Throwbacks: Old-School Baseball Players in Today's Game

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9781574884531: Throwbacks: Old-School Baseball Players in Today's Game

Millionaires complaining to billionaires about more millions - too often that’s how the general public perceives baseball players. When discussions of strikes don’t involve a box from the knees to the shoulders, the game has strayed too far from its roots.

Throwbacks: Old-School Baseball Players in Today's Game celebrates those roots and highlights those players today who play the game the same way our parents and grandparents watched it played. It’s an ode to those who play hurt, who play smart, who go all out, who get blood and sweat and dirt on their uniforms and still treat their teammates and fans—and the game—with respect. To the hurlers, the hitters, the scrappers, and even the role players, you don’t have to be a star to be “old-school”; you just have to know how to play the game right.

George Castle focuses on a dozen current players who best personify the spirit of baseball’s past. These players take their original talent—be it smarts, hustle, firepower, or muscle—and give it all for their team. While Kerry Wood blows people away with his fastball, Mike Morgan does whatever he’s asked to stay in the game he loves. As Jim Thome muscles balls over the fence, Ellis Burks happily contributes the little things that can mean the difference between winning and losing.

In addition to talking to the throwbacks themselves, Castle interviewed past and current teammates, opponents, and even announcers to get an insider’s view of what drives them. It’s one thing for Castle to call them old-school and quite another when the compliment comes from contemporaries. Come read about some of the best of what baseball has to offer—both on and off the field.

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About the Author:

George B. Castle covers baseball for several Chicago-area newspapers. He also hosts the radio talk show Diamond Gems, heard throughout the MidWest. He has authored four baseball books, including The Million-to-One-Team: Why the Chicago Cubs Haven't Won a Pennant Since 1945 and I Remember Harry Caray.

From Booklist:

Old school. Throwback. That's how people describe today's athletes when they want to compare them favorably with players from bygone eras. Think hustle, dedication, team player, and on-field intelligence. Castle, a veteran Chicago baseball writer, examines the qualities present in a dozen current players that make baseball fans think "throwback." Among those profiled are Cub fireballer Kerry Wood, journeyman pitcher Mike Morgan, and Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon. Highlights include a chapter on Atlanta pitcher Greg Maddux, who many have dubbed "the smartest man in baseball." What makes the book a special treat for fans is that Castle doesn't rely on stats and interviews culled from secondary sources. He interviews every subject and elicits comments from their peers to support his selections. In this sense, Castle is himself a throwback. A great antidote for the next depressing article in the daily paper about a millionaire holdout or some third-rate infielder rejecting a contract because he's been "dissed" by management. Wes Lukowsky
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George B. Castle
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