Arguing about the merits of players is the baseball fan's second favorite pastime and every year the Hall of Fame elections spark heated controversy. In a book that's sure to thrill--and infuriate--countless fans, Bill James takes a hard look at the Hall, probing its history, its politics and, most of all, its decisions.
If you owe a couple cavities to Marathon candy bars, learned your adverbs from Schoolhouse Rock!, and can still imitate the slo-mo bionic running sound of The Six Million Dollar Man, this book is for you. Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? takes you back in time to the tastes, smells, and sounds of childhood in the '70s and '80s, when the Mystery Date board game didn't seem sexist, and exploding Pop Rocks was the epitome of candy science. But what happened to the toys, tastes, and trends of our youth? Some vanished totally, like Freakies cereal. Some stayed around, but faded from the spotlight, like Sea-Monkeys and Shrinky Dinks. Some were yanked from the market, revised, and reintroduced...but you'll have to read the book to find out which ones. So flip up the collar of that polo shirt and revisit with us the glory and the shame of those goofy decades only a native could love.
Baseball has existed since the mid 1800's and has been the occupation for thousands of men through history. Defining the best amongst such a wide array of players always sparks a debate, as the Hall-of-Fame in Cooperstown is seen as the debate settler, a place where only legends reside. However, the Hall-of-Fame has overlooked many of the game's star players, failing to immortalize them with their peers. Ghosts of Baseball's Past details the careers of ball diamond legends who have been past over by Hall-of-Fame voters. So take a look inside and decide for yourself whether players like Bert Blyleven, Ted Kluszewski, Riggs Stephenson and more deserve to dwell in Cooperstown. Read about Herb Score, Turkey Mike Donlin and Buddy Lewis, and help keep the names of these legends alive.
This book focuses on the application of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to Major League Baseball (MLB). DEA is a nonparametric linear programming model that is used across academic disciplines. In sports economics, authors have applied the technique primarily to assess team and/or managerial efficiency. The basis for performance analysis is economic production theory, where it is assumed that baseball can be viewed as a production process whereby inputs (player quality measures) are transformed into outputs (wins, attendance). The primary advantage that DEA has over more traditional regression based approaches is the ability to handle multiple inputs and multiple outputs. Further, the approach is nonparametric and hence, does not require a priori specification of the production function. The book develops the theory of DEA in the context of a production environment. A focal point is the assessment of technical and cost efficiency of MLB teams. It is shown that previous frontier applications that measure efficiency provide biased results given that the outcome of a game is zero-sum. If a team loses a game due to inefficiency, another team wins a lost game. A corrected frontier is presented to overcome this problem. Free agent salary arbitration is analyzed using a dual DEA model. Each free agent's contract zone is identified. The upper and lower bounds, representing the player's and team's perspective of value, respectively, are estimated. Player performance is estimated using a modified DEA model to rank order players based on multiple attributes. This model will be used to evaluate current Hall of Fame players. We provide arguments for other players who are deserving of membership. We also use our measure of performance and evaluate age-performance profilers for many ball players. Regression analysis is used to identify the age of peak performance. The method is used to evaluate some of the all-time greats. We also use the method to analyze admitted and implicated steroid users. The results clearly show that performance was enhanced. This book will provide appropriate theoretical models with methodological considerations and interesting empirical analyses and is intended to serve academics and practitioners interested in applying DEA to baseball as well as other sports or production processes. >
"One of the more momentous books of the decade."—The New York Times Book Review Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of the website FiveThirtyEight. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future. In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball to global pandemics, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science. Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise. With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.
Takes a close look at the Baseball Hall of Fame, explaining how it operates, who controls it, how they make decisions, and how players are elected, using the continuing battle over former Yankee Phil Rizzuto to illuminate the controversy. 25,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo.
Alphabetically arranged entries discuss baseball in relation to American society, covering issues including race relations, gambling, movies, and drug abuse.
