cover image Get in the Game: Elements of Perseverance That Make the Difference

Get in the Game: Elements of Perseverance That Make the Difference

Cal Ripken, Jr., with Donald T. Phillips. . Gotham, $26 (247pp) ISBN 978-1-592-40264-9

Athletic superstar Ripken (Play Baseball the Ripken Way ) turns the often pro-forma business/personal management guidebook into a well-written combination autobiography and inspirational self-help book. During his long career with the Baltimore Orioles, Ripken broke numerous baseball records, including New York Yankee Lou Gehrig's record for most consecutive games played, and he was recently voted into the Hall of Fame at his first opportunity. Unlike Ripken's other autobiographical books on baseball, this one begins with a contemplation of Gehrig's famed work ethic (maintained even after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and analyzing "the many parallels in our careers and how similarly he and I approached our jobs." Ripken breaks down Gehrig-style perseverance—"steadfastness, hanging in there in the face of difficulty, overcoming obstacles"—into eight elements, each with its own chapter: "The Right Values," "A Strong Will to Succeed," "Love What You Do, "Preparation," "Anticipation, "Trusting Relationships," "Life Management" and "The Courage of Your Convictions." Many of his observations border on the clichéd ("Straight shooters get more work, are appreciated more, and are almost always respected"). But overall the book's essential message—"If you enjoy the journey, you're going to be more involved. And then you'll always be in the game"—is illuminating even to those who aren't baseball fans. (Apr. 10)