Zen of Zim

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Overview

Don Zimmer is baseball. His first book, Zim-A Baseball Life, was a New York Times bestseller and one of the best baseball memoirs ever published. Now, in The Zen of Zim, one of baseball's most beloved figures offers readers an insightful look into the baseball of yesterday and today. Baseball fans will love hearing Zim's positions on such things as pitching inside, managing, bosses, and more.

With more than fifty-six years in baseball, Don ...
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Overview

Don Zimmer is baseball. His first book, Zim-A Baseball Life, was a New York Times bestseller and one of the best baseball memoirs ever published. Now, in The Zen of Zim, one of baseball's most beloved figures offers readers an insightful look into the baseball of yesterday and today. Baseball fans will love hearing Zim's positions on such things as pitching inside, managing, bosses, and more.

With more than fifty-six years in baseball, Don Zimmer had seen it all, or so he thought before he ran into George Steinbrenner. Here Zimmer provides a revealing account of his eight years as Joe Torre's right-hand man-and the jealousy, vindictiveness, and pettiness that ultimately destroyed a twenty-five-year friendship with Steinbrenner.

Zim will also discuss the circumstances that led to his charging onto the field at Fenway Park and throwing a haymaker at Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez. He'll share with readers what it was like to work for other baseball owners; shed new light on general managers like Branch Rickey and Dan Duquette; and critique the managing styles of some of the most famous and notorious skippers of the twentieth century, from Casey Stengel and Earl Weaver to Gene Mauch and Billy Martin.

In a chapter called "What Have They Done to My Game?," Zim will offer a crash course in baseball anthropology, describing how the game and its players have changed over the past fifty years and showing how big money and free agency have destroyed clubhouse camaraderie and turned a team sport into a transient game. In contrast, he celebrates his close-knit teammates on the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers team and the lifelong friendships that weremade.

Zim has seen it all, and here readers learn even more of his life and dreams and of baseball through a half century of experience. It is a story jam-packed with laughs and anecdotes, with excitement and comedy. And it is superbly told.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Zim's a guy who's been around baseball for a hundred years...I look at him as a wise old Buddha."-Derek Jeter

"Zimmer is refreshingly honest. A nicely balanced memoir."-Publishers Weekly

"Warm, funny, pugnacious and honest to a fault...an entertaining, quick read."

-Tampa Tribune

"In his second book, Zimmer...offers further affectionate reminiscences of his 55-year career in baseball."-Library Journal

"One of my closest friends in life and in baseball. Zim has been one of the great guys and ambassadors of the game."-Duke Snider

"One of my favorite times is talking baseball once a week with Zim. He also taught me all my racing experience, but I don't bet horses unless it is number 8."-Yogi Berra

Publishers Weekly
Teaming up again with Madden, Zimmer (Zim: A Life in Baseball), formerly of the Yankees, now with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, recalls more than half a century of glories and challenges and gives his spin on the changes in baseball-good and bad-observed over a lifetime in the game. Ironically, one of his biggest complaints is batters displaying their indignation over close pitches. Zimmer condones the inside pitch as a strategic necessity, which might seem inconsistent for someone who almost died on two occasions from being hit in the head, or "beaned." In an unusual move for a sports memoir, he devotes a chapter to his wife, Soot, and turns the narrative over to her to speak about the difficulties and rewards of being an athlete's spouse. One of his charms is the ability to poke fun at himself. "What's a .235 hitter like me doing on the Letterman show," he asks, amazed and amused by the attention he has received over the years. Zimmer is refreshingly honest, whether expressing his gratitude for the friendships cultivated in and out of sports or criticizing players and bosses. Given the dirt as he could dish, he is restrained and considerate, which makes for a nicely balanced memoir. Agent, Rob Wilson. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In his second book, Zimmer (Zim: A Baseball Life) offers further affectionate reminiscences of his 55-year career in baseball, ranging from his performance as one of the lesser Boys of Summer in Brooklyn during the 1950s to his role as bench coach for Joe Torre's New York Yankees. With some help from coauthor Madden (award-winng columnist for the New York Daily News and author of Pride of October), Zimmer refers fondly to a series of general managers who backed him during his managerial stints in San Diego, Texas, Boston, and Chicago, but he also cuttingly recounts the purported pettiness and cold-bloodedness of Yankee owner George Steinbrenner. On a more positive note, Zimmer presents the case for the entrance of Jim Rice, Ryne Sandberg, and Andre Dawson into the baseball Hall of Fame. He also lauds the play of all-time performers like Stan Musial and Willie Mays while calling Barry Bonds "a giant (literally) playing among boys" who "has done more to drive managers crazy." But for Zimmer himself, Steinbrenner appears to serve that function, which led to in the coach's voluntary departure from the Yankees after the 2003 World Series. For general libraries.-R.C. Cottrell, California State Univ., Chico Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312937652
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/5/2005
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 3.92 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Don Zimmer's baseball career has spanned fifty-six years and seven decades. Zimmer went from top prospect to near tragedy after a beaning in the minor leagues, but he fought back to put together a prolific baseball career. He is the author of Zim-A Baseball Life, and he lives in Treasure Island, Florida.

Bill Madden is an award-winning columnist with the New York Daily News who has covered baseball for thirty-five years and has been a national baseball columnist since 1988. He is the author of Pride of October and coauthor of Damned Yankees and, with Don Zimmer, Zim-A Baseball Life. He has known Zimmer for more than twenty years.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Foreword xi
Prologue: Yankee Stadium, October 26, 2003, 12:07 P.M. 1
1 Just Treat Me Like a Human Being 9
2 Beanballs and Haymakers 33
3 The Business of Baseball: Brains and Bosses 53
4 Pal Joe 71
5 What Have They Done to My Game? 89
6 Brooklyn, 1955 113
7 Just Keep It Close, Fellas, and I'll Think of Something 133
8 They Played the Game (The Way It Should Be Played) 157
9 Soot: A Baseball Wife 191
10 What's a .235 Hitter Like Me Doing on the Letterman Show? 213
Afterword: "We've Got a Nice Little Team Here, Donny!" 233
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2008

    Another Gem!!!!!!!!

    Don Zimmer can write one of these books every few years, and each would be just as, if not more, interesting than the previous. The man is a plethora of entertaining information and philosophies. I loved Zim¿A Baseball, and couldn¿t wait for this one. Every page is full of memories, lessons, and humor. Absolutely enjoyable!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2007

    a book about a baseball junkie, for baseball junkies

    Don Zimmer breezes through his career in baseball, getting in a few choice digs at his former boss, George Steinbrenner, while waxing anecdotal about every baseball fan in America, from Gerald R. Ford to Paul Anka. The book is an easy read, and 'Zim' comes across as a thoroughly decent guy, modest about his achievements as a player and grateful for what baseball has brought him in life...including miraculous recoveries from two beanings early on. The highlight of the book was a chapter written by his wife of over 50 years, 'Soot,' who writes charmingly of their early years together...a wedding ceremony at home plate in a minor league park, getting stranded in a broken-down car on the highway while pregnant, and being notified that Zim had been traded just after setting up housekeeping 3,000 miles away. One quibble: The book is careless with facts, and Zim's ghost writer, reporter Bill Madden, doesn't know when to use 'who' and 'whom' in a sentence. Otherwise, a good read in the baseball off-season.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2004

    Zim is Baseball

    Simply stated, Don Zimmer is baseball. He represents everything good about the game. I can't imagine anyone not being able to relate to Zimmer's profound thoughts about baseball and life as expressed by him in this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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