Before Barry Bonds, before Reggie Jackson, before Hank Aaron, baseball's stars had one undeniable trait in common: they were all white. In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke that barrier, striking a crucial blow for racial equality and changing the world of sports forever. I Never Had It Made is Robinson's own candid, hard-hitting account of what it took to become the first black man in history to play in the major leagues.
I Never Had It Made recalls Robinson's early years and influences: his time at UCLA, where he became the school's first four-letter athlete; his army stint during World War II, when he challenged Jim Crow laws and narrowly escaped court martial; his years of frustration, on and off the field, with the Negro Leagues; and finally that fateful day when Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers proposed what became known as the "Noble Experiment"—Robinson would step up to bat to integrate and revolutionize baseball.
More than a baseball story, I Never Had It Made also reveals the highs and lows of Robinson's life after baseball. He recounts his political aspirations and civil rights activism; his friendships with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, William Buckley, Jr., and Nelson Rockefeller; and his troubled relationship with his son, Jackie, Jr.
I Never Had It Made endures as an inspiring story of a man whose heroism extended well beyond the playing field.
Jackie Robinson shared the turbulent and triumphant story of his life with freelance writer Alfred Duckett, who contributed to the powerful speeches and sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Co-author of I Never Had it Made, Alfred Duckett assisted Jackie Robinson in writing a newspaper column, and had an important role working on the speeches and sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Flood stirred up a hornet’s nest by refusing to be traded from the Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies after the 1969 season, arguing that Major League Baseball’s reserve system reduced him to the status of bondage. Flood decided to resist a system in which his contract could be traded without his consent and in which he was not at liberty to negotiate his services in an open market. Stuart Weiss examines the man behind the decision, exploring the span of Flood’s life and shedding light on his relationships with those who helped shape his determination to sue baseball and providing a new perspective on the lawsuit that found its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Although a superb player, Flood was known to be temperamental and sensitive; in suing Major League Baseball he transformed his grievances against the Cardinals front office into an attack on how the business of big-league ball was conducted. Weiss shows that Flood was far from the stereotypical “dumb jock” but was rather a proud, multifaceted black man in a business run by white moguls. By illuminating Flood’s private side, rarely seen by the public, he reveals how Flood misled a gullible press on a regular basis and how his 1971 memoir, The Way It Is, didn’t tell it the way it really was.
Drawing on previously untapped sources, Weiss examines more fully and deeply than other writers the complexities of Flood’s decision to pursue his lawsuit—and demonstrates that the picture of Flood as a martyr for free agency is a myth. He suggests why, of all the players traded or sold through the years, it was Flood who brought this challenge. Weiss also explains how Flood’s battle against the reserve system cannot be understood in isolation from the personal experiences that precipitated it, such as his youth in a dysfunctional home, his troubled first marriage, his financial problems, and his unwavering commitment to the Cardinals.
The Curt Flood Story is a realistic account of an eloquent man who presented a warm, even vulnerable, face to the public as well as to friends, while hiding his inner furies. It shows that Flood was neither a hero nor a martyr but a victim of unique circumstances and his own life.
For seventeen seasons, the name Jorge Posada was synonymous with New York Yankees baseball. A fixture behind home plate throughout the Yankees biggest successes, Jorge became the Yankees' star catcher almost immediately upon his arrival, and in the years that followed, his accomplishments, work ethic, and leadership established him as one of the greatest Yankees ever to put on the uniform.
Now, in this long-awaited memoir, Jorge Posada details his journey to home plate, sharing a remarkable, generational account of his journey from the ball fields of Puerto Rico to the House that Ruth built. Offering a view from behind the mask unlike any other, Jorge discusses the key moments and plays that shaped teams and forged a legacy that came to define Yankee baseball for a generation. With pitch-by-pitch recall, Jorge looks back across the years, explaining how—as part of the Core Four alongside Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera—he helped to reestablish the Yankees as a dynasty and win five World Series.
Going beyond his all-star career, Jorge also shares his life in full for the first time, examining how his remarkable journey to the big leagues began in the most unexpected of ways. Digging into his cultural roots in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba, Jorge illuminates three generations of cherished father-son relationships that have made him the man he is today. At the center is the deep bond he shares with his father and namesake, Jorge Sr, who escaped Cuba and would eventually mold his son to be a ball player, honing his talent and instilling in him the drive necessary to fulfill his childhood dream of playing in the Bronx.
Complete with sixteen pages of color photographs, this touching and earnest memoir is a testament to hard work and a celebration of the generational gift of baseball between fathers and sons.