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Becoming Mr. October Paperback – September 23, 2014


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Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (September 23, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307476804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307476807
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

REGGIE JACKSON was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993. He hit 563 home runs and drove in 1,702 runs over the course of his twenty-one-year career. He played three World Series–winning seasons with the Oakland Athletics and two with the New York Yankees. He is a special adviser to the Yankees.

KEVIN BAKER is the prize-winning author of the historical novels Dreamland, Paradise Alley, and Strivers Row; the baseball novel Sometimes You See It Coming; and, most recently, The Big Crowd. He served as chief historical researcher for the nonfiction bestseller The American Century. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and Harper’s Magazine, among other publications.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Yankees vs. Red Sox, September 1977:
 
“Do you ask Babe Ruth to bunt—or Cookie Lavagetto? Willie McCovey—or Phil Rizzuto?
        "But I was learning. Billy Martin said bunt, I was prepared to bunt. Reggie Cleveland threw in on me, though, so I couldn’t get the bat out and had to take it for a ball. I looked back down to Dick Howser—and now the bunt was off. Cleveland threw me a fastball, and I fouled it off.
        "I looked back at Howser. The bunt sign was back on. Tell me, does this make any sense at all?
        "I got ready to bunt again, but Reggie Cleveland threw another ball in. It was like they were picking up the signs, which maybe they were. It was like they knew I was going to try to lay one down.
        "Personally, I thought they were making a mistake. If it was my team and Reggie Jackson wanted to bunt, let him bunt.
        "Instead, the count fell in my favor, the bunt was taken off, and Cleveland hung a slider. It was room service. The rest is history.”

Customer Reviews

This book is poorly written and not very cohesive.
JPusz
That was an exciting chapter to read and brought back good memories.
J. Groen
He should've just shut his mouth, but he still doesn't get it.
Joe Fisco"Cabaret"@Studio 54

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Alan on October 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Reggie already wrote an outstanding autobiography ("Reggie- the Autobiography") with Mike Lupica back in 1980's. That book was a far more comprehensive review of Reggie's life. If you read that book, this book wasn't going to tell you much more than what was contained in first book, and in "Reggie" he wasn't shy about naming names that are strangely not named in the stories repeated in "Becoming Mr. October." Since Reggie was an outstanding player and compelling personality, I expected more than what I got from this book. If you never read "Reggie" and don't intend to, "Becoming Mr. October" is a good book and that's why it got three stars. But instead of building from that book, Reggie basically recycled "Reggie" and therefore missed a chance to hit another October home run.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JPusz on November 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is poorly written and not very cohesive. The Bronx Zoo is a fascinating topic and Jackson is an all-time great baseball player. However this book is a struggle to read due to the long tangents and poor structure. At time it is incoherent and painful.
Mr. October should be ashamed of this book as it's style and lack of flow expose him in a very dim intellectual light.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. C Sheehy on December 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I think the word self-serving would have to be invented if it did not exist. Reggie Jackson is rehashing arguments from years ago that people have long forgotten about except him. Basically, Reggie was perfect, maybe a bit brash but the issue was entirely Billy Martin. He was the cause of all the problems that existed around Reggie as was racism. Yes that's right two separate entities were responsible for all his problems. This could have been an opportunity to focus on a great time but Reggie can't let go of his animus towards Billy Martin which, granted, is probably legitimate but Martin is dead and Reggie does no favors by opening it all up again.

I was disappointed by the book and the story. The Bronx is Burning, a book Reggie hates, does a much better job telling this story.
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful By D. Knowles on October 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Reggie attributes every criticism of his career to racism and the racists who didn't give him credit where credit is due. He even goes so far as to label anyone who doesn't like the current president as being bigots. He revises and rebukes 35 year old newspaper headlines and magazine articles for not being correct, takes issue with the movie, "The Bronx is Burning" (although he admits to never watching it) as being hurtful and fiction and disses the dead (Munson and Martin).
Save yourself from this egotistical piece of trash. I took mine back to the bookstore.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joe Fisco"Cabaret"@Studio 54 on December 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I grew up with Reggie & will never forget his 3 Homers. It's still one of my greatest baseball memories as a kid. They being said, he still sounds like he has an axe to grind & the ego ! It's all about Reggie! He couldn't get off the subject of Billy Martin. He went on & on about it for the entire book & how he was mistreated. He sounds like a petulant child. He should've just shut his mouth, but he still doesn't get it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John R. Ollis on April 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a pretty good book written by Jackson. When reading it, you have to take in to account that is is an autobiographer and is a little slanted. However, I feel that he did a good job presenting the story of the difficulties of playing for Billy Martin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence L. Smith on November 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Too much about how special he was and he took considerable time telling us. I quit after 100 pages. I couldn't stand reading any more. You don't have to eat the whole apple to know it's bad!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael A Berkowitz on January 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Reggie wants you to know a couple of things:

1. He's black. And anything bad that anyone has ever said about him - or about any other black person, particularly Barack Obama - it's only because he's black. America is racist, racist, racist.

2. Billy Martin was a terrible human being and a terrible manager. He didn't like Reggie. Nobody liked Reggie. And why not? Maybe because he was black. Poor, poor Reggie.

This is, beyond doubt, the most self-serving book in the history of books. It's a 290 page assault on a dead man, and it's full of contradictions. Every bad thing you've ever read about Reggie? It didn't happen. The writers made it up (because he's black). Everything bad he ever said? He didn't say it. The writers made it up. Also, every decision Billy Martin ever made was wrong, and Reggie always knew better. The Yankees won in spite of Billy.

Reggie's lack of self-awareness is astounding.
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