In Pursuit of Pennants

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In Pursuit of Pennants

Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball

504 pages
31 illustrations, 17 tables, 6 charts

April 2015

978-0-8032-7711-3

$26.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

The 1936 Yankees, the 1963 Dodgers, the 1975 Reds, the 2010 Giants—why do some baseball teams win while others don’t?

General managers and fans alike have pondered this most important of baseball questions. The Moneyball strategy is not the first example of how new ideas and innovative management have transformed the way teams are assembled. In Pursuit of Pennants examines and analyzes a number of compelling, winning baseball teams over the past hundred-plus years, focusing on their decision making and how they assembled their championship teams.

Whether through scouting, integration, instruction, expansion, free agency, or modernizing their management structure, each winning team and each era had its own version of Moneyball, where front office decisions often made the difference. Mark L. Armour and Daniel R. Levitt show how these teams succeeded and how they relied on talent both on the field and in the front office. While there is no recipe for guaranteed success in a competitive, ever-changing environment, these teams demonstrate how creatively thinking about one’s circumstances can often lead to a competitive advantage.

Author Bio

Mark L. Armour is the author of Joe Cronin: A Life in Baseball, the editor of The Great Eight: The 1975 Cincinnati Reds, and a coeditor of Pitching, Defense, and Three-Run Homers: The 1970 Baltimore Orioles, all available from the University of Nebraska Press. Winner of the 2015 Bob Davids Award from the Society of American Baseball Research, Daniel R. Levitt is the author of Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees’ First Dynasty (Nebraska, 2008) and The Battle that Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy. He is the coauthor (with Mark L. Armour) of Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way.

Praise

“Armour and Levitt have given the reader an inside look into the different cultures and challenges facing professional sports executives. Their management styles might differ, but the objective never changes: ‘Be a consistent winner.’”—Pat Gillick

“A rare combination of a must-have reference book and engaging storytelling by distinguished baseball historians Armour and Levitt.”—Vince Gennaro, president of the Society for American Baseball Research and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball
 

“This is an interesting, well written, and well researched examination of a behind-the-scenes look at how certain winning clubs have been constructed by notable baseball executives and the philosophies employed.”—Tal Smith, longtime baseball executive


“A great source of well researched front office stories. . . . Armour and Levitt give an insider’s look at the teams’ efforts to innovate in this highly competitive industry.”—Sig Mejdal, director of Decision Sciences for the Houston Astros


“If Moneyball is the tale of how a modern front office works, In Pursuit of Pennants is the prequel that ably sets the stage.”—Jonah Keri, author of the bestselling The Extra 2% and Up, Up, and Away


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