Jason Turbow

Official Website of Best-Selling Author of

They Bled Blue

Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic

and

The Baseball Codes

BOOKS

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THEY BLED BLUE

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DYNASTIC, BOMBASTIC, FANTASTIC

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THE BASEBALL CODES

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IN THE PRESS

Carefully researched and often hilarious . . . ‘Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic’ has plenty to offer fans both serious and casual . . . Turbow has unearthed new perspectives on brief but important chapters in team history . . . This is also a very funny book, especially if you read Turbow’s many footnotes.

An exciting chapter in West Coast sports history ... A must-read for A’s fans.

LIBRARY JOURNAL

Starred Review

An absorbing, detailed and entertaining look at the dynasty that Major League Baseball probably wanted to sweep under the rug. … The anecdotes Turbow spins in this book are alternately hilarious, sad, and shake-your-head amazing. … Turbow’s prose is lively and entertaining, and some of the footnotes he writes are mini-chapters in their own right. Don’t skip them; some will make you laugh out loud, while others will offer a solid explanation of a particular episode.

BOB D'ANGELO

The Sports Bookie

Turbow keeps the narrative flow moving while offering thumbnail backstories for the principals and just enough tidbits—a knife-wielding Campaneris going after Jackson at a “celebration” dinner the night of the team’s 1973 championship win—to give the book some pop. Entertaining reading for fans whose interest in baseball history extends back 40 years.

BOOKLIST 

The narrative benefits immensely from Turbow's many interviews with the long-retired players from the Athletics' dominant stretch. … A pleasing slice of baseball nostalgia that offers relevance to today's game.

 

IN THE PRESS

“Turbow delivers the goods. … A skillful mixture of biographies, on-field action, and behind-the-scenes baseball politics.”

"With a heady mix of reportage, biography, and classic play-by-play coverage, Turbow meticulously traces the arc of the team’s rise from the late 1970s postseason failures to the fateful, strike-filled season where the team defeated the New York Yankees in the World Series. ... Fluidly written and expertly paced, this exciting look at a turbulent team will thrill baseball enthusiasts of all stripes."

Praise for They Bled Blue

Casey Award nominee

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Starred review

TOM HOFFARTH

Los Angeles Times

“A perfect summary to the wart of an imperfect 1981 mess of a season. ... A World Series trophy hoist worthy of any in the collection of Dodgers' literary history.”

LIBRARY JOURNAL

Starred Review

An absorbing, detailed and entertaining look at the dynasty that Major League Baseball probably wanted to sweep under the rug. … The anecdotes Turbow spins in this book are alternately hilarious, sad, and shake-your-head amazing. … Turbow’s prose is lively and entertaining, and some of the footnotes he writes are mini-chapters in their own right. Don’t skip them; some will make you laugh out loud, while others will offer a solid explanation of a particular episode.

Turbow keeps the narrative flow moving while offering thumbnail backstories for the principals and just enough tidbits—a knife-wielding Campaneris going after Jackson at a “celebration” dinner the night of the team’s 1973 championship win—to give the book some pop. Entertaining reading for fans whose interest in baseball history extends back 40 years.

BOOKLIST 

“This work successfully tells the story of a unique team that won it all in the strangest way. An entertaining work for all reading baseball fans.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Starred review

BOB D'ANGELO

The Sports Bookie

Praise for Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic

Casey Award nominee

Carefully researched and often hilarious . . . ‘Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic’ has plenty to offer fans both serious and casual . . . Turbow has unearthed new perspectives on brief but important chapters in team history . . . This is also a very funny book, especially if you read Turbow’s many footnotes.

A hugely entertaining new book.

An exciting chapter in West Coast sports history ... A must-read for A’s fans.

Turbow vividly captures the ups and downs of this team through interviews with former players. … An exciting and engrossing book with stories that are worth telling. This work will engage fans of Charlie O. Finley and the Oakland Athletics, along with anyone captivated by baseball history.

LIBRARY JOURNAL

Starred Review

The beauty of Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic is that it works on two levels: as a great yarn but also a sharp illustration of the game as it existed just before free agency changed it forever. Turbow tells the story with a facility that makes it the read of the season.

Turbow captures the deep weirdness of the era as it was refracted through the prism of baseball. ... Thanks to Jason Turbow, fans of baseball history have the opportunity to dig deeper into one of the most bizarre – and fun – teams in the storied saga of the national pastime.

Turbow keeps the narrative flow moving while offering thumbnail backstories for the principals and just enough tidbits—a knife-wielding Campaneris going after Jackson at a “celebration” dinner the night of the team’s 1973 championship win—to give the book some pop. Entertaining reading for fans whose interest in baseball history extends back 40 years.

BOOKLIST 

The narrative benefits immensely from Turbow's many interviews with the long-retired players from the Athletics' dominant stretch. … A pleasing slice of baseball nostalgia that offers relevance to today's game.

