously receiving financial guru Jim Cramer’s ringing endorsement as “one of the best” stock prognosticators, to hanging out with Charlie Sheen and numerous prostitutes, to holding court in his $15 million California home, Dykstra lived a highflying lifestyle. He was the toast of the business world before his litany of crimes were detected and his empire began to unravel in 2009, leading to a conviction and prison sentence in 2012 with more charges pending.

MV Comment: A must read for baseball fans. A thrilling, emotional journey for one of the game’s most interesting players.

We can learn a lot from a College Basketball Hall of Famer with more than forty years of coaching experience, 902 NCAA Division I coaching victories, and three NCAA Championships. Just in time for March Madness comes a new book from Bob Knight about coaching, leadership, and common sense wisdom. The Power of Negative Thinking is an entertaining rebuttle of Norman Vincent Peal’s 1952 bestseller and is also a concise, thought-provoking expansion on the thesis that Knight advocated for years that disproves silly, optimistic axioms and useless coaching platitudes along the way.

Some of the key stories in the book include:

  • Memories of coaching against Michael Jordan and North Carolina;
  • Playing on the day that Ronald Reagan was shot;
  • Recruiting student athletes;
  • Reflections on his career.

MV Note: Overall, this is a great book that really peels back the man that was coach Bob Knight. A must read for any sports fan! Buy it today on Amazon

When Ozzie Guillen opens his mouth, nobody knows what’s going to come out. And that has made the manager of the Miami Marlins endlessly entertaining to legions of baseball fans. In language that is often as profane as it is colorful, he will lash out not only at his team’s opponents but also at his own players, reporters, fans, and most of all, himself. He is always getting himself in hot water, and he loves every minute of it.

Yet for all the antics and controversy, Guillen is also one of the game’s best managers—a World Series champion and a perennial contender. This book opens the door on the secrets to his success.

Ozzie’s School of Management distills the ten commandments of managing, Guillen-style, which means no-holds-barred and leave your squeamishness at the door. The Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist Rick Morrissey, who built a strong rapport with Guillen during his eight years with the Chicago White Sox, takes us on a rollicking ride through Ozzie’s world, shining a light on his sharp intellect, organizational insights, and changing moods, and showing that the most important part of managing occurs before the first pitch and after the last out.

Great book highlighting the controversial Ozzie Guillen. Can’t think of another manager in sports quite like Ozzie. This book releases on Tuesday, May 22nd. Pick it up!