RA Dickey with Wayne Coffey
I know the book has been out for two years and RA Dickey has since left the New York Mets, but I finally got around to reading it. As a baseball fan, most books about baseball are short on content but surprisingly this book kept it going throughout. You will appreciate the look inside Major league clubhouses, the art of pitching and mainly the trails and tribulations of a journeyed major league baseball player.
Unless you are a baseball geek, you probably don’t know Dickey’s story. Like any good biography we get to see his rise to glory and all of the crash and burns along the way. His story is unique because he is ballplayer that had to endure more than most to get to the big leagues. A big league player that doesn’t ink his first big multi-million dollar contract until well into his late thirties is about as rare of a baseball story as you can get. Sometimes the story is heartbreaking to read and you have to put the book down for a while.
RA Dickey’s story just doesn’t begin how he became this professional baseball pitcher, but probes into his psyche and his mental make-up. Some kids are born into poverty and have to overcome disadvantages but Dickey had hardships from his family situation. He was such as good ball player as a young man that he was writing his own ticket to the big leagues.
Like many promising athletes, Dickey endured injuries that were a constant reminder of how easy it is to fall from grace. Somehow Dickey hung in there and at his darkest moment he found his saving grace in his wife and religious faith. During his long path to redemption and when his career was at its nearing end, he was introduced to a new pitch, the knuckleball.
Dickey, was at first pessimistic about throwing this pitch but came to realize that this would be his only chance to get back into the big time. It took a couple of years of relentless tinkering and tutoring from others who had mastered the pitch before he achieved any kind of success. Baseball fans will love this section of the book that tells how he began to grasp the technique of this obscure pitch.
Dickey does make it back to the bigs as a reinvented pitcher. It was a little rough at first but he began to find his stride and measured success with the New York Mets. Dickey does achieve the pinnacle of pitching by winning the Cy Young Award in 2012.
The book is aptly named “Where Ever I Wind up” because Dickey has played for a multitude of organizations in towns all over the United States. His wife and children were subjected to a lot of this movement and this is as much as a testament to them as it is to him. This story that is written honestly with very personal insights and of course this book has a happy baseball ending.