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A False Spring Paperback – September 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

"A painful memoir and self-analysis of a young, aspiring baseball player who failed to make the majors" (LJ 5/1/75), this book recounts Jordan's three years playing bush-league ball while trying to develop his skills in hopes of becoming a star. This "well written portrayal of baseball life and business" is for all sports and biography collections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“One of the best and truest books about baseball, and about coming to maturity in America.”—Time
(Time)

A False Spring, by turns rueful, amused, nostalgic and disgusted, is just fascinating, probably the best book imaginable about baseball’s underpinnings.”—Boston Globe
(Boston Globe)

“One of the most fabulous failure stories of our time.”—Kansas City Star
(Kansas City Star)

“A major triumph.”—Philadelphia Inquirer
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

“An unforgettable book.”—Los Angeles Times
(Los Angeles Times)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books; Revised edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803276265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803276260
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,139,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Charles J Horne on June 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
I love baseball books; especially nonfiction books, and Pat Jordan has written a beautiful yet depressing account of his turbulent years in the minors. Once upon a time I played baseball, but unlike Pat, I didn't hold the talent and ability to progress into the upper levels. We follow Pat as he makes his journey from high school pitching phenom (whom scouts were foaming at the mouth to sign)to a broken-down, frustrated and average minor league pitcher. Pat Jordan accomplishes something that few other baseball books have in the past: loss of place and time. I for one become immersed in books that I read and A FALSE SPRING will allow you to be caught up in the struggle with Pat. You will feel his exhileration when he is signed, his pain when his career comes tumbling down; and, like Pat, at the end of the book you will ask yourself why? A FALSE SPRING has many charismatic characters that infiltrate the pages, and like Pat you will come to like and dislike them for the same reasons. Any baseball fan will quickly become enthralled with the story of this young and confused man as he trudges through the lower levels of baseball. After reading this book I ventured out and caught my first minor league baseball game. I sat in the stands, caught up in the excitement and amazement of a game that is still played for pure joy and not money.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By dave young on December 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
Browsing thru the previously posted reviews here at amazon I'm reminded that I too first read this book nearly 20 years ago and that I've never forgotten it. From its original Dodd, Mead cloth-covered edition to a Bantam mass market to a figurative cup of coffee in a Simon and Schuster trade paperback this book has been available only occasionally since that time. Hungry Mind Press has reprinted it and hopefully will keep it in print long enough to introduce it to new generations of readers. This book succeeds on so many levels: a return to late-50's America when everything looked so promising, an inside look at baseball in the minor leagues, a travelogue of middle American small towns. But it's at a more personal level that this book takes its place among my favorites. From a distance of 15 years, Pat Jordan dissects his childhood, his youth and his young adulthood with a razor sharp pen. He chronicles his early successes which inexplicably turn to failures and he lets the reader share his thoughts as he follows that seemingly inexorable path. This book succeeds most as a wonderful coming of age testimony, as a witness to the ways that the dreams of youth are replaced with the realities of a real world. This is one of the best baseball books ever written but it's also one of the best books that I've ever read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brian Sullivan on November 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read excerpts from "A False Spring" about 30 years ago when they appeared in three consecutive issues of Sports Illustrated. From the moment I began reading that first installment, I was entranced. It is hard to describe exactly why, but I am sure that the baseball action in the book was not the reason. Instead, I remember Jordan's vivid portrayls of such seemingly mundane things as a prarie thunderstorm, an afternoon fishing in the swamplands of Florida and the glow of the instruments on his dashboard. These depictions riveted me, I'm convinced, because they put into words how I saw the world. As an 11 year-old, this was a unique and novel experience for me.
Jordan's portrayal of his own feelings of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, rage and finally resignation also resonated with me. Most of the reading I had done up to that point portrayed life's events in a linear fashion that was totally at odds with what I had already experienced. I was fascinated that Jordan could take an accessible subject matter and weave all of these other elements into it.
Mind you, all of this came to me from reading the three SI excerpts. I never did read the book until, by chance, I was searching on this site and came across a name I remembered. So, 30 years later, I got a copy and tried to find out whether this book would have meaning for me anything like what I experienced as an 11 year-old.
Some pompous windbag spoke at my college graduation ceremony about the test for what he called "clahsic stahtus." According to this guy, any writing qualified for that status if one could read the work at widely spaced intervals and still feel the same spark as in the previous readings.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Clint Hunter on November 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
I ran across Pat Jordan's A False Spring many years ago. I was intrigued by the book then and I still rate it as one of my all-time favorite sports books. It is a sports memoir which is unique in the genre in that it is a story of a loss of talent as well as the discovery of self.

Pat Jordan was a high school baseball phenomenon in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1959. At the end of his high school career, he signed a bonus contract with the Milwaukee Braves. His first assignment was in McCook, Nebraska in the class D Nebraska State League. Another young pitcher named Phil Niekro was a teammate. Their careers would take decidedly different paths. Niekro would go on to a brilliant major league career, but in three years Pat Jordan would lose his fastball and be out of baseball for good.
Time Magazine said of the book:
"Pat Jordan is a failure by all professional baseball standards. But it is in the dissection of that failure that his book discloses the dimensions of a man and a game ... for out of Ex-Pitcher Jordan's experience has come one of the best and truest books about baseball, and about coming to maturity in America."
This is a fascinating story. If it grabs you like it did me when I first read it , it will find a permanent place in your sports library.
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