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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a Dodgers Fan
Kiss It Good Bye is a great story that kept me on the edge of my seat. It was also a nice trip back to the America of the 1960's, my boyhood years. The author is a wonderful writer and story teller. I knew a little about Vern Law and enjoyed the background information about his growing up years in Idaho and how he picked the Pirates as the team to play for right out of...
Published on March 2, 2010 by Ronnie

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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what it purports to be
Boy was I excited when I saw this reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. A Pirate fan from 66 through about 92, I was eager to read about the storied 60 season. It did not take long for me to be disappointed. The first few chapters had more to do with the Mormon religion than the Pittsburgh Pirates. Not only that, but there was a political rather than a sporting focus...
Published on April 13, 2010 by Tom Lawry


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a Dodgers Fan, March 2, 2010
By 
Ronnie (Pleasant Grove) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, The Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Hardcover)
Kiss It Good Bye is a great story that kept me on the edge of my seat. It was also a nice trip back to the America of the 1960's, my boyhood years. The author is a wonderful writer and story teller. I knew a little about Vern Law and enjoyed the background information about his growing up years in Idaho and how he picked the Pirates as the team to play for right out of High School. I also loved feeling the emotion the Pittsburg fans must have felt going up against the Goliath Yankees in the World Series. It had been the Dodgers against the Yankees for me. I wouldn't have thought it possible to enjoy a baseball book based on one player, one team, and for the most part one season and one game. But I did! For me it was a home run.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good mix of biography, history & baseball, March 2, 2010
This review is from: Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, The Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Hardcover)
I read this book as an advance copy from the publisher. I'm not a huge baseball fan, but I do love the game. I generally don't read books about baseball for that reason. I found this one interesting because it covered the lives of two men in the same city at the same time - one a star Pirates player (Vern Law) and the other just a fan of the game (the author). The history of the city of Pittsburgh was kind of fun to read too. All of this happened way before my time,but I really enjoyed it because it was so much more than just another sports book. There is a moral contained in here about doing the right thing and rising above the average. I think there is a bigger take away then just another recounting of a very famous game a long time ago. Overall, very enjoyable!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Baseball Book, March 2, 2010
This review is from: Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, The Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Hardcover)
I received an advance copy of the book and was skeptical because I'm not a Pirates fan. But after starting the book I really got into the story. The Pirates were one messed up baseball organization and to read about their turnaround and dramatic World Series win turned out to be really interesting.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what it purports to be, April 13, 2010
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This review is from: Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, The Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Hardcover)
Boy was I excited when I saw this reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. A Pirate fan from 66 through about 92, I was eager to read about the storied 60 season. It did not take long for me to be disappointed. The first few chapters had more to do with the Mormon religion than the Pittsburgh Pirates. Not only that, but there was a political rather than a sporting focus. Digs at the ACLU and PETA, comments extolling physical punishment of children...the book was a hagiography of Vernon Law and his values. Not even that much about Law the pitcher, although he was more of a focus in the book than the Pirate team. I gave this Book two stars because it is well written and covers the 60 Series pretty well, I was more ready to give it zero stars after the first 100 pages. There is almost nothing written about the 60 pennant race, and nothing to speak of about the MVP, Dick Groat. Most egregious, the writer calls Clemente "arrogant" three times, and cowardly twice! He says that the book on Clemente was to brush him back and then he would bail out....unless of course Vernon Law protected him. Maybe in 60, but in the late 60's when I saw Clemente brushing him back meant the next pitch was going to be rifled off the right center field fence. Overall, I enjoyed the account of the 60 series, but felt pretty ripped off by the rest of the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Read, April 13, 2010
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This review is from: Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, The Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Hardcover)
If you like baseball, you will enjoy reading this book. It is a throw-back to the genuine days of baseball. If you were a kid in the 60's this is a fun walk down memory lane. If you played baseball, especially beyond little league and high school, you will love this book. It reminds of how close a team can become and how the essence of winning is teamwork. It also portrays the behind-the-scenes life that exists grinding through 6 months of playing 6 games per week. This is a bitter-sweet story, especially knowing (for me, for the first time) what happened to Vernon Law. One year he was "Lights Out" and the next, just average, never to be great again. It's an age old story of our sports heroes. But the gem that you come away with after reading the story is how a genuinely good soul handles adversity. It was inspiring to me. The author does dwell a little too much (even to a fault) on the spoiled players of today. It took a little off the shine that otherwise this story is. Enjoy a good baseball book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Bucs and the Bible, July 19, 2010
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This review is from: Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, The Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Hardcover)
Found the book disappointing. Really wasn't particularly interested in a treatise on the Morman religion, which took up a substantial portion of the book.

