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Nine Innings: The Anatomy of a Baseball Game

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  724 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
You'll never watch baseball the same way again. A timeless baseball classic and a must read for any fan worthy of the name, Nine Innings dissects a single baseball game played in June 1982 -- inning by inning, play by play. Daniel Okrent, a seasoned writer and lifelong fan, chose as his subject a Milwaukee Brewers<endash>Baltimore Orioles matchup, though it c ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 10th 2000 by Mariner Books (first published 1985)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,713)
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Feb 18, 2015 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: games, beach-mixed, have
This is a MAJOR LEAGUE book in my baseball library.
Availability. Paperback, E-Book; hardcover used.
Use. READ; [EH perhaps]


The format of this book is that a more or less "average" game, in early June of 1982, between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles, is described in pitch by pitch detail. Sounds boring, but Okrent digresses on almost every page to bring background information to the fore, dealing with baseball strategy, the personalities and biographies
Jun 24, 2015 Borbality rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe a little too deep at times into the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers organization and baseball commissioners, which even the biggest baseball nerds can only care about so much, but great journalism, enough actual baseball details and personality to make it a fun read today.

Of course, it helps that these teams involve some of baseball's biggest names, like Cal Ripken Jr., Earl Weaver, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor and Bud Selig. I was born in '84 and i still knew all of these guys.

As every other revi
Tom Gase
Apr 28, 2012 Tom Gase rated it really liked it
I had been eyeing this book for years, and finally picked up this book that takes you inside a good afternoon game in 1982 between the eventual AL champions Milwaukee Brewers and the 1983 World Champion Baltimore Orioles.

I liked this idea a whole lot. This was a game played in Milwaukee in JUNE of that year. Where most books these days on baseball take us inning-by-inning of a World Series game or no-hitter, this was just a regular game in a pennant race, which as a fan, is what I am more likely
Jan 29, 2016 Steve added it
It's the story of a particular baseball game, played on June 10, 1982, between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles, and the story of how those two teams, the players, the management, and the owners, came to be there that day. I had loved Okrent's writing in the Prohibition book I read a few months back, so I jumped at the chance to see what he had to say about my favorite game. He does a masterful job of jumping back and forth between peeking behind the curtain into the personalitie ...more
Steven Belanger
Oct 03, 2015 Steven Belanger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good, in-depth and often professorily-written account of a game between the Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers, played in Milwaukee, in June of 1982. Published in 1985, and re-published in 1994 (my copy), it remains an indelible book about an almost-archaic time in baseball, when free agency was less than 10 years old, and salaries of $500,000 were given to the stars and soon-to-be stars. This is a book that is so in-depth--in baseball in general and to the one game in question--that p ...more
David Longo
Mar 15, 2015 David Longo rated it it was amazing
I have read a lot of baseball books and Daniel Okrent ' s "Nine Innings: The Anatomy of a Baseball Game" is the most original and clever of them all, if not the best. An otherwise mundane game in the middle of June 1982 between the Baltimore Orioles and the Milwaukee Brewers hardly seems like cause for a book, even if these were very good teams with a number of future Hall of Famers connected to each. Yet the mundane is what makes "Nine Innings" so engrossing. As an example, as Paul Molitor step ...more
Mar 05, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball, non-fiction
The premise of this book is to give the reader a detailed pitch-by-pitch analysis of a mid-season baseball game. The author chose a game between the Brewers and Orioles on June 10th of the 1982 season to write about. He couldn’t have known it at the time, but he chose a game featuring future hall of famers, Cal Ripken Jr., Robin Yount, Paul Molitor and manager Earl Weaver, as well as the future commissioner of baseball Bud Selig. I thought it was very well done and I think that most true fans of ...more
Robert Palmer
Apr 22, 2015 Robert Palmer rated it really liked it
You will never watch baseball the same way after reading this book. This is not a play by play account of a game that you might read in the next days news paper. The game in question takes place on June 10 1982 in Milwaukee between the Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles, Okrent gives a detailed breakdown and an enormous amount of background of each team and shows us how games are won or lost long before they take place. There was nothing special about this game,the Orioles had won the first three ...more
Patrick Crowley
Jun 06, 2015 Patrick Crowley rated it it was amazing
Okrent is a master of detail, making the reader realize that only in the sport of baseball could the extraordinary become commonplace. I am a Milwaukee native and lifelong Brewers fan, so I am partial to the book not just because it features my often-overlooked team but also because it captures the highest point of the franchise- the 1982 season- and the aligned stars which made it possible.

