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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Summer Dreams....
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...
Published on June 21, 2001 by Charles J Horne

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars reflections by a oddball
During and after reading this book, I kept reflecting back to how I acted and thought when I was 19. I know that I was not settled in my understanding of human nature and the cosmos, and there were things I did that I am not pleased about today, but for the most part I think I was a pretty average kid who respected others and tried to get along. And while I admire the...
Published on June 3, 2011 by C. Wilson


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Summer Dreams...., June 21, 2001
By 
Charles J Horne (Tuscaloosa, Alabama United States) - See all my reviews
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb bittersweet rites-of-passage memoir, December 1, 1998
By 
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic, November 18, 2003
By 
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. He assumed, I guess, that peoples' perceptions and interests change over the years and that only writing that had a certain breadth would be able to appeal to a reader who had undergone those changes.
"A False Spring" certainly passed the test. All of the vivid descriptions -- the hand-me-down uniforms, the barracks-like atmosphere of minor league spring training, the experience of pitching in frozen northern outposts-- remained as vital and gripping as before, as did Jordan's portrayal of the unravelling of his baseball career. With the benefit of 30 years' experience, I was able to understand the author's struggles in more than the visceral way I did as an 11 year-old. Further, I got the strong sense -- confirmed in Jordan's later memoir, "A Nice Tuesday" -- that Jordan himself had not figured out exactly why things had gone so wrong for him.
At times, reading this book was like watching someone reliving some horrible nightmare. At other times, it was simply a pleasant experience to read Jordan's description of day-to-day life in small town America in the late 50s. Throughout, the book was just as gripping as those SI excerpts that grabbed me 30 years ago.
I have read that Pat Jordan set about to create a persona in this book and that the portrayal of that persona was calculated and not always accurate. Even so, this book reveals enough of the real experiences of the man that it withstands the test of time. I'm not so interested in absolute historical accuracy when I come across a book that can hold my attention and bring me back for more 30 years after the first reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars reflections by a oddball, June 3, 2011
This review is from: A False Spring (Paperback)
During and after reading this book, I kept reflecting back to how I acted and thought when I was 19. I know that I was not settled in my understanding of human nature and the cosmos, and there were things I did that I am not pleased about today, but for the most part I think I was a pretty average kid who respected others and tried to get along. And while I admire the wonderful word pictures that Jordan painted of the places and things he encountered in his short time as a paid baseball player, and I appreciate his insights into the daily travails a young man faces when he starts out in professional baseball, I have to think that his dark and perverse view of things was tainted because of who he was. Jordan was simply a punk - an egotistical, condescending, arrogant, aloof, bad-tempered kid who found it hard to get along with most of those he encountered. He constantly looks down his nose at others for having personal failings, but somehow finds it permissable to treat people with disrespect and loathing. His description of the women he encountered (and married), and the way he treated them, without the slightest bit of remorse, was shameful. It is true that not everyone in this world is good looking, or highly intelligent, or athletically gifted, but I see no reason to belittle them because they do not measure up to his misguided standards.

Another thing that bothered me about the book was Jordan's sudden lack of pitching skill. He chalks it up to mechanics. That is pure BS. One does not go from throwing 98 miles per hour one day, to 80 the next simply because of mechanics. As someone who has played baseball through the college level (with a number of future majore leaguers), I believe there are two reasons for losing the zip off one's fastball (as Jordan did overnight). One is by injury. I have seen this countless times, and the unfortunate one must learn to find a differnt way to get people out, either by developing a new pitch or being smarter than the batter. The second way is phychological, as in Steve Sax being unable to throw the ball to first base, or catcher Mike Ivie being unable to throw the ball back to the pitcher. I think Jordan was simply a head case.

