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The Baseball Whisperer : A Small-Town Coach Who Shaped Big League Dreams
by Michael Tackett


Overview - From an award-winning journalist, a real Field of Dreams story about a legendary coach and the professional-caliber baseball program he built in America's heartland, where boys come summer after summer to be molded into ballplayers -- and men

Clarinda, Iowa, population 5,000, sits two hours from anything.
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More About The Baseball Whisperer by Michael Tackett
 
 
 
Overview
From an award-winning journalist, a real Field of Dreams story about a legendary coach and the professional-caliber baseball program he built in America's heartland, where boys come summer after summer to be molded into ballplayers -- and men

Clarinda, Iowa, population 5,000, sits two hours from anything. There, between the corn fields and hog yards, is a ball field with a bronze bust of a man named Merl Eberly, a baseball whisperer who specialized in second chances and lost causes. The statue was a gift from one of Merl's original long-shot projects, a skinny kid from the ghetto in Los Angeles who would one day become a beloved Hall-of-Fame shortstop: Ozzie Smith. The Baseball Whisperer traces the remarkable story of Merl Eberly and his Clarinda A's baseball team, which he tended over the course of five decades, transforming them from a town team to a collegiate summer league powerhouse. Along with Ozzie Smith, future manager Bud Black, and star player Von Hayes, Merl developed scores of major league players (six of which are currently playing). In the process, Merl taught them to be men, insisting on hard work, integrity, and responsibility. More than a book about ballplayers who landed in the nation's agricultural heartland, The Baseball Whisperer is the story of a coach who puts character and dedication first, and reminds us of the best, purest form of baseball excellence.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780544387645
  • ISBN-10: 0544387643
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
  • Publish Date: July 2016
  • Page Count: 255
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Sports - General
Books > Sports & Recreation > Coaching - Baseball
Books > Sports & Recreation > Baseball - History

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-05-23
  • Reviewer: Staff

In a remarkable tribute to an exceptional coach with a special summer baseball program in a small town in Iowa, Tackett, an editor in the Washington, D.C., bureau of the New York Times, shares the journey of Merl Eberly, a “baseball whisperer” who from 1961 to 1997 nurtured young hopefuls dreaming of being big-league players. Eberly, considered the patron saint of second chances and lost causes, had a troubled past but steadied his life with a solid marriage and a leadership of his Clarinda A’s baseball team, which stressed discipline and team play. Tackett addresses the drawing power of Eberly, who coached the team for over four decades, also serving as its general manager under his death in June 2011, attracting many players nationally, including Hall of Famer shortstop Ozzie Smith, Philadelphia star Von Hayes, and pitching standout Buddy Black, who became a San Diego Padres manager. One of Eberly’s teammates says he loved the sport and Clarinda, revitalizing the youngsters to “learn so much more than the game of baseball.” Highlighting the late coach’s themes of using baseball as a means of transforming boys into men with values and standards, Tackett’s story touts a man from small-town America who was a major influence on our national pastime. Agent: David Black, David Black Agency .(July)

 
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