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Closer: Major League Players Reveal the Inside Pitch on Saving the Game

Overview

The closer is the ace reliever who specializes in closing out the game without surrendering the lead. Facing a power hitter in the ninth inning with a man on base and no outs takes nerves of steel. The pressure on the mound is intense. It takes a special breed to hold it together in these situations. Legendary manager Tony LaRusso said “Sure, games can get away from you in the seventh and eighth, but those last three outs in the ninth are the toughest.”

It wasn’t until the ...

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Closer: Major League Players Reveal the Inside Pitch on Saving the Game

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Overview

The closer is the ace reliever who specializes in closing out the game without surrendering the lead. Facing a power hitter in the ninth inning with a man on base and no outs takes nerves of steel. The pressure on the mound is intense. It takes a special breed to hold it together in these situations. Legendary manager Tony LaRusso said “Sure, games can get away from you in the seventh and eighth, but those last three outs in the ninth are the toughest.”

It wasn’t until the creation of “the save,” the successful maintenance of a lead by a relief pitcher, in 1960 that the position of closer began to rise in prominence. Today, closers are seen as some of the most intense athletes in all of sports.

Neary and Tobin explore the unique personalities of major leagues’ most prominent relief pitchers from Bruce Sutter (Cubs, Cardinals, and Braves) to Mariano Rivera (Yankees). Closer is an insider’s look into the role of the closing pitcher, how the position has evolved, and how legends—Trevor Hoffman, Rollie Fingers, Dennis Eckersley, John Smoltz, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Mariano Rivera, Brian Fuentes, and many more—coped with the stress on the mound such as when facing the .340 batter in the bottom of the ninth with only a one run lead.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Jim Hickey, Pitching Coach for Tampa Bay Rays"If you want to learn everything there is to know about the game's best closers, then this is the book for you. It confirms what we have suspected all along:  closers are just different."

Palm Beach Post
“‘Closer’ knocks one out of the park… offers some insights, some anecdotes, some laughs. As baseball books go, it’s light but entertaining.”

brewcrewball.com

“I found this book refreshing for its lack of author-induced nostalgia. . . . Neary lets the players do the talking and the judging. . . . This was an interesting yet quick read, recommended to anyone who has an interest in any of the pitchers featured or the general history of closing. ”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762446797
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,407,899
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Neary has been a fan of the game his entire life. He worked with the Philadelphia Phillies for nine years. For the past twenty years he has worked for The Walt Disney Company, and is the co-author of Major League Dads. He lives in Celebration, FL

Leigh A. Tobin worked for the Philadelphia Phillies for more than 20 years in PR as the writer for the club’s publications and later as the Director of Media Relations. She is the co-author of Major League Dads and has relationships with a great number of major league players. She lives in Philadelphia.

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