Spring Training: Baseball's Early Season

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Before the purpose-pitch that zips inches from the batter's head, before greenfly autograph-seekers stalk hotel lobbies, before thousands of fans stand up and boo in 50,000-seat stadiums, before the proverbial dog days of summer and the pressure-packed moments of October . . . there is sweet spring. The long hello. Baseball's early season.

The words spring training have long held special power over baseball fans. They signal the arrival of fresh air and sunshine after a long ...

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2003 Cloth New in Fine Condition jacket 192 pp., many photographs in color. Dustjacket is protected with a mylar cover.

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2003 Hardcover Apparent First Edition BRAND NEW Brand new oversized hardcover, fine, in slightly rubbed fine dustjacket. 192 pp. Autographed by author Dan Shaughnessy. Exclusive ... color photo of author signing this copy! Replete with color photos by Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographer Stan Grossfeld. Read more Show Less

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2003 Hardcover Apparent First Edition BRAND NEW Brand new oversized hardcover, fine, in slightly rubbed fine dustjacket. 192 pp. Autographed by author Dan Shaughnessy. Exclusive ... color photo of author signing this copy! Replete with color photos by Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographer Stan Grossfeld. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Before the purpose-pitch that zips inches from the batter's head, before greenfly autograph-seekers stalk hotel lobbies, before thousands of fans stand up and boo in 50,000-seat stadiums, before the proverbial dog days of summer and the pressure-packed moments of October . . . there is sweet spring. The long hello. Baseball's early season.

The words spring training have long held special power over baseball fans. They signal the arrival of fresh air and sunshine after a long winter devoid of bare feet and box scores. The chance to see the game up close and personal, in beautiful slow motion. No other sport undergoes this slow, glorious unfolding. And no other book captures baseball's rite of passage in all its magic.

Come on a wild ride through spring training's many attractions and peculiarities, from Florida to Arizona, the National to the American League, the dugouts to Section D. Glimpse retirees in Hawaiian shirts singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," million-dollar players taking it easy on the field and in the bars, young rookies flashing their skills, grizzled vets going through the motions, wide-eyed children dressed from head to toe in their favorite team's garb.

It's all here, from Alligator Alley to Cactus Way, sit-ups to sunblock, home runs to hangovers—a lively tribute to America's favorite pastime in its purest, most wonderful form.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Suspended between the grind of winter contract negotiations and the tension of summer pennant races, spring training is a brief respite when the pressure is off, the weather is fine, players are approachable and even Cubs fans can have hope. The magic of this liminal period is captured in this lavishly illustrated homage. Sportswriter Shaughnessy, author of The Curse of the Bambino, recounts the history of spring training, referees the vicious Arizona-Florida rivalry, provides unnecessary information about spring training stadia, and generally soaks up atmosphere ("Touch the players. See them sweat. Hear them swear.") Awash in trivia and replete with anecdote upon aimless anecdote about springs past, his prose is as slow and meandering as the play-by-play for a game that doesn't count. Reminiscences by baseball stars and writers like Roger Angell and Stephen King round out the text. Half of the book is taken up with a vibrant photo essay by Stan Grossfeld, which captures the relaxed feel of the training camps with pictures of ball players stretching, squatting, sunning themselves, gawking at girls and occasionally playing ball. Fans will enjoy this glimpse into the brief yearly interlude when baseball really is a game. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618213993
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Shaughnessy is an award-winning columnist for the Boston Globe and the author of several sports books, including The Curse of the Bambino , a best-selling classic. Seven times Shaughnessy has been voted one of America’s top ten sports columnists by Associated Press Sports Editors and named Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year. He has appeared on Good Morning America , The Today Show , The Early Show , CNN, Nightline , NPR, Imus in the Morning , ESPN, HBO, and many others. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 15
Introduction: Sweet Spring 25
Pitchers and Catchers Report 45
The Grapefruit League 57
The Cactus League 73
Road Trip 87
Spring Training Memories 179
Spring Training Sites 192
Acknowledgments 192
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