Also found several errors which are inexcusable. Dale Long did not hit pinch hit home runs in eight consecutive games, the center field wall was 457 feet from home plate, not 467 feet, Joe Adcock did not ruin Harvey Haddick's perfect game with a home run, but rather a double, and the claim that the Pirates were able to draft Roberto Clemente from the Dodger's Montreal farm team because the Dodgers were unaware of his talent is ridiculous. The Dodgers tried to hide Clemente in Montreal, going so far as to pinch hit for him in the first inning with the bases loaded.

Some people should keep the memories of their youth to themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars UNBELIEVABLE, September 24, 2014
This review is from: Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, The Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Hardcover)
I am giving this one star for one BIG reason., John Moody is someone who has been employed in the media his entire life, yet he writes a book that I find is filled with errors, incredibly bad opinions and facts that should not come from someone who is allegedly trained in journalism. I was a journalism major and to read some of his blunders makes me choke. And he went to Cornell! An IVY league school too! One would think his education would have held him to the highest standards. Hell, I didn't get a journalism degree from an ivy league school but I would NEVER write anything without making sure all my facts were straight.

He says Dale Long hit 8 pinch hit homeruns in a row. NOT TRUE! He hit homeruns in 8 straight games setting a major league record that was later tied by Don Mattingly and Griffey Jr.

He says on page 277 (I think that is the page...if not it is pretty close) that Mickey Mantle was "only then beginning to display his mastery of the game" by the 1960 world series. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?! By 1960 he had won a triple crown, two MVP's and THREE homerun titles! Wow!

He calls Roberto Clemente's basket catch "arrogant" (where the hell does he come up with that from?). I suppose that means Willie Mays was also "arrogant"?

And he claims he is going to reveal the "true" reason Vern Law got hurt. Heck, I had already read elsewhere that Bob Prince, the Bucco broadcaster, was responsible for this injury along with a group of other players during a post-game celebration.

In addition, he keeps referring to Gino Cimolli as the Latin Lover. Fer crying out loud, he was ITALIAN!

Plus, I did not enjoy reading the first 60 pages which were more focused on explaining what Mormonism was about. I had to skim-read that because it was so painfully boring.

OK...you get the idea. There are parts that are pretty good but for a professional journalist to make such glaring blunders, I was cringing.

The bottom line is this...when I finally finished this book, I was THRILLED to "Kiss It Good-Bye"!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful Story about Baseball's Golden Days!!!!, July 8, 2010
This review is from: Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, The Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Hardcover)
When I heard that Deseret was publishing Kiss It Good-Bye, I had to read and review this book, as I've been a huge baseball fan since my Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 1958.

John Moody was a 6 year old in Pittsburgh when the Pirates won the World Series, especially winning against the usually unbeatable Bronx Bombers, the New York Yankees, but 1960 was the year for the Bucks. They scrapped their way to their first Series win since 1927. and not last. The unlikely Pirate to help earn the Pirates their first World Series was pitcher Vernon Law, a very down to earth Mormon farm boy from Meridian, Idaho. Vernon had the nickname of The Deacon from his teammates for his strict Mormon upbringing.

