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Pure Baseball [Paperback]

Keith Hernandez
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 26 1995
Former All-Star Keith Hernandez teaches even the most learned fan a thing or two about baseball with his unparalleled insight into all aspects of the game--from the action in the bull pen to the positioning on the field to the plays at the plate. Advertising on WFAN Sports Radio.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

Gold Glove winner Hernandez talks baseball. A 40,000-copy first printing.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

An MVP of a guide to the national pastime from a savvy 17-year veteran of the major leagues who remains an ardent fan in retirement. Hernandez (If At First, 1986) or his muse came up with an angle that works to near perfection: tellingly detailed start-to- finish accounts of two games played midway through the 1993 baseball season. The former Met first followed a close encounter between Philadelphia and Atlanta from the stands in the City of Brotherly Love. One week later, he turned couch potato to take in the telecast of a Yankee Stadium contest pitting New York against Detroit. As it happened, the Phillies and Bronx Bombers both won; the final scores, however, are almost beside the points Hernandez wants to and does make. Drawing on pitch-by-pitch recaps and experience gained during a long career, the author (a slick fielder and slugger in his day) offers an insider's astute observations on the mini-matchups and workaday stratagems that cumulatively can determine outcomes or, if need be, give attentive onlookers something to watch for in the late innings of a laugher. Focusing on the primal battle of wills between pitcher and batter, for example, he digresses into ad-rem commentary on the importance of the ball/strike count, defensive placements, base-running tactics, hit-and-run opportunities, the role of the cutoff man, distinctions between American and National League umpires, how managers handle their bullpens, pickoff plays, and a host of allied topics. In particular, Hernandez prizes baseball's lack of secret moves and/or trick plays. ``It's cat-and-mouse out there...not hide-and-seek,'' he says. ``Chess, not poker.'' If his all-star handbook can't make casual fans masters of the game, it could at least enhance their credibility as second-guessers in season and out. (First printing of 40,000) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding Jan. 4 2004
Format:Paperback
Easily the best baseball education in print that I've ever seen. It's like taking a master's course in baseball. You have an opportunity to almost sit down with a major leaguer and say "Teach Me" and he does. Keith has a bit of a weakness as far as pitch sequencing and understanding missed spots, but they are not particularly glaring. His understanding of counts, and situations outside of the count (inning, score, particular players involved etc..) are exemplary. Any serious ballplayer's dream.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the time for the advanced fan Dec 20 2003
Format:Paperback
It takes time and patience to read this book. The title says "Pitch by Pitch for the Advanced Fan," and it means it literally. Hernandez talks about what goes through a player's mind during a game. His descriptions of how a batter thinks about an at-bat are priceless. It takes a while to plow through all this stuff - there's a *lot* of detail - but if you do you'll have a deeper knowledge of the little in-game strategies and decisions that make baseball so special.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read for the real fan Sept. 10 2003
Format:Paperback
If ever there was a necessary baseball book, this is it!! I reread it every season (as does at least one other reviewer) and always learn something more from doing so.
I have taken Mr. Hernandez' advice and always turn off the sound when watching a game on TV. I find it to be a major improvement and I'm no longer distracted by the content-free, pointless remarks made by most announcers.
Frankly, judging from the mental errors common to the game today, it should be required reading for each and every player from the rookie leagues to the bigs.
If you're not a serious student of the game, then maybe you should pass on this one!!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Pitch by pitch by pitch by pitch ... Jan. 4 2003
Format:Paperback
I'm a huge baseball fanatic and I *love* reading detailed anlaysis of baseball strategy and tactics. But even this book was too tedious for me. And I've almost never read a baseball book that I found too tedious. Hernandez, although very knowledgeable, dwells too much on each pitch. The reader might think the title is a metaphor for detailed analysis (pitch by pitch). No, it means *exactly* what it says. Hernandez discusses EACH pitch. At first the analysis is interesting. Then you realize you're a third of the way through the book and he's *still* talking about whether the next pitch will be a curve or a slider, or whether this particular left-handed hitter should be thrown a change-up, or whether the pitcher should challenge the batter with his superior fastball, or whether the pitch should be low, or high, or out of the strikezone. Enough already! As far as baseball strategy goes, this book is 90% about pitch selection and batter analysis. There is not too much discussion of the other elements of baseball. So if you're looking for a wider variety of baseball discussion, I'd recommend you look elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Baseball Clinic June 30 2002
