At Home and Away: 33 Years of Baseball Essays

Overview

Over the course of his long career covering major league baseball, many players, managers, umpires, and games, as well as unexpected and humorous events on and off the field, have made lasting impressions on John Kuenster. This is a selection of 92 brief essays Kuenster wrote for "Warm Up Tosses," the Baseball Digest column he has written every month since he became editor of the Digest in 1969. Also included are some of Kuenster's columns about scouts and coaches, team executives, hitting, baseball in general, ...
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Overview

Over the course of his long career covering major league baseball, many players, managers, umpires, and games, as well as unexpected and humorous events on and off the field, have made lasting impressions on John Kuenster. This is a selection of 92 brief essays Kuenster wrote for "Warm Up Tosses," the Baseball Digest column he has written every month since he became editor of the Digest in 1969. Also included are some of Kuenster's columns about scouts and coaches, team executives, hitting, baseball in general, teams, ball parks, the World Series, humor, and Hall of Famers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786415595
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/27/2003
  • Pages: 309
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 1
1 So Long, Mickey; Hello, Ted 9
2 Casey Stengel Was One of a Kind 12
3 Bo Belinsky Disdained Curfews 15
4 Here's a Vote for Whitey Ford 17
5 President Kennedy Was No Stranger to Baseball 20
6 A Salute to Hoyt Wilhelm and Hank Aaron 22
7 Ray Schalk Kept His Mouth Shut About the Black Sox Scandal 25
8 Moe Drabowsky Discusses the Fine Art of Relief Pitching 27
9 Pitchers Hate Tape-Measure Home Runs 31
10 Frank Lane: Baseball's Greatest Pitchman 34
11 Please, No "Soft" Pitches for Aaron 37
12 Baseball's Grand Old Man: Casey Stengel 40
13 The Mad, Mad World of the Oakland A's 43
14 1974: A Year of Oddities in the Major Leagues 46
15 Baseball, Not a Sport for the Timid 49
16 Some of the Majors' Memorable Personalities 52
17 Nellie Fox: A Timeless Symbol of What Baseball Is All About 55
18 Walter Alston and Hank Aaron Added a Touch of Class to the Game 58
19 Ernie Banks: A Deserving New Member of the Hall of Fame 61
20 Illegal Pitches Are Nothing New in the Majors 66
21 Willie Mays and Luis Aparicio Earned Hall of Fame Recognition Long Ago 68
22 A Lack of Concentration Can Prove Embarrassing to Unwary Players 71
23 Dallas Green Faces a Big Challenge in Turning Cubs Around 74
24 Rickey Henderson Is on a Fast Track to Stolen Base Fame 77
25 Power Pitchers Still Catch the Fancy of the Baseball Public 79
26 Sparky Anderson Rides High with His Best Tiger Team Ever 82
27 The Resurgence of the Cubs Is One of the Majors' Refreshing Stories 84
28 The Passing of Joe Cronin and Waite Hoyt Deprives Baseball of Two Old-Time Heroes 87
29 Ingenious Measurements Preserve Baseball's Appeal to the Masses 90
30 Complete-Game Pitchers Are Disappearing Breed in the Majors 93
31 The Loss of Vince Coleman and a Bad Umpiring Call Cost the Cardinals in the '85 World Series 95
32 Sid Fernandez: An Unsung Hero of the Mets' World Series Triumph in '86 99
33 Willie Mays Recalls the Help Ray Dandridge Gave Him in the Long Ago 102
34 Reggie Jackson Left a Special Imprint on the Game 104
35 Mickey Hatcher: A "Foot Soldier" Who Led the Dodgers to the 1988 Championship 107
36 Conflict Between Teammates Dates Back to the Early Days of the Majors 109
37 Hall of Famers Disclose the Events in Baseball They'd Like to Have Witnessed 112
