nobodypeople:A month or so ago I finished reading Wherever I Wind Up by the Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey. As a Mets fan since the day I was born, and simply a baseball fan, it has been thrilling to watch how well Dickey has been playing and inspiring to witness how famous his story has become.
Being a Mets fan is frustrating.
But seeing a Mets player succeed as much as R.A. has so far, and with such a unique story has eased some pain.
The guy is already a legend.
After finishing the book I found myself wanting to create a cover of my own.
Dickey’s turning point came a few years ago when he nearly drowned in the Missouri River after trying to prove he could swim across it. The life-threatening situation not only changed his outlook on life, but as crazy as it sounds his philosophy on pitching. Here he is rising out of the river, already trying to aim his next knuckleball.
Here’s to R.A. and him hopefully winning a Cy Young Award this year.
…Which couldn’t hurt his chances at selling the rights to his story for a movie deal.
The ending would be a little too perfect.
Sometimes, when we’re not marveling at giant bugs or depraved activities, the internet gifts us with a real gem. With that said, enjoy John Montgomery Ward’s “Base-ball: How to Become a Player.”
A small taste:
“Outside of the nine players on each side is another important personage, known as “The Umpire.” He is not placed there as a target for the maledictions of disappointed spectators. He is of flesh and blood, and has feelings just the same as any other human being. He is not chosen because of his dishonesty or ignorance of the rules of the game, neither is he an ex-horse thief nor an escaped felon ; on the contrary, he has been carefully selected by the President of the League from among a great number of applicants on account of his supposed in- tegrity of character and peculiar fitness for the position ; indeed, in private life he may even pass as a gentleman.”
Clearly Mr. Ward had never met Joe West. Click through to read the whole wondrous book.
(h/t Baseball Nation)
Showdown: JFK and the Integration of the Washington Redskins by Thomas G. Smith
“Let’s get this out of the way quickly: Moneyball was not a book about nerds and statistics and butterball catchers who do nothing but walk—not really. It was a book about the temporarily misperceived value of nerds and statistics and butterball catchers who do nothing but walk and, above all, about how to profit off that misperception. Which is to say that, at bottom, Moneyball was a book about a charismatic visionary (Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane) who achieved success by exploiting market inefficiencies. This is a conceit known as Every Business Book Ever. The guy sitting next to you on an airplane is reading a book like that. Malcolm Gladwell farts books like that. Moneyball told a simple story and told it wonderfully, but baseball being what it is—a game so thoroughly wrapped in its own bullshit that you’d need a grand jury to find its soul—the book was received as heresy.”
The Art of Fielding follows the story of Henry Skrimshander, an impressionable young baseball talent and the newest freshman member of Wisconsin’s Westish College Harpooners, and Mike Schwartz, the team’s confident and dedicated catcher, leader, and—when necessary—rogue recruiter. Here their friendship begins.
Continue reading… VanityFair
“Go to the wrong places, you don’t get the right response…I just wanted to mention that that book is a flop.” - WFAN’s Mike Francesa, May 6, 2011
Rex Ryan’s “Play Like You Mean It” is now No. 22 on NY Times Best Seller List for Hardcover Nonfiction & No. 32 for all Nonfiction. - @TheJetsStream
“Vince Doria, Vice president of news: Keith was standing outside the building one day in a leather jacket and [executive vice president John] Lack came running up to him and said, “You need to wear that on the set [of ESPN2, aka “The Deuce” SportsNight — the SportsCenter knockoff with Keith Olbermann and Suzy Kolber].” It’s a good thing he wasn’t wearing a mink stole.
Keith Olbermann: The reason I was wearing that awful leather jacket was because it was so cold in the ESPN2 studio. It had to have been fifty-five degrees in there. It was an icebox.
Mitch Albom SportsNight contributor: The network began on a Friday night. We were sitting in the dark waiting for the lights to come up, and I remember thinking, “Wow, this is the start of a network. I’m part of history here.” And with that thought in mind, the lights come up and Keith Olbermann, wearing a leather coat, says, “Welcome to the end of my career.”
One of the books I’m currently reading is Baseball historian John Thune’s Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game and I keep coming across wonderful passages that connect interesting, and seemingly disparate, dots. This one caught my eye:
Von Der Ahe (proprietor of the St. Louis Browns - of the American Association), in particular, had no love for the league (National League), and he seethed when Chicago’s underhanded tactics denied his Browns a rightful victory in the 1885 World Series. Before he final game both sides had agreed that the controversial game two would be declared no contest; originally it had been forfeited to Chicago when the Browns left the field in the sixth inning of a 5-4 game in a dispute with the legendarily crooked umpire Dave Sullivan (who nonetheless officiated a few big-league games after this). Thus with the series tied at two wins apiece - game one had ended in a legitimate tie - the Browns won game seven handily, 13-4 to win the World Series…or so they thought. Only after the conclusion of this game did Cap Anson insist that game two should now revert to a forfeit, so that the series would end in a draw, at three wins apiece after the series-opening tie. The long-standing rivalry between St. Louis and Chicago may have originated in their competition for the nation’s commerce via river or rail, but, in baseball, the ill feeling between supporters of the Cubs and Cardinals started with this dispute.
Ryan, who never publicly criticized Revis during the negotiations, reveals his frustration a few times. He disagrees with Revis’ stance, saying, “I don’t think this is right. The kid has three years left on his contract.”
Late in the process, about a week before the season opener, Ryan blows a gasket, letting the front office know he’s none too pleased with the delay. He’s told they’re working on a four-year contract, and that there are unresolved technicalities that are holding up the process. To which Ryan replies, “I don’t care about any of that, because if we don’t win, I’m not going to be here in four years.”
"Play Like You Mean It: Passion, Laughs and Leadership in the World’s Most Beautiful Game," will be released on May 3, 2011.