Format:Paperback
I never knew how much I was missing during a game. Even with twenty years of baseball experience, I learned much about the game after reading Pure Baseball.
Based on two games played in 1993, one in the American League and one in the National, Pure Baseball is a pitch-by-pitch analysis that scrutinizes every decision made. This is not just a replay of two games; it's a text on just about every offensive and defensive strategy in baseball. Known for his insight on and off the field, Keith Hernandez's knowledge of the game flows from the pages.
What modern day baseball writer (other than, perhaps, George Will) would devote several pages to the importance of hitting the cutoff man? The consequences of not executing the proper defense on a long double are detailed. Many baseball commentators claim that the "little things" win baseball games. Positioning the infield and outfield, holding runners on first and pickoff moves are more important than one might think. Mr. Hernandez's attention to the arcane details of the game is what really drives this book.
The most interesting part of Pure Baseball is the explanation of the hit-and-run. The hit-and-run is probably the least understood concept in baseball. Mr. Hernandez believes that "the in's and out's of the hit-and-run go to the heart of baseball strategy, and you have to understand them to understand the game." The author got my attention with this sentence. No fewer than nine pages are devoted to this subject, and I would have liked to see more. Since I now understand the strategy behind the hit-and-run, it's easier to match wits with the manager when the leadoff runner reaches first base.
This is a great book. If you're an aspiring coach or just want to understand more about baseball, you can't go wrong here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Baseball April 6 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read this book at the start of every baseball season, and I love it. This is the book to read if you want to learn everything about baseball's strategies and complexities and learn why baseball is the greatest game in the world. Hernandez examines two games in the 1993 season in great detail, stopping and explaining each situation. He talks about hit-and-runs, double-steals, fielding techniques, large gaps in the outfield, infield shifts, and much more. But, because Hernandez considers the give and take between the pitcher and batter the heart and soul of baseball, he concentrates on that and shows how the count shifts the odds back and forth. I am a huge baseball fan and know so much more about the game from reading this book. This book is only for a serious fan, but it will give anyone great information.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Keith takes us inside the game
For those of us who like keeping score during a baseball game and trying to get inside the real game, Pure Baseball is highly recommended. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2001 by R.J.
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!
This is one of those rare books that makes you feel so much more intelligent after reading it. If you want to know the hidden game that is happening under your noses and inside the... Read more
Published on Dec 8 2000 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Love!
I love baseball and this is one great book. If you think the game is too complicated, pick up this little gem. It's a real treasure. Read more
Published on June 18 2000 by Kerry O'Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars for anyone who thought baseball was boring
I am sick of explaining to novices that baseball is not boring. You'd think it would be obvious that anything that you don't know something about can be boring, but the more you... Read more
Published on June 3 2000 by M. H. Bayliss
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense but fun.
As a baseball fan who's trying to get a little more knowledgeable about the game, this book was excellent. Read more
Published on May 3 2000 by Jeff Rutsch
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book For Anyone Looking To Get More Out Of Baseball
This may be the best book on baseball I have ever read. I didn't care for Hernandez as a player but his insights as an author are unmistakeable. Read more
Published on March 11 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars A pitch-by-pitch analysis of two baseball games
Pure Baseball is a treat for the serious, and I stress 'serious' baseball fan who wants to delve deep into the minds of pitchers and batters. Read more
Published on Oct. 8 1999 by P.Chen
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