Catching Heat: The Jim Leyritz Story

Jim Leyritz, Douglas B. Lyons, and Jeffrey Lyons. HCI, $24.95 (154p) ISBN 978-0-7573-1566-4
Leyritz is known to sports fans for two things: a homerun he hit that allowed the New York Yankees to stage a comeback against the Atlanta Braves in the 1996 World Series, and his high-profile trial for vehicular manslaughter (at the scene of the accident he admitted to having been drinking, refused the breathalyzer test, and was arrested for a DUI). What fans might not know is that Leyritz has long had a huge chip on his shoulder. Besotted with the concept that he should be a star, Leyritz regularly got into fights with teammates, managers, and the front office over how he wasn’t getting his due—he even fired an agent for not preventing him from yet another self-destructive rant. As a result, he ended up playing for six teams in an 11-year pro career. Despite having teamed with a lot of great players, he has next to nothing to say about any of them. Rather, Leyritz’s ego stays the focus. He appears to want sympathy for the way he was treated by the criminal justice system, despite beating the rap for vehicular manslaughter (though not for the DUI). It emerged that the victim, Fredia Veitch, wasn’t wearing a seat belt and also had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit, key factors in the jury’s move to acquit. Nevertheless, Leyritz shows little compassion for her, and goes on at length about how much he was a victim that night. Add to this a series of injuries, infidelities, and an ugly divorce/custody battle and the result is a surprisingly defensive attempt at a self-serving memoir. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/20/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
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Open Ebook - 91 pages - 978-0-7573-9185-9
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