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In the Time of Bobby Cox: The Atlanta Braves, Their Manager, My Couch, Two Decades, and Me Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 1, 2011

3.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, March 1, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In his second incarnation as Atlanta Braves manager, from 1990 through 2010, Bobby Cox, now retired, was so predictably successful�14 straight division titles, 14 seasons of 90 wins or more�as to operate almost under the radar of many baseball fans. Whitaker, executive editor of SLAM magazine and super Braves fan, pays tribute to Cox and the teams he managed. There�s some analysis here�Whitaker�s take on future Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux is especially keen�but readers will more likely appreciate the author�s undying connection to his team, which includes an apparently complete, annotated list of every player on the Braves during Cox�s second tenure and, more important, the life lessons Whitaker drew from Bobby Cox, among them patience, adaptability, resilience, and a dedication to improving the performance of those he managed. Essential reading for Braves� devotees and a fascinating baseball story for fans of all kinds. --Alan Moores

Review

“That fond couch potato planted yonder on your sofa, watching sports day after night... it turns out there's a sensitive man inside. With In the Time of Bobby Cox, Lang Whitaker shows eloquently how baseball is so much more than just a game to its devoted fans.”—Mike Sager, Esquire, author of Wounded Warriors

"Atlanta Braves fans will read Lang Whitaker's book to the final page."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"A strangely compelling mash-up of memoir and obsession. . . . You don't have to love baseball to be a fan."--Atlanta Magazine
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439148384
  • ASIN: B0055X5L4M
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,813,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. L. Schmidt on April 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm a 4th generation Braves fan. When I think back to my childhood, growing up in Atlanta in the 90s, the one constant has always been the Braves. I worshiped guys like David Justice, John Smoltz, and Chipper Jones. Lang Whitaker GETS IT. It's not just about Bobby Cox and his career. It's about how he literally became a part of everyday life in the state of Georgia. Think about it.. a baseball team and their skipper came into our homes nearly every day for 162 days from April-October. He led our city to a 14 year stretch of athletic greatness. He never gave up on any of his players, and in turn, the fans never gave up on him. Like Whitaker, I can trace important life lessons or memories around the Atlanta Braves. His intertwining of his life with the tenure of Bobby only made me nod my head, smile, and think, "ME TOO!"

I was at Bobby's last game in October 2010. I cried like a baby while chanting his name with the rest of Atlanta as he came out and waved his hat one last time. Bobby is my hero and the hero to thousands of Braves fans across America. This was a fitting tribute and just a small piece of Bobby's overwhelmingly huge impact on this city. Oh, and I cried like a baby again reliving that warm October night.

Excellent book. It will sit proudly on my shelf for years to come... after I pass it around to all my fellow fans. GO BRAVES!!
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Format: Hardcover
Great nostalgic read. I too grew up watching the Braves on the superstation and feel forever intertwined with Bobby Cox. Furthermore, the Braves will always be a connection I share with my grandfather. Whereas this is not a Bobby Cox biography, it really does not claim to be if you read the author's description. It is wonderful read on how following a team can impact one's life and reach into your history. A must read for all true Braves fans.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are a long suffering Braves fan, this book is for you. While every chapter is compelling, Mr. Whitaker's ranking of the 405 men who wore the colors since 1990 from from #1 Chipper Jones to inexplicably #405 Jeff Blauser (and not Alex Gonzalez) is fascinating. Even the most ardent Braves fan will at least once or twice say "Who?" Whitaker threads interesting parallels between the highs and lows of the Braves and his own life just as all of us can. A must read if you've ever done the Chop.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an aspiring sports journalist, this book offered me incredible insight into the journalism world. Lang is my favorite sports journalist — I've been following him since he was EIC of SLAM — and I was ecstatic to read through this. By the end, mine was highlighted and marked up all over.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book will appeal primarily to Braves fans wanting to take a nostalgic, sometimes amusing, sometimes poignant journey through the Bobby Cox years. Some of the memories will resonate with anyone. For example, I smiled as I read about the author's 95-year-old Nana Evelyn "jogging" at the retirement home and asking for her "marijuana mix"--she didn't mean marijuana. Also, the author's candid sharing of the loss of an unborn child is heartbreaking. The author intertwines these kinds of personal memories with his experiences with the Braves and I gained a new appreciation for Bobby Cox as a manager. However, the book is structured around life lessons learned from the Braves and Bobby Cox and it was this aspect of the book that I found bland and insubstantial. The author sums up what he learned by encouraging us to think positively, work hard and never give up. Given what life throws at us, the motivation to "buck up" because that's what Bobby Cox seems to do seems insufficient. It's the emphasis on Bobby Cox as Life Coach that falls flat. Perhaps the author could find more vibrant and substantial life lessons by reexaming some of the roots that he mentions in passing.
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Format: Hardcover
When I was a kid, the Atlanta Braves began their climb from worst to first in the National League, constantly winning the pennant and becoming a force to be reckoned with in the post-season. I was thrilled when they made it to the World Series in '91, but so many heartbreaks got to me and, being a kid, I abandoned them to become something of a baseball front-runner. This meant that I could never really enjoy the 1995 WS victory that the Braves managed, under the leadership of one Bobby Cox. But I still have a soft spot in my heart for Sid Bream and Rafael Belliard.

Lang Whitaker's "In the Time of Bobby Cox" is the sort of sports book I love, one in which the sports themselves take a backseat to the personal (in this case, Whitaker's own life over the two decades that Bobby Cox led the Braves). I've noticed one or two reviews that seem befuddled by this, and I understand that a more traditional history of the Braves from the time period might be more desired by some. But I'm a sucker for authors who manage to inject themselves into the material, as a way of reflecting back to us why it is that they cared so much, and Whitaker succeeds in that regard.

In chapter headings which seem to group seemingly unrelated concepts (i.e., "why Greg Maddux is like taking a cross-country trip with your grandparents"), Whitaker ties together the obsession of his life(the Braves) with events in his life, often showing how that devotion to the team shaped his responses to life's little trials. Perhaps the most illuminating of these is the next-to-last chapter, in which Whitaker details his attempts to start a family while discussing recent Braves phenom Jayson Hayward (think I got the spelling right).
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