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One Pitch Away: The Players' Stories of the 1986 League Championships and World Series (The players' stories of the 1986 league championships & World Series) Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Series: The players' stories of the 1986 league championships & World Series
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan General Reference (April 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0026124165
  • ASIN: B007PMFSVW
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,809,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The 1986 baseball playoffs and World Series have been called the most exciting ever. Here Sowell (The Pitch That Killed) looks back at the triumphs and tragedies that followed that fateful post-season. In the Boston-California playoffs we see California manager Gene Mauch?"the greatest manager never to win a pennant"?one out away from victory, and still managing to lose. Donnie Moore?the relief pitcher who bore the brunt of the loss?was so depressed by the outcome that he killed himself. In the New York-Houston series, we witness pitcher Bob Knepper blowing two big leads; experience the fear that Mike Scott and his split-finger fastball instilled in the Mets; and feel the tension of game six?16 innings of perhaps the best baseball game ever played?finally going to the Mets. The Red Sox-Mets World Series had it all: comebacks, hero, goats. There is drama as Mookie Wilson squibbs the ball past a crippled Bill Buckner; we meet nervous relief pitcher Calvin Schiraldi, who lacks the confidence to get the big out; Pat Stapleton, Buckner's caddy, waiting for the call to defense that never came; and Ray Knight, goat-turned-hero, hitting the ball out of the park to win the Series for the Mets. A book that proves that baseball imitates life. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Sowell (July 2, 1903, LJ 5/15/92) focuses on the key players who competed in the electrifying championship series of 1986. Each series was decided by a single pitch or play. Sowell profiles the heroes as well as the scapegoats. Recommended for regional and larger collections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fan.ca on December 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
The 1986 playoffs were some of the best games that baseball has seen. Authour Mike Sowell has tried to capture the excitement and suspense of those playoffs in "One Pitch Away"
While not a bad book, one can't help leaving this book feeling that much more could have been done with it. The problem I have with the book is that 2/3 of it is spent interviewing the players of those playoffs. I didn't really care about hearing about Doug DeCinces and his investment company. Sowell probably could have gone into greater detail about the whole season and the effect the 86 playoffs had on baseball.
Not a bad book, but there are better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fabio Paoleri on October 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
The things I love the best in the ball game are its histories and the way a whole season may change in a eye blink. In this book, I found each of them: it's the history of the unbelievable 1986 baseball post-season, and the way a single pitch could change a whole season and, why not, a whole lifetime. Not only the Billy Buck ball, but also the Donnie Moore tragedy, the Red Sox curse, the Angels and the Astros: an unbelievable amount of puzzle pieces all in their place for the final picture. If you love the ball game, you'll love this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 80s Boy on December 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
What baseball fan who lived through the 80s could forget 1986? It's not a short-sighted statement to conclude that '86 featured the greatest post-season ever for the sport. I'm sure some longtimers would wag their finger at me, and we've had a handful of good series the last 15 years or so. But look at the 2000s as they close out: it's gone sweep, sweep, 4-1, sweep, 4-2, and 4-2 the last six years. After being spoiled in 2001 and '02 with 7 game WS, there's been a severe lack of drama (save for a couple of one-game playoff games, ha!). 1986, was another story completely.

This is back when the postseason only featured three series (ALCS, NLCS, WS), and even with that limited schedule, EACH series managed to create its own pychological exhaustion. Houston battled for a 1-0 Game 1 win, there was the Dystra last-gasp homer in game 3, with the two teams depleting themselves in 12-inning and 16-inning back-to-back(!) games, respectively, to finish it.

Boston and California bookended their LCS with a bunch of blowouts, but their two middle games were insanity. The Angels waking up late in game 4, and (of course) Boston's breathless win of game 5. And just to show how powerful that post-season was, the WS really only contained one heart-stopping game. But what a monumental impression it has still left (ohhh, Billy Bucks).

Sowell covers all this capably, but does jump around a bit in terms of his storytelling. It seems the set-up is coming for a particular game, only to have Sowell rewind back to the player's origins. How much you care about each player covered *outside* of that playoff year will make or break that section of the read for you.
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Format: Paperback
As a young baseball fan, my memories of the 1986 postseason are fairly vague. This book makes me understand why so many say that the 1986 playoffs were so amazing.

The book begins with recounts of the bad luck of Angel manager Gene Mauch who had already experienced 3 near misses with The Series. Here, we have the 1986 ALCS, with Mauch's California Angels being "one pitch away" from the World Series before losing Game 5 in 11 innings to the Red Sox, and then losing games 6 and 7 10-4 and 8-

1 respectively.

Then the book moves onto the NLCS, telling the story of the Met's preocupation with the split-finger fastball of Mike Scott, who beat them in games 1 and 4, and who they believed to be illegally scuffing the ball. The Met's won the marathon game 6 in 16 innings, 7-6, preventing them from having to face Scott in Game 7.

Finally, the story of the World Series, with The Red Sox being a pitch away in Game 6 before the Mets tied the game. Then the unfortunate error by Bill Buckner, which allowed the Mets to win in the bottom of the 9th, and go on to win Game 7 8-5.

After the stories of the Games, it moves on to in depth looks at the players from the 3 postseason series : their memories from the games and what happened to them after 1986.

For me, as an Astros fan, this book really brought to life how close a team can come to victory only to have it slip away. It happened to every team in 1986; only the victorious Mets avoided the heartbreak.

As Sowell says in his closing, there are so many ways baseball can break a fans heart. But when a team reaches the top, nothing is greater.
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Format: Paperback
This book consists of two parts:
The first one is about the American League Championship Series (centered around the Angels and their manager Gene Mauch), the National League Championship Series (centered around the Mets' fear of Houston's splitfinger-fastballing pitcher Mike Scott and their cheating allegations against him), and the World Series (centered around Boston's First Baseman Bill Buckner).
The second part includes chapters on Donnie Moore, Mike Witt, Doug DeCinces, Bob Knepper, Billy Hatcher, Mike Scott, Gary Carter, Ray Knight, Mookie Wilson, Bill Buckner, Dave Stapleton, Calvin Schiraldi, Bob Stanley, and Dave Henderson and the pivotal roles they played during the 1986 Post Season. (Unfortunately, it seems the author wasn't able to get Roger Clemens for an interview.)
In addittion to this the book has 22 black-and-white photographs (some of them are team's promo-portrait-pictures, some are game-photos, and some are recent shots of the players today) and a really good index.
The overall-tone of the book seemed a little too neutral and reserved to me, but on the other hand everything was told in a very exact way. The player-interviews which were worked into the text seamlessly by the author definitely liven the book up.
I liked this book because it had a lot of new information for me. Mike Sowell offers a view of both sides of the games. But at first I was a little bit disappointed because in spite of the exact title of the book I had hoped it would be more about the Red Sox - my favorite team! It wasn't written especially for fans of one of the four teams involved - so be prepared!
All in all I'd say "One Pitch Away" is an informative (even if it's more of a general work) book on one of baseball's post seasons.
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