Away Games: The Life and Times of a Latin Ballplayer
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: Away Games: The Life and Times of a Latin ...
Verlag: Simon & Schuster
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
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It all starts with a bamboo stick, a tattered ball, a makeshift field -- and a dream. Amid the squalor and destitution of the Dominican Republic's poorest barrios, young men toil away their adolescence for the chance to become bona fide major league stars -- and, with that, the chance to make something of themselves and their families. Baseball on this island is not always a game of fun. It's often a game of survival.
This is baseball Latin-style, and with it comes a fire, an intensity, an inner desire to play the best ball possible and leave behind the poverty of the island. It was this fire that drove Dominican-born Sammy Sosa during his 1998 MVP season, when he, along with slugger Mark McGwire, rattled the ghosts of Babe Ruth and Roger Maris. It was that same fire that drove Juan Gonzalez toward his second MVP trophy, marking the first season in history that baseball's top honors were swept by Latin players.
In Away Games, award-winning journalists Marcos Bretón and José Luis Villegas examine the story of Latin baseball as seen through the eyes of Miguel Tejada, a young Dominican shortstop and one of many promising Latin prospects in the Oakland A's organization. By telling Tejada's story, Bretón and Villegas also tell the story of every Latin ballplayer who has come before him: Roberto Clemente, Minnie Minoso, Chico Carrasquel, Zoilo Versalles, Felipe Alou, and countless others.
Just as African-American players electrified baseball in the 1950s, Latin ballplayers are transforming America's pastime today. Sammy Sosa, Pedro Martinez and his brother Ramon, Raul Mondesi, Manny Ramirez, and Vladimir Guerrero -- they are baseball's future, and they come from places most Americans have never even heard of and from lives most Americans could never even imagine. The story of Latin baseball is an incredible tale -- baseball's last, great untold story.
Since the turn of the century, long-forgotten men who reached the major leagues before Jackie Robinson was credited with breaking baseball's color barrier have paved the way for the Latin stars we see today. And that legacy grows stronger each day, with young men like Tejada competing for a plane ticket off the island. In Away Games, Bretón and Villegas tell the riveting tale of Tejada's journey from the barrios to the starting lineup of the Oakland A's. They give voice to every kid's dream of playing baseball; it's just that for some kids that dream is more a necessity than for others. Told with unparalleled reporting and a sharp, critical eye, Away Games is not just the rags-to-riches story of Miguel Tejada's triumph, it's the story of Latin baseball and the American dream. For some, the American dream lies in glory on the basepaths in major league stadiums. For others, that dream is a harsh reality of New York ghettos and failed potential. Bretón and Villegas tell it all in this fascinating book that encapsulates Latin baseball as it heads into the twenty-first century.Review:
Miguel Tejada is a talented shortstop in the Oakland Athletics organization. Tejada grew up very poor in the Dominican Republic and started playing baseball as a means of entertainment and escape. At age 17, he signed a contract (which he couldn't really read) with the A's for a mere $2,000, eventually working his way through the minors to earn a shot at the big-league club. As Away Games illustrates, Tejada is one of the lucky ones. "The Dominican is representative of the roots of Latin baseball, a game in which the stakes have always been higher, success more meaningful, and failure more painful--a brand of baseball that makes the word 'pastime' seem trivial." Indeed, it's a tough road for Latin baseball players trying to make it to the major leagues. For many of them, baseball is a chance to evade a lifetime of poverty and Third World conditions not present in the United States (although those lucky enough to go pro also face significant language and cultural barriers once they head north); Away Games presents them as more than just gifted players who hit the jackpot. --Andy Boynton
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