Best of Baseball Digest: The Greatest Players, the Greatest Games, the Greatest Writers from the Game's Most Exciting Years


Here's a baseball feast of some 116 articles drawn from the most popular baseball magazine of them all, from the 1940s to the present—stories from the leading baseball writers about the greatest players and the greatest games from baseball's most exciting years. The book is illustrated with more than 80 photographs, many of them rarely seen. Readers can relive Willie Mays's great World Series catch; Roger Maris's 61st home run; Bob Feller's Opening Day no-hitter; Reggie Jackson's three homers on three swings in ...

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Here's a baseball feast of some 116 articles drawn from the most popular baseball magazine of them all, from the 1940s to the present—stories from the leading baseball writers about the greatest players and the greatest games from baseball's most exciting years. The book is illustrated with more than 80 photographs, many of them rarely seen. Readers can relive Willie Mays's great World Series catch; Roger Maris's 61st home run; Bob Feller's Opening Day no-hitter; Reggie Jackson's three homers on three swings in the 1977 World Series; Kirk Gibson's gimpy-leg, game-winning home run in the 1988 Series—and many, many more. They're all related by the best baseball writers the game has known: Red Smith, Heywood Broun, Arthur Daley, John P. Carmichael, Roger Kahn, James T. Farrell, Jimmy Cannon, Leonard Koppett, Tom Meany, Jim Murray, Ira Berkow, George Vass, Milt Richman, Murray Chass, Melvin Durslag, Tom Boswell, Bob Verdi, Mike Royko, Bob Broeg, John Steadman, Furman Bisher, and many others. For a baseball treat that will please any fan and can keep the Hot Stove League stoked throughout the winter, The Best of Baseball Digest is the sure ticket.

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Editorial Reviews

Salt Lake Tribune
"An entertaining look at the history of baseball... Both light reading and a worthwhile glimpse at baseball journalism."
Bob Feller
Any baseball fan should have this book in their library.
Jimmy Piersall
This is my favorite book to read about baseball, including so much of its history.
Stan Musial
Baseball Digest has provided us with great stories since 1942, my first full season with the St. Louis Cardinals. This book features plenty of good baseball reading.
Jim Brosnan
A wonderful collection of photographs and stories by the best baseball writers of our time.
Booklist - Wes Lukowsky
A fascinating set of articles.... A must wherever baseball fans gather.
Chicago Sun-Times - Henry Kisor
Anyone who has enjoyed an issue of Baseball Digest will find The Best of Baseball Digest a must-read.
Indianapolis Star - Mike Lillich
John Kuenster…mines a rich writerly vein and fields an all-star literary line-up.
Shelf Life - Martin Levin
A handsome compilation…from a magazine that was the mainstay of many boys' lives.
Chicago Tribune - Dan McGrath
Terrific collection of the little magazine's best work.
Mike Lillich
"John Kuenster...mines a rich writerly vein and fields and all-star literary lineup."
Indianapolis Star
Wes Lukowsky
"A fascinating set of articles.... A must wherever baseball fans gather."
Martin Levin
A handsome compilation—from a magazine that was the mainstay of many boys' lives.
Shelf Life
Carlin Romano
Brilliantly thorough
Chronicle of Higher Education
Library Journal
A feast of offerings, from the year of Baseball Digest's founding, 1942, through 2005, with many pieces covering earlier personalities (they often reminisced to one columnist or another). The coverage is from the best writers the game has known, including Red Smith, Heywood Broun, Arthur Daley, Roger Kahn, Leonard Koppett, and Ira Berkow. Don't have a complete run of Baseball Digest? Your collection needs this. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566636551
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 3/25/2006
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 683,128
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 10.26 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Meet the Author

John Kuenster is the longtime editor of Baseball Digest. He has also written Heartbreakers: Baseball's Most Agonizing Defeats and, with David Cowan, To Sleep with the Angels: The Story of a Fire. He lives in Evergreen Park, Illinois, outside of Chicago.

