Fuck misery. Live it up, Joe Pepitone""--that was Joe's attitude throughout his twelve-year major league baseball career which began as a Bronx Bomber in New York and ended up a Yakult Atom in Tokyo. Reared in the rough, tough Park Slope section of Brooklyn, ""Joe Pep"" had a bummer of a childhood--his pugnacious construction worker father often ""whaled the shit"" out of him, and he was once shot in his own Hamilton High locker room. A Yankee in 1962, the flashy power-hitting first baseman made the American League All-Star team a year later despite the ""terrifying guilt"" he experienced for willing his father dead. An immature, self-centered stud from age 21 on, the athlete-celebrity damaged his psyche and crimped his bat. Looking back, Pepi realizes he ""followed a crazed muse toward self-destruction""--his ""compulsion"" to screw around and run up bills resulted in two divorces, three lost children, numerous bankruptcies, bouts of depression and a propensity to quit every ballclub he played on after being traded by the Yanks. Most of the ball discussed here is the indoor variety, and you may not find Pepitone very simpatico--still, he does have the audacity to let it all hang out. A frank, uninhibited self-portrait.