Closer by Kevin Neary
Major League Players Reveal the Inside Pitch on Saving the Game

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For "Closer," Kevin Neary and Leigh A. Tobin have interviewed dozens of these pitchers...and so produced a tribute to the power of cognitive dissonance.
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Synopsis


The closer is the ace reliever who specializes in closing out the game without surrendering the lead. Facing a power hitter in the ninth inning with a man on base and no outs takes nerves of steel. The pressure on the mound is intense. It takes a special breed to hold it together in these situations. Legendary manager Tony LaRusso said “Sure, games can get away from you in the seventh and eighth, but those last three outs in the ninth are the toughest.”


It wasn’t until the creation of “the save,” the successful maintenance of a lead by a relief pitcher, in 1960 that the position of closer began to rise in prominence. Today, closers are seen as some of the most intense athletes in all of sports.


Neary and Tobin explore the unique personalities of major leagues’ most prominent relief pitchers from Bruce Sutter (Cubs, Cardinals, and Braves) to Mariano Rivera (Yankees). Closer is an insider’s look into the role of the closing pitcher, how the position has evolved, and how legends—Trevor Hoffman, Rollie Fingers, Dennis Eckersley, John Smoltz, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Mariano Rivera, Brian Fuentes, and many more—coped with the stress on the mound such as when facing the .340 batter in the bottom of the ninth with only a one run lead.


 

About Kevin Neary

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Kevin Neary has been a fan of the game his entire life. He worked with the Philadelphia Phillies for nine years. For the past twenty years he has worked for The Walt Disney Company, and is the co-author of Major League Dads. He lives in Celebration, FL Leigh A. Tobin worked for the Philadelphia Phillies for more than 20 years in PR as the writer for the club's publications and later as the Director of Media Relations. She is the co-author of Major League Dads and has relationships with a great number of major league players. She lives in Philadelphia.
 
Published March 5, 2013 by Running Press. 288 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, History. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by Tim Marchman on Apr 05 2013

For "Closer," Kevin Neary and Leigh A. Tobin have interviewed dozens of these pitchers...and so produced a tribute to the power of cognitive dissonance.

Read Full Review of Closer: Major League Players ... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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