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FearStrikesOutThe Jim Piersall Story
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub. Date: 1955
Type: Non-Fiction, Autobiography/Memoir
Pages: 224
Read: 2015-07-14
Rating: Liked it ♥♡

In this book Jim relates the story of his life including his breakdown in 1952 and recovery. The back of the book says that the breakdown was ‘so complete that seven months virtually have vanished from his memory’. The actual cause of his memory loss was the electroshock treatments he received in the hospital.

Piersall was born in Waterbury, CT. You could say he was born a Red Sox fan, he grew up loving the team and wanting to play for them. He got his wish and then it all seemingly washed down the drain. However, not only did he come back to play for the Red Sox the year after his breakdown, he played 17 seasons of pro ball and has been healthy since.

The covers his childhood, his relationship with his parents, his father primarily, his mother’s history of mental illness, although he doesn’t share her diagnosis he relates she was in and out of Norwich State Hospital. Most importantly, he reveals the twisted way he was thinking, I don’t mean twisted in a depraved way, I mean in the way his mental illness progressed. For example, he read an article in The Sporting News that quoted Lou Boudreau, manager of the Red Sox saying they were planning on converting him to shortstop. He had never played shortstop, he was an outfielder. Instead of being relieved that the Red Sox wanted him, he convinced himself that they didn’t and were trying to make him quit.

His recovery is also covered, including reading about his behaviour in the field and off the field. Which cause his wife distress, his manager didn’t know how to handle him and most of his teammates hated him.

The book ends with the end of the 1953 season, he was well on his way to a long and productive baseball career. The book I read was published in 1999 and contains an afterward by Jim Piersall where he summarizes his life since then, what he is doing now and how he feels about the movie “Fear Strikes Out”.

A very interesting account, easy to read, detailed but not dragging.

About Belleza

I got the name Bella because my grandfather called me Suzabell. I use that as a username and my friends on the site started calling me Bella. Thus was born: Bella Foxx's Life, now known as "just a city girl" since I have made the big jump from the country and am now living in the City, UES. I like to make jewelry (check out my blog "Bella is creative" started April 17, 2008) and write. I like to do cross stitch and knit. I sew, I don't really enjoy it, but I enjoy the clothes. I like to read the Bible, books, magazines, online newspaper articles, blogs, jokes on candy wrappers, ads on the subway, billboards, backs of food boxes, lists of ingredients and recipes, cleaning directions, sayings on shirts. I post my reviews on "Just a girl, living, reading, watching, and writing", on Shelfari, Library Thing and Goodreads.. I am allergic to practically everything: grass, trees, weeds, animal dander, dust, mold, wheat, apples, nuts, fish and coconut. The fish and coconut are so serious I carry an Epi-pen and wear a Medic-Alert bracelet. And last but not least. I love the Yankees.

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