The Fight of Their Lives: How Juan Marichal and John Roseboro Turned Baseball's Ugliest Brawl into a Story of Forgiveness and Redemption

John Rosengren. Globe Pequot/Lyons, $28.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7627-8712-8
Arriving just in time for the opening of Spring Training, this dual-biography of San Francisco Giants pitcher Juan Marichal and Los Angeles Dodgers catcher John Roseboro is told through the prism of a fateful Sunday in August 1965, when one man struck the other in the head with a baseball bat. Marichal's shocking and defiant act, which resulted in 14 stitches above Roseboro's left eye, occurred in the heat of a pennant race between bitter rivals, set against a violent backdrop of civil war in the pitcher's native Dominican Republic and the racially provoked Watts neighborhood riots in South Central Los Angeles. In alternating chapters, Rosengren (Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes) provides insightful context as he chronicles the surprisingly similar lives of both men—their childhoods in humble homes, their remarkable defensive skills on the field, the prejudices they faced as minorities in Major League Baseball's segregated culture of the 1960s, and the shared animosity they ultimately channeled into friendship and forgiveness. Hardcore fans will crave more details about each player's overall career, but those are available elsewhere. Rosengren's retelling, true to its title, pivots on one historic incident that overshadows the other, more significant accomplishments of both men. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/17/2014
Release date: 02/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4930-0720-2
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-7627-8847-7
Show other formats
Discover what to read next