Synopses & Reviews
Ever Wonder Whats Being Said at Home Plate?How a Team Silently Communicates?What Goes on in the Clubhouse Behind Closed Doors?
Americas pastime has always left fans and amateur players alike yearning for the answers to questions about how pros play the game.
Jason Kendall is an All-Star catcher who has seen just about everything during his years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and Kansas City Royals. Hes a players player, a guy with true grit--a throwback to another time with a unique view on the game that so many love.
Reminiscent of such classics as BALL FOUR and MEN AT WORK, Jason Kendall and sportswriter Lee Judge team up to bring you the fan, player, coach, or curious statistician an insiders view of the game from a players perspective. This is a book about pre-game rituals, what to look for when a pitcher warms up between innings, the signs a catcher uses to communicate with the pitcher, and so much more.
Some of baseball wisdom you will find inside:
* What to look for during batting practice.
* The right way to hit a batter.
* Whos a tough guy and whos just posing.
* How to spot a dirty slide.
* Why you dont look at the umpire while youre arguing.
Based on Kendalls 15 years of professional MLB experience, THROWBACK is an informative, hilarious, and illuminating look into the world of professional baseball—and in a way that no one has ever seen before.
"Three-time MLB All-Star catcher Kendall, with sports journalist Judge, gives a succinct master class on the art of catching in the big leagues, complete with the inside scoop of calling a game, hand signals, being on the same page with pitchers in their strategies, reading the strengths and weaknesses of opposing batters, and throwing out would-be base stealers. This joint project has its origins with the Christmas gift Judge received from his wife in 1990 a trip to the Kansas City Royals baseball fantasy camp, leading to a two-decade quest to understand the mysteries of pro ball and the career of Kendall, a bald 'bad ass' whose 2,000-game career catching with five teams ended after a severe shoulder injury in 2012. Plain speaking and opinionated, Kendall touts catching as 'the most difficult, most intriguing position on the field,' due to the game-within-the-game against the batters, saying it took five or six years to figure it how to keep them guessing. Along with bad calls, foul balls, borderline pitches, and pickoffs, he covers the trade secrets of being in sync with the infield, covering the plate, playing the wall, and catching the ball in bright sunlight. More inside info is provided in his crisp analysis of other positions, the manager, and various clubhouse antics. A book that never fails to be very informative, useful, and engaging, especially for baseball fans." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Jason Kendall is the toughest baseball player I have ever met, and one of the most insightful. He provides a revealing look inside the game in this fascinating book. It was written with the mangled fingers of an old school catcher, my favorite people in the game."—Tim Kurkjian, ESPN Commentator
"Give this book a read. I've known Lee Judge for over 20 years. He has passion for the game and an unquenchable thirst for "Why" questions. He doesn't just want the answer- He wants the understanding. I've spent time with him in Minor League and Major League cities and clubhouses and we are still friends! There is a sincere effort and old school way this book has been put together and it is deserving of your time. You WILL laugh.You WILL learn. You WILL leave with a greater understanding and appreciation for the game WE love."—Clint Hurdle, Manager for the Pitsburgh Pirates and NL Manager of the Year
"Jason Kendall is the ultimate competitor, a modern-day gladiator. If you had nine Jason Kendalls, you could never lose.”—John Gibbons, Manager, Toronto Blue Jays
"I've had the pleasure of knowing Lee Judge for over 20 years and have always admired his intellectual curiosity as it relates to the strategy and psychology of the game. I'm certain that his passion for the game and unique perspective will stand out to readers in the same way it's always stood out to me."—Jerry Dipoto, former pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, New York Mets and Colorado Rockies and current General Manager for the Los Angeles Angels
"Old-school and throwback player don't encompass Jason as a player. The game consumed him and he played it with an unparalleled passion. You can't emulate him. It would destroy many players.”—Mike MacFarlane, former catcher for the Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics
"Jason Kendall may be one of the toughest players I've ever been around. He's a straight shootin', no nonsense, old school guy who holds nothing back from how he really feels, and he's as solid as it comes when you're talking Major League."—Kevin Seitzer, former player for the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians
"Do you know why catchers work so hard to block errant pitches, even if no one is on base? To protect the ump; an ump who doesnt get nicked by a fastball in the dirt may be your friend later...This is exactly the kind of color analysis fans long for while watching a game, but usually dont get. Great information sprinkled with salty humor." — Booklist, Starred Review
Structured to mirror the flow of a baseball game, THROWBACK covers everything that happens both in plain sight and behind the scenes (or sometimes in whispered invective at the plate or in the bullpen), from the players pre-game routines and the pitchers warm-up tosses, to the hidden signs the catcher and pitcher use to communicate to outwit hitters; from infielders often amusing conversations with men at first and third bases, to the specific positions outfielders often take based on the pitch they anticipate will next be thrown. Based on Kendalls15 years of professional MLB experience, THROWBACK weaves hilarious first-person anecdotes together with wonderfully illuminating “Oh, thats why they do that!” insights into professional baseball, how its played, and the “why” behind everything you see happening on and off the field.
About the Author
Having played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals, JASON KENDALL can boast three All-Star games and a broad national fan base. Jason is currently a special assignment coach for the Kansas City Royals (now in the American League Championship Series). LEE JUDGE is a well-known writer at the Kansas City Star whose baseball blog gets 100,000 hits.