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The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds

by Joe Posnanski

There are memorable teams in baseball--and then there are utterly unforgettable teams like the 1975 Cincinnati Reds. From 1972 to 1976, the franchise known as the Big Red Machine dominated the National League, winning four division crowns, three league pennants, and two World Series titles. But their 1975 season has become the stuff of sports legend. In The Machine, award-winning sports columnist Joe Posnanski captures all of the passion and tension, drama and glory of this extraordinary team considered to be one of the greatest ever to take the field. Helmed by Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, the lineup for the '75 Reds is a Who's Who of baseball stars: Pete Rose, Ken Griffey, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, George Foster, Cesar Geronimo, and Dave Concepcion. Like a well-oiled engine, the '75 Reds ended the regular season with 108 wins and finished a whopping 20 games ahead of their closest division competitor, the Los Angeles Dodgers. But that remarkable year was not without controversy. Feuds, fights, insults, and run-ins with fans were as much a part of the season as hits, runs, steals, and strikeouts. Capturing this rollicking thrill-ride of a story, Posnanski brings to vivid life the excitement, hope, and high expectations that surrounded the players from the beginning of spring training through the long summer and into a nail-biting World Series, where, in the ninth inning of the seventh game, the Big Red Machine fulfilled its destiny, defeating the Boston Red Sox 4-3. As enthralling and entertaining as the season and players it captures, The Machine is the story of a team unlike any other in the sport's glorious history.

Paterno

by Joe Posnanski

Joe Posnanski's biography of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno follows in the tradition of works by Richard Ben Cramer on Joe DiMaggio and David Maraniss on Vince Lombardi. Having gained unprecedented access to Paterno, as well as the coach's personal notes and files, Posnanski spent the last two years of Paterno's life covering the coach, on (and off) the field and through the scandal that ended Paterno's legendary career. Joe Posnanski, who in 2012 was named the Best Sportswriter in America by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, was with Paterno and his family as a horrific national scandal unfolded and Paterno was fired. Within three months, Paterno died of lung cancer, a tragic end to a life that was epic, influential, and operatic. Paterno is the fullest description we will ever have of the man's character and career. In this honest and surprising portrait, Joe Posnanski brings new insight and understanding to one of the most controversial figures in America.he man and his family, and was there as the scandal broke that eventually consumed him. Written with unprecedented access, Paterno gets inside the mind of one of America's most brilliant and charismatic coaches.

The Secret of Golf

by Joe Posnanski

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Joe Posnanski: an intimate, "moving" (Booklist) account of the most remarkable rivalry and friendship in modern golf. "Posnanski demonstrates the ups and down of life and sport to create a work that will resonate with avid golfers and sports fans alike." --Publishers Weekly "Joe Posnanski is a hall of fame writer and this is a must for anyone who cares about either one of these guys or just golf." --Gary Williams of Golf ChannelThe first time they met, at an exhibition match in 1967, Tom Watson was a seventeen-year-old high school student and Jack Nicklaus, at twenty-seven, was already the greatest golfer in the world. Though they shared some similarities--they were both Midwestern boys who had learned how to play golf at their fathers' country clubs--they differed in many ways. Nicklaus played a game of consummate control and precision. Watson hit the ball all over the place. Nicklaus lacked charm and theatrics, and he was thoroughly despised by most golf fans because he had displaced Arnold Palmer as king of the golf world. Watson was one of those Arnold Palmer fans. Yet over the next twenty years their seemingly divergent paths collided as they battled against each other again and again for a place at the top of the sport and drove each other to ever-soaring heights of accomplishment. Spanning from that first match through the "Duel in the Sun" at Turnberry in 1977 to Watson's miraculous near-victory at Turnberry as he approached sixty, and informed by interviews with both players over many years, The Secret of Golf is Joe Posnanski's intimate account of the most remarkable rivalry and (eventual) friendship in modern golf.

The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip through Buck O'Neil's America

by Joe Posnanski

When legendary Negro League player Buck O'Neil asked Joe Posnanski how he fell in love with baseball, the renowned sports columnist was inspired by the question. He decided to spend the 2005 baseball season touring the country with the ninety-four-year-old O'Neil in hopes of rediscovering the love that first drew them to the game. The Soul of Baseball is as much the story of Buck O'Neil as it is the story of baseball. Driven by a relentless optimism and his two great passions-for America's pastime and for jazz, America's music-O'Neil played solely for love. In an era when greedy, steroid-enhanced athletes have come to characterize professional ball, Posnanski offers a salve for the damaged spirit: the uplifting life lessons of a truly extraordinary man who never missed an opportunity to enjoy and love life.

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