Little, Brown and Company Catalog

Fall 2013/Winter 2014

Posts tagged sports

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Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies

June 2013 Hardcover

Chris Kluwe, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities



Hi. In your hands, right now, you hold the culmination of thousands of years of human intelligence, ingenuity, and brilliance. Now put your goddamn phone down and pay attention to my book.

What is in my book, you ask? (I’m really glad you asked, by the way, because now I get to tell you.)

Time travel. Gay marriage. Sportsballing. Futuristic goggles that DO NOTHING.

Tiny brags from my publisher, stuff like: “This is an uproarious, uncensored take on empathy, personal responsibility, and what it means to be human.”

Excessive brags about myself: “An extraordinarily clever, punishingly funny, sharp-tongued blogosphere star, NFL player, husband and father, one-time violin prodigy, voracious lifetime reader, obsessive gamer, and fearless champion of personal freedom.”

Oh, and also an essay on the Pope’s Twitter account. Honestly, if that doesn’t draw you in, there’s no hope left for humanity. I also give my own funeral eulogy, in case you were hoping I’d go away and die now!

So please, join me in the glorious art of windmill tilting by reading this “collection of rousing, uncensored personal essays, letters, and stories” (I have no idea why that’s in quotes).

Join the herd of Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.

You know you want to.


Chris Kluwe grew up in Southern California among a colony of wild chinchillas and didn’t learn how to communicate outside of barking and howling until he was fourteen years old. He has played football in the NFL, once wrestled a bear for a pot of gold, and lies occasionally. He is also the eternal disappointment of his mother, who just can’t understand why he hasn’t cured cancer yet. Do you know why these bio things are in third person? I have no idea. Please tell me if you figure it out.

Publicity Contact: Nicole Dewey,

Filed under sports football humor essays books prose

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The 34-Ton Bat


October 2013 Hardcover

Steve Rushin, The 34-Ton Bat: The Story of Baseball as Told Through Bobbleheads, Cracker Jacks, Jockstraps, Eye Black, and 375 Other Strange and Unforgettable Objects

978-0-316-20093-6, $25.00


No sport embraces its wild history quite like baseball, especially in memorabilia and objects. Sure, there are baseball cards and team pennants. But there are also huge balls, giant bats, peanuts, cracker jacks, eyeblack, and more, each with a backstory you have to read to believe. In THE 34-TON BAT, Sports Illustrated writer Steve Rushin tells the real, unvarnished story of baseball through the lens of all the things that make it the game that it is.

Rushin weaves these rich storiesfrom ballpark pipe organs played by malevolent organists to backed up toilets at Ebbets Fieldtogether in their order of importance (from most to least) for an entertaining and compulsive read, glowing with a deep passion for America’s Pastime. The perfect holiday gift for casual fans and serious collectors alike, THE 34-TON BAT is a true heavy hitter.


Steve Rushin has been writing for Sports Illustrated for the last 25 years and was the 2006 National Sportswriter of the Year. His work has been collected in The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best American Magazine Writing. He lives in Connecticut.

Publicity Contact: Justin Levine,

Filed under baseball sports history books

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Collision Low Crossers


November 2013 Hardcover

Nicholas Dawidoff, Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football

978-0-316-19679-6, $28.00


Football is the country’s most popular pastime, and yet most of what happens in today’s NFL is a mystery. The New York Jets gave Nicholas Dawidoff a security code, a locker, an office in the scouting department, and for an entire year he lived with the team. He has written a vivid, funny, and moving narrative about an emblematic NFL season that deepens the way we know the game.

In COLLISION LOW CROSSERS, Dawidoff introduces us to a memorable cast of characters: brilliant, polarizing head coach Rex Ryan; the defensive coaches and their offensive counterparts and rivals; the best defensive player in football Darrelle Revis and the young, whimsical, and erratic quarterback Mark Sanchez; and the brotherhood of American characters who come together to form a team.

Here finally is the definitive work on the elusive game, a story that is part Paper Lion and part Moneyball, part Deliverance and part The Office.


