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About Wayne Coffey
Wayne Coffey is one of the country's most acclaimed sports journalists, forging an alternate career route after his initial plan - replacing Mickey Mantle in the Yankee outfield - did not pan out. A former writer for the New York Daily News and the author of more than thirty books, including five New York Times bestsellers, he is a three-time nominee for the Pulitzer and been frequently honored by the Associated Press for his sports feature writing. Coffey co-authored Mariano Rivera's bestselling memoir, The Closer, R. A. Dickey's Wherever I Wind Up and Carli Lloyd's When Nobody Was Watching, and also worked with Urban Meyer on his leadership book, Above The Line. The Boys of Winter, Coffey's chronicle of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that beat the Soviet Union in Lake Placid, is widely regarded as one of the best hockey books ever written.
Coffey's latest work, They Said It Couldn't Be Done: The '69 Mets, New York City and the Most Astounding Season in Baseball History, will be released next month.
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Mariano Rivera, the man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door, began his incredible journey as the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman. When first scouted by the Yankees, he didn't even own his own glove. He thought he might make a good mechanic. When discovered, he had never flown in an airplane, had never heard of Babe Ruth, spoke no English, and couldn't imagine Tampa, the city where he was headed to begin a career that would become one of baseball's most iconic.
What he did know: that he loved his family and his then girlfriend, Clara, that he could trust in the Lord to guide him, and that he could throw a baseball exactly where he wanted to, every time. With astonishing candor, Rivera tells the story of the championships, the bosses (including The Boss), the rivalries, and the struggles of being a Latino baseball player in the United States and of maintaining Christian values in professional athletics.
The thirteen-time All-Star discusses his drive to win; the secrets behind his legendary composure; the story of how he discovered his cut fastball; the untold, pitch-by-pitch account of the ninth inning of Game 7 in the 2001 World Series; and why the lowest moment of his career became one of his greatest blessings. In The Closer, Rivera takes readers into the Yankee clubhouse, where his teammates are his brothers. But he also takes us on that jog from the bullpen to the mound, where the game -- or the season -- rests squarely on his shoulders.
We come to understand the laserlike focus that is his hallmark, and how his faith and his family kept his feet firmly on the pitching rubber. Many of the tools he used so consistently and gracefully came from what was inside him for a very long time -- his deep passion for life; his enduring commitment to Clara, whom he met in kindergarten; and his innate sense for getting out of a jam. When Rivera retired, the whole world watched -- and cheered. In The Closer, we come to an even greater appreciation of a legend built from the ground up.
Remarkable lessons in leadership and team building from one of the greatest football coaches of our time.
Urban Meyer has established himself as one of the elite in the annals of his sport, having lead his players to three national championships. In Above the Line, he offers readers his unparalleled insights into leadership, team building, and the keys to empowering people to achieve things they might never have thought possible. Meyer shares his groundbreaking game plan—the game plan followed every day in the Ohio State Buckeyes’ championship season—for creating a culture of success built on trust and a commitment to a common purpose. Packed with real life examples from Meyer’s storied career, Above the Line delivers wisdom and inspiration for taking control and turning setbacks into victories for a team, a family, or a Fortune 500 company.
“An unvarnished and captivating read.”—Parade
Once upon a time, they taught us to believe. They were the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, a blue-collar bunch led by an unconventional coach. Their “Miracle on Ice” has become a national fairy tale, but the real Cinderella story is even more remarkable.
Wayne Coffey casts a fresh eye on this seminal sports event, giving readers an ice-level view of the amateurs who took on a Russian hockey juggernaut at the height of the Cold War. He details the unusual chemistry of the Americans—formulated by their fiercely determined coach, Herb Brooks—and seamlessly weaves portraits of the boys with the fluid action of the game itself. Coffey also traces the paths of the players and coaches since their stunning victory, examining how the Olympic events affected their lives.
Told with warmth and an uncanny eye for detail, The Boys of Winter is an intimate, perceptive portrayal of one Friday night in Lake Placid and the enduring power of the extraordinary.
