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Are We Winning?: Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball Hardcover – May 4, 2010


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Are We Winning?: Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball + God Save the Fan: How Preening Sportscasters, Athletes Who Speak in the Third Person, and the Occasional Convicted Quarterback Have Taken the Fun Out of Sports (And How We Can Get It Back)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401323707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401323707
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #928,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A day at the ball park prompts a meditation on family ties in this loose-limbed, beguiling memoir. Sports journalist Leitch (God Save the Fan) recounts a 2008 game at Wrigley Field at which he and his father watched their beloved St. Louis Cardinals lose to the Chicago Cubs, who were on the brink of clinching the divisional title. His sprightly color commentary covers the bases with adroitly analyzed play-by-play, awed encomiums to Cards slugger Albert Pujols (an alien using superior technology to mock us feeble humans), and rabid incitements against the hated Cubs. As in any ball game, there's plenty of downtime for arcane statistics, ruminations on drug scandals—who cares, Leitch asks, as long as steroids mean more homers?—and commercial interruptions (I'm a subscriber to the MLB At Bat application, which allows you access to... real-time score updates with full box scores and stats). Most of all, Leitch delivers an homage to his dad, a laconic stalwart brimming with manly truths—some imparted while driving a pickup with an open container—that sports bring to the surface. The result is a jaunty, heartfelt, Father's Day–ready celebration of baseball as the ultimate bonding rite. Photos. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Will Leitch is a writer based in New York City and the founding editor of the Gawker Media sports blog Deadspin. Leitch is a contributing editor at New York, a contributor to The New York Times, GQ, Fast Company and Slate, and has published three books, Catch, a novel; Life as a Loser, a memoir; and God Save the Fan, a book of sports essays.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The author really knows his Cardinal players.
Rose 1002
There's something special about going to see your favorite team play ball; especially when your dad's accompanying you to the game.
Larry Underwood
Some parts of the book are very funny and others are surprisingly perceptive.
Stephen Chippendale

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Chippendale on May 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Like Daniel Okrent's classic "Nine Innings," this new book by Will Leitch (founder of Deadspin, now a NY Mag editor) presents the anatomy of a single game. Unlike Okrent, however, Leitch casts his book as a letter to his future son and thereby turns his inning-by-inning retelling of a Cards vs. Cubs game into a springboard for addressing broader life issues. In fact, the game at Wrigley is really a novelistic MacGuffin, i.e., the thing that drives the plot but the audience couldn't care less about. Yes, any Cards game is important to superfan Leitch, but of greater interest to him -- and to the reader -- is the opportunity that it provides the transplanted New Yorker to reflect on his life in the Midwest, his career, and, most importantly, his dad. By the end, you admire the relationship shared by the Leitch men as well as their capacity to consume a remarkable amount of beer. (Ms. Leitch gets less ink but the book includes heartfelt observations on the evils of breast cancer.) Some parts of the book are very funny and others are surprisingly perceptive. In particular, the chapter on Steve Bartman is wonderfully written and marked by a sensitivity not associated with Leitch's work on Deadspin or even in his previous "God Save the Fan." Bottom line: This highly enjoyable book signals that Bill Simmons has a serious contender for the title of best sportswriter of our times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Larry Underwood on June 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There's something special about going to see your favorite team play ball; especially when your dad's accompanying you to the game. If you're a St Louis Cardinals fan attending a game between the Redbirds and the arch-rival Chicago Cubs, at Wrigley Field, and dad's along for the ride; well, it doesn't get any better than this.

Such is the case for the author of this book, Will Leitch. His commentary on the quirky rivalry between the Cardinals and Cubs, and the equally quirky perspective of his dad, is a joy to read. Leitch's narrative is at times hysterical; at times poignant; but always entertaining.

Capturing the essence of what baseball represents for fathers and sons everywhere; especially those engaged in that friendly rivalry between Cards and Cubs fans; this book is most definitely "a winner". I loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Suerdieck on May 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reviewer disclaimer: I have known Bryan Leitch most of my life and that's why I bought this book.
This is a book about baseball and its not. If you don't know a force out from a hit and run, don't be put off. Buy this book.
Will Leitch has constructed a multi-tiered book that resonates at every level. It is about baseball, sure, and the die hard baseball fan will love his passion and observations on the game. But, to say this book uses baseball as a metaphor for life would be selling it short. The passion for baseball Will shares with his father, Bryan is merely the vehicle to get to the bigger stuff: family, adversity, coming of age, small town life, college friendships, sibling interaction, whew-that's just the first chapter.
Will handles all of this and more with humor, sarcasm, and a self-deprecating style. He writes well and the book has an easy conversational flow to it. When Will digresses, and he does digress with reckless abandon, he always circles back on the point he is making. He uses the artiface of this book being a message to his future son and it works. The little "what we have learned" chapter summaries are also an interesting touch.
Ultimately this book is about fathers and sons and I have passed my copy along to my son, Bryan, in hopes tht he finds it as compelling as I did.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joanna M Arvanetes on May 14, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
excellent work. very funny. there are very few books where i laugh out loud over and this was one of those. for the baseball fan. as a baseball nerd and diehard mets fan since i was 10 in 1977, i thoroughly enjoyed the book. bravo will!
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By Rose 1002 on August 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Cubs fan, married to a Cardinals fan who raised our son to be a Cardinal fan, I knew I had to buy this book. We all loved it. The author really knows his Cardinal players. Enjoyed the format, even the chapter from his score book, but I did just give that a quick read. He has a wit and uses it well to make his point. I had to laugh out loud a few times. Any real baseball fan would enjoy this book, but true Cardinal fans will love it. Leitch is a good,writer and has an interesting opinion about baseball and players.
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By MJC on February 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As a son, father, and baseball fan I found this to be a terrific read. I highly recommend this book about baseball and life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Will Leitch does a great job relateing ot Card and Cubs fans. The book also mentions many central Illinois towns and buisness's.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is among the best sports books I've read. Leitch has his own voice, one that I think represents all us Gen Xers who do care deeply but can't show it without making a sarcastic postscript (I blame growing up with The Simpsons.) But Leitch does not let the snark or the self-deprecating humor compromise a very heartfelt book.

So many baseball books, even the good ones, are either overly sentimental, overly technical or an extended game summary. Leitch falls into none of those traps despite the fact that the book oozes with sentimentality, has some great technical discussions and actually is, in fact, one long game summary. Neat trick.

'Are We Winning' lets a love for baseball, tradition, and family shine through with great humor. It is a very funny, honest and insightful book.
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