Tagged: Brooks Robinson

Skipper Supreme-Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles


Managers are an interesting breed.  Their job security is virtually non-existent from the day they are hired, and they are second guessed on a regular basis.  No matter what moves they make on the field, someone in the stands, on the team or in the front office will disagree with them.  Like with most things in life, the cream of the crop usually rises to the top and Buck Showalter is no exception.  Everywhere he has managed he has had some sort of measured success, but has never been able to make it all the way to the World Series.  His most recent stop with the Baltimore Orioles to date has been without a doubt successful and will more than likely get him his ring.  Today’s book takes a look at the methods, both on and off the field, that have brought the Orioles out of the basement of the A.L. East.

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By: Todd Karpovich & Jeff Seidel – 2016

Skipper Supreme takes the reader through a journey that Orioles fans are ecstatic that they have been able to be a part of.  It shows how Buck Showalter’s people skills and feel for the game have rebuilt a franchise that was bottom feeding for a long time.  Much like fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the people in Baltimore were desperate for some light at the end of Camden Yards and with Buck at the helm the finally got one.

This book shows reader step by step how methodically Baltimore has re-built themselves into a serious contender.  How through strong historical values, smart personnel moves and a little luck, this group of players have breathed life back into the city of Baltimore.  The Orioles are the poster children for a good mix between old school baseball thinking and new school metrics.

If you are a fan of the Orioles, this book is right up your alley.  99% of the book is about the O’s march back to respectability.  If you are looking for a full-on autobiography on Buck Showalter you will be disappointed.  They don’t in any detail touch on his time with the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks or Texas Rangers.  They are mentioned in passing but nothing of great substance.  This book is all Baltimore …..all the time.

Considering the authors are both Baltimore writers I get the reasoning as to why the book is this way.  It is their hometown civic pride shining through.  The Orioles finally have a team worth talking about and they don’t want them getting lost in the story lines of the larger market teams.  Buck Showalter should be highly commended for his turnaround of that franchise and the authors do a very nice job of giving him and his players the credit they deserve.  Orioles fans will enjoy their time spent reading this book, without question. Now next, I would like to see someone write a true Buck Showalter biography and give us some more details about the Skipper Supreme.

You can get this book from the nice folks at Sports Publishing

Skipper Supreme

 

Pudge-The Autobiography of Carlton Fisk


There are certain moments in baseball history that transcend time.  The team, the year and the location are of little consequence, but that moment stays fresh in everyone’s mind forever.  For me, one of those moments is Carlton Fisk’s home run in Fenway Park during Game Six of the 1975 World Series.  It is one of the most iconic moments in the history of the game, and possibly the one thing Carlton Fisk is most famous for.  What else do we really know about Fisk though?  Everyone is familiar with his playing career and the numbers he put up during his Hall of Fame career, but how much do we really know about his personality?  Recently a book has been published that gives an inside look at the Hall of Fame slugger.

By: Doug Wilson-2015

By: Doug Wilson-2015

To me for some reason, Carlton Fisk is one of those Hall of Famers that hides in the shadows.  When you think of the Hall of Fame he is not the first person that comes to mind.  Perhaps it is because his lone World Series was in 1975, or maybe its his calm and steady demeanor that relegates him to the background.  Whatever the reason may be, he is truly worthy of his place in Cooperstown and Doug Wilson has done a really nice job of walking the reader behind the curtain that is Carlton Fisk.

A man of great integrity that came from a strong New England upbringing, Fisk is portrayed as a pillar of character and personal strength.  The author takes readers on a journey through Fisk’s growing up and forging the character that is a staple of his personality.  You also get to see his debut in the majors and how he came to be a respected catcher and dedicated teammate.  Obviously this book would not even be close to complete without getting the inside story on the World Series Home Run.  It does a very nice job of showing the true story of Fisk’s time in Boston.  It shows the behind the scenes struggles with team management that ultimately led to the home-grown slugger heading to Chicago.

His time in Chicago and life after baseball for Fisk is also covered very nicely here.  It does show a complete picture of Fisk’s career.  It also lends a personal side to the Catcher that is not something I have come across before.  It was nice to see a book that focused on the person, instead of just the Home Run in 1975.

