But it wasn't Walter Johnson's blazing fastball alone that placed him on a pedestal as high as any in American sports. It was Johnson, above all others, who came to personify "gentlemanly conduct in the heat of battle", as Shirley Povich put it. One of a small number of like-minded stars tempering the game's roughneck reputation in the century's early years, he was still around to help shepherd it through its darkest hour of the "Black Sox" scandal. For several generations, Johnson's presence in the big-league consoled parents all over the country. If the game was good enough for the modest, decent, and honest Kansas farm boy, they figured, it was okay for their sons, too.
Throughout a life as full as it gets, and a career as dazzling as any in the history of sports, Walter Johnson remained an unspoiled individual, his name unmarred by any hint of wrongdoing on or off the field. This is the grand story of one of the good guys.
©1995 Henry W. Thomas; (P)1997 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A much-needed, comprehensive biography of a baseball legend." (Booklist)
All baseball fans owe it to themselves to read about one of the truly great pitchers. The book also gives an appreciation for the man and the times he pitched during.
I found the book entertaining and loved gaining a better understanding of baseball during the teens through thirties... they were very different times. It was also interesting to read about baseball in the nation's capital at the time.
In the end, this was a well done, well read book about one of the greatest baseball players in history... to appreciate baseball one needs to understand it history and this books ensures that and more.
The answer to the question in the title is... yes!
I found this book VERY interesting. Not your typical bio of a person who had a rough life and fought his way through trouble, etc... But a story about a regular guy, with irregular talent who found motivation in his pride. How hard this man worked his entire life, is more than inspiring.
But, this book is for REAL baseball fans. If not, you may get bored at times. If you love the game, and its players, its worth reading about, maybe the best pitcher to throw a ball.
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