By Vernona Gomez, Lawrence Goldstone
“An intimate portrait of a guy whose lifestyles off the sector used to be both as attractive as his unprecedented baseball career.”—Yankees Magazine
Born right into a small-town California ranching relations, Vernon “Lefty” Gomez rode his robust arm and jocular character throughout the United States to the dugout of the hot York Yankees. Lefty baffled hitters along with his blazing fastball, setting up himself because the team’s ace. Now, drawing on numerous conversations with Lefty, greater than 300 interviews carried out together with his family members, associates, rivals, and teammates over the process a decade, and revealing candid images, records, and movie clips—many by no means proven publicly—his daughter Vernona Gomez and her award-winning co-author Lawrence Goldstone vividly re-create the existence and adventures of the irreverent southpaw. A star-studded romp via America’s so much glamorous years, with cameos from Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, George Gershwin, Ernest Hemingway, and Marilyn Monroe, Lefty is straight away a long-overdue reminder of a pitcher’s greatness and a heartwarming occasion of a existence well-lived.
“His tale transcends activities and provides us a much-needed lesson in grit and grace.”—Jon Meacham
“A loving and fantastically written tribute . . . Be ready to be remodeled, and to find stars who have been stars in an age while that note relatively intended something.”—Mike Greenberg, co-host of ESPN’s Mike and Mike within the Morning
“An amiable portrait of a baseball great—like Yogi Berra, Dizzy Dean and Satchel Paige—whose oversized character looms even better than his substantial athletic achievements.”—Kirkus Reviews
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Extra info for Lefty: An American Odyssey
We polished coffins. We scrubbed the linoleum within the embalming room. We rode within the hearse to select up a corpse. ‘Dead as a doornail,’ mother warned. ‘All of ’em stiff from cirrhosis. Don’t you dare. now not my boys. ’ ” mother Edgeworth handled different matters universal to childrens. “Our rooms have been a multitude. Mounds of muddy uniforms peeled off and dropped at the ground, pungent socks draped over windowsills, jockstraps striking off glass doorknobs. The stench of perspiration within the cramped little rooms approximately bowled us over. yet freshen up the mess? Nah. We have been specialist ballplayers. it will probably smash our photograph. My roommate slept the season out with a clothespin on his nostril. ”2 foodstuff have been taken no longer on the Tuxedo yet on the kingdom road Café up the road. “It used to be owned by way of a wiry fellow with an interesting, toothy smile named Alex Pistolas, one other director of the ball membership. Our first time away in equipped ball and we’re surrounded via administrators! We couldn’t sneeze with out every person figuring out it. ” The avid gamers acquired a chit booklet for $3. seventy five with a $5 credits line for nutrition on the café. at the infrequent events after they have been paid on time, they acquired books and ate good for every week. yet mother had first dibs, so whilst the pay was once overdue, occasionally by means of 3 or 4 weeks, that they had to repay hire and consuming grew to become whatever of a luxurious. “Let’s face it,” Lefty acknowledged. “We have been ravenous. ” however the Bees avid gamers had long past to Salt Lake to not reside good yet to profit to play well—and for that, the lodgings have been excellent. “At aspect Reyes, I by no means fearful approximately how one can pitch to a hitter. find out how to strike him out. I simply reared again and fired. The avid gamers within the Utah-Idaho League have been too savvy for that. They pasted my ball up opposed to the fences. In a online game opposed to Ogden, Ernie Lombardi hit me so challenging, the ball was once nonetheless going while the sport was once over. ‘How in hell may well he hit me so not easy? ’ I muttered, and threw my glove down at the mound. “Bob Coltrin used to be the 1st one to coach me find out how to throw my brain into apparatus ahead of I threw a pitch. He yelled out from the dugout, ‘Hey, Gomez. You’re no longer pitching semipro. placed that glove again on and come again in there. ’ at the educate journey again, he slipped into the seat subsequent to me. ‘You gotta get the booklet at the hitters,’ he acknowledged. “ ‘Huh,’ I acknowledged. ‘Where do i purchase that? ’ “ ‘Are you kiddin’ me, or what? You don’t purchase the e-book. You write it in the following. ’ He tapped my brow along with his index finger. ” Coltrin advised Lefty that each time he pitched to a hitter, he needed to take into account each trait and quirk approximately each batter he might ever face. “Does he like them excessive? Low? Does he search for a curve? A fastball? Does he take the 1st pitch? and also you can’t move through what some other person says … how the man hits Biff Jones or Pete Smith … you gotta know the way the fellow hits Gomez and the place he hits Gomez and . . . ” Lefty was once observing Coltrin wide-eyed. Coltrin sighed, leaned again in his seat, and closed his eyes. Lefty nearly enable it pass at that, yet he desired to understand what the chief had left unsaid. “Gomez, you ain’t gonna strike Lombardi out with the fortunate charms you were given dangling from your again pocket.