38 Farewell to Mike Schmidt 114
39 Slumps Have an Aura of Mystery About Them 116
40 "Inside Stories" Are an Intriguing Phase of the Game 118
41 Voices from the Past Revive Pleasant Memories 120
42 Special Career Targets Stimulate Nolan Ryan and Rickey Henderson 123
43 Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Morgan Remembers His Early Mentor 125
44 Ty Cobb's Son Recalls a Poignant Moment with His Father 128
45 Tony Conigliaro Memorial Award: An Idea Whose Time Has Come 132
46 Who Will Be the Next Major Leaguer to Hit 60 Home Runs? 134
47 Twins and Braves Provided Great Theater in the '91 World Series 137
48 Many Catchers Are Struggling Through the Learning Process 140
49 Survival and Success Depend on a Player's Ability to Adjust 142
50 Should Umpires Go Back to a Higher Strike Zone? 145
51 Scouts and Coaches Should Be Eligible for the Hall of Fame 148
52 Defensive Play Proved to Be a Turning Point for the Blue Jays in the '92 World Series 152
53 Gary Carter Finished a Noteworthy Career on His Own Terms 154
54 In Plotting to Win, Managers Are Usually Governed by "The Book" 158
55 Baseball Needs More Characters Like the Phils' John Kruk 161
56 George Anderson Still "Sparky" When It Comes to Talking Baseball 163
57 Veteran Scout Says the Style of Play Has Changed in the Majors 166
58 Long Hitting Streaks Are Tougher Than Ever to Mount 168
59 The Relentless Eye of Television Puts the Efficiency of Umpires Under More Scrutiny 171
60 Characters of the Past Lent a Spicy Flavor to the Game 174
61 As a Player, Mickey Mantle Was the "Whole Package" 177
62 Red Schoendienst Lives Up to His Surname 179
63 Love 'em or Not, Umpires Are Vital to the Game 182
64 A Livelier Ball Is a Factor in the Surge of Monster Home Runs 185
65 It Seemed Written in the Stars That the Yankees Would Win the '96 Series 188
66 Jackie Robinson Left an Enduring Legacy as a Courageous Pioneer 191
67 A Former Pitching Coach Stirs Thoughts of an Earlier Era of Baseball 194
68 Nellie Fox Epitomized the Heart and Soul of Baseball 197
69 Billy Williams Delves into His Favorite Subject: Hitting 201
70 Trickery, Fair or Foul, Still Remains a Baseball Tradition 204
71 Former Starts Recall Their Special World Series Memories 208
72 Hall of Famers Name the Best Defensive Players 212
73 Shortstops and Catchers Played Crucial Roles in the '97 World Series 216
74 A Veteran Umpire Says Managers Were More Defiant Years Ago 219
75 Ex-Players Revive Their Remembrances of Yankee Stadium 223
76 Major League Baseball Needs a Touch of Old-Time Humor 227
77 Where Do the '98 Yankees Rank Among the All-Time Best Teams? 232
78 These Were Baseball's Brightest and Darkest Moments of the 1900s 236
79 Early Wynn Was a Fierce Warrior as a Pitcher, but a Softy Off the Field 243
80 Should Major League Umps Be Allowed to Use Video Replays? 248
81 Hall of Famers Recall Their Big League Debuts 251
82 The Dowd Report Details Extensive Gambling on Baseball by Pete Rose 256
83 Old-Timers Reminisce About Players Who Made Lasting Impressions on Them 260
84 Fans' Loud Insults Require Players to Be Thick-Skinned 264
85 Derek Jeter, Cornerstone of Recent Yankee Championships 267
86 Will the Newly Mandated Higher Strike Zone Survive or Fall by the Wayside? 269
87 U.S. Stamps Honor Old Ball Parks 272
88 Player of the Year Barry Bonds Had a Season for the Ages 275
89 Mark Grace Reached a Career Pinnacle in the 2001 World Series 278
90 Former Players Tell How to Improve the Game at the Major League Level 281
91 Third Basemen Fill an Overlooked Role 285
92 Second-Guessing Prevails When Managers Remove Starters 288
Index 293
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