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The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single)
 
 

The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Joseph Bottum

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Product Description

Product Description

The summer of 2012 has become the Summer of 43—as in the summer of R.A. Dickey, the 37-year-old knuckleball pitcher who wears Number 43 on the mound for the New York Mets.

As his knuckleballs flutter and drop through the strike zone, befuddling batters and producing a 12–1 record by the All Star break, Dickey has become one of the greatest feel-good stories of baseball history: the man who found redemption, after years of adversity, by mastering one of the strangest and most difficult pitches in the game.

But it's not just his own redemption that R.A. Dickey has discovered. After the Days of Steroids—the era when baseball went brazen mad and lost itself in a noonday sin—America's game has needed a new narrative. Baseball has been desperate for a better storyline, a new shaping tale. Baseball has needed, for those who love the game, a way to signal its own redemption and its return to the hearts of baseball fans.

A little faith in God—and thereby, a little faith in himself—coupled with years of work, and R.A. Dickey's surrender to the mysteries of the knuckleball has given the man another chance at the greatness that eluded him early in his career. Given baseball itself another chance, for that matter, and promised us all that second chances really do come around in this life.

In "The Summer of 43," the widely published essayist and poet Joseph Bottum takes up this story with verve and skill. The bestselling author of "The Gospel According to Tim" and "The Christmas Plains," he is, as the essayist Andrew Ferguson has noted “one of America’s most gifted writers, with a perfect ear and a matchless style." And in his account of R.A. Dickey, Bottum uncovers both the tragedy and the comedy of baseball—and the joy of a story like R.A. Dickey's.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 111 KB
  • Print Length: 25 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008HS2X98
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #398,449 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand slam 7 July 2012
By Dr. Syntax - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a wonderfully descriptive, authoritative picture of the mysteries of the knuckleball and the resurgence of #43's career after concentrating on regularly hurling that flabbergasting pitch. A fascinating story very well told.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art of Baseball 7 July 2012
By Denise L. Wiktor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love baseball, have loved it since I was young and would hang with my father as he puttered and listened to baseball. He would watch golf on TV but never baseball, it had to be listened to. Of course that was a time when baseball commentary was king. Joseph Bottum's essay is more for the fan of the ART of baseball, not the mere statistician. So for me the description of the Miamiacs and their stadium I loved. It is also about the paid of the steroid scandals and how it has made us doubt who is playing. Only a pitcher, it seems to me, can avoid that and we get a animated description of how the knuckle ball and one pitcher can give us faith in the game again, to redeem it.

I do take one exception, in the part where he describes "Before 1998, only fifteen players over the previous hundred years of baseball had managed 500 home runs in a career." he fails to mention the one bone of contention I do have with statistics, which there are more games in a season that there used to be so the record (with or without drugs) has more of an opportunity to be broken.

I enjoyed the essay and I think that anyone who likes the sport of baseball, the art of baseball will enjoy it too with the colorful and descriptive passages, which, by his own admission, meander. The meandering gives context and emotion to the narrative. All for $1.99.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll join the chorus but make one gripe (that's not really a gripe) 12 July 2012
By RCH - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The first six reviewers of this essay make excellent points about its excellence and I won't re-write what they've written, except to say that this is a great story written in great prose. My gripe, pseudo-gripe really, is that Summer of 43 just wasn't long enough for me. I wanted more about Dickey, more about knuckleballs, more about redemption, more about all of it. Hopefully, with the passage of time and events and, possibly, a denouement of some sort to the Dickey story, Bottum will expand this to a full-length book. For now though, this is about as good a way to spend $1.99 as I can think of.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Converted Sports Fan 7 July 2012
By DDMR - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't normally write reviews for my online purchases. And I also admit that I'm not much of a baseball fan. But Joseph Bottum's pitch-perfect story made me change my ways. It is a well written, enjoyable piece, even for someone (like me) who had no idea that baseball has a pitch as wondrous as the knuckleball.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mystery of the knuckleball described! Magic! 10 July 2012
By Catherine Nicol - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Joseph Bottum has created another engaging story of a moment in sports - the wind up, execution and impact of the mysterious knuckleball. Mastering the knuckleball is almost impossible. One must be extremely intelligent or gifted. RA Dickey is a pitcher whose career was lagging until he and the knuckleball 'were one'. Here is a poetic account of how that happened. A very wonderful and enjoyable story. I read it under a shady tree in the backyard on a hot summer day - perfect!
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