Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball

R.A. Dickey, with Wayne Coffey. Penguin/Blue Rider, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-15815-5
Most professional baseball players pen a memoir after they retire. But pitcher R.A. Dickey—who spent four seasons with four different Major League Baseball teams and is MLB's only active knuckleballer—boasts a story compelling enough to be told forthwith. A heralded 1996 first-round draft choice, Dickey's $810,000 signing bonus with the Texas Rangers was yanked after doctors discovered the right-handed pitcher was missing an ligament in his right elbow. Thus began a dramatic up-and-down journey through the professional ranks, sustained by Dickey's determination, as evidenced by the book's proverbial Latin epigraph, "Dum spiro, spero"—"While I breath, I hope." He and co-author Coffey (The Boys of Winter) write with startling candor not only about the game—Dickey's fellow players, steroids in baseball, his disdain for rookie hazing—, but also about his tumultuous upbringing—being a victim of sexual abuse as an 8-year-old at the hands of his babysitter, growing up in Nashville with an alcoholic mother, sleeping in vacant houses as a teenager, and becoming a Christian. Dickey credits his faith with overcoming myriad trials both personal and professional, but it never feels as if he's preaching. Once an English-lit major and now a starting pitcher for the New York Mets, the author emerges as one of baseball's good guys, and someone who can write as well as he pitches. Dickey has set a new standard for athlete autobiographies. Color photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/12/2012
Release date: 03/29/2012
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