“Field of Dreams was only superficially about baseball. It was really about life. So is The Baseball Whisperer . . . with the added advantage of being all true.” —MLB.com From an award-winning journalist, this is the story of a legendary coach and the professional-caliber baseball program he built in America's heartland, where boys would come summer after summer to be molded into ballplayers—and men. Clarinda, Iowa, population 5,000, sits two hours from anything. There, between the cornfields and hog yards, is a ball field with a bronze bust of a man named Merl Eberly, who specialized in second chances and lost causes. The statue was a gift from one of Merl’s original long-shot projects, a skinny kid from the Los Angeles ghetto who would one day become a beloved Hall-of-Fame shortstop: Ozzie Smith. The Baseball Whisperer traces the “deeply engrossing” story (Booklist, starred review) of Merl Eberly and his Clarinda A’s baseball team, which he tended over the course of five decades, transforming them from a town team to a collegiate summer league powerhouse. Along with Ozzie Smith, future manager Bud Black, and star player Von Hayes, Merl developed scores of major league players. In the process, he taught them to be men, insisting on hard work, integrity, and responsibility. More than a book about ballplayers in the nation’s agricultural heartland, The Baseball Whisperer is the story of a coach who put character and dedication first, reminding us of the best, purest form of baseball excellence. “Mike Tackett, talented journalist and baseball lover, has hit the sweet spot of the bat with his first book. The Baseball Whisperer takes one coach and one small Iowa town and illuminates both a sport and the human spirit.” —David Maraniss, New York Times-bestselling author of Clemente and When Pride Still Mattered
Former Major League pitcher and mental skills coach for two of baseball's legendary franchises (the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants) Bob Tewksbury takes fans inside the psychology of baseball. In Ninety Percent Mental, Bob Tewksbury shows readers a side of the game only he can provide, given his singular background as both a longtime MLB pitcher and a mental skills coach for two of the sport's most fabled franchises, the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants. Fans watching the game on television or even at the stadium don't have access to the mind games a pitcher must play in order to get through an at-bat, an inning, a game. Tewksbury explores the fascinating psychology behind baseball, such as how players use techniques of imagery, self-awareness, and strategic thinking to maximize performance, and how a pitcher's strategy changes throughout a game. He also offers an in-depth look into some of baseball's most monumental moments and intimate anecdotes from a "who's who" of the game, including legendary players who Tewksbury played with and against (such as Mark McGwire, Craig Biggio, and Greg Maddux), game-changing managers and executives (Joe Torre, Bruce Bochy, Brian Sabean), and current star players (Jon Lester, Anthony Rizzo, Andrew Miller, Rich Hill). With Tewksbury's esoteric knowledge as a thinking-fan's player and his expertise as a "baseball whisperer", this entertaining book is perfect for any fan who wants to see the game in a way he or she has never seen it before. Ninety Percent Mental will deliver an unprecedented look at the mound games and mind games of Major League Baseball.
"One Shot at Forever is powerful, inspirational. . . . This isn't merely a book about baseball. It's a book about heart." --Jeff Pearlman, New York Times bestselling author of Boys Will Be Boys and The Bad Guys Won In 1971, a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois, playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats, defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to represent the smallest school in Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands. There the Ironmen would play against a Chicago powerhouse in a dramatic game that would change their lives forever. In this gripping, cinematic narrative, Chris Ballard tells the story of the team and its coach, Lynn Sweet: a hippie, dreamer, and intellectual who arrived in Macon in 1966, bringing progressive ideas to a town stuck in the Eisenhower era. Beloved by students but not administration, Sweet reluctantly took over the ragtag team, intent on teaching the boys as much about life as baseball. Together they embarked on an improbable postseason run that buoyed a small town in desperate need of something to celebrate. Engaging and poignant, One Shot at Forever is a testament to the power of high school sports to shape the lives of those who play them, and it reminds us that there are few bonds more sacred than that among a coach, a team, and a town. "Macon's run at the title reminds us why sports matter and why sportswriting has such great power to inspire. . . . [It's] one hell of a good story, and Ballard has written one hell of a good book." --Jonathan Eig, Chicago Tribune
What is an elite NFL QB and what separates that player from the others? One answer is the coach they share. In the recent history of the biggest game on earth, one man is the common thread that connects several of the very best in the sport: Peyton Manning; Ben Roethlisberger; Andrew Luck; and the resurgent Carson Palmer. That coach is Bruce Arians. A larger than life visionary who trained under the tutelage of Bear Bryant, Arians has had a major impact on the development and success of each of these players. For proof beyond the stats, go to the sources. "Bruce is gonna love you when you need some loving, but he's gonna jump on you when you're not doing right." -- Peyton Manning "He coaches the way players want to be coached." -- Ben Roethlisberger "He made players comfortable around him and let everybody have their own personality. He didn't force anybody to be someone they weren't. It may sound a little corny or cheesy, but there's merit to that. I felt comfortable being myself and I felt he had my back." -- Andrew Luck "We're a resilient group. It trickles down from the head coach. I think good teams, really good teams, and hopefully great teams take on their coach's mentality. I think that's what B.A. brings . . . " -- Carson Palmer Known around the game as the 'quarterback whisperer', Arians has an uncanny ability to both personally connect with his quarterbacks and to locate what the individual triggers are for that player to succeed. No two quarterbacks are the same. And yet with Arians they always share success. In this book Arians will explain how he does it.
