Perfect: The Rise and Fall of John Paciorek, Baseball's Greatest One-Game Wonder

Breakaway Books
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THE MAN WHO BATTED A THOUSAND
A spectacular major-league debut—then obscurity.

On the final day of the 1963 major-league baseball season, Houston Colt .45s teen sensation John Paciorek—in his one and only big-league game—went three-for-three, giving him a career batting average of 1.000. He also notched three RBI and scored four times. In the outfield John played magnificently, cleanly fielding all four balls hit to him. His was, truly, a perfect game—the most spectacular game ever by a player in his only big-league appearance. Then, a back injury dropped him just as quickly back down to the minor leagues, where he soon departed from baseball forever.
A rare jewel of baseball history, Perfect  tells John’s remarkable  story, from his childhood in Detroit, to athletic excellence in high school, to a solitary season in the low minors, to his one shining day in the majors and everything that followed. It includes excerpts from the play-by-play announcers watching his performance—Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner and Lindsey Nelson—and reflections from numerous outstanding major-league players who crossed paths with John that day, including Rusty Staub and Jim Wynn.
The big question remains: What might John Paciorek have become? His story is a fascinating one for anyone who loves the game of baseball: wonderful nostalgia for older fans, a bit of trivia brought fully to life, and a tantalizing story of hope and inspiration for young players aspiring to greatness.

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“A great book that captures the essence of baseball and every boy’s dream: to play in the major leagues. The story of John Paciorek is the stuff of legends.”
Gary Adams, former UCLA baseball coach

“By perfect illogical fate, John Pacorek's 1.000 career batting average for one day’s work in the big leagues is really more the measure of a man who came to understand that the baseball Gods simply threw him a proverbial curve ball. It can’t be explained, yet Steve Wagner’s chronicling of that day does it, and makes you wonder more why John, and not Moonlight Graham, wasn’t the perfect person to have in the movie Field of Dreams.”
Tom Hoffarth, columnist, Los Angeles Daily News

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About the author

STEVEN K. WAGNER has worked as a freelance journalist since 1989. The author began his career with the Monmouth Sun-Enterprise in Oregon and later worked for the Oregon City Enterprise-Courier and the Portland Daily Journal of Commerce before joining United Press International as a staff writer in Boise, Idaho. He also worked for the Portland Oregonian as its Vancouver, Washington, bureau chief and as the newspaper’s night crime reporter. Mr. Wagner has freelanced extensively for the Los Angeles Times and his work also has appeared in the New York Times, Oklahoma City Oklahoman, Seattle Times, Baseball America, and numerous other newspapers and magazines. He is married, has two grown children, and currently resides in Claremont, California.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Breakaway Books
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Published on
Jan 16, 2015
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Pages
224
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Language
English
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Genres
Sports & Recreation / Baseball / Essays & Writings
Sports & Recreation / Baseball / General
Sports & Recreation / Baseball / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Highlights of Game of Shadows include:

Barry Bonds

A look at how Bonds was driven to use performance-enhancing drugs in part by jealousy over Mark McGwire’s record-breaking 1998 season. It was shortly thereafter that Bonds—who had never used anything more performance enhancing than a protein shake from the health food store—first began using steroids. How Bonds’s weight trainer, steroid dealer Greg Anderson, arranged to meet Victor Conte before the 2001 baseball season with...
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