In the early days of major league baseball, players were close to their fans, knew how to really play the game, unlike how they play today. There were no free agents, million dollar salaries, high performance enhancing drugs or egos.

Pittsburgh was the Steel City because of the steel mills that caused a gray cloud over the city for many years. It took some years to clean up Pittsburgh so that the citizens could breathe. They built skyscrapers, cleaned up the rivers. In the 40's, they were using electric lights, as the Steel City was in the dark during the day, and people had to cover their mouths and noses because of the contaminants around them. Some well known people couldn't wait to get out of Pittsburgh, like Gene Kelly and Edison. John Moody couldn't wait to move to Chicago.

The Bucks in 1952 had the worst ever record of any Major League Team with a record of 42-112. They finished 54 1/2 games out of first place. They were constantly the cellar kings.

In the 50's, segregation was rampant, so the black athletes couldn't be in the same restaurants with the other players, which was the norm in those days, but so unfair. The blacks would have separate restrooms, drinking fountains and have to sit at the back of the bus. This segregation was felt at the stadium. Vernon had been raised to treat everyone with respect and he did everywhere he went.

Vernon married his high school sweetheart VaNita, who gave him children with V names: Veldon, Varlin, Vaughn, Veryl and Vance, who also was a Major League player.

Vern won the Cy Young award and was the most valuable player in that momentous World Series, but he never regained his pitching arm after an injury to his ankle after they won the pennant. When all the team were on the bus celebrating with champagne, a member of the Pirate contingency got carried away and injured his ankle. Even while pitching his two games in the Series, he played with excruciating pain and in the next few seasons, because of that ankle injury, overcompensated and c aused his pitching arm to change. He never complained once. After retiring, he became a Baseball Coach at BYU.

One nice thing I enjoyed about this delightful book is that each chapter is called an inning and the last chapter is entitled Extra Innings. John Moody brings the last game of that Series to a very exciting climax. I think the 7th game of that 1960 World Series was one oof the most exciting series of all time. An unlikely team, if ever, beat those great Bronx Bombers that had the best Yankee players ever to play the game: Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Moose Skowron, Whitey Ford, and Roger Maris. The team that beat these guys were scrappy guys, such as: Vernon Law, Bill Mazeroski, Dick Groat, Bill Virdon, Joe Gibbon, Dick (Ducky) Schofield, Bob Friend, ElRoy Face, Bob Skinner, Joe Christopher, Hal Smith, Gino Cimoli, George Witt, Bob Oldis and the late great Roberto Clemente.

Forever Friends Rating 5 Stars by Teri
Until Next Time, See You Around The Book Nook.

I received my review copy from Deseret.

Published by: Shadow Mountain
Date Published:
ISBN: 978-1-60641-149-0
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winner of the Green Weenie..., April 12, 2010
By 
cf otto "cf" (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, The Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Hardcover)
...for Best Book About The Pirates (if you understand the title of this review, you are a true Pirate fan).

This book was written for me...well, not me specifically, but since I grew up 7 miles closer to Pittsburgh than the author and I am only three years younger, the book hit me in the heart... a perfect blend of baseball, nostalgia and, yes, even controversy. I never quite understood why Vern Law went from great to pretty good...this book finally explains why and in a crushing way...for those of us who loved Bob Prince.

More than that, though, the book is meant for everyone who remembers a different America, with different values and a different ethic. The book serves as a reminder how much we have lost and how much we have gained since 1960, as a country and, specifically, as a baseball team called the Pirates.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, December 15, 2010
By 
Jack R. Hunter (Moore, Ok United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, The Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Hardcover)
Moody seems to be more interested in providing his own views on everything from religion to child rearing rather than the 1960 Pirates. I would have appreciated hearing less about his life and his views on past and present society and more about the actual participants in the 1960 world series. However, if this were done the book would only consist of 150 or so pages. It's actually a shame the book isn't better because it does contain some interesting information but one has to filter out too much of the author's personal views that don't relate to the story at hand to get at it.
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