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Playing Ball with the Boys
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Playing Ball with the Boys
Betsy Ross


The use of female sideline reporters is the fastest-growing new aspect of televised broadcasts of professional and college football. Names like Suzy Kolber, Erin Andrews, and Andrea Kremer are now as well known as any of the men in the booth. In recent years women have been sports columnists and reporters, talk-show hosts, even coaches and team administrators. And yet there has never been a book about this phenomenon.

Former ESPN news anchor Betsy Ross fills this void with Playing Ball with the Boys, a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at the emerging role that women play in sports broadcasting and reporting as well as in the business of sports. Ross interviews a number of the biggest names—from Kolber and Kremer to USA Today columnist Christine Brennan and Lesley Visser and many others—who offer first-hand accounts of the struggles and the triumphs of women playing what has always been a man’s game.

She provides a history of this unique facet of the sports world, from pioneering female newspaper sports reporters to the celebrated breakthrough into televised sports by former Miss America Phyllis George, who is interviewed in the book. Ross covers the controversial moments, from locker room confrontations between players and female reporters to the infamous sideline interview in which Joe Namath attempted to kiss Suzy Kolber during a live broadcast.
Readers also learn of women who played pro sports on male teams or coached men’s teams. They meet a woman who runs a professional baseball team and another who is a team doctor.

Through this tale, Ross weaves her own story, recalling how she went from a small town in Indiana to the anchor’s chair at the largest sports network in the world, ESPN. She explains what it’s like for a woman to succeed in the male-dominated world of sports broadcasting.


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Remember the AFL
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Remember the AFL



    Remember the AFL: The Ultimate Fan's Guide to the American Football League is a nostalgic journey back in time through remembrances of a league that everyone thought to be doomed before it began.

     From its introduction to the final page, this book will take its readers on a timeless ride back to an era that they will remember with the innocence and passion of their youth.

     Each section of this book embraces the roots and evolution of the league, complete with yearly recaps of each team. Reminisce the time capsule events that forged the history of the league, along with the multitude of names and faces of the players who authored the records and numbers and created the incomparable story of the American Football League. Fans will also relive the history of the AFL by engaging the challenge of over 500 trivia questions - stump your friends!

     Lance Alworth, Clem Daniels, George Blanda, Buck Buchanan, Wahoo McDaniel, Abner Haynes, and Joe Namath, are all here. As are Ben Davidson, Pete Gogolak, Jim Nance, Billy Cannon and Cookie Gilchrist, along with many more names, faces and events that will pique your recall, satisfy your appetite and ignite your passion to Remember the AFL

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Sid Gillman
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Sid Gillman
Josh Katzowitz


Father of the Passing Game

Sid Gillman, unlike so many of his coaching colleagues, never wrote a book about himself. He never published his own ideas about the game and why he thought passing the ball in an age where most quarterbacks handed off to running backs was the key to his success. In more than four decades of coaching, nobody thought it necessary to tell the definitive Sid Gillman story. Until now. 

Gillman was a true innovator. The kind of football genius that goes overlooked by today’s average fan, but who will never be forgotten by the coaches he directly – and indirectly – impacted. The modern-day offenses that emphasize spreading the field with receivers, running backs and tight ends? That was Gillman’s idea. The idea that the long pass could stretch a defense? That was Gillman’s baby as well. What NFL fans watch today in ever-increasing numbers (and the high-flying offenses those fans love) can be directly traced back to the Midwestern coach who was a forerunner to the West Coast offense.

Gillman wasn’t a perfect man. He had plenty of warts, and he made plenty of enemies. But he also made a major impact on the game, comparable to how Vince Lombardi, Paul Brown and Woody Hayes left a timeless impression. Josh Katzowitz tells you how Gillman was just as important as any coach who came before him or afterward. 

This is not simply a biography of an innovator. It details exactly how and why the NFL football you watch today is the image of what Gillman believed was possible. It’s why football luminaries like Al Davis, Bill Walsh and Chuck Noll cite Gillman as one of the most important influences on their careers and lives. It’s why if you watched the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, you could see the scope of Gillman’s reach. In order to truly understand the reason why football offenses are so exciting today, learning about Gillman is absolutely essential. Katzowitz takes you on that journey.


