Aces: The Last Season on the Mound with the Oakland A's Big Three -- Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito [NOOK Book]

Overview

At their best, they were the most feared rotation in baseball; at their worst, they were very, very good. As the 2004 baseball season opened, however, each of the Oakland A's Big Three starting pitchers had something to prove. Tim Hudson was determined to demonstrate his recovery from the recurring hip injury that popped back up to knock him out of the 2003 American League Division Series. Barry Zito had to show the world that after a pedestrian 2003, his 2002 Cy Young Award was not a fluke but a true reflection ...
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Aces: The Last Season on the Mound with the Oakland A's Big Three -- Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito

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Overview

At their best, they were the most feared rotation in baseball; at their worst, they were very, very good. As the 2004 baseball season opened, however, each of the Oakland A's Big Three starting pitchers had something to prove. Tim Hudson was determined to demonstrate his recovery from the recurring hip injury that popped back up to knock him out of the 2003 American League Division Series. Barry Zito had to show the world that after a pedestrian 2003, his 2002 Cy Young Award was not a fluke but a true reflection of his ability. Mark Mulder missed the 2003 playoffs entirely with a stress fracture in his leg, but the way he saw it, he simply needed to be himself—the supremely confident, utterly dominant, natural-born power pitcher known to his bosses as the "Golden Child." All three would succeed, all three would fail, and all three would endure the rocky summer of 2004 in the company of an outstanding sportswriter named Mychael Urban, who, like Hudson, Mulder, and Zito, once pitched at college baseball's highest level.

In Aces, Urban presents a stunning re-creation of a single baseball season through the eyes, words, and experiences of three of the game's finest young pitchers. From the mound to the locker room to the world outside the stadium walls, this crisply written account explores the nuts and bolts of major league pitching, examining each player's unique approach to his craft while revealing how three very different personalities cope with the demands, rewards, and challenges of sports stardom.

You'll soar with Hudson and Mulder as they dominate the first half of the season and struggle with Zito as he tries to regain his winning form. You'll share Hudson's disappointment when he's sidelined yet again, and you'll witness Mulder's bewilderment as he confronts, for the first time, the self-doubt that has tortured so many great athletes. Ironically, as Mulder's confidence wanes, Zito, an avid surfer, catches a wave of self-assurance and surges to finish the season decisively.

You'll also get a taste of Hudson's frustration with Oakland's owners, who routinely surrender star players to free agency; learn why Zito's eclectic interests help make him a better pitcher; and hear Mulder speak frankly about the crisis of confidence that derailed his dream season. And in the end, you'll get an inside look at how two of the Big Three were traded away.

The Big Three were often talked about, written about, and judged as if they were interchangeable parts of a whole. Nothing could be further from the truth. Aces reveals how different these elite athletes are from one another and offers deep insights into what makes a successful big-league starter. And, like the 2004 baseball season itself, it's packed with drama, excitement, and humor from start to finish.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* "An excellent book that's well-written...and a fitting tribute to what will someday likely be considered a renaissance age of Oakland A's baseball." (Athletics Nation)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470231135
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 7/17/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

MYCHAEL URBAN is a national writer for MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, and has covered the A's since 2001. He talks about baseball regularly as a fill-in host on KNBR-680 (AM) in San Francisco and as a guest on FOX Sports Northwest TV, ESPN radio, and MLB radio.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Billy Beane.

Introduction.

1 Green + Gold = Blue.

2 Three of a Kind (Sort Of).

3 The Big Story.

4 "Ring the Bell".

5 Before the Storm.

6 The Drill.

7 Don’t Mind the Maggots.

8 Peaks and Valleys.

9 The Scene of the Crime.

10 Helping Hand?

11 Breaking Down.

12 Head Games.

13 Another Big Blow.

14 The New Guys.

15 "Roadie from Hell".

16 Friends, Rivals, History.

17 "Go Time".

18 Crunch Time.

19 Fitting Finale.

20 Hold 'Em or Fold 'Em?

Epilogue: "Complete and Utter Shock".

Afterword: "Stranger Things Have Happened".

Acknowledgments.

Career Game Logs for the Big Three.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2005

    Urban Aced this book

    This book is as funny as it is insightful. I hope that every baseball fan, or big three fan (I'm sure there are some people out there who's reasons for liking these boys have nothing to do with baseball)should read this book. Urban has taken the skills from being a sports writer and created the best baseball/life/biographical natured book I've read in years. I HIGHLY recommend this book. I hope that Urban comes out with another one soon (maybe about Bobby Crossby and Rich Harden?).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

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