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Once Upon a Game: Baseball's Greatest Memories Hardcover – April 4, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061873127X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618731275
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,913,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ALAN SCHWARZ is the senior writer of Baseball America magazine, the host of "Baseball Today" on ESPN.com, and a regular contributor to the New York Times. His first book, The Numbers Game, was ESPNs 2004 Baseball Book of the Year. He is a frequent on-air guest analyst for ESPN, National Public Radios Talk of the Nation, and MSNBC.

George Frederick Will is a Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative American newspaper columnist, journalist, and author.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction

The best part of being a baseball writer isn’t writing. It’s listening.
Any day I want, I can go to any ballpark, walk into the clubhouse, and talk with superstar and scrub alike about the games, the personalities, and the moments that all of us love to relive. Not just fans and writers. I’ve found that even though players are out there on the field performing, a part of them—like Tom Sawyer—is up in the balcony watching, appreciating the small role they’re playing in the timeline of this wonderful sport. Listen carefully and you’ll hear that they’re fans, too.
This book is designed to let you pull up a chair with us and with every turn of the page listen in as some of baseball’s greatest names recall their most personal memories. You’ll hear Ernie Banks describe the first time he was moved to say, “Let’s play two!” Roger Clemens remembers how he beat a traffic jam to strike out 20 Seattle Mariners one night in 1986. Gaylord Perry takes us back to the first game he won with a spitball, and Derek Jeter remembers the moment he realized he wanted to be a big-league ballplayer. How did Cal Ripken feel when he was just a struggling rookie? What was going through Bobby Thomson’s mind before he hit the Shot Heard ’Round the World? What was it like for Terry Francona to be Michael Jordan’s baseball manager?
Some of the best memories are from nonplayers— Kevin Costner describes the making of Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, and Charles Schulz, the late Peanuts cartoonist, shares why poor ol’ Charlie Brown keeps losing games 40–0. George H.W. Bush takes us back to the day he shook hands with Babe Ruth. Every one of these vignettes comes from a personal interview with me—except a few, from long-deceased players, which come straight from old, long-forgotten articles I unearthed. Babe Ruth on his first home run as a 6-year-old? Casey Stengel on his first day in the big leagues? Those are simply too much fun to leave out.
From Yogi Berra to Curt Schilling, Nolan Ryan to Pedro Martinez, you should feel as if you’re right there with me, listening to one great baseball storyteller after another. It’s one big Ozzie Smith backflip. Speaking of which, turn to page 132.
—Alan Schwarz New York City, December 2006

Copyright © 2007 by Alan Schwarz. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robin Gipson on January 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alan Schwarz has created a little book that keeps its stories about baseball short and sweet. Whether you read about how George Bush meeting Babe Ruth or A Rod turning his first major league double play you will e amused by how human the greats are when it comes to their memory. A fun short trip down memory lane that has excellent photography.
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By Still a Phillies Phan on November 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not anything groundbreaking here, but an enjoyable read.
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