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World Series champion, former All-Star, and award-winning television analyst Ron Darling gives readers a inside look at one of the most demanding and strategic positions in all of sports: the pitcher. Drawing on vivid situations from his playing days for the New York Mets and the Oakland Athletics, and from moments he has observed as a broadcaster, Darling offers an engaging look at the art, strategy, and psychology of pitching. Throughout, we get a glimpse of what it feels like to stand alone on the mound, the center of attention for thousands of fans. No other book examines the position in such compelling depth—The Complete Game will be an essential book for every fan and aspiring player.
“A pitcher’s answer to Ted Williams’s classic, The Science of Hitting. . . . Thoughtful and lively. . . . [Darling is] an affable, frank and witty guide.”
—Bruce Handy, The New York Times Book Review
“[Darling] writes soulfully about coming into and leaving the game. . . . When most former major leaguers write memoirs, you wonder why they bothered; with Ron Darling . . . you wonder why it took him so long.”
“Incisive, in-depth. . . . The antithesis of the sordid baseball tell-all. . . . Darling’s pitch-by-pitch descriptions . . . illustrate the complexity of baseball. . . . Fascinating. . . . [Darling] seems to have an almost photographic memory of every game he pitched.”
“[Darling] can explain all the cerebral stuff while also answering some questions fans always wonder about. . . . It’s a snapshot inside a pitcher’s head, and for a baseball fan, it’s worth framing. . . . An unconventional baseball book. . . . A very good one, too.” —New York Daily News
“An insightful story for anyone who loves the game.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Darling comes up a winner in his rookie writing effort. There’s plenty to satisfy Met fans—and more. . . . In his typically engaging style, [Darling] lets the reader in on the parts of the game fans can't see from the stands or on their TVs.” —The New York Post
“[Darling’s] recall is 20/20, his reflections revealing for anyone interested in a true inside view of his sport. . . . This is a book for the curious and the purist, full of anecdotes but always focused.”—The Toronto Star
“Darling offers pitches and outcomes . . . from ten selected games in his career. . . . Among them are enough oddities and thrilling turns of baseball to make a reader glad to be here and–well, not out there.”
—The New Yorker
“Mets fans already know Ron Darling as one of the game’s most insightful commentators, but this is a book for all of Baseball Nation to cherish. Just as artfully as he once changed speeds, Darling moves adeptly between his own experience on the mound and his probing analysis of the art and psychology of pitching to offer us a rare glimpse inside the world of the loneliest man on the field. The result is the pitching equivalent of Ted Williams’ The Science of Hitting.” —Jonathan Mahler, author of Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning
“It’s hard to recall a baseball book that offers as much information about the game—from a player’s perspective—as this one.” —Booklist
“Darling’s little gem of a book immediately takes its place alongside Ball Four and Moneyball as a classic, and the best account ever of the way pitchers think.” —Joseph J. Ellis, author of American Creation
“Totally absorbing. Ron Darling takes us inside the mind of a pitcher, and a funny, thoughtful, and observant one at that.” —Kevin Baker, author of Sometimes You See it Coming and Paradise Alley