Doug Wilson always does a nice job with his books.  They are not overly flashy, but are always well researched and the subjects are usually ones that are lacking in other coverage.  His three other books that are out there do a nice job as well of covering their subject matter.  In my opinion Doug Wilson is becoming one of the better baseball biographers of this era.

All baseball fans should check this one out.  We are all familiar with the player and now its time to get to know the man behind the Catcher’s mask.

You can get this book from the nice folks at Thomas Dunne Books

Pudge-The Biography of Carlton Fisk

Happy Reading

Gregg

60 Years of Oriole Magic – 1954-2014


I will admit that I am not an easy person to impress.  I can spot flaws in a lot of things, and usually it is about something that most people would never give a second thought to.  Call me picky, difficult or any number of adjectives, you have to work pretty hard to make me go wow.  I have looked at books from Insight Editions on this blog before, and they made me go wow.  They now have another book out that is making me have the same reaction……..again!

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BY:Jim Henneman-2015

The Baltimore Orioles were created from the charred remains of the St. Louis Browns for the 1954 season.  A legacy left behind in St Louis of ineptness and failure, the Baltimore Orioles hoped that a new beginning would bring forth success and happier times.  Welcomed by the fans of Baltimore, the Orioles embarked on a love affair with the city that has created remarkable memories and seen some pretty great players pass through that town.

Insight Editions has published a new book that marks the 60th anniversary of the Orioles coming to Baltimore.  Author Jim Henneman walks you through the rich history that has been created in Baltimore along with some monumental moments in baseball history.  It takes a journey starting in 1954 with manager Jimmy Dykes, and brings you to the present, visiting with superstars such as Brooks and Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson, Jim Palmer,  Eddie Murray and some other fellow named Ripken.

The book is broken into several era’s of Orioles history and shows what unfolded in each decade.  From World Series triumphs, through the changing of the guard on the field at the end of each era, you get a complete look at the Orioles history in Baltimore.  You also get some incredible pictures of Cal Ripken Jr’s breaking of Lou Gehrig’s record in 1996.  How many of us, when we think of the Orioles reflect back on that moment?  Through a couple of ball parks, a few generations of employees, players and a few thousand games, you get the complete picture of what the Orioles have accomplished in Baltimore, and also get a feel as to what they mean to the fans in Baltimore.

As with the other baseball team books that Insight Editions has produced, they have made this one a pop-up book for adults.  By that I mean, they have included folders in the book with postcards of special moments in Orioles history, ticket stubs from World Series games, actual copies of letters from fans and a few other cool surprises.  They really out-do themselves with these types of books and this one does not disappoint in any way.

Orioles fans should check this out to re-live some of the great moments in Baltimore Orioles history.  Non-Orioles fans should also check it out because it gives a very valuable history lesson of the franchise that has produced some great players and even greater memories for us all.

You can get this book from the nice folks at Insight Editions

http://www.insighteditions.com/Baltimore-Orioles-60-Years-Magic/dp/1608873188

Happy Reading

Gregg

The Glory of the 1966 Baltimore Orioles


One of the beautiful things about baseball is it allows you to become a time traveler.  You can pick any point in time over the last 150 years or so, and you will find a baseball book that will transport you there.  World Series champions have always been a popular place for time travelers.  You can pick your favorite team and move yourself back to a time when you were 7 years old, or even go to a point when you were not even alive.  These books give you a chance to witness history, or possibly relive your youth.  Baltimore Orioles now have a great point in time to travel to with today’s book.

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By:Mark Millikin-St Johann Press 2006

Author Mark Millikin has fired up the time machine to transport the readers to the glorious year of 1966.  That year, Baltimore came out on top of the world.  The freshly reloaded Baltimore Orioles and their new star player Frank Robinson, were taking the town by storm.  That addition of Robinson alone pushed the Orioles to the forefront of the American League.  The very player that the Cincinnati Reds thought was past his prime and on the decline, gave the Orioles that extra spark they need to reach the top of baseball.

