Synopses & Reviews
Tim Wakefield is an enigma. At 43 years old, he is the longest serving member of one of the worlds most popular franchises. He is ever so close to eclipsing the winning records of two of the greatest pitchers to have ever played the game, and yet few realize the full measure of his success. That his career can even be characterized by such words as dependability and consistency defies all odds because he has achieved this with the games most mystifying and mercurial weaponthe knuckleball. Knuckler is the story of how a struggling positional player chanced his future on a fickle pitch that would eventually define his career. With the knuckleball new to his arsenal Wakefield goes from also ran to shining star with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and just as quickly falls back to earth. When he lands with the Red Sox, Wakefield begins to master the whims of his pitch until in 2003 he has the ball for one of the most ignominious post-season losses in history. All is righted when the Sox prevail in the 2004 World Series and come to know the heady days of winning championships. And even now, as Wakefield battles an aging athletes body to try to become the winningest pitcher to have ever played for the Boston Red Sox, we see the twists and turns of a major league career pushed to their ultimate extreme. A remarkable story of one players success in spite of being the exception to every single rule, Knuckler is also a lively meditation on the dancing pitch, its history, its mystique and all the inevitable ironies it brings to bear.
"The New Yorker writer and editor mixes a sympathetic narrative of the pitcher's struggles last summer and his 2001 move to the Yankees' rival Boston Red Sox with a tribute to his rise from young playboy to elder baseball statesman. Angell's graceful prose and baseball savvy should win this a place in most sports collections." Library Journal
"Neither Cone nor Angell could have foreseen that after the Yankee pitcher gave Angell full access to him during the 2000 baseball season, Cone would have the worst year of his career, finishing with a 4-14 won-lost record....Angell (The Summer Game) not only details Cone's highs and lows on and off the playing field, but does a superb job in recording Cone's anxieties and frustrations as the two men move through the disappointing 2000 season. The combination of Angell's love and knowledge of baseball and his truly fascinating subjects makes for another win in Angell's long list of hits about the American pastime." Publishers Weekly
There is no big league pitcher who is more respected for his skill than David Cone. Smart. Articulate. Physically and mentally resilient. In his stellar career Cone has won multiple championships and has received countless professional accolades. However, along the way, the perennial all-star has had to adjust to four different ballclubs, recover from a career-threatening arm aneurysm, cope with the lofty expectations that are standard practice for the game's highest paid players, and overcome a humbling three-month, eight-game losing streak in the summer of 2000.
Now Cone has granted exclusive and unlimited access to baseball's most respected writer his long-time friend, Roger Angell of the New Yorker. The result is just what baseball fans everywhere would expect from Angell: an extraordinary inside account of a superstar who examines the technical aspects of pitching, the mental preparation needed to reach the top, and how Cone has had to adjust to all the rewards and drawbacks that accompany fame and fortune in the major leagues.
The author of "Late Innings" and "The Summer Game" offers a candid and thorough exploration into the inner craft of pitching from one of baseball's most revered pitchers, David Cone.
At forty-four years old, Tim Wakefield is the longest-serving member of one of baseballs most popular franchises. He is close to eclipsing the winning records of two of the greatest pitchers to have played the game, yet few realize the full measure of his success. That his career can be characterized by such words as dependability
defies all odds because he has achieved this with baseballs most mercurial weaponthe knuckleball.
Knuckler is the story of how a struggling position player bet his future on a fickle pitch that would define his career. The pitch may drive hitters crazy, but how does the pitcher stay sane? The moment Wakefield adopted the knuckleball, his career sought to answer that question. With the Red Sox, Wakefield began to master his pitch only to find himself on the mound in 2003 for one of the worst post-season losses in history, followed the next year by one of the most vindicating of championships. Even now, as Wakefield battles, we see the twists and turns of a major league career pushed to its ultimate extreme.
A remarkable story of one players success despite being the exception to every rule, Knuckler is also a lively meditation on the dancing pitch, its history, its mystique, and all the ironies it brings to bear.
About the Author
TIM WAKEFIELD has pitched for the Red Sox since 1995 and has won two World Series. Noted for his charitable contributions off the field, he has been nominatedandnbsp;seven times for the Roberto Clemente Award.TONY MASSAROTTI is a nationally recognized sports columnist and the author of theNew York TimesBestsellerBig Papi(with David Ortiz).