“If you are a real soccer player—then this is the book for you to read . . . Inspiring and uplifting. ”—GoalNation
In 2015, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won its first FIFA championship in sixteen years, culminating in an epic final game that electrified soccer fans around the world. It featured a gutsy, brilliant performance by team captain and midfielder Carli Lloyd, who made history that day, scoring a hat trick during the first sixteen minutes. But there was a time when Carli almost quit the sport. In 2003 she was struggling, her soccer career at a crossroads. Then she found a trusted trainer, James Galanis, who saw in Carli a player with raw talent, skill, and a great dedication to the game. Together they set to work, training day and night, fighting, grinding it out. Despite all the naysayers, the times she was benched, the moments when her self-confidence took a nosedive, she succeeded in becoming one of the best players in the world and bound for the Summer Games in 2021 at thirty-nine.
“If you want to know what it was like to live and witness a baseball miracle in tumultuous times, this book is for you.”—Ron Darling, former New York Mets All-Star and bestselling author of Game 7, 1986
The story of the 1969 New York Mets’ season has long since entered sports lore as one of the most remarkable of all time. But beyond the “miracle” is a compelling narrative of an unlikely collection of players and the hallowed manager who inspired them to greatness. For the fiftieth anniversary, renowned sports journalist Wayne Coffey brings to life a moment when a championship could descend on a city like magic, and when a baseball legend was authored one inning at a time.
Future Hall of Fame ace Tom Seaver snagged the biggest headlines, but the enduring richness of the story lies in the core of a team comprised of untested youngsters, lightly regarded veterans, and four Southern-born African-American stalwarts who came of age in the shadow of Jackie Robinson. Most of the Mets regulars were improbable candidates for baseball stardom. The number two starting pitcher, Jerry Koosman, grew up on a Minnesota farm, never played high-school ball, and was only discovered because of a tip from a Mets’ usher. Outfielder Ron Swoboda was known for long home runs and piles of strikeouts, until he turned into a glove wizard when it mattered most.
All of these men were galvanized by their manager: the sainted former Brooklyn Dodger Gil Hodges, whose fundamental belief in the power of every man on the roster, no matter his stats, helped backup players like Al Weis and J.C. Martin become October heroes. As the Mets powered through the season to reach a World Series against the best-in-a-generation Baltimore Orioles, Hodges’s steady hand guided a team that had very recently been the league laughingstock to an improbable, electrifying shot at sports immortality.
“A must-read for not just for Mets fans, but all baseball fans who will appreciate what indeed was the most astounding season in baseball history.”—Ken Rosenthal, two-time Sports Emmy winner for Outstanding Sports Reporter
"An astounding memoir—haunting and touching, courageous and wise."—Jeremy Schaap, bestselling author, Emmy award-winning journalist, ESPN
In 1996, R.A. Dickey was the Texas Rangers’ much-heralded No. 1 draft choice. Then, a routine physical revealed that his right elbow was missing its ulnar collateral ligament, and his lifelong dream—along with his $810,000 signing bonus—was ripped away. Yet, despite twice being consigned to baseball’s scrap heap, Dickey battled back. Sustained by his Christian faith, the love of his wife and children, and a relentless quest for self-awareness, Dickey is now the starting pitcher for the Toronoto Blue Jays (he was previously a star pitcher for the New York Mets) and one of the National League’s premier players, as well as the winner of the 2012 Cy Young award.
In Wherever I Wind Up, Dickey eloquently shares his quintessentially American tale of overcoming extraordinary odds to achieve a game, a career, and a life unlike any other.
Briana Scurry was a pioneer on the US Women’s National Team. She won gold in Atlanta in 1996, the first time women’s soccer was ever played in the Olympics. She was a key part of the fabled “99ers,” making an epic save in the decisive penalty-kick shootout in the final. Scurry captured her second Olympic gold in 2004, cementing her status as one of the premier players in the world. She was the only Black player on the team, and she was also the first player to be openly gay. It was a singularly amazing ride, one that Scurry handled with her trademark generosity and class—qualities that made her one of the most popular players ever to wear a US jersey.
But Scurry’s storybook career ended in 2010 when a knee to the head left her with severe head trauma. She was labeled “temporarily totally disabled,” and the reality was even worse. She spiraled into depression, debt, and endured such pain that she closed out her closest friends and soccer soulmates. She pawned her gold medals. She walked to the edge of a waterfall and contemplated suicide. It seemed like the only way out until Scurry made her greatest save of all.
A memoir of startling candor, My Greatest Save is a story of triumph, tragedy, and redemption from a woman who has broken through barriers her entire life.