Baseball Now!

Overview

Just in time for opening day, the ultimate book for baseball fans.

"Makes you the smartest kid on the sandlot." -- American Profile (on the first edition)

Baseball Now! celebrates the latest players of America's pastime. This new edition delivers up-to-date profiles of more than 70 stars of the National and American Leagues, which are complemented by more than 100 full-color action photographs.

Fully revised, ...

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Overview

Just in time for opening day, the ultimate book for baseball fans.

"Makes you the smartest kid on the sandlot." -- American Profile (on the first edition)

Baseball Now! celebrates the latest players of America's pastime. This new edition delivers up-to-date profiles of more than 70 stars of the National and American Leagues, which are complemented by more than 100 full-color action photographs.

Fully revised, this edition includes up-to-date coverage of the 2010 regular season, the league playoffs and the World Series. Starring players and winning teams, stragglers and fumblers, all of the highlights, and lowlights, are included.

Baseball Now! takes the reader with Tim Lincecum and Roy
Halladay into the late innings, with Jonathan Papelbon and Mariano Rivera getting the team out of a jam, with Derek Jeter and Chase Utley turning a double play, with Torii Hunter and Ichiro Suzuki making a leaping catch on the warning track, and with Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton hitting a walk-off homer.

Baseball Now! is ideal for the fan who wants the stories behind the numbers.

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Editorial Reviews

American Profile - Neil Pond
Get out of the dugout and into the game with the second edition of Baseball Now!, packed with profiles of 70 major-league players, more than 150 color in-action photos, and a full recap of last year's regular season, playoffs and World Series. Author Dan Bortolotti, a sports journalist, spreads the stars over a rundown of record-setting achievements, dramatic highlights, costly fumbles and the superstar personalities that make America's pastime a summertime delight.
American Reference Books Annual 2012 - Paul M. Murphy
The book is filled with more than 100 full-color photographs that will appeal to fans of all ages.
Hamilton Journal-News - Vick Mickunas
This gorgeous volume will appeal to fans who crave information on current stars in both leagues.
VOYA - Cindy Faughnan
Baseball fans will flip through this book to find their favorite current players and then settle down to read each engaging player profile. Many players will be familiar from their recent All Star Game appearances. These players have earned MVP, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove awards. Many were first-round draft picks and have gone on to earn Rookie of the Month or Year titles. Each profile details the player's beginnings, stats for early seasons, contributions to the 2007 season, and career potential. The chapters highlight a particular field position and include players from both the American and National Leagues. "Outstanding Outfielders" covers the outfielders currently playing while "Backstops" highlights the amazing catchers. "Armed and Dangerous" profiles pitchers, and "Firemen" described the game-ending closers. Each player has a two-page spread indicating their team and division, including two, full-color action shots. Although the text is filled with baseball statistics, the profiles are highly readable and entertaining. They include both well-known and lesser-known stories, showing players' personalities. A clever graphic design of a baseball ticket for each player contains the career highlights, number, and position in an easily accessible font and format. The book concludes with a chapter called "Rough Diamonds," drawing attention to up-and-coming new players. Bartoletti has done his research, using Internet sources as well as baseball publications. Although the material will become dated quickly, it will remain interesting as a yearbook of important players playing now. Reviewer: Cindy Faughnan
American Profile
It'll make you the smartest kid on the sandlot.
Shelf Life (London ON)
It was not easy selecting seventy of the best, but the author has done a good job.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554078264
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/31/2011
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,425,445
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Bortolotti is a sports journalist and the author of seven other books.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Outstanding Outfielders

  • Jason Bay
  • Carlos Beltran
  • Carl Crawford
  • Ken Griffey Jr.
  • Vladimir Guerrero
  • Matt Holliday
  • Torii Hunter
  • Andruw Jones
  • Carlos Lee
  • Magglio Ordonez
  • Manny Ramirez
  • Alex Rios
  • Grady Sizemore
  • Alfonso Soriano
  • Ichiro Suzuki
  • Nick Swisher

Infield Flyers

  • Garrett Atkins
  • Lance Berkman
  • Miguel Cabrera
  • Prince Fielder
  • Nomar Garciaparra
  • Ryan Howard
  • Derek Jeter
  • Chipper Jones
  • Derrek Lee
  • Justin Morneau
  • Albert Pujols
  • Hanley Ramirez
  • Jose Reyes
  • Alex Rodriguez
  • Scott Rolen
  • Mark Teixeira
  • Miguel Tejada
  • Chase Utley
  • David Wright
  • Dmitri Young
  • Michael Young

