BASEBALL MAVERICK: HOW SANDY ALDERSON CHANGED THE GAME
by Steve Kettmann
In Baseball Maverick, a bestselling sportswriter chronicles a thirty-year revolution in baseball, and the painful rebirth of a franchise, through an unusual outsider who pioneered new ways of thinking about the sport. This is a book about baseball history, and a look deep behind the scenes of a Major League team, but it is also an exploration of what it means to be smart.
For the cover of Baseball Maverick, we are looking for a bold, graphic design. Unusual ideas are welcome. This is a big book, years in the making, with major appeal to intelligent non-fiction readers and sports fans around the country. We do not want it to look like a generic sports book. The winning design could be illustrated, all type, or could use a photograph.
Alderson is currently the general manager of the New York Mets, but because this book covers many decades, including his time running the Oakland Athletics, using the Mets orange and blue may not be ideal. *We do not want a photo of Alderson on the cover.* This book tells Alderson’s story, but it is not a biography.
Designs should include the title (Baseball Maverick), subtitle (How Sandy Alderson Changed the Game), and author name (Steve Kettmann). We are looking for a front cover design only. The image should be 6.125” x 9.25”. Please submit the design as a jpeg.
In 2010, the New York Mets were in trouble. One of baseball’s most valuable franchises, they had suffered an embarrassing late season collapse and two bitter losing seasons. Their GM had made costly mistakes. And to top it off, their principle owners, two Bernie Madoff investors, were embroiled in the fall-out from the largest financial scam in American history.
To whom did they turn to right the faltering franchise? Sandy Alderson, a former marine who served in Vietnam and graduated from Harvard Law. Alderson started in baseball with the Oakland Athletics in 1981. Two years later, he was running the team.
With the A’s, Alderson led a revolution in baseball. Partnering with Apple, he introduced the first computers into the sport, and used statistical analysis for everything from unorthodox player evaluation to supporting the announcers and modernizing ticket sales. He attracted bright people, built a quality organization, and turned the team into a powerhouse, winning the 1989 World Series. And when new owners slashed payroll in the 1990s, his creativity and intelligent management were thrust into the spotlight.
Granted unprecedented access, bestselling author Steve Kettmann profiles Alderson, traces his transformation of baseball over the last thirty years, and follows his attempts to turn the Mets back into contenders once again. Alderson set out to redefine the Mets, starting with building a new culture of winning, of competing day in and day out, and also to build up the roster of minor-league talent, in order to develop those players to the point where they could join the Mets and contribute or be packaged as attractive trade bait at the right time. This is a fascinating telling of recent baseball history, a gripping look behind the scenes look of a Major League team, and a fascinating exploration of what it means to be smart.
BILLY BEANE ON SANDY ALDERSON
“I found him fascinating. He had such a different way of looking at things. It doesn’t seem unique now because we’re used to it, this is what you expect GMs to be, but back then, you talk about a maverick, this was a maverick. He was smart enough to know what he didn’t know, but he was also smart enough to question what everyone perceived to be as givens. He had the self-confidence to question things and look for a better way and look for another way. Nobody wants to work for somebody who they think they’re smarter than. Once you get to that point, it’s time for you to leave. I knew I was never going to be as smart as Sandy. Every day that I went in, I was going to learn something that was going to make me better.”–Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland Athletics
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Kettmann has reported from more than forty countries for publications including The New York Times and The New Republic. A former San Francisco Chronicle A’s beat writer for a decade, he is the author or co-author of nine previous books, including ONE DAY AT FENWAY and JUICED by Jose Canseco.