27 Men Out: Baseball's Perfect Games (Google eBook)

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Simon and Schuster, May 11, 2010 - Sports & Recreation - 336 pages
3 Reviews
The first in-depth look at baseball's nirvana -- a lyrical history of pitching perfection.

There have been only fourteen perfect games pitched in the modern era of baseball; the great Cy Young fittingly hurled the first, in 1904, and David Cone pitched the most recent, in 1999. In between, some great pitchers -- Sandy Koufax, Catfish Hunter, Jim Bunning, and Don Larsen in the World Series -- performed the feat, as did some mediocre ones, like Len Barker and the little-known Charlie Robertson. Fourteen in 150,000 games: The odds are staggering.

When it does happen, however, the whole baseball world marvels at the combination of luck and skill, and the pitcher himself gains a kind of baseball immortality. Five years ago, Michael Coffey witnessed such an event at Yankee Stadium, and the experience prompted this expansive look at the history of these unsurpassable pitching performances. He brings his skills as a popular historian and poet to an appraisal of both the games themselves and of the wider sport of baseball and the lives of the players in it. The careers of each of the fourteen perfect-game pitchers are assessed, not only as to their on-the-field performances but with a regard for their struggles to persevere in an extremely competitive sport in which, more often than not, the men and women who run the game from the owners' boxes are their most formidable adversaries. Along the way, Michael Coffey brings us right into the ballparks with a play-by-play account of how these games unfolded, and relates a host of fascinating stories, such as Sandy Koufax's controversial holdout with Don Drysdale and its chilling effect on baseball's owners, Mike Witt's victimization by the baseball commissioner, and Dennis Martinez's long struggle up from an impoverished Nicaraguan childhood.

Combining history, baseball, and a sweeping look at the changing face of labor relations, 27 Men Out is a new benchmark in sports history.
  

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27 men out: baseball's perfect games

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

What a strange confluence of baseball factors must come together to produce one of the sport's rare and pure events-the perfect game. PW managing editor Coffey traces all 14 perfect games thrown in ... Read full review

Review: 27 Men Out: Baseball's Perfect Games

User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

Excellent work. Any baseball fan will get pure enjoyment reading this, comprehensive work on the 14 men that threw the only perfect games in modern baseball history, from 1903 through May 17th, 2004 ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER
18
CHAPTER THREE
36
CHAPTER FOUR
52
CHAPTER FIVE
74
CHAPTER
96
CHAPTER SEVEN
115
CHAPTER EIGHT
139
CHAPTER NINE
157
CHAPTER
175
CHAPTER ELEVEN
199
CHAPTER TWELVE
220
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
242
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
278
PerfectGame Curios
295
Acknowledgments
309
Copyright

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Page 3 - And these boys have played baseball there! baseball, which is the very symbol, the outward and visible expression of the drive, and push, and rush and struggle of the raging, tearing, booming nineteenth century!
Page 11 - In between those events he won twenty-two games for the Philadelphia Athletics, played left end for the Business Men's Rugby Football Club of Grand Rapids, Michigan, toured the nation in a melodrama called The Stain of Guilt, courted, married, and became separated from May Wynne Skinner of Lynn, Massachusetts, saved a woman from drowning, accidentally shot a friend in the hand, and was bitten by a lion.
Page 11 - ... Dummy (for a deaf mute), Dutch, Stuffy, Gabby, and Hooks, to name a few. Comical behavior accompanied the players both on and off the field. As reported by Lee Allen, Rube Waddell, a pitching star, accomplished all of the following feats in a single year: He began that year sleeping in a firehouse at Camden, New Jersey, and ended it tending bar in a saloon in Wheeling, West Virginia. In between those events he won twenty-two games for the Philadelphia Athletics, played left end for the Business...

About the author (2010)

Bill James made his mark in the 1970s and 1980s with his Baseball Abstracts. He has been tearing down preconceived notions about America's national pastime ever since. He is currently the Senior Advisor on Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox. James lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with his wife, Susan McCarthy, and three children.

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