Johnson: Levitt book gives team builders their due

From Cheryl Johnson at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on July 1, 2015, with mention of SABR members Dan Levitt and Mark Armour:

Not mentioned among the team-building pros in Dan Levitt’s newest book are the 1987 or 1991 Minnesota Twins. The 1936 Yankees, 1963 Dodgers, 1975 Reds and 2010 Giants get their due in “In Pursuit of Pennants,” by Mark Armour and his Minnesota-based co-author Levitt, who laughed unbridled when I noted the absence of Twins. “You’re right. I suppose it would have helped to get local publicity,” he said.

Despite the omission, this book by Levitt, whose day job is senior veep of capital markets for Ryan Companies, while Armour is an Oregon-based software engineer, has been getting lots of attention outside of Flyover Land. The calls it a “must read” and includes it among the season’s best baseball books.

“Mark and I have always been interested in team building and how teams are put together and why some teams do well and some don’t,” said Levitt. “We had another book we did about 15 years ago that was similar, ‘Paths to Glory.’ Our thoughts have evolved since then. … We thought we had something new to say about team building and how front offices evolved. The short story on the book is ‘Moneyball’ is one of many examples of how teams are always looking for a competitive advantage. Teams have always been looking for ways to improve, whether it’s inventing the position of general manager in the ’20s, starting a farm system in the ’30s or combining the high-speed computing and video today. …

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Originally published: July 2, 2015. Last Updated: July 2, 2015.