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The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven: How a Ragtag Group of Fans Took the Fall for Major League Baseball
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The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven: How a Ragtag Group of Fans Took the Fall for Major League Baseball

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Major League Baseball has had its share of troubled times.In terms of sheer dirt, three scandals rise to the top: Shoeless Joe and the Black Sox, the 1985 Pittsburgh drug trials, and the steroid era. The former and latter have been covered extensively. Yet there has never been a book detailing the biggest drug trials in baseball history. The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven tells ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Chicago Review Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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I learned a lot from this book--about the history of drug use in Major League Baseball, about the cocaine epidemic more generally, and about this particular episode in Pirates history--but ultimately it was unsatisfying because of several flaws:
1. The premise of the subtitle ("How a ragtag group of fans took the fall for Major League Baseball") is far too strong relative to the evidence in the book. The U.S. Attorney's approach to prosecuting this case was absolutely in line with how drug cases
Oliver Bateman
A workmanlike, thorough account of an incident that has largely slipped out of the national consciousness. The presence of major sports figures testifying at the trial of a handful of yinzer nobodies remains as compelling in 2012 as was it in the mid-1980s. Kudos to Skirboll for resurrecting this bit of history, and for actually doing the legwork and interviewing all of the parties to the litigation (as well as notable peripheral figures, like first and former Pittsburgh Pirate Parrot Kevin Koch ...more
Tim Timberly
I enjoyed the book but found the many characters slightly confusing. In addition, the book seemed to drag on towards the end. Skirboll could have improved this book by focusing on the characters more and the step-by-step of their downfall less.
This is the story of the Major League Baseball cocaine scandal in the 80s that centered around the Pirates. It's a great read - extra interesting for me, since one of the seven is a close childhood friend of my dad's. It was fascinating to fill in the blanks between the bits and pieces I heard about growing up. Recommend to baseball fans or 'Burghers.
Jason Falls
Deeply interesting look at the first major drug scandal of Major League Baseball and one that foreshadowed the steroid era. Shocking story of how prosecutors allowed seven low level coke dealers to take the fall for dozens of million dollar athletes.
Matthew Steinhiser
I didn't think it was that good. Yes it had some interesting story lines but I didn't even finish it. The last two or so chapters were very hard to get through.
Chris Dean
Detailed summary of baseballs first drug scandals. Very detailed and well researched, this book goes well beyond the headlines.
Quite informative...I found it intriguing in light of the current steroids situation in baseball.
Not the best sports book, but an interesting view into an important time in baseball history.
Joseph Rivers
Joseph Rivers marked it as to-read
May 26, 2015
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Paul Weller marked it as to-read
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