Playing Through the Pain: Ken Caminiti and the Steroids Confession That Changed Baseball Forever

· Abrams
1 review

About this ebook

The powerful story of Ken Caminiti, who changed baseball forever as the first player to confess to having used performance-enhancing steroids

In Playing Through the Pain: Ken Caminiti and the Steroids Confession That Changed Baseball Forever, writer Dan Good seeks to make sense of MLB MVP Ken Caminiti’s fascinating, troubled life. Good began researching Caminiti in 2012 and conducted his first interviews for his biography in 2013. Since then he’s interviewed nearly 400 people, providing him with an exclusive and exhaustive view into Caminiti’s addictions, use of steroids, baseball successes, and inner turmoil. 

Decades later, the full truth about Major League Baseball’s steroids era remains elusive, and the story of Caminiti, the player who opened the lid on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball has never been properly told. A gritty third baseman known for his diving stops, cannon arm, and switch-hit power, Caminiti voluntarily admitted in a 2002 Sports Illustrated cover story that he used steroids during his career, including his 1996 MVP season, and guessed that half of the players were using performance-enhancing drugs. “I’ve made a ton of mistakes,” he said. “I don’t think using steroids is one of them.”    

Good’s on-the-record sources include Caminiti’s steroids supplier, who has never come forward, discussing in detail his efforts to set up drug programs for Caminiti and dozens of other MLB players during the late 1990s; people who attended rehab with Caminiti and revealed the secret inner trauma that fueled his addictions; hundreds of Caminiti’s baseball teammates and coaches, from Little League to the major leagues, who adored and respected him while struggling to understand how to help him amid a culture that cultivated substance abuse; childhood friends who were drawn to his daring personality, warmth, and athleticism; and the teenager at the center of Caminiti’s October 2004 trip to New York City during which he overdosed and died.

1 review
Third-party review
This book is a powerful book about a complicated man. I highly recommend it to all baseball fans. Ken Caminiti is presented fairly and objectlively in the book. It's obvious that Dan Good and the ...
Third-party review
In this titillating work, sportswriter Good (The Microsoft Story) tackles a controversial time in sports history with a look at the life of baseball star Ken Caminiti (1963–2004), who, in 2002 ...

About the author

Dan Good became a book writer and ghostwriter after spending more than a decade as a journalist, most recently running the national breaking news desk for the New York Daily News. A Pennsylvania native, Good fell in love with baseball as a child during the 1990s after his father introduced him to baseball cards and a simulation table game called APBA (pronounced APP-Bah) in which each roll of the dice matched a player’s predicted outcome on the field. He lives in New York.

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