New York Mets pitcher Dickey delivers a winsome, well-scripted autobiography.
From humble beginnings in Nashville to a current multimillion-dollar salary with the Mets, the author writes enthusiastically about a life full of twists and turns. Ably assisted by New York Daily News reporter Coffey (The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, 2005, etc.), Dickey colorfully describes being raised in the 1980s with little money by two distant parents—though his father instilled in him a love of baseball. Buoyed by baseball, Star Wars and Bible study in his teens, Dickey overcame traumatic childhood sexual abuse by a babysitter and his middle school’s corporal punishment for back talk. A sports obsession soon took priority over everything, including concerns about his mother’s alcoholism. After a stellar career at the University of Tennessee, he began an ascent up the sporting ranks as a high draft pick for the Texas Rangers in 1996, even though his $810,000 signing bonus was drastically reduced once a team-ordered physician discovered his elbow was missing a ligament. His conversation with famed knuckle-ball master Tim Wakefield and the evolution of his trademarked game-changing knuckle ball are just a few of the book’s many highlights. Through the various life and career uncertainties, he and longtime wife Anne leaned on their Christian faith for support, something that Dickey references often without becoming preachy or heavy-handed.
An unassuming yet refreshingly commanding memoir.