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  • Ross Johnson 5:00 pm on 2018/02/09 Permalink
    Tags: feats of strength, olympics, Sports   

    12 True Stories of Triumph and Tragedy at the Olympics 

    The Winter Olympics are upon us, this time from Pyeongchang, jewel of South Korea, as big-name and soon-to-be-big-name athletes share the spotlight with the global news. Even as they reflect the realities of our world, the Games also point to our highest aspirations for cooperation and peace amid inspiring competition. As they have in the preceding century, the 2018 Winter Games will doubtless provide stories of disappointment, but also of triumph. Plus some really cool uniforms.

    If you’ve got Olympic fever, here are some great books filled with deeply human stories of the athletes, events, and teams that have shaped and been shaped by the history of the Games.

    Greece, Circa 776 BC

    The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games, by Tony Perrottet, Lesley Thelander, and Lesley Thelander
    Writer Perrottet goes to great lengths, using a variety of ancient sources, to not only describe the original Olympics, but recreate the experience of the wildly influential athletic festival. It’s a lively, raucous, and gritty look at sporting events that share a surprising number of similarities with the modern Games…and some differences as well. (I doubt our modern athletes will be performing in the nude anytime soon.)

    Amsterdam, Summer 1928

    Fire on the Track: Betty Robinson and the Triumph of the Early Olympic Women, by Roseanne Montillo
    At the age of 16, Betty Robinson was the first woman to claim an Olympic gold medal for track, becoming, for a time, the fastest woman in the world. She came back and won another gold medal in 1936, but in the intervening years was involved in a plane crash in which she was first presumed dead, and then was in a coma for seven months. It took her over two years to regain the ability to walk normally. During that time, other women built on her reputation to show the world what women can do.

    Berlin, Summer 1936

    Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics, by Jeremy Schaap
    There are a number of great books about the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, one of the most momentous in modern history. Hitler had been in power for just over three years, and, though there had been calls for boycotts of the Games, the full extent of Nazi barbarity wasn’t widely understood. Track and field athlete Jesse Owens, black American child of sharecroppers, won four  gold medals, putting ideas of Aryan superiority to lie.

    The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel James Brown
    Meanwhile at the 1936 Olympics, a less well known, but also inspiring story was playing out on the water. Centered around orphaned Depression-era farm boy Joe Rantz, the book tells of the University of Washington crew team. Comprised of rowers from farms, towns, and villages all over the state, the team had to compete with wealthier and better-equipped teams from elite east coast schools before battling for Olympic glory.

    London, Summer 1948

    The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory, by Julie Checkoway
    It’s a remarkable, almost unbelievable story: a group of Japanese-American in Maui, poor and malnourished, were challenged by their science teacher, a man with no swimming ability of his own, to become Olympians. They didn’t even have a pool to swim in. Still, within just a couple of years the kids were breaking records and making international headlines. World War II and the cancellation of the 1940 and 1944 Games meant that their dreams would have to wait, but wasn’t the end of the story for any of them.

    Rome, Summer 1960

    Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World, by David Maraniss
    The social and political turmoil of the 1960s, argues David Maraniss, was anticipated in the Games that began the decade. The US and the Soviet Union were locked into competing narratives and each fought hard for propaganda victories. Doping was already becoming an issue, and illicit endorsement deals and Soviet subsidies blurred the lines dividing amateur from professional athletes. Perhaps most significantly, black athletes like Cassius Clay, Wilma Rudolph, Abebe Bikila were grabbing the spotlight while the IOC was desperate to avoid any complications over race issues. The Olympics always reflect their times, Rome perhaps even more so.

    Lake Placid, Winter 1980

    The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, by Wayne Coffey with Jim Craig
    It’s 1980, 20 years after Rome, and the through line of the Games remains the cold conflict between the United States and the USSR. The Soviets had dominated five of the six previous Games, and the hockey team was heavily favored to win again at Lake Placid. The American team, on the other hand, was comprised of young amateurs. They didn’t have a chance—until they did, making their “Miracle on Ice” one of the most iconic moments in sports of the 20th century.