The players are men, not myths, and the grittiness of the two cities and their respective clubs engages t
Jun 16, 2015 Bernard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a good picture of why baseball is so fascinating. By dissecting an average Major League Baseball game play-by-play, Okrent is able to serve up much of the history, science and folklore of baseball and give the casual fan an idea of the depth and texture that the aficionado finds in the sport.
As someone relatively unfamiliar with the sport I thought that the book could have benefited with a glossary or footnotes to explain some of the jargon that Okrent uses. However, the effort
Jul 08, 2015 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history

The author dissects a game played between the Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles played on June 10th, 1982 - this book was originally published in 1985. This may sound a tad boring - it wasn't a classic or an especially memorable game. But Daniel Okrent, while keeping tabs on what transpired on the baseball diamond that day, with a lot of familiar names - the Ripkens, Earl Weaver, Robin Yount, Paul Molitor and Bud Selig - weaves a tale of not just that day's game but of ba
A. Bowdoin Van Riper
Nine Innings gives you exactly what it says on the label: A description, in minute detail, of a single baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles. Daniel Okrent follows the action, pitch-by-pitch and out-by-out, through nine chapters: one for each inning. The result is a narrative far more richly textured than any sports-section write-up or broadcast play-by-play – more richly textured, perhaps, than any ever published in book form. Okrent is not content, however, to j ...more
Jul 03, 2009 David rated it liked it
A darn good baseball book, back in print. Okrent annotates an ordinary mid-season game between two American League clubs, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles on 10 June 1982, covering just about every aspect of the game on and off the field—from equipment management, to the history and physiology of the slider, to negotiations for broadcast rights. He chose his game wisely, as it saw several lead changes and the winning run wasn't scored until the bottom of the eighth. The home team ...more
Apr 12, 2010 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: baseball fans
Recommended to John by: Renato Umali
Shelves: baseball
*note* in baseball speak, i must allow that this is a "homer" pick. that is to say, i am a milwaukee brewer fan, and that fact likely inflates my appreciation for this book by as much as one star. i'd say that's on par with giving the minor novels by your favorite writer the benefit of the doubt.

media saturation has dulled our impressions of sports and athletes by marketing them in accordance with slogans and brands. by combining a radio-announcer-like play-by-play with multiple layers of backgr
I couldn't finish this book. It's a new "tradition" for me to read baseball books during the offseason and I'm being kept from other baseball books because I'm having such a hard time getting thru this one.

The biggest problem with this book is that it's ALL OVER THE PLACE. It has a very loose skeleton built around one ballgame of 9 innings from 1982: the Orioles vs the Brewers. The dust jacket describes it as the "anatomy of the game as seen thru nine innings"--and that's what sold me on the boo
Aug 31, 2009 Kerfe rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, baseball
A book for those who not only enjoy baseball, but also all the stats and moves that cause games to turn or teams to rise or fall. The ripple effects of many decisions and working styles come together here in one game. It's fascinating to see it both condensed and elaborated in that way.

Bud Selig, here as Brewers' owner, demonstrates why he, and by extension no one else who has ever been directly involved as either owner or player, should be Commissioner of Baseball. Hall of Fame players, owners,
Alex Lennon
Feb 23, 2014 Alex Lennon rated it it was ok
Shelves: baseball
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. On one hand, it's an extremely interesting 360-degree look (media, coming baseball strike, owners, players, rising costs and profits) at the game in the early 80s. On the other hand, the players are long out of date by now (I was a teenager in the early 80s but anyone under 40 won't have seen these guys) and the writing about the game itself doesn't build tension. At one point, Ken Singleton hits a 2-run homer in the 5th and I almost read right o ...more
Kelly Bolin
Sep 11, 2014 Kelly Bolin rated it it was amazing
I liked this book because of Daniel Okrent's writing but LOVED it because the book was about baseball focus on the team I grew up watching - and the most memorable of the years - the 1982 Brewers. It was a great walk down memory lane but there was a lot of history and insights here that I had never heard before. One thing that really sticks with me is something for right near he end - the comment about firing a manager - it's not necessarily because they are a bad manager but to force the team's ...more
Dec 17, 2015 Joe rated it really liked it
This is a pretty fascinating book, particularly if you are over about 40 years old and remember baseball in the early 80's. Okrent writes about a random June baseball game inning by inning. But in addition to writing about the action, he goes in-depth with stories about the players, free agency, Bud Selig, the '81 strike and many more topics.

