This is one of the most exciting times of the year for a sports fan. Just finishing up is the NCAA March Madness Tournament, with only one #1 seed advancing to the Final Four. The 2013 season of Major League Baseball (and the Cleveland Indians) is now underway. Coming up is the Masters Tournament (April 11-14), featuring defending champion Bubba Watson. The always highly anticipated NFL draft begins with round one on Thursday, April 25, with the Browns currently holding the 6th pick in the first round. And the end of the month is the start of the playoffs for the NBA (April 20) and the NHL (April 30).
For golf fans, the Masters is the first of the Grand Slam tournaments and one of the most pretigious in all of golf. It is also the most expensive ticket in sports. A four-day pass is $4,486! The least expensive practice round tickets run from $362 on Monday to $838 on Wednesday. If attending even one round of this storied event is on your bucket list, you might want to start saving for tickets now.
The Browns and Indians certainly have had interesting off-seasons, with lots of activity to get the fans talking. Whether you like the moves they made or not, at least the front offices did something to stir things up. The sports talk shows on radio and TV sure haven't lacked in topics for discussion recently. The Tribe is up first to show us how successful these trades and acquisitions were to the team.
This is also the time of year that a number of new baseball books are published. Here are some recent additions to our sports collection here at WPPL:
The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych by Doug Wilson (796.357092 F451W)
“With "THE BIRD", Doug Wilson clears away the myths and misconceptions surrounding Fidrych and his brief but magical career, leaving us with an inspiring portrait of a unique individual who truly played the game (and lived his life) for the pure joy of it."
Color Blind: The Forgotten Team that Broke Baseball's Color Line by Tom Dunkel (796.35764 D919C)
“In Bismarck, a decade before Jackie Robinson broke into the Major Leagues, car dealer Neil Churchill signed the best players he could find, regardless of race, and fielded an integrated squad that took on all comers in spectacular fashion. "Color Blind," from award-winning journalist Tom Dunkel, tells this remarkable, largely forgotten story.”
Francona: The Red Sox Years by Terry Francona (796.357092 F826F)
“An insightful, honest, and entertaining narrative of Francona's tenure with the Red Sox franchise, during which time he managed two teams to World Series victories (including their first in 86 years) and oversaw some of the most iconic and colorful players in the game.”
Inside the Baseball Hall of Fame (796.3570973 I59)
“Featuring more than 200 full-color photographs, a stunning collection that brings to vivid life the greatest treasures of baseball's shrine, most of them rarely if ever displayed to visitors. The images captured in these pages take readers into the most fascinating moments of the game's past and present.”
Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (not necessarily in that order) by Joe Peta (796.357 P477T)
“An ex-Wall Street trader improved on "Moneyball's famed sabermetrics to place bets that would beat the Vegas odds on Major League Baseball games--with a 41 percent return in his first year. "Trading Bases" explains how he did it.”
Victory Season: the End of World War II and the Birth of Baseball's Golden Age by Robert Weintraub (796.357 W424V)
“In the spring of 1946, World War II was finally over, and hundreds of baseball's stars were coming home. Players like Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Joe DiMaggio returned to the Major Leagues. Weintraub brings to life little-known tales from the war years.”
Who's on Worst: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats, and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History by Philip Bondy (796.357 B711W)
“A hilarious celebration of the worst in baseball history. From a delightful survey of batters who fell below the dreaded "Mendoza Line" to a rundown of managers who had long careers distinguished by relentless losing to a roster of players who took steroids but still stunk.”
Play Ball! It's going to be an interesting season at Progressive Field!