25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

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Discover the greatest baseball players of all time!

Which guys playing right now will they still be talking about in 100 years? A-Rod? Pujols? How about Jeter?

Why do the best pitchers receive the Cy Young Award?

Was Honus Wagner anything but a face on a $2,800,000 baseball card?

Who was this Babe Ruth guy, anyway?

Sportscaster and New York ...

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Discover the greatest baseball players of all time!

Which guys playing right now will they still be talking about in 100 years? A-Rod? Pujols? How about Jeter?

Why do the best pitchers receive the Cy Young Award?

Was Honus Wagner anything but a face on a $2,800,000 baseball card?

Who was this Babe Ruth guy, anyway?

Sportscaster and New York Times bestselling author Len Berman had lots of questions about the game of baseball. So he put together a group of experts that included all-stars, Emmy Award winners, writers, radio hosts, and enough World Series rings to fill one hand's fingers.

Is your Favorite player on the list?

From New York Times bestselling author Len Berman comes an action-packed collection for sports fans of all ages.

If you had to pick the best baseball players of all time, who would they be? Len Berman gave it a try, and asked a blue-ribbon panel-with experts including World Series champion Bernie Williams and radio host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo-to weigh in too.

Full of photos, facts, and fun, The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time gives you the stories behind the names. Why do so many people love Babe Ruth? What makes Alex Rodriguez so great? Was Jackie Robinson as important on the field as he was off the field? Discover why Len Berman thinks the 25 players in this book are the greatest-then it's time to start your own debate!

So who are the 25 greatest baseball players and why?

Who would be on your list?

Let the arguments begin!

Praise for Len Berman's The Greatest Moments in Sports

"His writing is lively, humorous, and informative-just right to sustain kids' (or adults') interest...this is an excellent choice for anyone who is into sports." -School Library Journal

"Readers and browsers will enjoy paging through this compendium's stories and action-filled photos." -Booklist

"It's an eclectic roundup that's likely to have readers mulling their own personal favorites." -Publishers Weekly

"Great book, great stories-a gold medal performance." -Mike Eruzione, captain of the "Miracle on Ice" 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team.

Len Berman is an Emmy Award—winning sportscaster who has covered just about every major sports event, including multiple Super Bowls, World Series, and Olympics during his 40-year career in broadcasting.

He is the creator of "Spanning the World," a monthly collection of sports bloopers, which was a 20-year staple on NBC's Today show. He is also the creator of Sports Fantasy, which aired on NBC and pitted regular viewers against famous sports stars.

He is the recipient of eight Emmy Awards and is a six-time winner, New York Sportscaster of the Year. His daily Top 5 email is featured in the Huffington Post and is received by thousands around the country. This is his fifth book.

A native New Yorker, Len graduated from Syracuse University. He resides on Long Island with his wife, Jill. They have three children. Visit Len at http://thatssports.com/

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Editorial Reviews

Emmy Award—winning sportscaster Berman offers a lively and informative collection of baseball greats, past to present... Conversational prose, abundant photos, and exciting accounts of particular plays keep the tone upbeat and engaging...Berman's knowledge and enthusiasm is evident, and this will likely provoke discussion among young fans, who may come away inspired to compile their own lists of greats.
Sports Illustrated For Kids
Explore the stories behind baseball's biggest stars.
St. Louis Jewish Light
The book features a bright, colorful layout, with several pages devoted to each star. It is less stats and more biography. Fun and informative, the book tries to cover all the bases in sparking young fans' interest.
VOYA - Steven Kral
Who are the best players to have ever played baseball? This question arises whenever groups of baseball fans gather. Drawing on a panel of baseball players and journalists, Emmy-winning sportscaster Berman attempts to find an answer. Initial balloting selected forty players, and the panel eventually settled on twenty-five players to profile. Each player is given two to three pages devoted to their career. The profiles include photos (both in color and black and white), the players' lifetime statistics, and graphics and callouts with trivia about the player. The conversational text details the highlights of the player's career and explains why they were chosen. While it is not an in-depth treatment of baseball history, players seem to be selected to represent a particular era of baseball. Although its appeal to reluctant readers is obvious, some of the choices seem purposely debatable. This can serve as a springboard for discussion and allowing students to create their own top twenty-five list. Reviewer: Steven Kral
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—As he did in The Greatest Moments in Sports (Sourcebooks, 2009), Berman offers a readable collection of facts and anecdotes. This time, he introduces 25 baseball players in short chapters that highlight their career accomplishments and milestones. Though a "blue ribbon panel" of sports writers and players helped narrow his list, sportscaster Berman colors this collection with his personal opinions. His enthusiasm is infectious, and observing that statistics only tell part of the story, he personalizes each account with memorable incidents and accomplishments. The colorful design adds to the appeal. There are few surprises among those chosen; most are Hall of Famers and include Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, and Berman's hero, Mickey Mantle. The notables also include Pete Rose, Josh Gibson, and Alex Rodriguez. Jeff Kisseloff's well-written Who Is Baseball's Greatest Hitter? (Holt, 2001) and Who Is Baseball's Greatest Pitcher? (Cricket Bks., 2003) were crowd-pleasing favorites. Like those earlier books, Berman's lively title should win a wide audience of fans young and old.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews

In no particular order and using no set criteria for his selections, veteran sportscaster Berman pays tribute to an arbitrary gallery of baseball stars—all familiar names and, except for the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, retired from play for decades. Repeatedly taking the stance that statistics are just numbers but then reeling off batting averages, home-run totals, wins (for pitchers) and other data as evidence of greatness, he offers career highlights in a folksy narrative surrounded by photos, side comments and baseball-card–style notes in side boxes. Readers had best come to this with some prior knowledge, since he casually drops terms like "slugging percentage," "dead ball era" and "barnstorming" without explanation and also presents a notably superficial picture of baseball's history—placing the sport's "first half-century" almost entirely in the 1900s, for instance, and condescendingly noting that Jackie Robinson's skill led Branch Rickey to decide that he "was worthy of becoming the first black player to play in the majors." The awesome feats of Ruth, Mantle, the Gibsons Bob and Josh, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb and the rest are always worth a recap—but this one's strictly minor league. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402238864
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 682,398
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Len Berman
Len Berman hosts the popular Spanning the World segments on NBC's Today show. He is a former sports anchor at WNBC New York. He has won eight local Emmy Awards and has been voted New York Sportscaster of the Year six times. His daily Top 5 email is featured in The Huffington Post and is received by thousands around the country.
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Read an Excerpt

So I thought this was going to be easy. Who can't pick the 25 greatest baseball players of all time? I immediately wrote down my list. It totaled 31. Uh-oh. And that list of 31 left out some of my favorite all-time players, like Tom Seaver and Jim Palmer.

Then it struck me. I couldn't do this by myself. So I recruited a special "Blue Ribbon Panel" to help me decide-and they couldn't agree on 25 either. So I tallied up all the votes, and the top 25 made it.

There are still some major omissions. Yankee catcher Yogi Berra may have won 10 World Series and three Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, but he didn't make the cut. And neither did fellow Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, despite his record seven no-hitters. Sandy Koufax was one of the all-time great pitchers, and Mariano Rivera may be the best reliever ever, but neither of them made it either. That's how tough this was.

So out of thousands of major leaguers, we have somehow whittled the list down to 25. They are the greatest of the great. See if you agree.
My Blue Ribbon Panel

My Blue Ribbon Panel consists of former players, a long-time baseball executive, and various members of the media.

  • Four-time World Series champion, Yankee center fielder Bernie Williams
  • Three-time All-Star pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and 1950s, Ralph Branca
  • Long-time major league executive Roland Hemond
  • Emmy and Peabody Award—winning journalist Frank Deford
  • Red Sox fanatic, television/film critic, and author Jeffrey Lyons
  • Radio talk-show host extraordinaire Chris "Mad Dog" Russo
  • Emmy Award—winning producer of This Week in Baseball Steve Fortunato

And special thanks to Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson for his guidance on this project.

Forty different players received votes, and only 11 players were unanimous choices. Panelist Bernie Williams was partial to the players of his era. He voted for pitcher Pedro Martinez, saying, "The best I ever faced. In his prime...three un-hittable pitches." Ralph Branca said, "Pretty tough to leave out some of the great players. Can't we make it 30? It still would be tough to choose."

And that's the fun of it. How do you com­pare players from different eras? You really can't. But somehow we got it down to 25. And at the end of the book, you'll get your chance to vote for your favorites.
So here we go. Play ball!

1B = First Base
2B = Second Base/Doubles
3B = Third Base/Triples
AB = At Bats
AL = American League
AVG = Batting Average
BA = Batting Average
C = Catcher
E = Errors
ERA = Earned Run Average
G = Games Played
H = Hits
HR = Home Runs
K = Strikeouts
L = Losses
MLB = Major League Baseball
MVP = Most Valuable Player
NL = National League
OF = Outfield
P = Pitcher
R = Runs
RBI = Runs Batted In
SS = Shortstop
W = Wins

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 24, 2010

    Buy this book!

    This book will give readers of all ages much pleasure. The pictures and graphics are very pleasing to the eye. This is a coffee table book without the coffee table price! I enjoyed reading the stories of baseball players from different generations. The author gives lots of fun facts that I didn't know. I especially recommend Mr. Berman's books to reluctant readers. I wish I could discuss this book with my grandfather. He would have loved to debate who are the top 25 baseball players.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book to share with the family, great gift!

    This book is by no means going to please everyone with its choices of 25 players, but that isn't the point! It is meant to educate teens, pre-teens, and even adults about 25 amazing players who the "blue ribbon" panel of baseball authorities voted to include in this book. It's also a great way to start the discussion.....including A-Rod makes you talk about Pujols, Cy Young makes you talk about Nolan Ryan. This is a book which you will pick up as a family over and over....and have those good natured arguments about sports that all true fans really enjoy. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2010

    When's the sequel?

    This is a perfect example of some people will pay to hear what they WANT to hear than what they SHOULD hear. No Koufax,no Clemente NO Sale!

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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