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Almost Perfect : The Heartbreaking Pursuit of Pitching's Holy Grail
by Joe Cox and Jim Bunning


Overview - The rich, poignant tales of major league baseball's most hard-luck fraternity--the pitchers of its Almost-Perfect Games From 1908 to 2015, there have been thirteen pitchers who have begun Major League Baseball games by retiring the first twenty-six opposing batters, but then, one out from completing a perfect game, somehow faltering (or having perfection stolen from them).  Read more...

 
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More About Almost Perfect by Joe Cox; Jim Bunning
 
 
 
Overview
The rich, poignant tales of major league baseball's most hard-luck fraternity--the pitchers of its Almost-Perfect Games From 1908 to 2015, there have been thirteen pitchers who have begun Major League Baseball games by retiring the first twenty-six opposing batters, but then, one out from completing a perfect game, somehow faltering (or having perfection stolen from them). Three other pitchers did successfully retire twenty-seven batters in a row, but are still not credited with perfect games. While stories of pitching the perfect game have been told and retold, Almost Perfect looks at how baseball, at its core, is about heartbreak, and these sixteen men are closer to what baseball really is, and why we remain invested in the sport. Author Joe Cox visits this notion through a century of baseball and through these sixteen pitchers--recounting their games in thrilling fashion, telling the personal stories of the fascinating (and very human) baseball figures involved, and exploring the historical American and baseball backdrops of each flawed gem. From George "Hooks" Wiltse's nearly perfect game in 1908 to "Hard Luck" Harvey Haddix's 12-inning, 36-consecutive-outs performance on May 26, 1959 (the most astounding single-game pitching performance in baseball history) to Max Scherzer's near miss in 2015, Joe Cox's book captures the action, the humanity, and the history of the national pastime's greatest "almosts."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781493019502
  • ISBN-10: 1493019503
  • Publisher: Lyons Press
  • Publish Date: February 2017
  • Page Count: 280
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Sports & Recreation > Baseball - History

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-12-19
  • Reviewer: Staff

In a meticulously researched 16 chapters, Cox (Fightin Words) honors a select and largely overlooked club of 16 major-league pitchers bound by the label that serves as the books title. Each of these men came within a whisker of a perfect game only to fall short, sometimes under extraordinary circumstances. Cox holds up their brush with perfection as a mirror for the fallible human condition. The eclectic collection of stories validates the hyperbole as he largely avoids baseball authors treacly penchant for romanticizing their sport. The Harvey Haddix, Babe Ruth, and Armando Galarraga games will be known by many; only serious fans will likely remember most of the other 13. Cox adds considerable pre- and postgame context to these almost-perfectos to give his subjects and the national pastime depth. This is most satisfying in his personal interview with Milt Pappas. However, chapters can slow to a crawl with detailed play-by-play accounts, and the self-contained chapters limit Coxs ability to offer much in the way of a unifying theme beyond the heartbreak of falling short so close to ones goal. The ambitious effort will appeal to hard-ore fans but not engage new ones. (Feb.)

 
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