“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
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.
In The Captain, best-selling author Ian O’Connor draws on extensive reporting and unique access to Jeter that has spanned some fifteen years to reveal how a biracial kid from Michigan became New York’s most beloved sports figure and the enduring symbol of the steroid-free athlete. O’Connor takes us behind the scenes of a legendary baseball life and career, from Jeter’s early struggles in the minor leagues, when homesickness and errors in the field threatened a stillborn career, to his heady days as a Yankee superstar and prince of the city who squired some of the world’s most beautiful women, to his tense battles with former best friend A-Rod. We also witness Jeter struggling to come to terms with his declining skills and the declining favor of the only organization he ever wanted to play for, leading to a contentious contract negotiation with the Yankees that left people wondering if Jeter might end his career in a uniform without pinstripes.
Derek Jeter’s march toward the Hall of Fame has been dignified and certain, but behind that leadership and hero’s grace there are hidden struggles and complexities that have never been explored, until now. As Jeter closes in on 3,000 hits, a number no Yankee has ever touched, The Captain offers an incisive, exhilarating, and revealing new look at one of the game’s greatest players in the gloaming of his career.