From Publishers Weekly
Lee was considered one of Major League Baseball's biggest flakes in the 1970s, a freethinker who defied nearly every manager or owner who tried to control him. Although Lee, who pitched for the Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox, was removed involuntarily from the pro ranks for his controversial statements and attitudes (e.g., suggesting pot smoking as a way for pitchers to better concentrate), he never lost his love for the game and played whenever and wherever he could, at first with the hopes of returning to the majors, later simply for the enjoyment of it. He picks up where his 1984 memoir The Wrong Stuff
left off, recounting his travels playing with myriad amateur and semipro baseball and softball teams in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Russia, Cuba and Venezuela. Lee's anti-establishment attitudes—he writes candidly, humorously and unapologetically of his drug and alcohol abuse—also drew him into alternative politics, as the 1988 presidential candidate for the Rhinoceros Party. For all his antics, however, Lee speaks eloquently of the connection between baseball and male bonding, especially between fathers and sons. This is a thoughtful and droll journal of an itinerant journeyman, content to ply his trade for whatever he can get out of the experience.
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This is an odd hybrid of a book, proceeding where Lee's popular Wrong Stuff
left off some 20 years ago. Unceremoniously released by the Montreal Expos in 1982 at the age of 35, Lee began a second career traveling the world--Russia, Venezuela, Canada, Cuba--in search of a place to play ball. With coauthor Lally, Lee recounts his adventures at far-flung ballparks, his friendships with players (Ted Williams, Ferguson Jenkins), and his lively encounters with the locals. And always, at least until the birth of his daughter recently, there are the drugs--Lee arguing, for instance, that he could pitch effectively on a marijuana high: "Hitters could not think with me because of the simple fact that I had ceased thinking." Lee is at his best, though, when he talks pitching. He gives a clinic on the subject when he tells how he pitched 64 innings four years ago at a weekend tournament in Pennsylvania while throwing only 320 pitches, or about 5 per inning. A book probably best enjoyed by the armchair-traveling baseball fan with a long memory. Alan MooresCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved