Pitchers, the pitches they throw, and how they throw them -- these days it's the stuff of constant scrutiny, but there's never been anything like a comprehensive source for such information. That's what preeminent baseball analyst Bill James and ESPN.com baseball columnist Rob Neyer realized over lunch more than a dozen years ago. Since then, they've been compiling the centerpiece of this book, the "Pitcher Census," which lists specific information for nearly two thousand pitchers, ranging throughout the history of professional baseball. The Guide also offers:
A "dictionary" describing virtually every known pitch
The origins and development of baseball's most important pitches
Top ten lists: best fastballs, best spitballs, and everything in between
Biographies of some of the great pitchers who have been overlooked
More knuckleballers and submariners than you ever thought existed
An open debate concerning pitcher abuse and durability
A formula for predicting the Cy Young Award winner
Something fresh and new: Bill James' "Pitcher Codes"
The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers is about understanding pitchers, and baseball's action always starts with the pitchers. It's also about entertaining debates and having a great deal of fun with the history of a game that obsesses so many.
Photo by Crystal Image Photography, Lawrence, Kansas
Bill James made his mark in the 1970s and 1980s with his Baseball Abstracts. He has been tearing down preconceived notions about America’s national pastime ever since. He is currently the Senior Advisor on Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox, as well as the author of The Man from the Train. James lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with his wife, Susan McCarthy, and three children.
Rob Neyer has written about baseball for ESPN.com since 1996 and appears regularly on ESPNews. He has written four baseball books, including The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers (with Bill James) and Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups. His website, www.robneyer.com, contains additional material related to this and his other books.