Sports Biblio

A Blog About Sports Books, History And Culture

Category: Sports History (page 1 of 5)

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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‘One Beautiful Season’ In College Basketball: Sports Biblio Digest, 3.19.17

The 2009-10 season in college basketball was notable not just for the shocking run by Butler University to the NCAA championship game, but for what the Bulldogs represented. “One Beautiful Season” is the book that explains the deeper challenges and connections of the small-conference game that have fed the beast of March Madness.

one beautiful season, kyle whelliston, college basketball booksKyle Whelliston, creator of the now-shuttered Mid-Majority blogwas a passionate troubadour of the little guys for a decade (2004-14), traveling across the country (in often harrowing fashion) to capture the essence of the game played at the grassroots level, and whose best teams finally gave the bluebloods a lethal threat.

His self-published book grew out his blog and other freelance work, including a brief association with ESPN that ended in controversial fashion.

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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 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

The Chicago Cubs and World Series Memories: Sports Biblio Digest, 11.6.16

Even if there hadn’t been such a momentous victory by the Chicago Cubs, the World Series that ended this week may have been the best I’ve ever seen.

a season for the ages, chicago cubsI don’t like saying things like that, in the heat of the moment. Before the Cubs staged their stirring recovery from a 3-1 deficit, thus ending a 108-year curse, comparisons were being made to what I thought had been the best World Series of my lifetime.

The 1991 World Series between the Braves and the Twins didn’t go the way I wanted, and maybe declaring the Cubs-Cleveland Indians saga the best is my way of vanquishing the ghost of Charlie Liebrandt.

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Sports Biblio Q & A: Curtis Harris, Pro Hoops History

In this Sports Biblio Q and A about pro basketball history, we contacted Curtis Harris, founder and proprietor of the Pro Hoops History website.

curtis harris, pro hoops historyHe discusses how he got interested the subject, how he does his research, his favorite basketball books, the Hall of Fame induction process and more.

Harris has written for the NBA blogs Hardwood Paroxysm and ESPN TrueHoop, as well as Bleacher Report, The Sporting News, The Daily Beast and other publications. He actively Tweets @ProHoopsHistory. Continue reading

Remembering American soccer historian Dave Wangerin

The example of American soccer historian Dave Wangerin — a Midwesterner who moved to the United Kingdom to get his soccer fix — continues the spirit of When Saturday Comes.

soccer in a football world, american soccer historianWangerin, who died at the age of 50 in 2011, was given space in the iconoclastic British soccer “webzine” to ramble on about American soccer history, an obscure segment of a sport that has labored in obscurity on these shores for most of its history.

The American game has been derided even worse on the British Isles, especially our when it comes to our use of the word “soccer” over their “football.” Continue reading

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