Download Players: The Story of Sports and Money--and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution Audiobook

Players: The Story of Sports and Money--and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution Audiobook, by Matthew Futterman Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Matthew Futterman Narrator: George Newbern Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2016 ISBN: 9781508212843
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For fans of Michael Lewis, the astounding untold story of how professional sports transformed, in the span of a single generation, from a cottage industry into a massive global business. Players is the first book to chronicle the astonishing business story behind modern sports—a true revolution that moved the athletes from the bottom of the financial pyramid to the top.

It started in 1960, when a Cleveland lawyer named Mark McCormack convinced a golfer named Arnold Palmer to sign with him. Within a few years, McCormack raised Palmer’s annual income off the course from $5,000 to $500,000 and forever changed the landscape of the sports industry.

Futterman introduces a wide-ranging cast of characters to tell the story of athletes, agents, TV executives, coaches, and owners who together created the dominating and multifaceted industry we know today. Players is a riveting, fly-on-the-wall account of the creation and rise of the modern sports world and the people who fought to make it happen.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An entertaining, illuminating read…Futterman’s investigative research reveals insights and insider perspectives that even those highly knowledgeable in the sports featured will find informative, even intriguing.”

    New York Journal of Books

  • “Could not be more timely…Takes us on a half-century tour spanning a variety of widely recognized and lesser-known sports figures and competitions that have played roles in the industry’s development.”

    New York Times

  • “Futterman develops his theme seamlessly in a book that will appeal to casual fans as well as those who live and die according to the accomplishments of athletes.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “What Matthew Futterman details, and what George Newbern clearly describes, is the genesis of how money took root in the games we love. Newburn’s storytelling abilities help give an identity to the real-life characters in many athletic, marketing, and contractual endeavors. Futterman’s narrative is fascinating; it’s not bogged down in too many statistics. Newbern’s narration fits the story well—with the right amount of intonation, surprise, and inflection. Chapters include a variety of topics: Catfish Hunter’s battle over an annuity in baseball, the founding of a sports academy, and the biography of vanguard agent Mark McCormack are three of the best ones, with Newbern keeping perfect pace.”


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About the Author

Matthew Futterman is a senior special writer for sports with The Wall Street Journal. He has previously worked for The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Star-Ledger of New Jersey, where he was a part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News in 2005. He lives in New York with his wife and children.

About the Narrator

George Newbern is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and a television and film actor best known for his roles as Brian MacKenzie in Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride Part II, as well as Danny in Friends. As a voice actor, he is notable for his role as Superman on the Cartoon Newtork series Static Shock, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. He has guest starred on many television series, including Scandal, The Mentalist, Private Practice, CSI: Miami, and Numb3rs. He holds a BA in theater arts from Northwestern University.