An essential experience of being a baseball fan is the hopeful anticipation of seeing the hometown nine make a run at winning the World Series. In Paths to Glory, Mark L. Armour and Daniel R. Levitt review how teams build themselves up into winners. What makes a winning team like the 1900 Brooklyn Superbas or the 1917 White Sox or the 1997 Florida Marlins? And how are these teams different? What makes each championship team a unique product of its time? Armour and Levitt provide the historical context to show how the sport's business side has changed dramatically but its competitive environment remains the same.
Utilizing new statistics to evaluate a player’s value and career patterns, Armour and Levitt explore the teams that took risks, created their own opportunities, and changed the game. How did the Washington Senators achieve the unthinkable and blow past Babe Ruth’s Yankees in 1924 and 1925? How did the 1965 Minnesota Twins quickly rise to the top and why did they just as suddenly fall? Did Charlie Finley assemble the last old-fashioned championship team before free agency, or was the Moustache Gang another example of winning by building from within? Why did the star-laden Red Sox of the 1930s keep falling short? In exploring these teams and more, Armour and Levitt analyze the players, the managers, and the executives who built teams to win and then lived with the consequences.