To Stir a Movement: Life, Justice, and Major League Baseball

Jeremy Affeldt. Beacon Hill, $21.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8341-3051-7
Affeldt is passionate about baseball, his faith, and social justice. With a straightforward style, the World Series–champion pitcher weaves his various interests together in this memoir. The book is a readable, although undramatic, account. Affeldt’s story begins with his childhood, touching on themes of a fractured father-son relationship and a fight against human trafficking that would give purpose to a career in professional baseball, since baseball allowed him to act as a highly visible advocate. From this promising introduction, the text descends into an unimaginative retelling of his life and career. It is an honest story that can inspire those facing challenges. With the biggest frustrations being minor injuries and contract arbitration, however, there is nothing especially stirring about Affeldt’s tale. The fight against human trafficking fades into the background only to come up near the end of the book, and in fits and starts amid the author’s slipped-in spiritual insights. Hearing about Affeldt’s ability to maintain his integrity, for the most part, in the Major Leagues, where he struggles with temptations and his own vexing outbursts of temper evokes admiration, but fails to rouse. Baseball fans, Affeldt supporters, and young, aspiring, athletes may enjoy it, but the lackluster nature of Affeldt’s narrative fails to offer wider appeal. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/11/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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