cover image I’m Keith Hernandez

I’m Keith Hernandez

Keith Hernandez. Little, Brown, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-39573-1

In the introduction to his entertaining memoir, two-time World Series Champion and five-time All-Star Keith Hernandez claims he didn’t want to write a “boring” baseball book. Mission accomplished, as the outspoken first baseman-turned-broadcaster covers the highlights from his impressive career trajectory, beginning with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1970s and his game-by-game battle against Pete Rose for the 1979 batting crown and continuing with dalliances with prostitutes and cocaine. Hernandez, now 64, retired in 1990 after spending most of his career with the Cardinals and later the New York Mets, with one final season in Cleveland. He focuses almost entirely on his years in the Cardinals organization (they were “the most instructive,” he writes), while also discussing his opponents and his post-baseball career as a color analyst on Mets’ telecasts. Frustrated with how long today’s games are, the use of sabermetrics, and the impact of league expansion, Hernandez brings a witty veteran’s view to today’s game (“call me old fashioned,” he tells readers before stating an opinion). These observations, however, along with his bar-conversation writing style and self-deprecating humor, will appeal to baseball fans of any era. (May)