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Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way Paperback – April, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.; New edition edition (April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574888056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574888058
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,888,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a book about decisions, good and bad, and long-term results. . . a fascinating and very different look at baseball history."

"Not everyone can write a great baseball book . . . Mark Armour and Dan Levitt have succeeded, and they deserve our congratulations."

"A 'must-read' for professional baseball fans and anyone seeking to learn team-building tips from the pros."

About the Author

Daniel R. Levitt is a baseball researcher devoted to resolving historical questions about pitch counts and the lowest single-season ERA, but during the day he manages capital markets for a national commercial real estate firm. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mark Armour is a Red Sox fan who works in the sorftware industry and dreams of the day when he can talk about his team's path to glory. He has published articles with the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR).

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By William Johnson on February 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I got this book on the recommendation of some baseball pundits that I respect greatly (the Baseball Prospectus crowd), but to be honest, I found it somewhat disappointing. The problem isn't poor scholarship (it's first-rate) nor inferior sabermetrics (the analytical approach is sound) nor any other quibbles with the findings. Rather, it's that the content is something rather different than the title implies: rather than discussing "how great baseball teams got that way," which would indeed be a fascinating subject, it digresses into two much less interesting topics.
The first ill-advised topical digression is that it rarely really talks about "great" baseball teams, at least not dynastic ones (with significant exceptions in sections on the Oakland A's of the 1970s and the Atlanta Braves of the 1990s, both of which are excellent analyses). Instead too much time is spent not just on near-misses but on one-shot wonders that never got close to real greatness. I mean, the 1924 Washington Senators may have been a great human-interest story (after all, the immortal Walter Johnson finally got his ring...), but a "great" team? Hardly, and they never had a realistic chance to be great. Too many other chapters follow this pattern of looking at the wrong teams, and not for want of subject material -- where were the discussions of the blue-smoke-and-mirrors St. Louis Cardinals of the 1960s or 1980s, the great Koufax/Drysdale/Los Angeles pitching juggernauts, and above all, the post-WWII Yankees? The subject of this book simply was not as advertised.
Second, to report *that* a thing occurred is not the same as to say *how* it occurred, much less *why*.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Paths To Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way is a close study of how championship baseball teams came to be assembled. Focusing on both teams as a whole and the stories of great individual players, and also with an intriguing spotlight on stellar teams expected to win that didn't, Paths To Glory delves into extensive statistical research as well as logic, speculation, and wisdom from the players and coaches themselves to offer a composite portrait into what truly makes a winning team tick. A "must-read" for professional baseball fans and anyone seeking to learn team-building tips from the pros.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The writers have explored baseball in a unique format that really works. I really enjoyed how they followed teams and explained why they achieved their success and maintained it (or did not). For a student of the game or a casual baseball reader, this book is a must. It is on one hand very informative, but also well written so not so analytical that impacts your enjoyment. I would hate to compete against these guys in a fantasy league. Hope there will will be a part two that follows other teams, like the Tigers of the late 1960's.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Outstanding book. Great analysis and insights. The writing is very good. Interesting stories of a number of significant teams and how they were built with chapters of various topics, such as the changing role of relief pitchers, mixed in.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Professor Rowe on August 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Paths to Glory doesn't fulfill the promise delivered by the book's title. Instead it diverges into statistical minutiae, and spends minimal verbiage on "HOW" or "Great Teams". Baseball dynasties such as the 1890's Boston clubs are pathetically ignored.
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