Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Smart Baseball

Smart Baseball

How Professionals Play the Mental Game

Buddy Bell and Neal Vahle with David, Mike, and Rick Bell

St. Martin's Press



What goes on in a baseball player's mind is critical to the outcome of the game. Since most major leaguers are in peak physical condition, the difference between success and failure on the field often depends on a player's mental approach.

Looking at everything from a player's confidence to his leadership skills, instincts, and hunches, Smart Baseball uses entertaining anecdotes to get inside the mind of baseball's greats and show fans what goes through a player's head when he steps onto the field.

Smart Baseball presents the knowledge and accumulated experience of one of the few three-generation baseball families---the Bells. In addition, this book is full of insights from more than one hundred of Major League Baseball's greatest players---from Willie Mays to Barry Bonds to Ferguson Jenkins.

A fascinating and informative look at what goes on in the psyche of professional baseball players as they play the game, Smart Baseball is a unique chance for baseball fans to see what it takes for ballplayers to succeed at the Major League level.


Praise for Smart Baseball

“I believe this is a very good book because it talks so much about positive thinking. I think the Bell baseball family has been as high class as you could ever be.” —Sparky Anderson, Hall of Famer

“I have known Buddy Bell a number of years, as a competitor, teammate, and friend. I don't know of anybody more qualified to write a book about this subject. I am so glad that someone has finally decided to write about it, and to have it done by Buddy and his sons makes it even better.” —Mike Hargrove, manager of the Seattle Mariners

“Being a huge believer in the mental side of the game, I think it's great that a guy with as much baseball knowledge as Buddy Bell put his thoughts on paper. His passion and respect for the game is second to none.” —Todd Helton, first baseman for the Colorado Rockies

“An excellent insight on what in my opinion is the most important facet of the game.” —Rocky Colavito, retired Cleveland Indian and American League All-Star

“This book details how great players of the past, many of whom are Hall of Famers, prepared themselves mentally to excel at their sport. Anyone who has played baseball knows there is more to being successful than just talent.” —Ray Fosse, American League All-Star and broadcaster for the Oakland Athletics

“The mental aspect of the game is often overlooked. This book gives fans a different perspective into the great game of baseball.” —Alan Trammell, manager of the Detroit Tigers

“A fascinating account of the most important aspects of the game. From Albert Belle to Willie Mays, we hear from so many players, none more important than Buddy Bell, the most professional player---and man---I've met in twenty-five years of covering baseball. I really liked this book. I learned a lot.” —Tim Kurkjian, baseball analyst for ESPN

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Buddy Bell and Neal Vahle with David, Mike, and Rick Bell

Buddy Bell played baseball for eighteen years in the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians, the Texas Rangers, and the Cincinnati Reds, and was a five-time American League All-Star. After his playing days, he managed the Detroit Tigers and the Colorado Rockies. He is currently on the Indians coaching staff. Buddy's father, Gus Bell, was a National League All-Star with the Reds for fifteen years. Buddy's sons, David (currently with the Phillies), Mike, and Rick are all involved in professional baseball.

Neal Vahle holds a Ph.D. in American history from Georgetown University and has written extensively in that field.

Buddy Bell

Neal Vahle

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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