BREAKOUT: From Prison to the Big Leagues by Ron with Jim Hawkins LeFlore

BREAKOUT: From Prison to the Big Leagues

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In 1970, Ron LeFlore landed a five-to-fifteen year sentence at Michigan's maximum security Jackson prison and the number B-115614. In 1976, LeFlore won a spot in the starting line-up of the American League All-Stars and a six-figure major league contract with the Detroit Tigers. An inspirational story of triumph over adversity? Not exactly, since the two things LeFlore kept intact throughout were his street smarts and his ego. No pretense here at pious repentance of his criminal life--that's just the way things were on Detroit's East Side. In those not-so-long-ago days, Ron's career plans alternated between pimping and drug pushing. He was already a skilled thief by the age of twelve, and as he puts it, ""You never think you're doing something wrong as long as you don't get caught."" Rebellious and headstrong, Ron spent five months in solitary until he decided that was a no-win route. When he first started playing baseball (he'd never been interested as a kid), he readily admits that ""Sports was merely another con, another hustle for me""--he hoped it would lead to early parole. Miraculously, his raw talent and determination led to a lot more; through several astonishing twists of fate that'll have you cheering all the way, Ron got a tryout with the Tigers--and once they saw him they weren't about to let him go. Says LeFlore, ""I feel as though I've been reincarnated""--no exaggeration for a gutsy kid who made baseball a launching pad for a whole new life.

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 1977
Publisher: Harper & Row