    Barcelona, Summer 1992

    Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever, by Jack McCallum
    Prior to 1992, only amateurs were allowed to play. Soviet skirting of the rules, however, lead to a controversial decision to open up the Olympic basketball team to pros. What came of that decision was the most impressive collection of basketball talent ever assembled. Names like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, and Charles Barkley were brought together to create an unbeatable super-team. McCallum describes not only the athletics, but also goes behind the scenes to talk about what happened when some of the greatest sports talents of all time hang out together.

    Nagano, Winter 1998

    Edge of Glory: The Inside Story of the Quest for Figure Skatings Olympic Gold Medals, by Christine Brennan
    Brennan takes us into the tumultuous year leading up to the Olympics for a US figure skater. Beginning with the national championships in Nashville in 1997, in which Michelle Kwan’s literal fall provided an opportunity for Tara Lipinski to steal the show, Brennan provides perspective on the lives of women and men who dream of Olympic glory, but also on the coaches, agents, judges, and veterans who all have roles to play.

    Sydney, Summer 2000

    Gold in the Water: The True Story of Ordinary Men and Their Extraordinary Dream of Olympic Glory, by P. H. Mullen Jr.
    Focusing on two swimmers, Tom Wilkens and Kurt Grote, and their coach Dick Jochums, Mullen shines a light on the grueling training that leads up to an Olympic contest. A swimmer himself, Mullen provides insight into not only the physical preparation required, but also the emotional and psychological turmoil created by the rigorous regimen and ups and downs of a life lived under that kind of pressure.

    Beijing, Summer 2008

    Running for My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games, by Lopez Lomong and Mark Tabb
    One of Sudan’s “Lost Boys” orphaned during that country’s second civil war, Lomong came to the US in 2001 and qualified for the Olympic team in 2008, shortly after gaining citizenship. His immigrant story is one of harrowing hardship and hopelessness to inspiring triumph.

    The Games: A Global History of the Olympics, by David Goldblatt
    Finally, having absorbed the detailed, individual stories of triumph and tragedy that have made up the history of the modern Olympics, you might be ready for a broader view. Sportswriter Goldblatt’s book covers the entirety of the modern Games, from 1896 on, telling the stories of the people, places, and sports that have made the summer, winter, and para- Olympics so engaging for well over a century. From Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ Black Power salute in 1968 to the tragedy in Munich, to the Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid, Goldblatt pulls back to look at the continuing story of the Games.

    What’s on your reading list for the 2018 Olympics Games?

    The post 12 True Stories of Triumph and Tragedy at the Olympics appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 4:22 pm on 2017/04/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Sports   

    Celebrate Opening Day with 10 Great Baseball Books 

    Once again Opening Day is upon us, so it’s time to oil up that glove, gloat over your baseball card collection, and remember why you keep coming back to baseball even though it’s a game of suffering. Despite being born in the 19th century and enduring the ongoing rule-tinkering of its overlords, baseball remains the country’s favorite warm-weather sport. Unrushed, almost languid, and balletic in execution, just watching a game recalls childhood summer days spent roasting in the sun, while you stood in center field shagging fly balls. To help you get into the right mood, here are 10 baseball books that will remind you what keeps us coming back to the diamond each spring.

    My Cubs: A Love Story, by Scott Simon
    First the Red Sox, now the Cubbies: Baseball’s most time-honored losing streaks are crumbling. NPR host Scott Simon is a lifelong Cubs fan, and his excitement over the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series buzzes on every page of this book chronicling Cubs history, reciting the best Cubs stories, and recounting how much influence his love of the team and the game through all those lean years had on his life. His affectionate description of a team of “lovable losers” will make just about everyone a Cubs fan for a little while (unless you’re a White Sox fan).

    The Mental Game of Baseball, by H.A. Dorfman and Karl Kuehl
    More than any other sport, baseball is a mental game. With its lengthy pauses and irregular rhythms, it’s easy for players to get into their own heads and over- or under-think the game. Dorfman and Kuehl understand this aspect of a sport that often requires fewer lightning-fast reflexes and more strategic thinking, offering up theories backed by real-life examples of how any player at any level can raise their performance level through a better understanding of the game. Whether you’re a fan, a pro player, or a kid trying out for Little League, this book will improve your game.

