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Baseball Is Just Baseball: The Understated Ichiro
Synopses & Reviews
The Glass Castle meets Ball Four as Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey weaves searing honesty and baseball insight in this memoir about his unlikely journey to the big leagues.
An English Lit major at the University of Tennessee, Dickey is as articulate and thoughtful as any professional athlete in any sport-and proves it page after page, as he provides fresh and honest insight into baseball and a career unlike any other. Fourteen years ago, Dickey was a heralded No. 1 draft choice of the Texas Rangers, only to have an $810,000 signing bonus, and his lifelong dream, ripped away by an X- ray-and the discovery that he did not have an ulna collateral ligament in his right elbow. Five years ago, he gave up a record six home runs in three innings to the Detroit Tigers-and was effectively consigned to the baseball scrap heap.
Sustained by his profound Christian faith, the love of his wife and children, and a relentless quest for self-awareness and authenticity, the immensely likable Dickey details his transformation from a reckless, risk-taking loner to a grounded, life- affirming big leaguer. He emerged as one of the premier pitchers in the National League in 2010-and the knuckleballing embodiment of the wonders that perseverance and human wisdom can produce. Dickey views his story as one of redemption. Readers will come to see it as something more-a uniquely American story of beating back demons, listening to your heart, and overcoming extraordinary odds.
Welcome to the Yankees, Ichiro! An homage to one of the great baseball players of our era, Baseball Is Just Baseball is a wide-ranging selection of Ichiroandrsquo;s most startling and provocative observations. Updated to reflect his move to New York in July 2012, the book also includes a revised Introduction by acclaimed nonfiction writer David Shields.
When Ichiro was traded to the Yankees on July 23, 2012, the news made headlines around the world. He will finish out the year in pinstripes before becoming a free agent in 2013. Ichiro is a ten-time All-Star, ten-time Gold Glove winner, 2001 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year, and a virtual lock for the Hall of Fame.
Experience reality rather than your expectation of reality. Believe in yourself. Donandrsquo;t take yourself seriously, but find an activity to be passionate about and take that activity very seriously. Donandrsquo;t buy the hype. Dissolve hate into love. Care more about the process than the product. Find joy in the seeking itself. Such are some of the simple but profound ideas embodied in this prize of a little bookandmdash;a document of not only a popular athlete but an impressively thoughtful human being.
About the Author
David Shields is the author of twelve books, including Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day Youandrsquo;ll Be Dead (a New York Times bestseller), and Black Planet: Facing Race During an NBA Season (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist). His stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harperandrsquo;s, The Village Voice, Salon, Slate, McSweeneyandrsquo;s, Believer, and dozens of other publications.
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