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Table of Contents

Baseball's best batters 3
Ty Cobb thrived on fierce opposition 9
Baseball in Paris, 1918 12
How Connie Mack passed up Babe Ruth 14
'34 series win, "a big day in my life" 16
When Goslin edged me out for the batting title 19
You can't kill the umpire 22
Pitchers are sissies now 25
Joe Jackson, finest natural hitter of them all 28
The messiest no-hitter 31
My greatest thrill as a player 33
Grover Alexander shatters a myth about '26 World Series 35
Ed Walsh fanned the "big three" on nine pitches 38
Fighting Billy Martin 40
Roy Campanella's tricks behind the plate 45
Jocko Conlan : "umpires must have command and respect" 49
How the Braves lost out in signing Willie Mays 54
For all-around skill, "you should have seen old Hans" 56
How to stay alive on second base 58
Did Buck Weaver get a raw deal? 62
That called homer? it never happened! 71
The Mickey Mantle I know 78
The most exciting team ever 85
What it takes to be a winning pitcher 87
What players thought when under pressure 93
The spitter that lost the World Series 96
The case of the nervous batter 99
Hornsby's five fabulous years 101
How early Wynn made DiMaggio quit 108
The lingering shadow of the iron man 110
The first baseman who outpitched Walter Johnson 115
Eddie Cicotte : "I did wrong but I paid for it'" 119
My double no-hit game 122
Jim Gilliam recalls tough times in the Negro leagues 125
How Casey Stengel got his nickname 127
Drysdale put his brand on the hitters and the game 130
Rudy York's letter to his son 133
What baseball needs is a little more hostility 136
Home run record a bitter memory for Roger Maris 138
Tragic pitch recalled by Carl Mays 142
Baseball - a bridge between two silences 144
Mental blunders are part of the game 147
When the Cardinals ended the Yankee dynasty 155
When a midget batted as a major leaguer 158
The making of a baseball fanatic 160
The Jackie Robinson I knew 164
Roberto Clemente was a sensitive superstar 167
The day I got my 3,000th hit 170
The day Cleveland went wild 173
Andy Seminick once decimated the giants' infield 177
I remember the polo grounds 179
And their catchers weren't too good, either! 184
The love story of a baseball legend 186
Ernie Banks, baseball's ambassador of goodwill 189
Curt Flood : baseball's forgotten pioneer 192
Luck had a role in my perfect no-hitter 195
Why the Red Sox hate the Yankees 198
Stealing home is not for the faint of heart 205
Lefty Gomez enlivened the game with comedy 207
Reggie's moment arrived in the '77 World Series 214
Ted Williams goes back to where it all began 217
When Gabby Hartnett hit his homer in the gloamin' 223
The bat : a hitter's most prized, pampered possession 228
Bob Uecker, baseball's Rodney Dangerfield 232
How it was in the old days of class "D" baseball 234
Dad, how come we never played catch? 238
Warren Spahn names his toughest batting foes 241
The mellowing of Leo "the Lip" Durocher 244
Where have all the bench jockeys gone? 249
Pennant fever revives cub trivia quiz 253
Mental discipline, key to defensive excellence 256
Memories of a tryout with the New York Yankees 259
Hall of famer who almost didn't make the majors 264
The mighty mite who rarely struck out 269
You can hear it all in the batter's box 274
When New York was the hub of the baseball world 277
The true story of Babe Ruth's visit to an ailing youth 282
Ted Williams talks about the art of hitting 286
Here's the quickest way to be ejected from a game 290
Tom Seaver picks his ten most memorable games 294
1939 was a vintage year in major league history 297
Memories of my opening day no-hitter 302
Remembering the tree that played center field 305
I can always go back 307
Rickey Henderson ... there he goes! 311
The persuasive healing powers of baseball trivia 315
The game I'll never forget 318
Pursuit of home run record exacted a big toll on Aaron 320
Aging baseball glove leaves a touching legacy 323
Hall of fame batters and pitchers name their toughest opponents 326
Farewell to Mickey Mantle, one of baseball's greatest 331
High school coach recalls Nolan Ryan as a young pitcher 334
Hack Wilson belted homers, hecklers with equal gusto 338
How outfielder Pete Gray met the big league challenge 344
A belated salute to four old ballparks 348
The day I collected Babe Ruth's autograph 358
Larry Doby : an overlooked black pioneer in the American League 363
Life in the bullpen 368
Veteran umpire says managers were more defiant years ago 374
I never turned the other cheek 378
Trickery has always been part of big league baseball 382
Hall of famers recount lasting memories of major league debuts 386
Dowd report details extensive gambling on baseball 392
Why left-handers are different 395
Cal Ripken : more than baseball's iron man 398
Jimmy Piersall's antics overshadowed his talent 402
Tony Gwynn strived for perfection as a hitter 406
First base, the game's social hub 411
Sign language, baseball's hidden communication 413
Secret to my perfect game was good control 419
In '52, Virgil Trucks won only five games, but two were no-hitters 422
Fielders list most difficult defensive plays by position 425
Ichiro Suzuki : hitting sensation 430
The home run, baseball's glamour event 434
When Red Sox terminated "the curse of the Bambino" 438
Teamwork keyed the White Sox title run 440
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