    Lou: Fifty Years of Kicking Dirt, Playing Hard, and Winning Big in the Sweet Spot of Baseball, by Lou Piniella and Bill Madden
    Any fan of baseball knows Lou Piniella. As a player and manager, Sweet Lou has been a fixture of the game for more than five decades, a man known for his often undiplomatic passion for the sport. In this fascinating memoir, Piniella not only gives us the skinny on his playing and managing experiences, he also offers incredible insight into the ways the game has changed in his lifetime. As you might expect, Lou doesn’t hold back or mince his words, and baseball fans will love every page.

    Ballplayer, by Chipper Jones and Carroll R. Walton
    Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones is one of the greatest hitters of the modern age, and the rare superstar who spent his entire career with a single team. The 1999 MVP and 2008 batting champion discusses his life in this absorbing memoir, from being a top prospect in high school with dozens of scouts following his every game to the 1995 World Series and every post-season appearance thereafter. Jones is brutally honest about his game, his personal life, and his failings—and his peers, many of whom have been tainted by association with performance-enhancing drugs.

    Papi: My Story, by David Ortiz and Michael Holley
    Few sluggers end their career at their prime the way David Ortiz did, retiring from the game after a season in which he drove in a league-leading 127 runs and smacked a league-leading 48 doubles (not to mention a not-too-shabby 38 home runs, all while batting .315 at the age of 40). In this unvarnished memoir, Ortiz lets us in on his journey from poverty in the Dominican Republic to his tempestuous time with the Minnesota Twins to finding a second home in Boston, a team he led to a historic championship and a city he led through some dark times.

    Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross and Don Yaeger
    Baseball fans are going to be talking about the Cubs’ 2016 World Series for…well, forever. Central to that victory was a 39-year-old journeyman catcher who suddenly emerged as a force both on and off the field. David Ross, nicknamed Grandpa Rossy, brought experience and gravitas to the team, but also brought an incredible sense of humor, expert touch on social media, and some of the best play of his career, culminating in a World Series at bat for the ages—all of which he discusses in his signature warm, humorous style in this inspiring memoir.

    The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life, by Rick Ankiel and Tim Brown
    Any baseball fan has heard of—and perhaps experienced—a phenomenon known as the Yips. More accurately diagnosed as an anxiety disorder, it’s most obvious symptom in a pitcher is a sudden inability to throw a strike despite prior accuracy. Rick Ankiel is probably the modern poster boy for the affliction, and in this memoir he details his awful childhood, his sudden wealth and fame as a teenage pitching prodigy, and his terrifying experience with the Yips during a high-pressure playoff game when he was just 21. That Ankiel fought his way back to the game despite his problems makes his story all the more fascinating.

    The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager’s Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life, by Mike Matheny and Jerry B. Jenkins
    Matheny offers up something more than your standard athlete memoir in this expanded version of the viral “manifesto” he sent to parents who asked him to coach a local kids’ team. In that letter and this book, Matheny tells the inside story of his career as a player and as the current manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, but also lays out an approach to youth sports in this country that’s being hailed as a literal game-changer.

    Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character, by Marty Appel
    You might think you know everything there is to know about the legendary Yankees manager Stengel, who steered the team through their second most famous incarnation during the Mantle and Maris years. But Appel has access to an unpublished memoir written by Stengel’s widow as well as a deep dive into contemporary news clippings and interviews with Stengel’s peers and the players he managed, resulting in a revelatory glimpse of one of baseball’s most famous personalities.

    Baseball Prospectus 2017, edited by Aaron Gleeman and Bret Sayre
    Whether you maintain six fantasy teams every year or just like being in the know about the upcoming season, there’s no better way to prepare for the sport that, more than any other, revolves around numbers. The 2017 Prospectus offers every stat, every projection, and every piece of data real-life scouts use when planning for the coming season.

    The post Celebrate Opening Day with 10 Great Baseball Books appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 4:22 pm on 2017/04/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Sports   

    Celebrate Opening Day with 10 Great Baseball Books 

    Once again Opening Day is upon us, so it’s time to oil up that glove, gloat over your baseball card collection, and remember why you keep coming back to baseball even though it’s a game of suffering. Despite being born in the 19th century and enduring the ongoing rule-tinkering of its overlords, baseball remains the country’s favorite warm-weather sport. Unrushed, almost languid, and balletic in execution, just watching a game recalls childhood summer days spent roasting in the sun, while you stood in center field shagging fly balls. To help you get into the right mood, here are 10 baseball books that will remind you what keeps us coming back to the diamond each spring.

