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Prophet of the Sandlots: Journeys With a Major League Scout Paperback – March, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Paper) (March 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137263732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137263738
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,625,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From 1942 to 1988, the late Tony Lucadello was a baseball scout. Working first for the Chicago Cubs and then for the Philadelphia Phillies, he signed up 50 players who went on to the major leagues, including such stars as Ferguson Jenkins and Mike Schmidt. Winegardner, who accompanied Lucadello during his last year on the job, depicts an uncommonly generous man who sat through hundreds of college, high school and sandlot games, ever on the lookout for young men with the "right stuff" to take them to the top--and always willing to help them. In illuminating Lucadello's life, which ended in suicide, Winegardner ( Elvis Presley Boulevard ) evokes the spirit of baseball.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Tony Lucadello, likely to be the first scout to be inducted into Cooperstown, related to Winegardner during their trips through the Midwest the tricks of the trade in identifying and signing future major leaguers. Winegardner is reminiscent of David Halberstam in his research and reporting style, as he faithfully chronicles the events and emotions of the Lucadello scouting trips. The behind-the-scenes insight into baseball scouting alone is worthy reading, but the book's ending is more dramatic than any fictional account. Winegardner's honest writing style makes his admiration of Lucadello contagious. For another Lucadello book see David V. Hanneman's Diamonds in the Rough, reviewed above.--Ed.
-Martin J. Hu dacs, Towanda H.S., Pa.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Mark Winegardner was born and raised in Bryan, Ohio, near Exit 2, a town of 8,000 which supplies the world with its Dum-Dum suckers and Etch-a-Sketches. His parents owned an RV dealership there, and every summer he traveled with his family across the USA in various travel trailers and motorhomes. By the time he was 15, he had been in all 48 contiguous states. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Miami University and went on to receive a master of fine arts degree in fiction writing from George Mason University. He published his first book at age 26, while still in graduate school. He has taught at Miami, George Mason, George Washington, and John Carroll Universities, and is now a professor in the creative writing program at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.

Winegardner has won grants, fellowships and residencies from the Ohio Arts Council, the Lilly Endowment, the Ragdale Foundation, the Sewanee Writers Conference and the Corporation of Yaddo. His books have been chosen as among the best of the year by the New York Times Book Review, Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles Times, the New York Public Library, and USA Today. His work has appeared in GQ, Playboy, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, DoubleTake, Family Circle, The Sporting News, Witness, Story Quarterly, American Short Fiction, Ladies Home Journal, Parents and The New York Times Magazine. Several of his stories have been chosen as Distinguished Stories of the Year in The Best American Short Stories.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This book is now out of print.
John C. Haffner
He's traveled the Midwestern back roads and talked to the folks who knew the real story of Tony Lucadello's life as a scout.
Dr. Michael E. Bauman
The story of arguably the most successful single baseball scout ever.
Robert W. Munn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John C. Haffner on August 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of the better "first attempts" at baseball writing ever! Mark Winegardner spends a year w/ baseball's greatest scout and learns & shares all Tony Lucadello has to offer. Pre-draft Baseball is contrasted w/ post-draft Baseball. Several great pointers for baseball coaches and parents!!!! Prophet of the Sandlots (knowingly or otherwise) makes a very strong arguement that Baseball's HOF should make room for it's greatest scout ever.
This book is now out of print. This is unfortunate as it should be required reading for all fans of Baseball. I would make two recommendations to Mark Winegardner if a reprint is on the horizon- 1) Add photographs to the next edition. Ideas: Tony in his player's uniform, Tony at the gravesite of the Ohio born HOF'er, Tony's wedding pictures, Tony w/ Mike Schmidt, etc. 2) Add an index at the back listing people covered in the book w/ page numbers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. H. Sharon on August 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
The bestseller Moneyball should be read in conjunction with this book for two reasons. First, they are both enjoyable reads, written in dramatically different ways. Moneyball is like a group of interesting and informative short stories/magazine articles. Prophet of the Sandlots, on the other hand, is more like a lovingly crafted tale about an old-time baseball guy, that older gent sitting in the bleachers taking notes on the high school player. It is a story about a baseball life and serves as a tribute to a man and a bygone era.

Second, Prophet of the Sandlots reflects why the old-time baseball scouts are still essential to the talent evaluation aspect of the game. No matter how much statistical analysis is ever done, there is no substitute for the trained and experienced eyes of the Tony Lucadello's of the sport. These contrasts make Prophet of the Sandlots even more interesting, beyond the highly descriptive and evocative prose that Mark Winegardner utilizes to tell this touching story.

I read this book years ago and have recommended it often to not only baseball fans, but also to fans of good reading. Hopefully it will come back into print and will become readily available again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "gillja@oplin.lib.oh.us" on February 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this book in the eighth grade and was captivated by the story of Tony Lucadello. This is a truly heartwarming and very disturbing portrait of a part of baseball that no one ever really thinks about. This book, I believe, should be dedicated to all of the baseball travelers who drive the summer roads in search of the next Thurman Munson or Duke Snider. This book should also be dedicated to all those ballplayers who don't make it out of the minors. A must read...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jim C. on October 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A hidden gem for all baseball fans. Written from a unique perspective of the baseball scouting world. One of the best books about the journey to "The Show" I have read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Michael E. Bauman on October 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Billy Bean and crew might play moneyball, but Tony Lucadello and the Phils played brain ball. It worked. When others passed on Mike Schmidt, Tony didn't. That choice led to Cooperstown. Lucadello knew, for example, what all good scouts know: baseball is played mostly below the waist. You must have the feet. You have to have the foot work. Schmidt had the feet, if the not the knees, of a big leaguer. He was strong too, but biceps aren't the key. Lucadello also knew that when you signed a prospect, you signed a brain, not just a body. You looked for a kid with character, not for a kid who was a character. Personality is fine; immaturity is not.

Mark Winegardner has done his homework. He's traveled the Midwestern back roads and talked to the folks who knew the real story of Tony Lucadello's life as a scout. He's told that story with skill, precision, and clarity. After you've read this interesting and intelligent book, you'll know more about baseball and about life. What more can one reasonably expect from a book about kids whose talent is still south of the minor leagues and about the sandlot prophets who see their future?
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Format: Hardcover
To some, baseball is a religion, albeit a mild one in terms of the actions done in its' name. However, there is no less passion in those who practice it than in those that shout "Hallelujah!" so loud that the rafters shake. Tony Lucadello was such a man, after a brief stint as a player; he became what can be convincingly argued the greatest baseball scout of all time. For a half-century Tony traveled the North American baseball world, signing 49 players that made it to the major leagues, including the greats Ferguson Jenkins and Mike Schmidt.
For approximately a year, Winegardner accompanied Tony in his travels, learning that Tony was passionate about baseball yet a very modest man. He stayed at midrange hotels and was friends with the proprietors. He was known and respected by every respectable baseball man in his territory and adored by the players that he nurtured and signed. Up until the last two pages, this is a book that the baseball fan will devour with relish as Tony's insights into what makes a player good should make it required reading of all aspirants to the majors. Unfortunately, when the Philadelphia Phillies, Tony's employer made some changes, he was unhappy and took his own life. It was somehow fitting that he did it on a baseball field, although no less tragic.
If there was ever a book that could be tagged with the phrase "inside baseball", this is it. A combination of love, soft passion and instruction on how to succeed in baseball, this is a book that all fans of the sport should read.
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