Provides a look at baseball from the pitcher's point of view, examining the psychological contest between the pitcher and a batter and the techniques and tactics of some of the game's finest pitchers, past and present.
You've heard of Horse Whisperers and Dog Whisperers, but Ellis thinks he might be a Worm Whisperer! Ellis Coffey loves animals. He spends so much time outdoors that sometimes he thinks he can talk with them. When he discovers a caterpillar that seems to follow his directions, he knows he has a chance to win the annual Woolly Worm race. The prize money is $1,000--exactly the amount of the deductible for his dad's back surgery. If Ellis is right and he can train his woolly worm to be the fastest in the county, he's sure can solve all his family's problems. But when you're trying to talk to insects, nothing is as simple as it seems. From Betty Hicks, author of the Gym Shorts series for new readers, comes a story of friendship, family, and hidden talents that might be more useful than they first seemed.
Steamy, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny, THE TRUTH ABOUT COWBOYS is a new contemporary novel that will pull your heartstrings and steam up your e-reader... While I was off pitching in the big leagues, my family was back in the small town of Sweetwater, Texas, running the family ranch. Then tragedy hit and I discovered there were secrets that my family kept, problems they hid. I went home, left behind the money, women, and fame. I took over the ranch and took care of my grandmother. I took over hiding the secrets. Then she came to town. A smart-mouthed, clumsy, too-smart-and-too-pretty-for-my-own-good city girl hiding out to write a book. She's right here, on my property, in the cottage my grandmother rented her without my permission, and she sees too much. She knows too much. Now suddenly my world is spinning, and she's shoving a baseball back in my hand while baking cookies with my grandmother. She's the devil and an angel all in one fiery little package. I decide I'll wait her out. She'll go back to the city. Only suddenly I don't want her to leave, and everything I’ve settled for in my life isn't enough. I want to play ball and I want her, but there's that secret that won't let go, but neither will she. Each book in the Texas Heat series is STANDALONE: * The Truth About Cowboys * Tangled Up In Christmas
I might be a country girl from the same small town of Sweetwater, Texas, as horse wrangler Roarke Frost, the girl next door who knows him like few know him, but I didn't know enough to save my heart. He's the reason why I left Sweetwater behind. But now fate proves she loves a wicked twist and sends me back to Sweetwater to pull together a Christmas festival—and I run smack into the man again, quite literally. His body is pressed to mine, his hands on my arms, and I'm melting like chocolate in the sizzling Texas sunshine. And I run. I know it’s not exactly respectable, but it works, just not for long. No matter how much I try to get tangled up in Christmas, I end up tangled up in Roarke instead—and the man has me feeling the heat of our attraction and the warmth of our past friendship. He feels like Mr. Right, but history says he’s Mr. Wrong. But if he wants a second chance, Roarke Frost is going to have to work for it. He’ll need to prove to me that this holiday is a season of new beginnings, the kind that last forever. Each book in the Texas Heat series is STANDALONE: * The Truth About Cowboys * Tangled up in Christmas
Any sports fan knows that nothing brings on more passion and opinion than a good old-fashioned debate. Drew Sharp and Terry Foster are no different, as they take on the top debates of all time in Detroit sports.