Sports Biblio

A Blog About Sports Books, History And Culture

Category: Sports Books (page 1 of 8)

The Tiger Woods Sensation, 20 Years Later: Sports Biblio Digest 3.26.17

It’s been 20 years since Tiger Woods took the golf world by storm at The Masters, and he’s just written a book about the experience as another tournament approaches in Augusta.

Tiger Woods, The 1997 MastersWoods, who turned 41 in December, continues to battle long-term injuries that may prevent him from competing again at The Masters next week. It’s been nine years since he last won a major tournament, and the last time he slipped on a green jacket at Augusta was 2005.

In the midst of the last decade, Woods was primed to achieve his ultimate quest of surpassing Jack Nicklaus as the all-time leader in major victories.

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The Basketball Vision Of Pete Carril: Sports Biblio Digest 3.12.17

It’s been more than two decades since Pete Carril coached his last basketball game at Princeton University, and not long after the signature win of his distinguished career: A 43-41 upset of defending champion UCLA in the first round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament.

The Smart Take from the Strong, Pete CarrilThe so-called Princeton Offense, associated with deliberate half-court strategy, back door plays and low scoring, was quite the counter to the athletic, fast-breaking high-octane “programs” of the major conferences.

However, it might have been a first round NCAA tourney loss by Princeton a few years before that embodied what so many saw in Carril and a style of play often regarded as out of fashion, if at times necessarily effective. Continue reading

The Rise and Fall of the Oakland Athletics: Sports Biblio Digest, 3.5.17

A generation before “Moneyball” and the analytics revolution, the Oakland Athletics represented the cutting edge of baseball in very different ways.

Dynastic Bombastic Fantastic, Jason Turbow, Oakland AthleticsInstead of the data-driven, small-market efficiencies wrung out by Billy Beane, the brawling, “Swingin’ A’s” embodied the cultural excess of the post-1960s at the dawn of free agency in North American professional sports.

Winning three consecutive World Series will generate plenty of extended historical consideration, and the A’s continue to be a popular topic for authors and scholars for those and other reasons. Continue reading

Changing The Baseball Rule Book: Sports Biblio Digest, 2.26.17

At the risk of sounding like a “get off my lawn” Baby Boom geezer, does eliminating the four-pitch intentional walk seem like anything more than a cosmetic change to the baseball rule book that won’t really solve the pace of game concerns?

2017 official rules of major league baseball, baseball rule bookAs Scott Simon said on NPR this weekend, such a move might eliminate about 15 seconds. In my youth softball league 40-plus years ago we did this, and it was more about the lack of skill of kids than anything else.

I understand the owners want to attract younger fans who don’t sit still for anything longer than, say, 15 seconds, but these are the same owners who approved the replay rule that has been a real drag on pace of play. Continue reading

The Late Greatness of Serena Williams: Sports Biblio Digest 1.29.17

For a few years now I’ve resisted the impulse to declare Serena Williams the greatest female tennis player of all time.

My Life: Queen of the Court, Serena WilliamsWhile admitting my generational bias in favor of Martina Navratilova, I’ve also wanted to refrain from the in-the-moment rush to make such a pronouncement, if only to myself.

The emotional sweep of watching history as it happens overtakes almost all sports fans, and just about every sports journalist. We root for greatness, for a lifetime body of work that stands above the competition.

 

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The changing politics of the Baseball Hall of Fame: Sports Biblio Digest 1.22.17

The election of Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez to the Baseball Hall of Fame this week may have signalled the end of the ongoing culture wars among voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Cooperstown Casebook, Jay Jaffe, Baseball Hall of FameThose culture wars being over casting votes for players caught in the decade-long imbroglio over use of performance-enhancing drugs.

By the time that trio is enshrined in Cooperstown in June, it will have been 10 years since Major League Baseball imposed a ban on steroids use, and implemented stiff punishments for positive tests. Continue reading

The Chargers and the NFL in Los Angeles: Sports Biblio Digest 1.15.17

Once upon a time, the Chargers were the toast of professional football. After playing their initial season in the American Football League in Los Angeles, the franchise moved to San Diego and was one of the more innovative teams in the sport.

charging through the nil, chargersAfter being the only NFL team in southern California for two decades, the Chargers now find themselves sharing the same (and unenthusiastic) Los Angeles fan base with the newly relocated Rams, and are temporarily consigned to playing in a 27,000-seat soccer stadium.

The Chargers’ announcement this week of their return to L.A. after 56 years was an expedient move, hotly denounced in local and national sports media even though it was expected. Continue reading

New Role for Chris Berman, ESPN’s Original ‘Boomer:’ Sports Biblio Digest, 1.8.17

Chris Berman, one of the few original employees remaining at ESPN, is stepping away from his role in three signature NFL programs as part of a new contract.

those guys have all the fun, espn, james andrew miller, chris barman“I like to think of myself as an ESPN lifer,” Berman, now 61, told Sports Business Journal media reporter John Ourand, who broke the story. “There really wasn’t any thought of doing anything else. … We’ve had a great working relationship extending 38 years.”
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Bud Selig, Steroids and the Baseball Hall of Fame: Sports Biblio Digest, 12.11.16

The announcement this week of retired Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig as a 2017 inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame didn’t come as a surprise, and it has sparked a renewed discussion about the inclusion of players in the so-called Steroids Era.

the game, jon pessah, bud seligSelig was selected with longtime Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz by the newly formed Today’s Era Committee, which votes on non-playing contributors from 1988 to the present.

Selig, the first owner-turned-commissioner, presided when performance-enhancing drug use in baseball was on the rise. His induction, with more than 90 percent of the vote, is prompting several voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America to reconsider their refusal to vote for players they believe were aided by steroids. Continue reading

An ode to a sports photograph: Sports Biblio Digest, 12.4.16 

The year 2016 figures go down as a memorable one for chroniclers of the art of the sports photograph, and what these images reflect about the cultures and eras they depict.

stroke of genius, gideon haigh, cricket books, notable sports books, sports photographEarlier this summer, Gail Buckland’s “Who Shot Sports” was hailed as the companion catalog to her curated Brooklyn Museum exhibit about some of the luminaries of sports photography, and some of their best work.

At the end of the year, Australian author Gideon Haigh’s new book about a famous photograph of cricket legend Victor Trumper was being celebrated well before its official publication. Continue reading

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