The former Mets’ shortstop, coach and manager revisits his career, revealing his diamond talents and work ethic, his love for the game, his two World Series appearances and his narrative limitations.
Harrelson and co-author Pepe (who’s helped other former Mets craft their memoirs—Gary Carter, Yogi Berra) mostly keep their focus between the lines, venturing out only to issue some opinions about steroids (they’re bad), upper management (sometimes bad) the media and over-exuberant fans (ditto). But readers will learn virtually nothing about Harrelson’s personal life. Oddly, the personality who does haunt the text throughout is Pete Rose. Harrelson begins with his brawl with Rose in a 1973 playoff game and twice mentions Rose’s famous 1970 home-plate collision with catcher Ray Fosse in the All-Star Game (the author avoids judgment; he merely describes). In later chapters he weighs in on Rose’s mercenary attitude about baseball memorabilia and his exclusion from the Hall of Fame (Harrelson believes this is just), and several times he mentions coaching Rose’s son in the minors. The author devotes too many pages to summaries of seasons and games, mentions his presence during some remarkable moments (the New York blackout, the Buckner error in the 1986 World Series) and pauses to praise those who helped him or whom he otherwise admires: Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Casey Stengel, Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver (his roommate) and others. Harrelson loves his new career as a minor league owner. Clichés abound, and numerous exclamation points stand in his prose like Louisville Sluggers.
Minor-league writing from a major-league player and person.