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My Team

Choosing My Dream Team from My Forty Years in Baseball

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Mantle or Mays? A-Rod or Jeter? Biggio or Morgan? Clemens, Maddux, and Randy Johnson -- or Pedro, Palmer, and Carlton? These are questions baseball fans can spend endless hours debating. Former All-Star pitcher and National League Manager of the Year Larry Dierker has his own opinions, and he shares them in My Team, his fascinating discussion of the greatest players he has seen in his four decades in the major leagues.

Dierker selects twenty-five players for My Team and another twenty-five for the opposition, the Underdogs, or "Dogs." There are two players at each position, five starting pitchers, and four relievers. (When your starters are the likes of Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, and Juan Marichal, you don't worry about bullpen depth.) All are players that Dierker has played with or against or watched in his years as player, coach, manager, and commentator. Each athlete must have played at least ten years in the major leagues to qualify, and players are judged on their ten best seasons. Leadership skills and personality -- critical components of team chemistry -- are highly valued.

So how is it possible to select two teams composed of outstanding ballplayers from the past forty years and not have room for Sandy Koufax, Reggie Jackson, Carl Yastrzemski, or Cal Ripken Jr.? Dierker explains his choices, analyzing each position carefully, always putting the team ahead of the individual player. He provides statistics to back up his selections, and often relates personal anecdotes about the players. (From his first All-Star Game in 1969, Dierker offers a wonderful anecdote about Hank Aaron, by then an All-Star veteran.)

My Team may start more debates than it settles, but Dierker's insights, and his passion for the game, will enlighten and fascinate true baseball fans.

Photo Credit:

Larry Dierker pitched for the Houston Astros from 1964 to 1976. He made his debut on his eighteenth birthday and in his first inning struck out Willie Mays. In 1969 he became the Astros' first 20-game winner. He was named to the National League All-Star team in 1969 and 1971. As a pitcher he remains the franchise career leader in innings pitched and complete games, and is second in wins. After doing color commentary on Astros' radio and television broadcasts, Dierker managed the team from 1997 to 2001. He led Houston to a first-place finish in four of these five seasons. In 2004 he returned to color commentary. He is the author of This Ain't Brain Surgery: How to Win the Pennant Without Losing Your Mind.

"Sure to ignite a passionate debate among the faithful." -- Publishers Weekly

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