Backstops

  • Victor Martinez
  • Joe Mauer
  • Brian McCann
  • Jorge Posada
  • Ivan Rodriguez

Batmen

  • Travis Hafner
  • David Ortiz
  • Gary Sheffield
  • Jim
    Thome

Armed and Dangerous

  • Josh Beckett
  • Mark Buehrle
  • Roy Halladay
  • Scott Zazmir
  • John Lackey
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka
  • Gil Meche
  • Roy Oswalt
  • Jake Peavy
  • Brad Penny
  • C.C. Sabathia
  • Johan Santana
  • Ben Sheets
  • John Smoltz
  • Justin Verlander
  • Chien-Ming Wang
  • Brandon Webb
  • Dontrelle Willis
  • Carlos Zambrano
  • Barry Zito

Firemen

  • Trevor Hoffman
  • Bobby Jenks
  • Joe
    Nathan
  • Jonathan Papelbon
  • J.J. Putz
  • Mariano Rivera
  • Francisco Rodriguez
  • Billy Wagner

Rough Diamonds

  • American League
  • National League

Glossary
Profile Index
Acknowledgements

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Preface

Introduction

Bud Selig likes to call this the golden era of baseball. Of course, Major League Baseball's commissioner has a vested interest in putting on a happy face, but the game truly is thriving as never before. For the fourth season in a row, MLB set a new attendance record in 2007, with almost 80 million fans buying peanuts and Cracker Jack. Meanwhile, in July of that year, NFL quarterback Michael Vick was being charged for running a dogfighting ring and NBA referee Tim Donaghy was found to have gambled on games that he officiated. Perhaps it was not a coincidence that baseball's single-day attendance record was smashed on July 28, when 717,478 people took in a major-league game.

Five or six years ago, this unprecedented interest in baseball would have been hard to predict. Indeed, from the mid-1990s until well into the new millennium, the sport was in crisis. After the 1994 players' strike -- which wiped out the postseason for the first time in history -- fans stayed away in droves: attendance in 1993 had spiked at and two years later it plummeted by 30 percent. The power-hitting heroics of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa coaxed more fans through the turnstiles in 1998, but attendance declined again every season from 2000 to 2003 as it became clear that anabolic steroids were a main reason for the recent rash of home runs. The lowest point may have come in the second half of the 2002 season, when yet another players' strike seemed imminent.

What has reignited interest in baseball? For one, while the salary cap, the "competitive balance draft" and other schemes for leveling the playing field never came to pass, the problem of domination by big-money teams has lessened. While clubs in New York, Boston and Los Angeles continue to be successful, they are repeatedly challenged by small-market clubs in Oakland, St. Louis, Colorado, Arizona and Minnesota. America's national pastime is also increasingly international: the emergence of Japanese-born stars, especially, is enriching the game the way that European players revolutionized the National Hockey League in the early 1990s. Finally, baseball has made strides toward preventing the use of banned substances. In addition to doing more rigorous testing, MLB unveiled a new policy in 2005 that includes a 50-game suspension for players who test positive for steroid use once, and a lifetime ban for three-time offenders.

Baseball still faces a number of challenges. Stratospheric salaries and rising ticket prices continue to alienate fans, and now that postseason games are all played at night, the youngest generation misses out on one of the best parts of October - unless they sneak a radio under the covers. The legacy of performance-enhancing drugs also remains: witness the lukewarm reaction to Barry Bonds' 756th home run on August 7, 2007. What should have been one of the greatest moments in the game's history was clouded by indifference, and even contempt. As Bonds approached Hank Aaron's hallowed mark, an ABC News/ESPN poll revealed that more than half of baseball fans hoped Bonds would fail to break the record, and only 58 percent believed he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Fortunately, many of those negative feelings were erased by another incredible performance the same day Bonds tied Aaron's record, as Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player ever to reach 500 home runs. Only a career-ending injury will stop him from eventually eclipsing Bonds.

