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5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2016
Fascinating story about a special era in American History
Being a baseball history buff (addict) for the past 42 years, I've read just about everything I could get my hands on. I cannot now think of an autobiographical book to which I could attach a higher recommendation that "Catching Dreams" by Frazier "Slow" Robinson. This true gentleman travelled the dusty roads that connected the sites of Negro League baseball during the 30's, 40,s and even the 50's. Although produced by the University of Syracuse press, there is no attempt to make the book erudite or complicate it with an assortment of exotic literary techniques and obscure words. Instead, the publisher and co-author, Paul Bauer have presented the story of Slow Robinson in language truly spoken by the man himself. When you read this book, you will feel that you are seated beside Mr. Robinson as he speaks with words, terms and expressions uniquely those of a man with little formal education, who gained his lessons in life on the fly and had to learn his own language. His ability to recall a voluminous list of names and anecdotal material from his experiences, and to relate them descriptively, suggest a man who would have had little trouble dealing with a formal post-secondary school education. His relationships with such Negro League stalwarts as Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, Leon Day and Satchel Paige are detailed with humour, insight and compassion. He is forthright without offending his old friends, as in Ball Four by Jim Bouton. In his own words, his goal in life was to be remembered as a nice guy; he passed with flying colors. If you choose only one book to read on this subject, you simply cannot go wrong with Catching Dreams.
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2000
This is a wonderful book that needed to be written. I had the opportunity to meet Frazier while living and I am so glad that his stories live on in this book. It brings back the memory of the time when players played the game for the love of the game and not for what they were being paid. And worrying about what deal they could acquire in the off season. Also in a time when color mattered over talent it should remind us that never again should we engage in human exclusion