In summation, I do in fact apprecaite Jordan's writing skill (he has become an accomplished writer although fewer and fewer professional athletes will talk to him because of his caustic and demeaning style), but I found it hard to buy into the descriptions, opinions or insights of someone who was such a pervasive jerk.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Uncommon Baseball Memoir, November 26, 2001
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book with no closure, March 31, 2007
By 
Todd Stanley (Columbus, Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A False Spring (Paperback)
Pat Jordan wrote this book about his three years playing minor league baseball trying to live up to the giant bonus the Milwaukee Braves had given him to be a pitcher for them. He chronicles what days he can remember spent in small towns, meeting interesting people, and going through the struggles any 18 year old boy must go through with the extra added pressure of having to throw a small white ball past a professional athlete.

What makes this book stand out from other such books is that Jordan is an extremely strong writer. Some of his landscape descriptions bring back Steinbeck and his tales of dankness Dreiser. He is very talented and I finished the book in about four days because of its easy flow.

The biggest disappointment was that many parts of the story are left unresolved. About halfway through the book he drops a major bomb after calling an old girlfriend and yet nothing more about it is ever mentioned. The ending too is sort of dropped on us, almost as though there is was another chapter that got cut off. I know this is a non-fiction book and sometimes real life is unresolved, but it seems as though there are parts left out. I only hope some of the answers are contained in his sequel to the book written almost 30 years later entitled "A Nice Tuesday".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent story of unrealized potential, July 19, 2000
Sports Illustrated called this book one of the twenty "must have" sports books in your collection. After reading this book I can see why. Pat Jordan does a phenomenal job of detailing his experience. He begins as a brash, cocky young phenom receiving a large bonus, and winds up languishing on a "D" class minor league team and wondering "why?". Jordan writes about his minor league experience with such detail that you feel that you are there with him, experiencing the frustrations of desiring to move ahead and go to "the show". As a former athletic department tutor at a large university, I can tell you that many, many athletes with the greatest potential wound up going nowhere. Sometimes, the line between success and failure is a thin one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE GREATEST SPORTS BOOK OF ALL TIME, June 10, 2004
This review is from: A False Spring (Hardcover)
"A False Spring" is so good I cannot do it justice here. It is, along with "Ball Four", "The Suitors of Spring" (also by Pat Jordan) and "Bo: Pitching and Wooing" by Maury Allen, one of the best baseball books ever written. This book describes minor league baseball, the hopes and dreams of a young athlete, youthful sex, raunchiness, crushing disappointment, and Americana. I read this book and memorized it, then went off to play minor league ball myself and totally lived all of it. My experiences in the Cardinal and A's organization did not resemble Jordan's, they rhymed. This book tells the story of thousands of young hopefuls who live amongst us, and many more of us can relate to it than can relate to the superhuman life and accomplishments of Barry Bonds.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pat Jordan's Lost Seasons, December 20, 2002
By 
J. Sweeney (manchester, mo) - See all my reviews
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Like so many baseball books, this really isn't just about baseball. It's about a young mans' journey growing up. It's about what happens to a "can't miss" prospect when he does miss. Pat Jordan looks back 15 years after he threw his last pitch--trying to figure out what happened. He's still not sure-I got the feeling he wrote this book for theraputic reasons. But we learn a lot about Mr. Jordan, and some of it is not too flattering. It's obvious he's still searching for the answers, and that's what I like the most about the book-because YOU understand while reading that he just didn't have what it takes to be a big league pitcher. A wonderful peek inside Mr. Jordan's "coming of age." Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pat Jordan hit a Home Run, July 13, 2000
I first read "A False Spring" close to 23 years ago and it remains as one of the best books I have ever read...I have read it again numerous times over the years and am always captivated by Jordan's writing style. A haunting tale about a kid who could throw hard but didn't really know how to pitch, and was released by the Braves in three years. He does an admirable job describing his failings as a young man..The clarity in which he remembers this short career so many years later is astounding. Even a non-baseball fan will appreciate this outstanding work.
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A False Spring
A False Spring by Pat Jordan (Paperback - September 1, 2005)
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