Baseball players use pine tar on wooden bats for better grip. It’s legal — and yet pine tar was at the crux of one of baseball’s most memorable temper tantrums. Filip Bondy’s “The Pine Tar Game” explores this infamous event.
Other college football coaches envy his success. His recruits love him. And yet he never seems to be satisfied with his results. Monte Burke’s biography “Saban: The Making of a Coach” examines what drives Nick Saban. Burke joins Bill Littlefield.
Some colleges are pouring more money than ever into their football programs in hopes of getting even larger returns. For some schools, the model has been working. But is it sustainable? Gilbert Gaul, author of “Billion-Dollar Ball,” joins Bill Littlefield.
Charges of corruption, bribery, money laundering and influence peddling have made FIFA the object of criticism and the subject of investigations. Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert, authors of “The Ugly Game: The Corruption of FIFA and the Qatari Plot To Buy the World Cup,” join Bill Littlefield.
Having beaten cancer and entering into his mid-30s, Asher Price set out on a quest to dunk a basketball for the first time in his life. Price chronicles that year-long journey in his book, “The Year of the Dunk: A Modest Defiance of Gravity.” The author joins Bill Littlefield to discuss his attempt and to share what he learned.
J.R. Richard was a star pitcher for the Houston Astros in the ’70s, but his life changed forever when he suffered a stroke in 1980. He never pitched in MLB again and ended up living under bridge. In his new book “Still Throwing Heat,” Richard tells his story of overcoming homelessness.
‘The Reappearing Act’ chronicles now-ESPNW writer Kate Fagan’s experience playing Division I college basketball on a team filled with born-again Christians. She shares her story with Bill Littlefield.
Jennifer Ring’s new book “A Game of Their Own” shares the stories of women who resisted societal pressure and chose to play baseball. One such woman is Ring’s daughter, Lilly Jacobson. Ring and Jacobson join Bill Littlefield to discuss the book and opportunities for women in baseball.
The first Major League Baseball player from Japan was a 20-year-old pitcher by the name of Masanori Murakami. The lefty only played two seasons in the MLB, but his journey is the subject of the new book called “Mashi” by Robert Fitts. Murakami, Fitts and translator Yuriko Romer joined Only A Game’s Doug Tribou.
When Rio de Janeiro was awarded the Summer Olympics, Brazilians celebrated. Six years, an economic nosedive and a World Cup later, the country’s residents feel very differently. In her new book “Dancing with the Devil in the City of God,” Brazilian journalist Juliana Barbassa chronicles the change.