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The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 mph Hardcover – June 7, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“The greatest Jewish baseball player since Sandy Koufax fuses sports autobiography with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A very unusual and satisfying chronicle of one man’s approach to his craft and to life.” — Booklist

“Green swears that his Eastern outlook and honed calm…allowed him, at his best, to feel “that the pitcher was now my partner in hitting rather than my opponent”; and, frankly it is difficult to argue with the man who, at his best, set the record for total bases hit in a game…Those who do not share Green’s earnestness…may nonetheless find it fruitful to suspend their unbelief and read Green’s slim book…for its technical discussions of hitting and its satisfying three-act tale of early success, midcareer setback and ultimate triumph.” —New York Times Book Review

“When it comes to writing about baseball, he’s an all-star…..A thoughtful and introspective look at the game.” — New York Post

“Green’s book is a quick read…but what could be a collection of generalities is instead a detailed look inside the mind of a former All-Star.” — The New York Times

About the Author

Shawn Green’s career in Major League Baseball spanned fifteen years with four teams. He finished in the top ten of league MVP voting three times. Visit him at ShawnGreen.com.
Gordon McAlpine is the author of three acclaimed novels: Joy in Mudville, The Persistence of Memory, and Mystery Box. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439191190
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439191194
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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By Barry Sparks VINE VOICE on June 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
While hitting off a batting tee for 20 minutes in 1997, Toronto Blue Jays' Shawn Green discovered a form of meditation that created an inner stillness. He was able to use this inner stillness to master the mental approach to baseball.

Green, who was in his third season as a major leaguer, said once the stillness entered his life the external world didn't affect him. Finding stillness helped him strengthen his ability to recognize and disarm menacing thoughts, thereby helping him maintain his own sense of being.

Green says meditation is training yourself to move beyond your thoughts. Using the motionless ball on a tee, Green would focus on his breathing while he worked on his stance and stride, solving swing issues.

"When separation and space were present in my swing, 95 mile per hour fastballs seemed to come at me in slow motion and my bat seemed to be pulled through the hitting zone by an external force," he said. "Similarly, everyday issues lost their potentially overwhelming velocity when I viewed them from a distance and so hitting came effortlessly for my deeper self."

Meditation improved Green's game and helped him leave success and failures at the ballpark. Green says he became the act of hitting instead of the person who was hitting.

Green's meditation and act of creating separation and stillness paid dividends in 1998 when he hit 35 homers and drove in 100 runs. In 1999, he enjoyed a monster season, smashing 45 doubles, 42 homers, driving in 123 runs while batting .309.

That led to a six-year, $84 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But trying to live up to expectations, Green lost his separation, ability to find stillness and being awareness.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a remarkable story that all should read. While the stage is baseball, the story goes far beyond the world of pitchers and hitters. Baseball fans and non-baseball fans alike will enjoy this wonderful book. While the story follows the life and career of professional baseball player Shawn Green, there is so much to be discovered in between the lines. I enjoyed the little nuances about how to identify how a pitcher changes his pitches to the classic zen lessons of patience and presence. I enjoyed the life lessons as much as the baseball chatter. This book is easy to read and a feel good opportunity. Shawn Green and Gordon McAlpine have come together marvelously to create a story that is far beyond just balls and strikes.
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Format: Hardcover
I didn't know anything about Shawn Green until I read this book. The man has much to offer in teaching life lessons. Sure he could smack a baseball a mile, but I don't know if anybody accomplished that feat and found the words which so clearly describes how they did it and what they felt like doing it.

Shawn Green gives us the yin and yang of a baseball slugger's journey through the big leagues. It truly is a give and take culture, as in life.

He paints an honest and revealing picture of the triumphs and tribulations of being a major league player, all the while humbling himself through awareness of self. In other words, Shawn becomes a star athlete in the public's eye while remaining Shawn the friend and family man in his mind's eye. He overcomes the selfish ego telling him how great he has been and can be, by accepting where he is in the now. I can only imagine the discipline and awareness it took to see himself not as the world sees him but as he and his savior see him.

For a man to find stillness, and thrive in a game that calls for quickness and aggression takes a harmonizing balance that only comes through practices like those Shawn talks about. I really enjoyed the time spent reading Shawn's book. You'll find it much more than the memoir of a star athelete's accomplishments. Its so refreshing to read about a star athlete who found joy and success while continuing to grow as a person. Thanks for sharing your story Shawn. May you continue to chop wood and carry water throughout life. I too practice a form of meditation for stillness and balance. You nailed it!

"Respica te, hominem te memento"
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Format: Hardcover
I have always been a big fan of Shawn Green. I loved watching his sweet swing as the ball just launched off his bat. I was told that Shawn Green would be doing a book sighning so I had to go to meet my faviorite player of all time. Greenie was kind and willing to sign a broken bat I had of his from 2003 season. I got home and started reading Green's book, it was better than I expected. I have now more respect from a man who worked hard and didn't let the game or the harsh fans dimminish him. Green's stories of how he handled baseball and life through meditation caught me by surprise. I had always known Shawn to be laid back and calm, now I know why and it trully explains alot. I loved this book and it doesn't just deal with baseball. It shows how being calm and collected can help you in life. Baseball was what Shawn Green did for a living, but it wasn't his life. Green gives it's readers excellent advise on how to take life. Live life one day at a time and don't take it to serious. Great book especially for young readers who get angry and who need to see anger will get you no where.
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