I LOVE THIS GAME! by Kirby Puckett


My Life and Baseball
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 On the evidence of this bland, sunny-side-up (and apparently unassisted) autobiography, Puckett--one of major-league baseball's more solid citizens on the field and off--would be well advised to stick with his seasonal trade for as long as possible. The ninth and last child born into an affectionate and hard- working black family, Puckett (who turns 32 later this year) grew up on Chicago's South Side. A late bloomer as a ballplayer, the author (whose build reminds many observers of a fire hydrant) was drafted only after he'd spent a couple of years competing at the college level. Called up by the Minnesota Twins in 1984 after barely two years in the minors, Puckett was a big hit from the outset. A sneaky-fast center fielder with superb defensive skills and a dangerous batsman with above-average power, he helped his team win the World Series in 1987 and 1991. In the meantime, the industrious ballplayer married a local belle and settled in the Minneapolis area, where he's made a respected name for himself in community and national causes. By Puckett's phlegmatic account, the most dramatic event of his upwardly mobile existence turned on the question of whether the Twins would offer him enough money to sign a long-term contract. The club decided to do so, and the perennial All-Star appears prepared to spend the rest of his diamond career with Minnesota. Unfortunately, he recounts this potentially suspenseful episode in the same matter-of-fact style he employs for his experiences in showcase games, at testimonial banquets, on the road, and elsewhere. Leo Durocher notwithstanding, nice guys don't always finish last--but perhaps they should be cautioned about wearying fans with their Panglossian perspectives on the sporting life. (The relentlessly upbeat text has eight pages of b&w photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: April 28th, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-017710-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1993