BOB D'ANGELO

The Sports Bookie

… The anecdotes Turbow spins in this book are alternately hilarious, sad, and shake-your-head amazing. … Turbow’s prose is lively and entertaining, and some of the footnotes he writes are mini-chapters in their own right. Don’t skip them; some will make you laugh out loud, while others will offer a solid explanation of a particular episode.

RAVES

They Bled Blue was eye-opening, thought-provoking, and hands down the most accurate portrayal of events and personalities of the 1981 Dodgers that I've seen. I enjoyed every minute reading it, and no doubt will page through it again to relive the best baseball year of my life.

JERRY REUSS
Los Angeles Dodgers, 1979-1987

1981 was a special but strange year. The baseball strike in the middle of the season, my first All-Star appearance and a championship…They Bled Blue captures the season extraordinarily well.  A thoroughly engaging look at a truly wild ride.

DUSTY BAKER, 

Los Angeles Dodgers, 1976-1983

Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic masterfully recounts a thrilling period in Oakland A’s history.  Jason’s storytelling vividly captures the cast of characters that made up the Athletics of the 70’s, starting with their ringleader, Charlie Finley.  The stories of those memorable teams come to life in the pages of this fascinating book. 

BILLY BEANE, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, Oakland A's

The essence of the period is captured perfectly. The epilogue is expertly written and explains the previous 300 or so pages with a sense of empathy as well as a sense of history. I recommend this book to anyone who is remotely interested in that tumultuous period. Thanks for clarifying our legacy. I'm sure Bergy [Oakland Tribune beat writer Ron Bergman, author of The Mustache Gang] would be proud."

The names are larger than life, the games are some of the greatest in Major League history. But what makes They Bled Blue a fantastic baseball book is the passion. Love the Dodgers or hate the Dodgers, this return trip to 1981 will leave you pining for Fernandomania and and wishing you were a kid again, sitting in front of your TV with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Ron Cey at the plate and Goose Gossage throwing smoke. Bravo, Jason Turbow. This is epic.

JEFF PEARLMAN, 

New York Times

bestselling author

Not to be believed, and yet 100 percent true – this is Jason Turbow’s colorful, hilarious, and impossible-to-put-down account of the Swingin’ A’s, from their tyrannical, unhinged, and wildly innovative owner to the brawling players whose locker-room dysfunction fueled one of baseball’s greatest dynasties. Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic reads like the script for HBO’s next great series.

KEN HOLTZMAN

Oakland A's, 1972-1975

Two-time All-Star

Three-time world champion

STEVE FAINARU

Author, "League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth" 

 

JOURNALISM

The Baseball Codes blog

      An ongoing examination of baseball's unwritten rules.

2012 MLB Postseason

Verlander, Valverde no help for Tigers in World Series Opener  

​New York Times, Oct. 25, 2012

MVP Scutaro leads Giants into World Series

New York Times Oct. 23, 2012

​Gregor Blanco leaves Cabrera's shadow behind

New York Times, Oct. 15, 2012

​A's take curtain call after bowing out 

New York Times, Oct. 12, 2012

​A's manager provides calmness in wild series 

New York Times, Oct. 11, 2012

Newspaper Writing

Discontentment in the Heart of Texas

USA Today, Oct. 7, 2013

 

​On 49ers, Moss Reinvents Himself as Role Model 

New York Times, Jan. 15, 2013

​​

​​​Big Payoff in Harbaugh's Gamble

​​New York Times, Jan. 15, 2013

Meet 30-Down: Wilson is the answer for the Giants

New York Times, March 30, 2011

​A Cal-Stanford score, off the field

New York Times, Nov. 20, 2009

​Whatever happened to Nomar?

Wall Street Journal, Aug. 27, 2009



​The brainiest team in baseball

Wall Street Jounral, June 16, 2009

Magazine/Web Writing

 

How New York's Bagel Union Took on the Mob

Grub Street, January 2020

The Essence of Velocity 

SB Nation Longform, June 2014

​Will the Last Warriors Fan in Oakland Please Turn Out the Lights

San Francisco Magazine, May 2013

​49ers big QB gamble might not be much of a gamble

The Atlantic, Dec. 1, 2012

 

The Warriors Owners Explain Their Ideas for a Waterfront Arena 

San Francisco Magazine, August 2012​

Panda 2.0: Pablo Sandoval 
Giants Magazine, August 2011​

Down by the Bay: Chris Mullin's Golden State tenure 

Slam Magazine, July 10, 2010​​

Settling the Score: The next wave of sports stats 

Popular Science August 2008​​

 

AUDIO

50 Years of Classic Radio Play-by-Play Highlights from the John Miley Collection

BASEBALL FOREVER

Expanded audio program featuring play-by-play highlights from the collection of the country's premiere authority on radio game broadcasts. Clips of great players, historic moments and amazing feats, along with some of the greatest broadcasters the game has known, come alive in this audiobook. Bob Costas's inimitable voice brings the script to life.

 

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Photos © Ron Riesterer.