(Book). Back in the good old days, all of America was infatuated with the singing cowboys of movies and radio. This huge interest led to the production of "cowboy guitars." These were guitars manufactured with western scenes painted right on the guitar, and were sold by stores such as Sears and Montgomery Wards. This fun, fact-filled book is an outstanding roundup of these wonderful instruments, starting with the Gene Autry model of 1932, through guitars made to capitalize on the popularity of the Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers, up through present-day makers. Includes hundreds of fantastic photos, a 32-page color section, and biographies of the artists behind the guitars, plus a chapter on leading custom guitar maker Greg Rich, showcasing some of the western guitars he has built. A must for every guitar collector! Steve Evans is the world's foremost authority on and leading collector of cowboy guitars. He owns a music store in Jacksonville, AR. A resident of Anaheim, CA, the affable Ron Middlebrook is the founder and owner of Centerstream Publishing. He is an avid instrument collector and husky musher.
Here in one big book is all the trivia and facts about Canada anyone needs to know. The Big Book is jam-packed with facts and stories. There are stories of important Canadian artifacts and history including what became of Canada’s World War II spy camp. All regions and provinces are covered, as well as important Canadian figures like John Molson, Elizabeth Arden and Russ Jackson. If that isn’t enough there will also be pieces explaining whatever happened to such Canadian icons as the last spike, the first skidoo and the first Tim Hortons donut shop. Some of the items are "classics." Others are little known facts. Approximately 25% of the material has never before appeared in print. This fascinating Big Book brings together for the first time in one package the most notable facts and trivia from the archives of the trivia guys’ collection.
Many histories of the New York Yankees only skim the early years in their rush to pick up with the 1919 season when Babe Ruth joined the team and go on to celebrate the careers of Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Whitey Ford, and the team's World Series titles. But what about the Yankees before these big names? The early Yankees, who spent their first 12 years known as the Highlanders and were occasionally known as the Americans and the Invaders, get the attention they deserve in this work. It tells the story up until the sale of the Yankees in December 1914, beginning with 1903 when the team was formed from the remnants of the Baltimore Orioles. Led by future Hall of Famers Wee Willie Keeler, Jack Chesbro, and Clark Griffith, they were the most expensive major league team ever assembled--but they are remembered primarily for their terrible failures, which included losing a club-low 103 games in 1908 and finishing 55 games out of first place in 1912. Yes, the Yankees.
A portrait of the National Baseball Hall of Fame notes its role in breaking down racial barriers and the ways in which it has been shaped by historical events, discussing such topics as the story of the founding Clark family, the proposed wing honoring Latino players, and the economics of the induction process.
A portrait of the man called "baseball's shrewdest analyst" explains how Bill James introduced a statistical approach to evaluating players that has become an indispensable tool for players, agents, managers, and baseball executives.
This volume explores baseball's diverse communication perspectives including: the role of storytelling in the creation of its history; the social function of baseball; the nature of fan experience; public spectacles and rituals; and the nature of sports writing and broadcasting.
Remember "Super Joe" Charboneau? Many Indians fans do, even though his flash-in-the-pan career with the Tribe flamed out quickly. (Maybe it's because the onetime Rookie of the Year could open beer bottles with his eye socket and drink through his nose.) This book catches up with him more than forty former Cleveland Indians players of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s who also won a place in fans hearts even though their careers didn't lead them to the Hall of Fame.Veteran sportswriter Russ Schneider tracked down these former Tribe journeymen and got them to reminisce about their Cleveland days and what became of them since.The Indians teams of those years were terrible. But many of the players were loveable--or at least memorable. Like "Dirty Kurt" Bevacqua, so named because of his uniform, not his style of play. Harold “Gomer” Hodge had a southern drawl that wooed Tribe fans and claimed to have a 4.000 batting average. At 165 lbs “Scrappy” Jack Brohamer earned his name not only for his size, but also for his style of play. Charlie Spikes, also known as the “Bogalusa Bomber,” appeared to be the Indian's savior for the '70s, but eventually found himself on the bottom of the pile. These stories and dozens more will take Tribe fans back to an age before multi-million dollar superstars when the players were in it for the love of the game.
Focuses on nineteenth-century sportswriters and certain writers born after 1930. Discusses the styles of sportswriting employed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Includes information on twentieth-century authors who crossed over from "serious" literature to sportswriting, as well as the history of sportswriting.