This book takes a very thorough look at the 1966 Orioles.  Through interviews with former players, sportswriters and fans it shows how popular that team was in the city of Baltimore.  The team that had a few future Hall of Famers on the roster, produced out on the field at a level that made the fans of Baltimore proud.  Playing at a torrid pace all season long, they propelled themselves to the top of the standings and never really looked back.

Teams like this always hold a special place in the hearts of their fans.  For whatever reasons each fan has, they are the team they always remember.  It was Baltimore’s first major success with the Orioles since they arrived in 1954, and made the fans dedication to their team stronger and of course, worth it in the end.  Frank Robinson really was that final piece the Orioles needed to reach immortality.  While the Orioles reached the World Series in a few of the years beyond 1966, fans never will forget their first true love……the Orioles of 1966 that swept the Dodgers.

Orioles fans will love this book.  The details are amazing and the stories are entertaining.  Fans of all teams should enjoy it as well, because if you didn’t live through it first hand it becomes a great history lesson for those that missed it.

You can get this book from the nice folks at St Johann Press

ww.stjohannpress.com

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

Brooks – The Biography of Brooks Robinson


At times, when there is greatness among us it goes unnoticed.  Other times, it stirs a debate that long out lives the subject matter.  Brooks Robinson certainly falls into that latter category.  He is the standard of which all third baseman will be measured against.  His field prowess has been known worldwide but todays book also gives a better look at the man behind the glove.

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Brooks-The Biography of Brooks Robinson

By Doug Wilson – 2014 Thomas Dunne Books

 

The story of Brooks Robinson’s spectacular career is nothing new to seasoned baseball fans.  There was nothing that would ever get by him on the field, spending his days playing  the hot corner in Baltimore.  From his start in 1955 to the very end in 1977, Brooks established himself as an institution in Baltimore.  A career highlighted by enshrinement in Cooperstown, the true Biography of this hero among us shows he was a Hall of Famer in more way than one.

 

This book was way overdue as far as I am concerned.  The last Brooks biography I can find was published in 1974.   The author does a great job of chronicling the life of Brooks and covers the standard “back home when he was growing up” tales that you get with most books of this type.  The one thing that sets this book apart from the others is you learn a great deal about the man’s personality.  All I can say after reading this book is if all the stories are true, which I believe they are, than Brooks Robinson is a really really nice guy.

 

Right from the gate you get the sense that Brooks is genuinely a people person.  From his interactions with people back home before ever reaching stardom, to his team mates, and his interaction with the fans after becoming a sure thing Hall of Fame player.  He just never changed.  It is almost refreshing to read the story of what a genuinely nice guy he was both on and off the field.  No scandals, no affairs, no media disasters……..Just Brooks being Brooks.  After reading this book I am not sure if Baltimore fans realize how lucky they were to have him for all those years.  From reading this book I almost wish he was one of my friends, he seems that nice.

 

Doug Wilson does a great job of giving you the complete picture of the man both on an off the people.  It does not feel in any way feel like an author who is just writing a hero-worship piece.  The author is an Optometrist by day and a writer after hours, so going into this I was thinking it may have had a slanted view.  I was wrong, it was an open and honest piece on the man. It is an in-depth, honest analysis of his playing career and from the included interviews you get the same strong results off the field.  By doing some other investigating before writing this pos,  just about everyone has the same feelings toward Brooks.  Everybody loves him!

 

Being a Phillies fan I have always been subject to the who is the better third baseman question.  Brooks or Mike Schmidt. They were comparable on the defensive side of the ball, but their numbers were a little different on the offensive side.  I always gave the nod to Mike Schmidt just because I was a homer.  After reading this I realize that they could not have more different personalities, which really should be part of that equation.  Brooks really comes across as the whole package both on and off the field.  My vote now goes for Brooks because you see in today’s sporting world, how important the complete package is.

 

Orioles fans should love this book and even fans, whose loyalties lie in other cities, will really enjoy it.  The greatness of the man really shines through.  Author Doug Wilson hit a home run with this one.

You can get this book from the friendly folks at Thomas Dunne Books

http://us.macmillan.com/thomasdunne

Happy Reading

Gregg