Showing posts with label baseball books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baseball books. Show all posts

Saturday, August 19, 2017

One Last Strike - Baseball Book Review

Available on Amazon
The Remarkable Story of the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals

I was living in St. Louis in 2011 watching my favorite baseball team, the Cardinals, on TV every day. As the season dwindled down, I watched and worried and agonized with the rest of the city with 'fingers crossed' while our team fell further behind, ending up more than 10 games out with less than a month left in the season. As we went through September, the Cardinals came close to catching up, but every one of the last 5 games of the regular season was an elimination game.

In "One Last Strike", Tony La Russa, the third winningest manager in baseball history, takes us through his Cardinals' 2011 season, which was also his last season as a baseball manager. He describes how the team came from ten and a half games back to make the playoffs on the night of the final game of the season and how they went on to win the World Series despite being down to their last strike 'twice' in a comeback like no other! At the beginning of September 2011, not even Tony could have foreseen the magical and memorable ride the Cardinals were about to take.
 

Manager Tony La Russa and his St. Louis Cardinals Team


You don't need to be a St. Louis Cardinals fan to enjoy this book. Any baseball fan will love the 'behind-the-scenes' look into how a manager makes game by game and inning by inning decisions to bring his team to a win. The Cardinals had to have those 'wins' over and over to first make it to the playoffs, and then to the World Series in this hard-fought 2011 baseball season.


 

Busch Stadium - Home of the St. Louis Cardinals

In his book "One Last Strike", Tony writes,

 “all the cliches we (the Cardinals) used about never giving up on yourself, believing in yourself, bouncing back from adversity – they're all true!”

Tony La Russa describes how he used his 33 years experience managing baseball teams from the Chicago White Sox to the Oakland A's to being the St. Louis Cardinals' longest serving manager to bring the Cardinals to their final game of the World Series .. and win. He gives great credit to team unity and determination.



 
Tony La Russa (Source: Wikimedia)


Tony La Russa's Rules as a Baseball Manager


La Russa had simple rules as manager.

  • Don't do something to lose the game when on defense.
  • Do something to win the game on offense.
  • Be good enough and tough enough... and keep believing.

In a team meeting prior to the beginning of the 2011 MLB Baseball Playoffs, La Russa tells his players that sports are unpredictable. The best team or player can have an off day. Just come in as prepared as you can be and play the best of your ability.

He summed it up with “Play as if each game is the 7th game of the World Series --- or the last (baseball) game of your life, and play only one game at a time.”
 

Tony La Russa talks about his book "One Last Strike"

 


More Baseball Books...

 

Available on Amazon

Additional stories about manager Tony La Russa and his analytical manager mind applied to a game.


Written by Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights, Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager is about a three-game series between the Cardinals and Cubs in 2003. It describes manager Tony La Russa's decisions for each batter and each inning of this 3-game series, based somewhat on computer data, but more importantly his experiences managing nearly 4,000 games. 



My 'Salute' to some special St. Louis Cardinals




If I were to create my perfect 'Dream Team' for the St. Louis Cardinals, using players from the past to the present at each position, this is what it would look like.

Your Review This Baseball Contributor and Article Writer, Wednesday Elf, is a Big Baseball Fan!


When I'm not 'watching' baseball... or 'talking' about baseball, I love reading books about baseball. It was great fun to relive the St. Louis Cardinals' magical 2011 season through the eyes (and words) of manager Tony La Russa. What a wild ride he had in his final managerial season!

"One Last Strike" is their story. I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed being part of the St. Louis Cardinals 2011 season while living in the team city!



Article Originally Written © 2014 Wednesday-Elf.  Updated for Review This! Blog on 3/1/2018.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Brings Opening Day of Major League Baseball

Chicago's Wrigley Field (Image Credit)
The month of March brings the first day of Spring and Opening Day of Major League Baseball (3/31/2014). To baseball fans this is what we wait for all winter long. Our feelings for this season are reflected in my favorite baseball quote “There are only two seasons, Winter and Baseball” ~Bill Veeck



As Spring Training comes to an end and the 2014 baseball season begins, we look forward to seeing our favorite players and teams, and reflect back on past favorites. We will miss the ones who have retired (like Mariano Rivera, the marvelous 'closer' on the pitching staff for the Yankees). If you're like me, you find the lives of these men as fascinating and interesting as their baseball careers have been and might wonder what their stories were.



Luckily for us, there are a wealth of baseball books available, written by and about pitchers, position players, managers and sports announcers which put all the excitement of their careers in baseball on printed pages between the covers! I'm reading one right now about 'retired' St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. The book (One Last Strike) focuses on just a small section of Tony's career (specifically his final season of 2011 and the magical comeback of a team that refused to give up). Once you get interested in reading about a specific player, you find all sorts of fun 'tidbits' of information. For instance, I bet you didn't know that Tony La Russa became a vegetarian – and why. 



As a baseball fan I'm looking for reviews of baseball books you have read and recommend for all us 'fans' who want to learn more about these 'Boys of Summer'. If you write a review, leave me a link in the comments and I may feature it in an upcoming post.





Books such as "The Science of Hitting" by Ted Williams. Did you know that in 1935, Lovell Haskins Peirce, a physics professor at San Diego State University, had Ted in his physics class where the professor gave a lesson on the physics of hitting a baseball?  Ted Williams went on to become the last hitter to top a .400 batting average in a season.

The Science of Hitting










Now that Spring Training has ended, let's get ready to Play Ball. 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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