THE TRUTH HURTS by Jimmy with Richard Whittingham Piersall


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Piersall strikes out with this blunt, fumbling account of his Major League career (minus the breakdown) and afterwards. This is no smoothly edited as-told-to routine: coauthor Whittingham, it appears, has let Piersall do the talking (""We had a good rapport going,"" says he of announcer Harry Caray). So we get a jumpy, crammed-together review of Piersall's (quite productive) 17-year career with the Red Sox, Indians, Senators, Mets and Angels--with annual stats, big moments (his 100th home run), etc. This is followed by Piersall's misadventures as the manager of the Virginia Sailors (pro football team), as a ticket sales hustler for Charlie Finley (a monster, Piersall claims), a minor league manager (in Orange-burg, S.C.), and a much-fired White Sox announcer. Around 1974 a psychiatrist put Piersall on lithium, which has helped a lot to control his temper tantrums and erratic behavior. Piersall acknowledges his need for the drug and wishes he'd been given it sooner, but he doesn't seem to realize just how much of a loose cannon he is. He casually interrupts his narrative to announce that he got a divorce in Juarez (""I think it cost $200"") from the wife who had borne him nine children. He cheerfully admits that he has always rubbed people--whether baseball umpires, football referees, or his many employers--the wrong way, without reflecting that there might be more to these episodes than brash-kid-vs.-the-old-bastards. Some live-wire energy but all too artless.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1985
Publisher: Contemporary