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Summer of Shadows
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Summer of Shadows
Jonathan Knight


Summer of Shadows is an intertwining narrative that tells the story of the 1954 Cleveland Indians (which would etch itself in history as one of the greatest baseball teams in MLB history) and the infamous murder of the wife of Dr. Sam Sheppard in their home along the shore of Lake Erie—which held both the city and the nation spellbound that summer. Both of these generation-defining stories take place in the final days of the “Best Location in the Nation,” the nickname for the Cleveland of the 1950s, which truly was one of the great and most influential cities in America.

The Sheppard case would influence the television series The Fugitive a decade later and give Cleveland’s reputation a black eye following the shoddy and unethical behavior of the city’s police department and news media, which led to the conviction of an innocent man. Meanwhile, the 1954 Indians would post the greatest season in American League history and dethrone the five-time-champion New York Yankees in a dramatic pennant race, culminating in a September doubleheader before 86,000 fans at Cleveland Stadium. The powerful Indians would then be swept by Willie Mays and the New York Giants in the World Series. These two parallel tragedies harbinger an onslaught of adversity that dragged Cleveland from its lofty standing as a leading American city to one with a bleak—even comic—reputation.

Summer of Shadows
is essentially a postcard from that gilded age, when the city enjoyed its own golden October, not knowing that decades of dismal, bitter winter lay ahead.

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The Comeback Kids
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The Comeback Kids
Mark J. Schmetzer and Joe Jacobs


Few experts picked the Reds to win the National League Central Division Championship. Loaded with great young talent, the team was expected to move up in the standings and maybe even to break its nine-year streak of losing seasons. But win the division? Hardly.

No one realized the level of heart and tenacity this team possessed, the pluck and verve this team could summon in the face of adversity. The Reds came from behind to win 45 games, and whenever they took a tough loss, they bounced back the next game. They truly were “The Comeback Kids.” As baseball fans throughout the country waited for them slide back to expectations, they just kept hustling—and winning.

The Reds led the league in many offensive categories, with a lineup anchored by budding superstar Joey Votto and aging veteran Scott Rolen. Though the pitching staff lacked a true ace, many pitchers contributed quality games. The bullpen did the same, until September, when heralded phenom Aroldis Chapman came up from the minor leagues and threw 100 mph fastballs, taking the staff to a whole new level.

The Comeback Kids tells the remarkable story of the 2010 Reds, a team that relied on every player to achieve a stunning division championship. Featuring nearly 100 photos, this full-color book is the ultimate keepsake for every Reds fan, helping them remember a season, and a team, they never want to forget.



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The First America's Team: The 1962 Green Bay Packers
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The First America's Team: The 1962 Green Bay Packers
Bob Berghaus


The first book focused on Vince Lombardi's greatest team and arguably the most dominant team in pro football history: the 1962 Green Bay Packers.

The 1962 Green Bay Packers are still considered one of the most dominating teams in the history of the National Football League. In 2007, when the New England Patriots were trying to become the first team to go unbeaten during a 16-game season and win the Super Bowl, there were many stories written about their place in history, and the ’62 Packers were always listed among the top three teams of all time.

There are a number of books on the Packers already, showing a strong and sustained interest in one of the most popular sports franchises in America. There are also a number of books—though far fewer—on the Packers of the Vince Lombardi era. There has never been a book, however, focused on Lombardi’s, and (arguably) pro football’s, greatest team: the 1962 Packers.

The 1962 Green Bay Packers will examine how the team was built and on Lombardi's coaching staff, how four of the five assistants went on to become head coaches -- Bill Austin, Tom Fears, Norb Hecker and Phil Bengtson. The team was rich with personalities, from the glamour-conscience Hourning to the emotional Nitschke to the laconic Starr. Of course, the strongest personality of all was Lombardi’s, who shaped these many unique individuals and talents into a team so dominant it changed the game forever. The Packers of this era won five championships in seven years, including the first two Super Bowls, creating a dynasty in the smallest market in professional sports. The 1962 team was the signature team and their power sweep became a national phenomenon. Despite playing in little Green Bay, the players on Lombardi's team became national heroes. This really was the first America's Team.



