Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching, and the Art of Deception (Hardcover)
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Longlisted for the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing The lively and fascinating story of baseball's 150-year hunt for the perfect pitch In August 2012, Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in what Terry McDermott calls "one of the greatest exhibitions of off-speed pitches ever put on." For McDermott, a lifelong fan and student of baseball, the extraordinary events of that afternoon inspired this incisive meditation on the art of pitching. Within the framework of Hernandez's historic achievement, Off Speed provides a vibrant narrative of the history and evolution of pitching, combining baseball's rich tradition of folklore with the wealth of new metrics from a growing legion of statisticians who are transforming the way we think about the game. Off Speed is also the personal story of a fan's steadfast devotion, first kindled in McDermott by his father at the local diamond in small-town Iowa and now carried forward with the same passion by his own daughters. Approaching his subject with the love every fan brings to the park and the expertise of a probing journalist, McDermott explores with irrepressible curiosity the science and the romance of baseball.
About the Author
TERRY McDERMOTT is a former national reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the author of three previous books: The Hunt for KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (co-authored with Josh Meyer); 101 Theory Drive: The Discovery of Memory; and Perfect Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers--Who They Were, Why They Did It. A native of Iowa, he now lives in southern California.