Playing the Field: Why Defense is the Most Fascinating Art in Major League Baseball

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9780912697369: Playing the Field: Why Defense is the Most Fascinating Art in Major League Baseball

Casual fans may concentrate on the duel between batter and pitcher, but for those who know the game of baseball, nothing is more fascinating, or more important, than the art of defense. In Playing the Field Jim Kaplan takes us onto the playing field and into major league dugouts and locker rooms for a definitive look at the great defensive players of the game, past and present. Position by position, and form an overall point of view as well, Kaplan examines the great glove men―their moments of glory, how they do it, how they work together, what makes a Golden Glove winner, the tricks and maneuvers and skills that can cancel out expert hitting and the best laid plans of rival managers. More than seventy photographs help make Playing the Field a book for real baseball fans. It's a book, too, aspiring young ballplayers can turn to in order to pick up tips that will help them play the game better.

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About the Author:

Jim Kaplan graduated from Yale and for years covered major league baseball for Sports Illustrated. Now a freelance writer, he lives in New York City. He is also the author of Pine-Tarred and Feathered: A Year on the Baseball Beat.

From Publishers Weekly:

This book addresses an aspect of baseball that is often ignored: defense. Kaplan, a former Sports Illustrated baseball writer, makes a wonderful case for the importance of defensive plays, noting that in addition to the occasional highlighted, entertaining defensive play, such as Willie Mays's 1954 World Series catch, there are many small gems of equal importance, such as the series of defensive plays by the Kansas City Royals that won the 1985 World Series. Kaplan devotes a chapter to each of the game's nine positions, detailing respective responsibilities, qualities needed (range, speed, etc.), how players start plays (e.g., Bobby Grich beginning a double play by meeting the ball with his left foot on the bag) and how each playerno matter how far removed from the ballis involved in a play. The author also provides a history of the development of each position and profiles exceptional defensive players, including Mays, Jim Kaat, Roberto Clemente, Keith Hernandez, Ozzie Smith, Carl Yastrzemski, Bill Mazeroski, Brooks Robinson and Johnny Bench. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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