For the true fan the essence of baseball is not found in labor disputes, salary arbitration or drug policies. What keeps people coming to the ballpark in record numbers is the elegance of the game itself. Baseball is the thinking fan's sport: the rare game with no clock, where it truly ain't over until it's over. It is, as the cliché goes, a game of inches in which the finest line separates a two-out walk from an inning-ending strikeout, a dramatic stolen base from a rally-killing out, or a foul ball from a game-winning home run.

Above all, baseball is about the players. It is a team game, to be sure, but it is defined by one-on-one confrontations: pitcher and batter separated by 60 feet, six inches. Perhaps more than any other sport, it can humble the mighty and make a hero of yesterday's goat. This inaugural edition of Baseball Now! celebrates the best players in the game today: the athletes who have helped shape the golden era of the grand old game.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

Bud Selig likes to call this the golden era of baseball. Of course, Major League Baseball's commissioner has a vested interest in putting on a happy face, but the game truly is thriving as never before. For the fourth season in a row, MLB set a new attendance record in 2007, with almost 80 million fans buying peanuts and Cracker Jack. Meanwhile, in July of that year, NFL quarterback Michael Vick was being charged for running a dogfighting ring and NBA referee Tim Donaghy was found to have gambled on games that he officiated. Perhaps it was not a coincidence that baseball's single-day attendance record was smashed on July 28, when 717,478 people took in a major-league game.

Five or six years ago, this unprecedented interest in baseball would have been hard to predict. Indeed, from the mid-1990s until well into the new millennium, the sport was in crisis. After the 1994 players' strike -- which wiped out the postseason for the first time in history -- fans stayed away in droves: attendance in 1993 had spiked at and two years later it plummeted by 30 percent. The power-hitting heroics of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa coaxed more fans through the turnstiles in 1998, but attendance declined again every season from 2000 to 2003 as it became clear that anabolic steroids were a main reason for the recent rash of home runs. The lowest point may have come in the second half of the 2002 season, when yet another players' strike seemed imminent.

What has reignited interest in baseball? For one, while the salary cap, the "competitive balance draft" and other schemes for leveling the playing field never came to pass, the problem of domination bybig-money teams has lessened. While clubs in New York, Boston and Los Angeles continue to be successful, they are repeatedly challenged by small-market clubs in Oakland, St. Louis, Colorado, Arizona and Minnesota. America's national pastime is also increasingly international: the emergence of Japanese-born stars, especially, is enriching the game the way that European players revolutionized the National Hockey League in the early 1990s. Finally, baseball has made strides toward preventing the use of banned substances. In addition to doing more rigorous testing, MLB unveiled a new policy in 2005 that includes a 50-game suspension for players who test positive for steroid use once, and a lifetime ban for three-time offenders.

Baseball still faces a number of challenges. Stratospheric salaries and rising ticket prices continue to alienate fans, and now that postseason games are all played at night, the youngest generation misses out on one of the best parts of October - unless they sneak a radio under the covers. The legacy of performance-enhancing drugs also remains: witness the lukewarm reaction to Barry Bonds' 756th home run on August 7, 2007. What should have been one of the greatest moments in the game's history was clouded by indifference, and even contempt. As Bonds approached Hank Aaron's hallowed mark, an ABC News/ESPN poll revealed that more than half of baseball fans hoped Bonds would fail to break the record, and only 58 percent believed he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Fortunately, many of those negative feelings were erased by another incredible performance the same day Bonds tied Aaron's record, as Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player ever to reach 500 home runs. Only a career-ending injury will stop him from eventually eclipsing Bonds.

For the true fan the essence of baseball is not found in labor disputes, salary arbitration or drug policies. What keeps people coming to the ballpark in record numbers is the elegance of the game itself. Baseball is the thinking fan's sport: the rare game with no clock, where it truly ain't over until it's over. It is, as the cliché goes, a game of inches in which the finest line separates a two-out walk from an inning-ending strikeout, a dramatic stolen base from a rally-killing out, or a foul ball from a game-winning home run.

Above all, baseball is about the players. It is a team game, to be sure, but it is defined by one-on-one confrontations: pitcher and batter separated by 60 feet, six inches. Perhaps more than any other sport, it can humble the mighty and make a hero of yesterday's goat. This inaugural edition of Baseball Now! celebrates the best players in the game today: the athletes who have helped shape the golden era of the grand old game.

Read More Show Less

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