- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (July 25, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250071216
- ISBN-13: 978-1250071217
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 243.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Cooperstown Casebook: Who's in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques Hardcover – July 25, 2017
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"There is no one whose insights I value more, come Hall of Fame season, than Jay Jaffe. And there is no one whose invention (JAWS) has made my life easier as a voter than Jay Jaffe. He's Bill James and Thomas Edison rolled into one!" ―Jayson Stark, baseball writing legend
"With The Cooperstown Casebook, Jay Jaffe has given us the definitive guide to the greatest players in baseball history, and the Hall of Fame. Smart and a lot of fun, this book reads like some of Bill James's finest work, which is the highest compliment a seamhead who grew up on Bill James can offer." ―Jonah Keri, bestselling author of The Extra 2% and Up, Up, & Away
"Jay Jaffe has revolutionized how we think about not just the Hall of Fame, but about baseball itself. This book taught me much about the Hall of Fame, but it taught me even more about baseball. I am smarter for having read it, and, even better, it's a blast to read." ―Will Leitch, author of Are We Winning? and God Save the Fan, senior writer for Sports On Earth, and founder of Deadspin
"Jaffe pulls no punches here, yet he shares enough pure information to make this nearly indispensable for informed debate." ―Booklist (starred review)
"For those who like to wade into the statistical weeds of baseball – to analyze player performance using today’s advanced metrics – The Cooperstown Casebook delivers." ―The Christian Science Monitor
"Jay Jaffe's The Cooperstown Casebook reminds me so much of vintage Bill James writing, like the New Bill James Historical Abstract, in the best possible way." ―Keith Law, ESPN.com senior baseball writer
About the Author
JAY JAFFE is a contributing baseball writer for SI.com. He is the founder of the Futility Infielder website, one of the oldest baseball blogs, and from 2005-2012 was a columnist for Baseball Prospectus. He has been a recurring guest on MLB Network’s MLB Now and Clubhouse Confidential shows and a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America since 2011. He lives in Brooklyn. The Cooperstown Casebook is his first book.
Top customer reviews
Mr. Jaffe is able to combine some basic statistical analysis with a good narrative style along with some funny comments. The first hundred pages has a number of chapters that provide the history, methods, and insights about the hall of fame. The next three hundred pages are evaluations of players in the Hall of Fame and those that are currently eligible or will be eligible soon (Mr. Jaffe also makes the case for people that have been unfairly passed over - Alan Trammel rates high on that list). I'm comfortable saying that there are two great books on the baseball hall of fame: Bill James's "The Politics of Glory" and now "The Cooperstown Casebook." If your favorite player didn't make the cut, Jaffe happily points out that it is because he hates that player, your team, and you.
* that last bit is a joke, but baseball writers get inundated with angry emails and comments about how they hate that particular fans' team
If you are even a casual baseball fan, you have surely had a debate about the worthiness of a player being enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This player might have been your idol growing up, or the best player on a hated rival. The player might have easily made it to Cooperstown, or might still be on the outside looking in, waiting for their moment. This book will help you win these arguments in the future, or give you a cold dose of reality so you stop stumping for an unworthy candidate.
The book opens with an overview of what the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum actually is, and then a crash course in sabermetrics and useful statistics so even a casual fan can follow along with the author's logic and lingo. Do not worry, this opening is not overwhelming to read, but rather immensely helpful in understanding the rationale about the worthiness of candidates.
The book then moves on to some of the voting oddities over time, such as the scarcity of third basemen in the Hall of Fame as well as why some players such as Bert Blyleven and Ron Santo, have such a hard time being elected into Hall of Fame despite superior numbers to several previously enshrined members. The book even addresses some ways to reform the process and weighs in on the author's stance on PED's and the Hall of Fame.
The second half of the book breaks down the Hall of Fame, position by position, making the case for deserving candidates, giving a quick bio and worthiness ranking for each of the current Hall of Fame members based advanced statistics and common sense, and giving a detailed narrative on a choice player or two from each position. I am sure that you are aware that there are some less than deserving players in the Hall of Fame, but once you see these names and stats as compared to the truly elite players, it will blow your mind on how unworthy these players truly are. This is also the part of the book that will come in handy in those barroom debates about Jim Rice, Dale Murphy, Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris, Alan Trammel, Andruw Jones, and the myriad of others that we, as fans, feel so passionately about being elected to the Hall of Fame. I will admit that there are some players I originally thought deserved to be enshrined that I am now second guessing that assertion. Also, I now even more resolute for a few candidates, some which are already in the Hall of Fame, and some that probably will never be enshrined.
If you are a baseball fan, this is a must read book. You will gain some perspective on the Hall of Fame, the election process for its members, and why your some of your favorite players never were enshrined, yet that completely comparable player for another team was.