Nicholas Dawidoff is the author of four books. One of them, The Fly Swatter, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and another, In the Country of Country, was named one of the greatest all-time works of travel literature by Conde Nast Traveller. A graduate of Harvard University, he has been a Guggenheim, Civitella Ranieri and Berlin Prize Fellow, and is a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and the American Scholar. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Publicity Contact: 

Filed under football sports books jets nfl

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The Kid


December 2013 Hardcover

Ben Bradlee Jr., The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams

978-0-316-61435-1, $30.00


Ted Williams was the best hitter in baseball history. His batting average of .406 in 1941 has not been topped since, and no player who has hit more than 500 home runs has a higher career batting average. Those totals would have been even higher if Williams had not left baseball for nearly five years in the prime of his career to serve as a Marine pilot in WWII and Korea. He hit home runs farther than any player before him and traveled a long way himself, as Ben Bradlee, Jr.’s grand biography reveals. Born in 1918 in San Diego, Ted would spend most of his life disguising his Mexican heritage. During his 22 years with the Boston Red Sox, Williams electrified crowds across America—and shocked them, too: His notorious clashes with the press and fans threatened his reputation. Yet while he was a God in the batter’s box, he was profoundly human once he stepped away from the plate. His ferocity came to define his troubled domestic life. While baseball might have been straightforward for Ted Williams, life was not.

THE KID is biography of the highest literary order, a thrilling and honest account of a legend in all his glory and human complexity. In his final at-bat, Williams hit a home run. Bradlee’s marvelous book clears the fences, too.


Ben Bradlee, Jr., spent 25 years at the Boston Globe as a reporter and editor, overseeing as deputy managing editor, among many critically acclaimed stories, the Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Publicity Contact: Michelle Aielli,

Filed under baseball sports december nonfiction

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The Art of Fielding: A Novel
Chad Harbach
978-0-316-12669-4, $24.99

The anticipated debut from n+1 cofounder Chad Harbach: An unforgettable novel about the glory of youth and five lives on the brink of enormous change.

At Westish College, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for the big leagues until a routine throw goes disastrously off course. In the aftermath of his error, the fates of five people are upended. Henry’s life’s purpose is called into question. Guert Affenlight, the college’s president, has fallen helplessly, unexpectedly in love. Owen Glass, Henry’s gay roommate, becomes swept up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the team captain, realizes he guides Henry’s career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert’s daughter, returns to Westish to start a new life after an ill-fated marriage. As the season counts down to its climax, these five confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets, and help one another to find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence, and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment—to oneself and to others.

About the author: Chad Harbach grew up in Wisconsin, graduated from Harvard and received an MFA in fiction writing at the University of Virginia. He lives in Virginia.

Publicity contact: Marlena Bittner,

Filed under Sports fiction hardcover september

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West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life
Jerry West and Jonathan Coleman
978-0-316-05349-5, $27.99

One of the greatest basketball players of all time tells—with relentless honesty—the incredible story of his life.

He is one of basketball’s towering figures: “Mr. Clutch,” who mesmerized his opponents and fans. The coach who began the Lakers’ resurgence in the 1970s. The general manager who helped bring “Showtime” to Los Angeles, creating a championship winning force that continues to this day.
Now, for the first time, the legendary Jerry West tells his story—from his tough childhood in West Virginia, to his unbelievable college success at West Virginia University, his 40-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and his relationships with NBA legends like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant. Unsparing in its self-assessment and honesty, West by West is far more than a sports memoir: it is a profound confession and a magnificent inspiration.

About the Author: Jerry West has been an Olympic Gold Medalist, NBA All-Star, NBA champion, coach, general manager and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Lakers and president of the Memphis Grizzlies. He lives in California and West Virginia.

Jonathan Coleman lives in Charlottesville and is the bestselling author of At Mother’s Request, Exit The Rainmaker, and Long Way to Go.

Publicity Contact: Michelle Aielli,

Filed under Sports hardcover memoir nonfiction october

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Best Seat in the House: One on One with the Greats in the Game
John Feinstein
978-0-316-07904-4, $27.99

The book John Feinstein was born to write, bringing two decades of intriguing encounters with sports legends to the page.

After numerous bestselling sports books based on his own deep reporting, John Feinstein crafts a narrative of the most interesting and revealing encounters he’s had, with some of the most enduring figures in sports—from hallowed coaches such as Bob Knight, Jim Valvano, Mike Krzyzewski, and Joe Torre to beloved athletes such as Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer, Ivan Lendl, and Mary Carillo.

Here we have John Feinstein at his very best—opening up sport’s most private, closed-door places. These are the mentors and athletes who know their games the best, and the legends and legendary moments that gave inherent shape to our favorite pastimes.

