Ninety Feet from Fame: Close Calls with Baseball Immortality

Overview

Journalist and baseball historian Mike Robbins tells the gripping stories of dozens of players who came this close to baseball immortality. Their stories are dramatic, sometimes moving, even blackly funny—and they're virtually unknown, even to die-hard fans. Robbins offers gripping accounts of the games, series, seasons, and careers that fell excruciatingly short—from forgotten near-heroes of the postseason such as Hal Smith and Chuck Hiller to players such as Harlond Clift (a great player trapped on a terrible ...

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Overview

Journalist and baseball historian Mike Robbins tells the gripping stories of dozens of players who came this close to baseball immortality. Their stories are dramatic, sometimes moving, even blackly funny—and they're virtually unknown, even to die-hard fans. Robbins offers gripping accounts of the games, series, seasons, and careers that fell excruciatingly short—from forgotten near-heroes of the postseason such as Hal Smith and Chuck Hiller to players such as Harlond Clift (a great player trapped on a terrible club) and Jose Cruz Senior (a power hitter in a stadium that favored pitchers) who missed out because they spent their careers with the wrong team, in the wrong park, or in the wrong era. Robbins also tells the stories of players who missed their chance to join the all-time greats because of injury, illness, or other interruptions—the likes of Smokey Joe Wood (injured thumb) and Eiji Sawamura (killed in World War II). Baseball fans will come away with exhilarating and sometimes heartbreaking stories, as well as a list of names, a treasury of surprising numbers—and a deeper sense of the men who have played the game.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786713356
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 4/9/2004
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Note on Statistics viii
Introduction xiii
Part I The Postseason
1 October's Near-Heroes 3
2 A Trip of Near-Goats 32
3 Opportunity Lost 44
Part II Wrong Time, Wrong Place
4 Major Stars of the Minor Leagues 61
5 Forgotten Leagues, Forgotten Players 72
6 Stuck in the Shadows 82
7 Welcome to the Browns. Your Identity is Safe with US 101
8 Assorted Examples of Bad Baseball Timing 121
9 Trailblazing Forgotten Trails 134
Part III Injuries, Illnesses, and Other Interruptions
10 Injury 143
11 Illness 162
12 Death 169
13 Casualties of War 179
14 Just Walk Away 190
Part IV Missed Milestones
15 Losing the Numbers Game 201
16 Honor Doth Forget Men's Names 225
17 Slapped in the Face While Flirting with Perfection 235
18 No No-Hitter Means No-Name Pitcher 247
Part V What's in a Name?
19 Forgettable Names to Remember 267
20 That Name's Taken 277
21 Innovators 285
22 The Sporting Muse 295
Index 305
About the Author 317
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2004

    Great present for baseball fans!

    My father is a huge baseball fan. I gave him this book for his birthday and he absolutely loved it! Lots of stories he'd never heard before and really enjoyed - he's been quoting them to us for weeks! I highly recommend this for the sports fan in your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2004

    Great baseball book

    Best baseball book I've read in years. Fascinating stories about baseball's 'near-misses' not found in other publications. Fun for both the avid and casual baseball fan. Stories are both tragic & humorous. Author has great sense of humor to go along with his extensive baseball knowlege.

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