This is the second entry in a three part series recommending great sports books. These reviews are authored by Ken Bungay, a lawyer who lives in Whitby, Ontario. He is also a big sports fan, knows everything about junior hockey, and loves reading sports books. So there was no person better to ask to write these entries than Ken. In all, Ken will recommend 6 sports books. He's already recommended 2 books and here are his next 2:
I am a regular follower of the Team 1200 on the Internet and a friend of the Team 1200's resident sports law contributor Eric Macramalla. (Yes, I know Eric is a lawyer, but I try not to hold that against him. Plus he knows a ton of stuff about sports and the law.) So when Eric asked if I would contribute a Guest Blog on the topic of favourite sports books, I was happy to oblige.
1. Slugging it Out in Japan - 1992, Warren Cromartie, with Robert Whiting.
It's about ex-Expo Warren Cromartie's days in Japan and I'm still on an Expos' high just days after his Montreal team-mate Andre Dawson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cromartie, Dawson and Tim Raines were the "I-95" club from south Florida who were Expos together. This book will really appeal to Expo fans. I liked it because of the story of Cro trying to fit into Japanese baseball culture and society. When he landed in Tokyo in 1984, having signed a contract to play for the Tokyo Giants, he must have felt like he was on another planet. This was years before Ichiro Suzuki. Cromartie played for the Giants for 7 seasons, and it doesn't appear he ever got used to the Giants' training regime. Let's put it this way, Guy "Anyone Got a Light" Lafleur would never have survived Tokyo Giants' workouts.
2. A False Spring - 1973, Pat Jordan.
A great read. Jordan is now a recognized sports writer, but in 1959 he was a Connecticut high-school pitching phenom who was a bonus baby - signing a contract with the Milwaukee Braves. Three years later he quit - his fastball and pitching skills long gone. Not so much a book on baseball as a book on life, as Jordan documents his depression and downward spiral in the minor leagues. Jordan: "Professional baseball clubs, unlike most employers, believed that young prospects should be started at the top of their profession each spring and be allowed to sink to the true level of their ability."