Despite a relatively-short career, former third baseman Kelly Gruber established himself as a fan favorite in the hearts and minds of the Blue Jays faithful. As a member of Toronto’s first World Series championship team, Gruber released an auto-biography regarding his life in, and opinions on baseball. While not terribly revealing, the book does shed some light on the career of the all-star third bagger.
Life in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico is dangerous. So dangerous, in fact, that seeing dead bodies in the street is a daily occurrence. Still, that did not stop Robert Andrew Powell from chronicling his life in the midst of the terror, where soccer has become a source of strength and salvation for many of the citizens. His 2012 book on the subject captures the spirit of the embattled city.
The 1992 Dream Team is widely considered the best basketball team ever assembled, and they proved it by winning gold medals quite easily. In his new book, author Jack McCallum reveals some behind-the-scenes details about how the players interacted and clears up some of the myths that have surrounded them for the past two decades.
Josh Luchs’ “Illegal Procedure” is a to-the-point book about the life of a professional scout. It exposes the messy underbelly of the culture, at least from Luchs’ point of view. Luchs’ career has been filled with controversy, and he holds nothing back as he details shady dealings and questionable ethics.
When Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller released “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World Of ESPN” their comprehensive, all-in-one history about the sports network, many paid attention. However, many felt they wasted their time – and money – on the 700-plus page read. The book does little to expand on an already-known past. Still, those who don’t know much about the network’s history may find something to enjoy in this one.
“Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton” by Jeff Pearlman is a book that helps define the former Chicago Bears running back. The book’s title alone tells you so much, yet so little of Payton’s style. Sweetness was a complicated man, a talented football player, a fan favorite and a challenged limited father. Pearlman captures each image of Payton and collects it in one book.
“Rome 1960” by David Maraniss tells the story of the 1960 Summer Games and how they affected the world landscape in the middle of the Cold War. Relations between the United States and Soviet Union were fragile, and the decathalon became a turning point in the Games, when athletes from the U.S., Taiwan and the USSR all shared the same podium.
Bill Veeck was as controversial as they come. Known for his antics and using the loopholes in MLB’s rules, Veeck did anything and everything he could to give his team an advantage. His tell-all book Veeck as in Wreck has stood the test of time, and even gives us an idea of how the man himself would respond to today’s game.
Michael Lewis’ 2003 book “Moneyball” changed the way many baseball fans considered team management, much like how Billy Beane himself changed the GM position. In 2011, the book was adapted for Hollywood with superstar actor Brad Pitt taking on the lead role, but does he and director Bennett Miller do justice to this real-life story?
“The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach is a novel that captures more than just a summer of baseball. It tells the story of five individuals and their relationships around college baseball field, capturing everything from the funny moments to the sad ones to the fantastic and everything in between. Mark Milner explains more.