    My Cubs: A Love Story, by Scott Simon
    First the Red Sox, now the Cubbies: Baseball’s most time-honored losing streaks are crumbling. NPR host Scott Simon is a lifelong Cubs fan, and his excitement over the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series buzzes on every page of this book chronicling Cubs history, reciting the best Cubs stories, and recounting how much influence his love of the team and the game through all those lean years had on his life. His affectionate description of a team of “lovable losers” will make just about everyone a Cubs fan for a little while (unless you’re a White Sox fan).

    The Mental Game of Baseball, by H.A. Dorfman and Karl Kuehl
    More than any other sport, baseball is a mental game. With its lengthy pauses and irregular rhythms, it’s easy for players to get into their own heads and over- or under-think the game. Dorfman and Kuehl understand this aspect of a sport that often requires fewer lightning-fast reflexes and more strategic thinking, offering up theories backed by real-life examples of how any player at any level can raise their performance level through a better understanding of the game. Whether you’re a fan, a pro player, or a kid trying out for Little League, this book will improve your game.

    Lou: Fifty Years of Kicking Dirt, Playing Hard, and Winning Big in the Sweet Spot of Baseball, by Lou Piniella and Bill Madden
    Any fan of baseball knows Lou Piniella. As a player and manager, Sweet Lou has been a fixture of the game for more than five decades, a man known for his often undiplomatic passion for the sport. In this fascinating memoir, Piniella not only gives us the skinny on his playing and managing experiences, he also offers incredible insight into the ways the game has changed in his lifetime. As you might expect, Lou doesn’t hold back or mince his words, and baseball fans will love every page.

    Ballplayer, by Chipper Jones and Carroll R. Walton
    Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones is one of the greatest hitters of the modern age, and the rare superstar who spent his entire career with a single team. The 1999 MVP and 2008 batting champion discusses his life in this absorbing memoir, from being a top prospect in high school with dozens of scouts following his every game to the 1995 World Series and every post-season appearance thereafter. Jones is brutally honest about his game, his personal life, and his failings—and his peers, many of whom have been tainted by association with performance-enhancing drugs.

    Papi: My Story, by David Ortiz and Michael Holley
    Few sluggers end their career at their prime the way David Ortiz did, retiring from the game after a season in which he drove in a league-leading 127 runs and smacked a league-leading 48 doubles (not to mention a not-too-shabby 38 home runs, all while batting .315 at the age of 40). In this unvarnished memoir, Ortiz lets us in on his journey from poverty in the Dominican Republic to his tempestuous time with the Minnesota Twins to finding a second home in Boston, a team he led to a historic championship and a city he led through some dark times.

    Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross and Don Yaeger
    Baseball fans are going to be talking about the Cubs’ 2016 World Series for…well, forever. Central to that victory was a 39-year-old journeyman catcher who suddenly emerged as a force both on and off the field. David Ross, nicknamed Grandpa Rossy, brought experience and gravitas to the team, but also brought an incredible sense of humor, expert touch on social media, and some of the best play of his career, culminating in a World Series at bat for the ages—all of which he discusses in his signature warm, humorous style in this inspiring memoir.

    The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life, by Rick Ankiel and Tim Brown
    Any baseball fan has heard of—and perhaps experienced—a phenomenon known as the Yips. More accurately diagnosed as an anxiety disorder, it’s most obvious symptom in a pitcher is a sudden inability to throw a strike despite prior accuracy. Rick Ankiel is probably the modern poster boy for the affliction, and in this memoir he details his awful childhood, his sudden wealth and fame as a teenage pitching prodigy, and his terrifying experience with the Yips during a high-pressure playoff game when he was just 21. That Ankiel fought his way back to the game despite his problems makes his story all the more fascinating.

    The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager’s Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life, by Mike Matheny and Jerry B. Jenkins
    Matheny offers up something more than your standard athlete memoir in this expanded version of the viral “manifesto” he sent to parents who asked him to coach a local kids’ team. In that letter and this book, Matheny tells the inside story of his career as a player and as the current manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, but also lays out an approach to youth sports in this country that’s being hailed as a literal game-changer.

    Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character, by Marty Appel
    You might think you know everything there is to know about the legendary Yankees manager Stengel, who steered the team through their second most famous incarnation during the Mantle and Maris years. But Appel has access to an unpublished memoir written by Stengel’s widow as well as a deep dive into contemporary news clippings and interviews with Stengel’s peers and the players he managed, resulting in a revelatory glimpse of one of baseball’s most famous personalities.

    Baseball Prospectus 2017, edited by Aaron Gleeman and Bret Sayre
    Whether you maintain six fantasy teams every year or just like being in the know about the upcoming season, there’s no better way to prepare for the sport that, more than any other, revolves around numbers. The 2017 Prospectus offers every stat, every projection, and every piece of data real-life scouts use when planning for the coming season.

    The post Celebrate Opening Day with 10 Great Baseball Books appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Emma Chastain 5:48 pm on 2016/06/04 Permalink
    Tags: , boxing, , muhammad ali, Sports   

    In Remembrance of Muhammad Ali, Boxing Legend 

    Muhammad Ali, legendary boxer and influential political figure, universally hailed as The Greatest, has died after a decades-long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

    A Champion for the Ages
    When he was 12, Ali got angry after his bike was stolen and declared that he was going to whup the thief. Policeman and boxing coach Joe Martin overheard him and offered to train him. Six years later, Ali won the light heavyweight Olympic gold medal. “I can still see him strutting around the Olympic village with his gold medal on,” U.S. sprinter Wilma Rudolph told William Knack. “He slept with it. He went to the cafeteria with it. He never took it off. No one else cherished it the way he did.”

    Over the course of his 22-year career, Ali won the heavyweight title three times—a record. In 1964, he became the youngest fighter ever to strip the reigning champion of his title when he beat Sonny Liston. After the victory, Ali said, “I don’t have a mark on my face, and I upset Sonny Liston, and I just turned 22 years old. I must be the greatest.”

    Among Ali’s most storied fights was “The Rumble in the Jungle,” a 1974 bout Ali was widely expected to lose to George Foreman. As the fight got underway and Foreman unleashed his attack, onlookers feared that Ali would lose his life. But it was all part of Ali’s plan: let Foreman exhaust himself, then move in for the victory. In the eighth round, Ali knocked out his opponent, pulling off one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

    In 1975, Ali faced Joe Frazier in “The Thrilla in Manilla,” a brutal battle fought in near 100-degree heat. The fight went to fourteen rounds before Frazier’s trainer, seeing that his boxer had been nearly blinded by Ali, refused to let him back in the ring. At the press conference afterwards, Ali was so exhausted he couldn’t stand.

    Bravely Outspoken
    Ali lived by his beliefs without fear of the consequences. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., he changed his name to Muhammad Ali after becoming a member of the Nation of Islam. Offended by his conversion, many white sports commenters refused to refer to him by his new name. When he was drafted to serve in Vietnam, Ali would not join up, saying, “My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, some poor, hungry people in the mud, for big powerful America, and shoot them for what?” As a result of this refusal, Ali was stripped of his title and banned from boxing for almost four years—this at the peak of his career.

    Shut out of the boxing ring, Ali took to college campuses, championing Civil Rights, speaking out against the war in Vietnam, and calling racism as he saw it. As he told one white student, “You want me to go somewhere and fight but you won’t even stand up for me here at home.” His bravery, his insistence on respect and equal rights, inspired generations. In an interview with Thomas Hauser, Arther Ashe said, “Ali didn’t just change the image that African Americans have of themselves. He opened the eyes of a lot of white people to the potential of African Americans, who we are and what we can be.”

    Ali’s worsening health did not dull his appetite for a political fight. As recently as December 2015, he spoke out against Donald Trump, criticizing his plan to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. “We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda,” he said.

    A Writer’s Boxer
    Ali’s boxing prowess was matched only by his flair for language. Writers from Norman Mailer to David Remnick wrote books about him, followed his every move, nearly worshipped him, perhaps because in him they recognized a kindred spirit—a fellow writer and master stylist. Ali read poems at press conferences (“Yes the crowd did not dream, when they put up the money/ That they would see a total eclipse of the Sonny”). He expressed profound thoughts with clarity and concision (“‘Impossible’ is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it”). And he defined himself with brave eloquence (“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me—black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own. Get used to me”).