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The Hockey Dad Chronicles
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The Hockey Dad Chronicles
Ed Wenck


An Indentured Parent's Season on the Rink

The sport of ice hockey is going through a transitional period, losing popularity in the United States even as it gains momentum in other countries. The Hockey Dad Chronicles is the touching and funny story of one season in the youth hockey career of Ed Wenck’s son, Oliver, when he played for the Indianapolis Junior Ice. Hockey parents spend an inordinate amount of time and money on their child’s sport of choice — considerably more than soccer, football, or basketball parents dish out. They get their children to the ice rink for 7 a.m. ice time, they travel with them to other states for games every other weekend — and if they’re anything like Ed Wenck, they spend a lot of time sitting in bleachers wondering at the absurdity of it all. As youth hockey grows ever more popular, increasing numbers of parents are seeing their lives taken over by their children’s hockey careers. The Hockey Dad Chronicles will be a familiar, amusing, and moving reminder to them — and to all parents who devote themselves to their children’s extracurricular activities, whether they’re sports, drama, or dance — of what it’s all about.


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The Local Boys
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The Local Boys
Joe Heffron and Jack Heffron


Hometown Players for the Cincinnati Reds

Foreword by Chris Welsh
Though one of the smaller markets in Major League Baseball, Cincinnati has produced far more than its share of professional baseball players and many have played, at some point in their careers, for the hometown team. And hometown fans worshiped them. Though nearly 3 million people live in the area, the city retains a certain small-town sense of self. And it holds no one in higher regard than a local boy in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. No dream is better understood — or held in such esteem — as hoping to play for the Reds. For proof, note the 50-foot-high bas-relief sculpture on the wall at the entrance to Great American Ball Park. In it, a Cincinnati boy envisions himself among the clouds—playing ball with the Reds he idolizes.

Local Boys tells the story of the men who achieved the dream. From Ethan Allen to Don Zimmer, from Charlie “Bushel Basket” Gould, who played on the first team in 1869 to Junior Griffey, soon to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. They’re all here. Alongside big-name stars like Dave Parker and Buddy Bell, fans will find Eddie Hunter, who played only one inning in 1933, never got to bat and never fielded a ball. Every player receives a one- or two-page profile, many of which are based on original interviews with the player or surviving family members. The profile goes beyond statistics; it brings the player to life through stories that have never been told in print before.


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The Redemption of the King: LeBron James Returns to Cleveland!
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The Redemption of the King: LeBron James Returns to Cleveland!



LeBron James is back in Cleveland’s court and the city is on fire as their chosen one has decided to come home. Now, for the first time ever, the full story is told from the beginning as author Vince McKee covers James’s entire journey from the start of his career with the Cavaliers, his seven years in Cleveland, his departure to Miami, his time with the Heat, and finally, the much debated and highly anticipated return of the “King.”

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The Wire-to-Wire Reds
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The Wire-to-Wire Reds
John Erardi and Joel Luckhaupt


They were a one-year wonder, but what a year. The 1990 Cincinnati Reds stunned the baseball world by winning the National League pennant and then sweeping the heavily favored Oakland A’s in the World Series. The Reds held first place from game one through the final game—becoming one of only three wire-to-wire champions in major league history.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, the story of this colorful team has never been told before in a book. In conjunction with the 20th anniversary of this historic achievement, The Wire-to-Wire Reds brings back the memories with original interviews, more than one hundred photos, and riveting storytelling by award-winning Cincinnati Enquirer columnist John Erardi and blog-master Joel Luckhaupt. With a foreword by Hall of Fame Reds announcer Marty Brennaman,

The Wire-to-Wire Reds is the ultimate keepsake for fans throughout Reds Country.

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