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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

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  114 Ratings  ·  11 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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Jun 06, 2016 Amber rated it it was ok
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
Paul Miller
Before baseball players took steroids and HGH, in the early to mid 80's many were coke heads. Apparently giving young, aggressive, extremely confident folks a lot of money, unlimited hero worship, and incentives to maintain the lifestyle at all costs can lead to some issues.

As an Orioles fan, this book was satisfying because all the problems are centered with the Pirates. In the 1979 Series, the Pirates beat the O's and made a big deal out of being a "Family" (Sister Sledge). Turns out they wer
Oliver Bateman
Oct 04, 2012 Oliver Bateman rated it really liked it
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
Jun 18, 2016 Jeff rated it liked it
Not a bad book. Left me with a feeling of sadness, anger, and as if I had been a little cheated because the "heroes" I grew up watching play were often linked to illegal activities and drug use. Such is life I guess, as we are all human with our own individual flaws and inadequacies. Kudos to men like Lonnie Smith who took responsibility and "manned up" for their actions. Shame and sadness to those who either wouldn't or physically/emotionally couldn't.
Tim Timberly
Jun 30, 2014 Tim Timberly rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 14, 2010 Kate rated it liked it
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
Jan 24, 2013 Jason Falls rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 09, 2013 Matthew Steinhiser rated it it was ok
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
Apr 23, 2013 Chris Dean rated it really liked it
Detailed summary of baseballs first drug scandals. Very detailed and well researched, this book goes well beyond the headlines.
Sep 27, 2011 Jess rated it liked it
Quite informative...I found it intriguing in light of the current steroids situation in baseball.
May 01, 2011 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: sports-books
Not the best sports book, but an interesting view into an important time in baseball history.
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