    The Later Years
    Despite his long fight with Parkinson’s disease, Ali continued to serve as a public figure. He lit the torch for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, went to Iraq in 1991 to help with attempts to free U.S. hostages, and travelled to Afghanistan in 2012 as a representative of the United Nations. He was a loving father to his nine children, including his youngest daughter, Laila, who was an undefeated pro boxer in her own right.

    In a statement, President Obama said, “Michelle and I mourn [Ali’s] passing. But we’re also grateful to God for how fortunate we are to have known him, if just for a while; for how fortunate we all are that The Greatest chose to grace our time.”

     
  • Diana Biller 4:07 pm on 2015/05/12 Permalink
    Tags: christopher mcdougall, david leadbetterjorge posada, every day i fight, , jon passah, natural born heroes, pedro, , Sports, stuart scott, the a swing, , the journey home   

    Sports Stories: Inside the Mental Game and Physical Challenge 

    Sports stories both exemplify great feats of physicality and transcend them. They encompass the whole spectrum of human emotion, from devastation to joy. Here are six intense sports books that will take you behind the scenes of your favorite games and into the heads of the best athletes in the world.

    Pedro, by Pedro Martinez and Michael Silverman
    It’s an incredible journey: Pedro Martinez was born into poverty in the Dominican Republic. In 2015, the first year of his eligibility, he was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. One of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history, Martinez is quite small compared to other power throwers—indeed, early in his career, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded him to Montreal because they thought he was too weak to start. Pedro chronicles the player’s rise to stardom and provides an absorbing look into a man who overcame seemingly impossible odds.

    Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance, by Christopher McDougall
    This one is a fascinating blend of stories: a war story, an outdoor sports memoir, and a meditation on heroism. McDougall, the bestselling author of Born to Run, follows in the footsteps of a band of WWII Resistance fighters on the Greek island of Crete who kidnapped a Nazi general despite enormous physical challenges. He uses this story, along with the geography and past of Crete itself, as a starting point from which to consider the history of heroism, and what makes a hero today.

    Every Day I Fight, by Stuart Scott, with Larry Platt
    ESPN anchor Stuart Scott finished writing Every Day I Fight shortly before his death from cancer in January 2015. This hopeful, poignant memoir is the story of his seven-year battle with the disease—the chemo, the surgeries, and the incredible determination it takes to keep fighting—and also of his childhood, family, and career as a sportscaster. An inspirational book, and a courageous one, Every Day I Fight is a great read even if you’d sooner watch C-SPAN than ESPN.

    The Game: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers, by Jon Pessah
    Sports journalist Jon Pessah takes us inside baseball’s most turbulent years in this juicy, meticulously researched book. In the early ’90s, wracked by disagreements, scandal, and steroid addiction, the sport was facing both public condemnation and the cancellation of a World Series. Pessah follows Commissioner Bud Selig, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, and Major League Baseball Players Association leader Don Fehr as they struggle for power and, eventually, work together to save our national pastime. A fascinating look at the business end of a beloved—and lucrative—game.

    The A Swing: The Alternative Approach to Great Golf, by David Leadbetter, with Ron Kaspriske
    Famous golf instructor David Leadbetter counts as his students any number of successful competitive golfers, including Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, and Ernie Els. In The A Swing, his first book in nine years, Leadbetter details a simple, biomechanically sound swing that’s easy to learn and to individualize. Along with more than 200 illustrations and clearly written instructions, the book includes a “7-Minute Practice Plan” to help golfers from beginner to pro develop a great swing—and have fun doing it.

    The Journey Home: My Life in Pinstripes, by Jorge Posada, with Gary Brozek
    This memoir from superstar catcher Jorge Posada is a loving look at his 17 seasons with the New York Yankees, but it’s also the story of his family and the father-son relationship that was the bedrock for his eventual success. The Journey Home traces Posada’s family roots, reaching back through three generations of fathers and sons and across four different countries. A warm-hearted and inspirational book about sports, friends, and families.

    Shop All Sports Books >
     
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