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Crooked: A History of Cheating in Sports [Paperback]

Fran Zimniuch , Maury Allen

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Book Description

April 16 2009
As long as people have played games, there has been a temptation to win (or intentionally lose) by cheating. Infamous cases throughout the history of sport abound, from the "thrown" 1919 World Series to the recent doping confessions of track star Marion Jones. In this entertaining and informative book, sports historian Fran Zimniuch recalls the notorious scandals that have tainted our most popular sports, concluding that such incidents are often a reflection of the times. Benefiting from personal interviews with many figures either involved in or on the periphery of recent scandals, including BALCO's Victor Conte, Crooked presents a pageant of infamy as rich as the history of modern sports itself.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing (April 16 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589793854
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589793859
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 14.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #649,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Whether it's the college kid trying to pick up a little extra pocket money or the multi-millionaire superstar seeking that elusive edge, cheating happens! In Crooked: A History of Cheating in Sports, Fran Zimniuch chronicles some of the most infamous cases of cheating in sports history. Zimniuch takes you onto the field and into the dressing rooms as he delves into the minds of those who choose to cheat. After reading this eye-opening and riveting account, you'll never watch sports again with the same innocence. (Jim Evans )

The soft underbelly in sports, the cheaters, the phonies, the point shavers, the money grabbers are examined thoroughly in Crooked: A History of Cheating in Sports. Fran’s book reveals that sports is not all romance and purity. It is as much cheating and fraud. It is, to put it more clearly, real life in sweat socks and uniform pants (Maury Allen )

Crooked is a nice little surprise of a book. Using psychology, history, sociology and a fan’s love of the game, Zimnuich takes a hard look at duplicity in sports, both pro and amateur. His manner is folksy and fan-friendly as he examines dozens of unsavory scandals. (Pacific Northwest Inlander )

About the Author

Fran Zimniuch is an award-winning journalist and columnist who has written for various newspapers and national magazines for more than two decades. He is the author of five books, including Going, Going, Gone: The Art of the Trade in Major League Baseball. He lives in Sicklerville, New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheating 101 March 25 2009
By LA - Published on Amazon.com
Crooked: A History of Cheating in Sports is the end all to be all if you want to know about how players in all sports, not just baseball, cheat. Cheating is a way of life in sports and the author has compiled a history of how it happens and more importantly, why it happens. Views from officials, the players themselves and psychologists make the book come to life. If you're a sports fan or even the normal every-day reader this book explains cheating in detail in easy-to-understand chapters and is a must read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheating is not just in baseball March 28 2010
By Peter Coolbaugh - Published on Amazon.com
A fun and informative work that chronicles the cheating that has gone on since practically the dawn of time. Fran gets first hand accounts from experts and those involved with modern cheatin scandals and touches on historical events, i.e. Vietnam, that changed the American tolerance for cheating and deceit.

Highly recommended for sports fans (not just a baseball book) who wish to explore the phenomenon of deception that exists in our modern sporting world.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete and compelling June 29 2009
By Trace Shelton - Published on Amazon.com
What's really incredible about this book are the sheer amount of sources that the author was able to consult across a broad variety of sports, including football, basketball, baseball, and Olympic and amateur sports. If you ever wanted to know anything about cheating in pretty much any sport, this book is the place to find it. I was especially fascinated by the in-depth look at NBA officials, the Tim Donaghy scandal of 2007, and the methods through which officials and players alike practice "one-upmanship" in an effort to gain advantage in the game. Zimniuch also does an excellent job of pacing, as the book is an easy read and keeps you turning the page.
1.0 out of 5 stars pedetrian Aug. 18 2010
By backupthecranefat - Published on Amazon.com
i found this book to be a rehash of well known often retold cheating scandals. Nothing new no controversial opinions. the writing unexciting. A book for the semi-literate often misinformed american sports fan portrayed in the movie "Big Fan."
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of great info in "Crooked" June 23 2009
By David William Squires - Published on Amazon.com
This book is really a ton of fun. As a dedicated baseball fan, I got a ton of great information out of the chapter on illegal pitches (spitballs, scuffed balls, etc). Hadn't known that Carl Mays (who threw the pitch that fatally injured Ray Chapman) was a spitballer. Also enjoyed getting the inside story on the 1919 Chicago White Sox World Series "fix".

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