What Steve Carlton did for the Phillies in 1972 was more than just pitch. This was a magic act, a miracle, a man doing the impossible. Would Sandy Koufax have won 27 games for that team? Would Pedro Martinez? Would Greg Maddux? We have Steve Bucci, Dave Brown, and this terrific book to thank for answering those very questions—and especially this one: Was this the greatest pitching season of all time?
Jayson Stark, Senior Baseball Writer ESPN.com
Drinking Coffee with a Fork chronicles Carlton’s extraordinary and improbable ’72 season. Drawing on interviews with Carlton’s teammates, coaches, opponents and the writers who covered the team, as well as newspaper accounts and box scores of the games, Bucci and Brown recreate the phenomenal performance by the man called “Lefty”—his early season duels with superstar pitchers Bob Gibson and Juan Marichal, his brilliant shutout against the Expos in a game marred by a bench-clearing brawl triggered by a retaliatory beanball thrown by Carlton, and a remarkable and exhilarating fifteen-game winning streak, achieved at a time when the Phils rarely won on days that he didn’t pitch.
Throughout the book, the authors intersperse memorable conversations and anecdotes
involving Carlton—from the dugout, the locker room and the team hotel—which illuminate Lefty’s eccentricities, including his intense pregame preparation, his uncanny focus and concentration on the mound and the sage and sometimes offbeat advice that he imparted to his fellow Phillies.
After recounting Carlton’s amazing season, Bucci and Brown rely on statistical analysis and opinions solicited from some of the country’s foremost baseball experts—including Bob Costas, Jayson Stark, and Tom Verducci—to dissect this thought-provoking question: Was Carlton’s 1972 season the greatest ever for a pitcher?
About the Authors
Steve Bucci is an Emmy-Award-winning Philadelphia sportscaster who has covered the Phillies since 1997. The author of Steve Bucci’s Total Phillies Trivia and the Phillies Trivia iPhone app, he lives in Philadelphia.
Dave Brown is the author of three previous books, including Philly Jocks: The Best Philadelphia Pro Athletes of Our Time. He lives in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.