Pure Baseball Paperback – Jan 19 1995
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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.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Be aware that this book was very technical. While I will definitely lend this book to my brother, who wants to become a sports announcer, I was hoping this might be a primer to baseball strategies for my girlfriend. However, it would obviously be over the head of anybody who can't talk baseball already, or is willing to closely study the book.
My only real complaint is that Hernandez quite often predicts strategies, and then watches the manager do something entirely different. I appreciate the honesty, but instead of speculating, re-explaining himself, or better yet calling up Sparky Anderson after the game, he leaves it at "who can tell?" Still an excellent book, I'd recommend it to anybody who wants to expand their knowledge of baseball.
Most recent customer reviews
Easily the best baseball education in print that I've ever seen. It's like taking a master's course in baseball. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2004
It takes time and patience to read this book. The title says "Pitch by Pitch for the Advanced Fan," and it means it literally. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2003 by Jeffrey Lichtman
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. Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2003 by G. Cantor
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... Read morePublished on April 6 2002
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 morePublished on Dec 8 2000 by Ben Hsu
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 morePublished on June 18 2000 by Kerry O'Brien
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 morePublished on June 3 2000 by M. H. Bayliss
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 morePublished on March 11 2000