Books·My Life In Books

CBC's Personal Best host Andrew Norton shares the baseball book that taught him valuable life lessons

The sports fan and co-host of Personal Best shares what he learned from The Only Rule is it Has To Work by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller.
Andrew Norton is the co-host of the CBC self-improvement podcast Personal Best. (CBC)

CBC Podcasts' Personal Best is a humourous self-improvement podcast that challenges ordinary people to complete personal goals, however small or weird they may be. The second season launches on May 14, 2019.   

Personal Best co-host Andrew Norton is a filmmaker, producer and sports fan.

To celebrate the premiere of the second season, CBC Books asked the hosts of Personal Best to share a book that helped them improve their own lives. Norton chose the baseball book The Only Rule is it Has To Work by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller.

"I'm a fairly new fan of Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller's baseball podcast, Effectively Wild. What I love about it is they use the mind-boggling detailed numbers and stats available in baseball to play out crazy hypothetical situations. Like, what if the ump called balls and strikes from second base? Or how would a teams win/loss record be affected if there was a giant tree planted beside the pitcher's mound? 

"In the summer of 2015, Ben and Sam got a unique opportunity to run an experiment in the real world. Through some strange twist of fate they were able to have full control over a small, Independent League baseball team called the Sonoma Stompers for a season. Their goal was to use only numbers and stats to make decisions, regardless of how weird or ungraceful the results looked. It just had to work.

"What they try over the course of the summer reminds me of what we do on our podcast — or what anyone faces when they try to improve themselves. Approaching a problem with a new, seemingly surefire solution — and the best of intentions — only to quickly come face-to-face with reality."

Andrew Norton's comments have been edited for length and clarity. 

Preview the second season of Personal Best

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