Okrent goes deep on some of these subjects, sometimes so much so that you forget about the game that he is writing about. But for the most part it is excell
Bill O'driscoll
Dec 01, 2011 Bill O'driscoll rated it really liked it
Okrent's demi-classic illuminates the world of major league baseball through the lens of a single 1982 game between the Orioles and the Brewers. Okrent's not the slickest writer ever, but he's a good storyteller and ably ducks in and out of the game narrative to provide the necessary background info to understand the athletic, business and cultural sides of the game. And he's got a knack for the amusing character sketch and a great ear for a funny anecdote, of both of which there are many. This ...more
Apr 06, 2014 B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, westend
Again with the early 80's Brewers! There's some Boswell stuff that also oddly centers around Vuckovitch and the Gang. (I forget what.)

What detracts from this book is actually the stuff about the game that Okrent uses as the spine of the narrative. The stories he tells about the Brewers organization and the players themselves are interesting enough to have made a much more exciting book. But it's hard to keep track of the "action" that is in the theoretical foreground.

It's probably also true tha
Jan 19, 2012 Scooter rated it really liked it
As someone who rooted hard for the Orioles in 1982, I'm especially inclined to like this one. But I think it should be interesting to any fan of the game.

Okrent follows a game between the Brewers and Orioles game, and explores many of the jillions of back stories -- of executives, players, coaches, everyone. This book is about the tangents. He does a fine job relating those stories and weaving them in to the narrative of the game actually being played. I actually re-read this one recently and en
Aug 31, 2014 Meril rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, nonfiction, g
I came to Brewers fandom in the late 1980s, thus missing the total importance of the 1982 season to the older fans. I really wish I had found out about the existence of this book before 2008. It really helped me understand a lot of things about the organization that appear to persist to this day, despite the team being under different ownership and the front office completely turning over. (Well, Yost and Simmons persisted until 9/15/08--finding out about them in 1982 also explains some things a ...more
Sep 07, 2009 Diener rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
As I have mentioned in other reviews, I read at least one book about baseball each Spring just prior to Opening Day. This ritual helps me pass the time as I anxiously await the season's first pitch. Okrent's book takes the reader through nine innings of a regular season game in Milwaukee, exploring what is taking place both on and off the field as the game unfolds. It also explores the back stories, such as how Bud Selig came to own the Brewers. It is in these back stories that the book excels.
Jan 07, 2016 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing time capsule of late 70's, early 80's baseball.
Sean Asbury
Mar 13, 2012 Sean Asbury rated it did not like it
Shelves: baseball
After all of the reviews that I had read about this book I was severely disappointed. If I was a fan of either the Orioles or Brewers I might have had more to say but this book was poor.

Trying to use the structure of a game to tell the back story of every player, manager, scout, owner, etc is a fine idea but this book loses it's way often and seems to repeat itself.

I learned hardly anything new and labored to finish.
Oct 12, 2008 Gyoh80525 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Daniel Okrent uses a baseball game in 1982 between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles as a starting point to tell a number of stories about baseball. It is incredible, the number of things that occur in a baseball game that go unnoticed by a casual fan like me. It has definitely increased my appreciation and knowledge of a game that I've spent many afternoons watching.
Aug 03, 2011 Joel rated it really liked it
An incredibly detailed account of a single baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles in 1982. The extreme specificity both hurts and helps it; it's hard to care about players you've never heard of who are long gone, but Okrent manages to fit years of history into his summary of the game. Also, you realize the game in 2011 is pretty much the same as 1982, 1961, 1927.....
Patrick Coffey
Jun 03, 2013 Patrick Coffey rated it really liked it
If you're as obsessed with baseball as I am, this is a great book. If you're not, I certainly understand if you find it dry and boring. Okrent dissects a game between the Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers from 1982 and really delves deep. Sort of similar to what Buzz Bissinger does later in Friday Night Lights or Three Nights in August.
Frank Mazzie
Apr 18, 2011 Frank Mazzie rated it it was amazing
Anyone that is a Milwaukee Brewers fan should read this book. It takes place during the 1982 Pennant championship season. One game intertwined with stories of how the team was put together, behind the scenes clubhouse info and a great insight to the inner team workings. A great baseball book.
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Daniel Okrent's 40-year career has encompassed nearly every form of mass media. In book publishing, he was an editor at Knopf, Viking, and Harcourt. In magazines, he founded the award-winning New England Monthly and was chief editor of the monthly Life. In newspapers, he was the first public editor of the New York Times. On television, he has appeared as an expert commentator on many network shows ...more
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