Baseball, as a sport, is a slog. In The Grind, The Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga looks at the mundanities that dot every level of the Washington Nationals organization, from players to scouts to spouses. It’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at professional baseball, and a rather intimate one at that—Svrluga’s sections about players’ families are particularly fascinating and nearly intrusive. The Grind is also, thankfully, relatively free of reverential platitudes that infect so much baseball writing. The Grind may apply to baseball, but not this book.

The Grind: Inside Baseball's Endless Season Cover Image
$23.95
ISBN: 9780399176289
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Blue Rider Press - July 7th, 2015

The Grind: Inside Baseball's Endless Season Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399575952
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blue Rider Press - March 15th, 2016

Perry Wallace, a star athlete at Vanderbilt University in the 1960s, made civil rights history as the first black basketball player in the Southeastern Conference. Now, half a century later, Andrew Maraniss, a Vanderbilt graduate, tells the story not only of Wallace’s historic struggle to overcome incredible obstacles but sets this struggle insightfully and instructively in the larger context of the American civil rights movement.

Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780826520234
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Published: Vanderbilt University Press - December 2014

Against Football (Melville House, $22.95) is Steve Almond’s 175-page journalistic rethinking of America’s (and his own) deeply rooted passion for a sublimely destructive sport. Almond is a lifelong Raiders fan who has put up with decades of disappointment for the compensations of camaraderie with fellow devotees, including his father. But now he weighs the personal meaning the game has for him against the damning evidence of the leagues’ irresponsible treatment of the players. The NFL and team owners use these players to make billions of dollars, but deny the game has anything to do with the men’s brain damage and short lifespans. The money-making machine we know as football in fact raises the stakes every year; since teams began threatening to leave cities for the highest bidder, a tactic that peaked in the ‘90s, owners have extorted their communities for two decades now. Almond also outlines the role of high school and college programs in young men’s permanent brain damage, the evidence for which has been documented in studies conducted over the course of a single season. Given football’s many negatives, Almond still struggles to balance its destructiveness with the valuable communal bonds it fosters.

Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781612194158
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Melville House - August 26th, 2014

Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781612194912
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Melville House - August 18th, 2015

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