The Fight of Their Lives…A Highly Recommended Book

fight-of-their-lives-cover-e1389888238627So if you get a day off and have a three-hour flight to the West Coast, it means of course to bring along a good book.

A real book that is and not a Nook, and our house in Plano is overflowing with books read on the road over 26 years. At least you hope to read a good book, but you really never know until you open one and take the plunge, and there are still more than a few lying around that were never quite finished for one reason or another.

Just finished The Fight of Their Lives and it was terrific. Written by baseball historian John Rosengren, it is the story of Giants pitcher Juan Marichal and Dodgers catcher John Roseboro, and anybody who knows anything about baseball has heard of their famous 1965 fight in San Francisco. This fight stands out above all because Marichal used his bat and hit Roseboro over the head during the heat of battle.

This book really tells the whole story, the lives of both players – one Latino and the other African-American – from their beginnings in the American Heartland and the Caribbean, what they were experiencing during the turbulent 60’s, the story behind the fight and what happened later.

It is baseball history at it’s best, plus American history. But also the history of the Dominican Republic and how the turbulent events of that country impacted Marichal as he became one of the best pitchers in baseball history.

Obviously having lived on the West Coast and gone to school at the University of San Francisco, I have always understood what Marichal met to the Giants and Major League Baseball, and getting to meet him once at the Mid-Winter Banquet was a tremendous thrill. But reading about how he had to deal with what was going on back in the Dominican was exceptionally fascinating.

All right, you are not a Giants fan but a Rangers fan. But when you watch this team and the many Latin players, it’s hard to understand what they go through. The Fight of Their Lives gives you an idea.

As well as being compelling baseball history.

Try the book rather than the kindle

1 Comment

Reblogged this on Baseball Books.

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