About the Author: John Feinstein is the bestselling author of Moment of Glory, The Majors, A Good Walk Spoiled, and A Season on the Brink, among others. He writes for Inside Sports and Golf and commentates on NPR and CBS. He lives in Maryland.

Publicity Contact: Marlena Bittner,

Filed under Sports feinstein nonfiction december

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THE HOUSE THAT RUTH BUILT: A New Stadium, the First Yankees Championship, and the Redemption of 1923


The House that Ruth Built: A New Stadium, the First Yankees Championship, and the Redemption of 1923 
Robert Weintraub
978-0-316-08607-3; $26.99

The untold story of Babe Ruth’s 1923 Yankees, their first championship season in the brand new Yankee Stadium.

Before the 27 World series wins, before Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Derek Jeter—the Yankees were new York’s also-ran franchise. They didn’t even have a stadium, renting out the new York Giants’ Polo Grounds and, embarrassingly, losing to them when it counted: in the Fall Classic. But in 1923, the Yankees played their first season on their own field, and everything changed. Babe Ruth bounced back from a contentious season to carry the team to their first title, justifying his new stadium’s nickname, “The house That Ruth Built.” This is the untold tale of the Yankees’ break-out season, filled with stories of new York and baseball in arguably their greatest eras. Robert Weintraub’s fresh reporting vividly illuminates the singular year that made the Yankees the storied franchise they are today.

About the author: Robert Weintraub is a sports columnist for Slate, contributes to the annual Football Outsiders Almanac, and has written regularly for Deadspin. com,, The Guardian, and Play magazine, among other media. He lives in Decatur, Georgia.

Publicity contact: Elizabeth Garriga,

Filed under baseball history may nonfiction sports weintraub house that ruth built baseball

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Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN
James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales
978-0-316-04300-7; $27.99

The first complete and never-before revealed history of ESPN—“the worldwide leader” and the rowdiest frat house in sports TV.

ESPN began as an outrageous gamble with a lineup that included Australian Rules Football, rodeo, and a rinky-dinky clip show called Sports Center. Today the empire stretches far beyond television into the Internet, radio, magazines, mobile phones, and more, while ESPN’s personalities have become global superstars to rival the sports icons they cover. Chris Berman, Robin Roberts, Keith Olbermann, Hannah Storm, Bill Simmons, Tony Kornheiser, Stuart Scott, Erin Andrews, Mike Ditka, Dick Vitale, and scores of others speak openly about the games, shows, scandals, addictions, bitter rivalries, and sudden suspensions that make up the network’s soaring and stormy  istory. The result is a wild, smart, effervescent oral history of triumph, genius, ego, and the rise of an empire unlike any Television had ever seen.

Tour:Author events in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC

About the authors:
James Andrew Miller was previously Sr. Executive Producer for Anderson Cooper 360 and Executive V.P. of Original Programming for USA Network. He lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Tom Shales won a Pultizer Prize for television criticism in the Washington Post. He lives in McLean, Virgina.

Publicity contact: Laura Keefe,

Filed under business may miller nonfiction shales sports those guys have all the fun espn

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WONDER GIRL: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson


Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Don Van Natta Jr.
978-0-316-05699-1; $27.99

The exceptional life and times of Babe Didrikson Zaharias, the greatest female athlete ever.

This is the extraordinary story of a nearly forgotten American superstar athlete. Texas girl Babe Didrikson never found a sport too tough and never met a hurdle too high. Despite attempts to keep women from competing, Babe achieved All-American status in basketball and won gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Olympics. Then Babe attempted to conquer golf becoming the first woman to play against men in a PGA tour event. One of the founders of the LPGA, Babe won more consecutive tournaments than any golfer in history. At the height of her fame, she was diagnosed with cancer. Babe would then take her most daring step of all: to go public and try to win again with the hope of inspiring the world. A rollicking saga, stretching across the first half of the 20th century, WONDER GIRL is as fresh, heartfelt, and graceful as Babe herself.

About the author: Don Van Natta Jr. is an investigative correspondent for the New York Times. He has been a member of three Pulitzer Prize-winning teams and is the bestselling author of First Off the Tee and Her Way. He lives in South Florida.

Publicity contact: Elizabeth Garriga,

Filed under june nonfiction sports van natta wonder girl