Tagged: cal ripken jr

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

 

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Gehrig Game by Game-One of the Greatest Hitters Ever


There are names within the game of baseball whose greatness goes unchallenged.  Ruth, Clemente, Mays, Mantle, Aaron, Cobb and Gehrig all fall into that category without question.  Now very few of us that are still alive were ever witness to some of these named greats.  Cobb, Ruth and Gehrig especially.  So these players we accept their greatness as fact strictly by word of mouth and recorded statistics.  But how many of us have ever sat down and looked at any of these players on a game by game basis?  I know I have never made the attempt to do that, and quite frankly I wouldn’t even know where to start to do the research and have my findings be 100% accurate.  Now there is a new book out that takes one of the greats and breaks his career down into every single game.

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By: Kevin Larkin – 2015

Kevin Larkin has undergone an analysis of Lou Gehrig’s career that is rivaled by no one.  He has broken down every single game that Gehrig was on the New York Yankees roster and given a game synopsis.  Broken down by each season, you get every single game.  Not just certain highlights, when I say every game I mean every game.  Regular Season, Post-Season and  All-Star Games are all included here.  Some games are great for Gehrig and some were duds, as it is with any players career, so it shows you much like today there were slumps and adjustments that needed to be made.

It is a nice change to see the struggles as well as the highlights because it puts a face to Lou Gehrig that may not be often seen.  Everyone has seen the Lou Gehrig speech 100 times over and the highlights of his career are easy to find, but this is different.  It shows everything he did on the field, fielding hitting, assists and a few other spectacular moves that made him one of the all-time greatest.

The book starts with a brief synopsis about Gehrig’s life before baseball and how he made his way to the majors.  Then the  book ties up the game summaries with career statistics that help complete the overall picture of what he produced out on the field.   The final part of the book which I found very interesting is an in-depth explanation of ALS, which eventually ended Gehrig’s life.  It was a nice tie-in that shows the complete struggle he had to endure.

Kevin Larkin has done an incredible job with this book.  The research was a tremendous undertaking and he in the end produced a quality book that paints a very vivid picture of Lou Gehrig.  His attention to detail is very important in this book and it is presented in a way that keeps it interesting to the reader.  He has inserted total game details into each game entry and it keeps it interesting for the reader.  I was worried that after a few seasons it would get monotonous going through each game, but I am happy to report, the way in which it was written kept it interesting throughout.

Since it is Lou Gehrig, this will appeal to all fans of the game, it is not just Yankees specific.  He was an important part of the games history and this book shows us the accomplishments that made him that way.

You can get personally autographed copies of this book direct from the author by contacting him via email kjlarkin@verizon.net or by calling him direct at 413-446-3673

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

 

 

The Hall – A Celebration of Baseball’s Greats


Choosing the best of the best can really ignite some serious debates.  Who belongs, who doesn’t, who should be eligible and who should not even be there always makes for good conversations among friends.  The Baseball Hall of Fame, which is nestled in that sleepy little town in upstate New York, is the mecca of baseball junkies.  You can walk among some of the greatest artifacts throughout the history of the game as well as visiting the memorials to all the games brightest stars.  If you are not lucky enough to be located within a reasonable distance of the Hall like I am (2 hours), then you may not be able to get there as often as you would like or even at all for that matter.  I found a book, if you are one of the unlucky few that may never get there that will help you experience some of the magical aura that is The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The Official 75th Anniversary Book-2014

The Official 75th Anniversary Book 2014

The Baseball Hall of Fame has really published a first-rate book with this one.  The quality of the book alone is incredible.  From the paper stock, to the printing this is a really nice book.  Quality of the book is something I really never comment on, but this one is really that good.

The Hall has compiled all its members, including managers, executives and umpires and given the reader in-depth overviews of every single person.  Each player section is broken down by position into its own chapter and then sorted by induction year.  It has dedicated two pages to each personality and gives a nice biography of their career as well as a brief snippet of that persons unique personality.  It is a nice feature for each person that you don’t always get in these types of books, because it is usually more focused on the career numbers.  Each person’s Hall of Fame plaque also heads their individual page so you are able to read exactly what is hanging on the wall in Cooperstown.

The other nice feature is a several page essay at the beginning of each chapter.  A player from that chapter has written about his own experiences during his career that led him to The Hall of Fame.  It is  something you don’t normally see in a Hall of Fame coffee table book and adds a real human touch to this book.  I think the Hall of Fame sometimes lacks a human touch when speaking about its members, so this brings it back to a very personal and fan friendly level.

This book covers all the players that were enshrined as of the publication date.  The only down side to these types of books is that they are not accurate for very long.  Once the next July rolls around someone is missing.  But honestly this book is done so well it should belong in every fan’s library.  You may be familiar with some of the names, but there are others that are a real learning experience for fans young and old.

You can get this book from the nice folks at Little Brown and Company

http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/the-national-baseball-hall-of-fame-and-museum/the-hall-a-celebration-of-baseballs-greats/9780316213028/

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