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29 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand slam
This is a wonderfully descriptive, authoritative picture of the mysteries of the knuckleball and the resurgence of #43's career after concentrating on regularly hurling that flabbergasting pitch. A fascinating story very well told.
Published on July 6, 2012 by Dr. Syntax

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Well pitched.
I haven't read much of this genre of writing since Pat Conroy's 'My Losing Season'. You could probably add to that fact, that as an Australian, I don't know much about baseball. Still, this was an easy read; not a grand slam home run but a solid double.
Published 12 months ago by Dean Hodgson


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand slam, July 6, 2012
This review is from: The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
This is a wonderfully descriptive, authoritative picture of the mysteries of the knuckleball and the resurgence of #43's career after concentrating on regularly hurling that flabbergasting pitch. A fascinating story very well told.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art of Baseball, July 6, 2012
By 
Denise L. Wiktor "dc" (Washington, dc United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
I love baseball, have loved it since I was young and would hang with my father as he puttered and listened to baseball. He would watch golf on TV but never baseball, it had to be listened to. Of course that was a time when baseball commentary was king. Joseph Bottum's essay is more for the fan of the ART of baseball, not the mere statistician. So for me the description of the Miamiacs and their stadium I loved. It is also about the paid of the steroid scandals and how it has made us doubt who is playing. Only a pitcher, it seems to me, can avoid that and we get a animated description of how the knuckle ball and one pitcher can give us faith in the game again, to redeem it.

I do take one exception, in the part where he describes "Before 1998, only fifteen players over the previous hundred years of baseball had managed 500 home runs in a career." he fails to mention the one bone of contention I do have with statistics, which there are more games in a season that there used to be so the record (with or without drugs) has more of an opportunity to be broken.

I enjoyed the essay and I think that anyone who likes the sport of baseball, the art of baseball will enjoy it too with the colorful and descriptive passages, which, by his own admission, meander. The meandering gives context and emotion to the narrative. All for $1.99.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll join the chorus but make one gripe (that's not really a gripe), July 12, 2012
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This review is from: The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
The first six reviewers of this essay make excellent points about its excellence and I won't re-write what they've written, except to say that this is a great story written in great prose. My gripe, pseudo-gripe really, is that Summer of 43 just wasn't long enough for me. I wanted more about Dickey, more about knuckleballs, more about redemption, more about all of it. Hopefully, with the passage of time and events and, possibly, a denouement of some sort to the Dickey story, Bottum will expand this to a full-length book. For now though, this is about as good a way to spend $1.99 as I can think of.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Converted Sports Fan, July 7, 2012
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This review is from: The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
I don't normally write reviews for my online purchases. And I also admit that I'm not much of a baseball fan. But Joseph Bottum's pitch-perfect story made me change my ways. It is a well written, enjoyable piece, even for someone (like me) who had no idea that baseball has a pitch as wondrous as the knuckleball.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mystery of the knuckleball described! Magic!, July 10, 2012
This review is from: The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
Joseph Bottum has created another engaging story of a moment in sports - the wind up, execution and impact of the mysterious knuckleball. Mastering the knuckleball is almost impossible. One must be extremely intelligent or gifted. RA Dickey is a pitcher whose career was lagging until he and the knuckleball 'were one'. Here is a poetic account of how that happened. A very wonderful and enjoyable story. I read it under a shady tree in the backyard on a hot summer day - perfect!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Summer of 43, November 14, 2012
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This review is from: The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
Loved it! Author and subject have done an excellent job of summarizing Mr. Dickey's rise to the majors. Not only about baseball, but also has some very encouraging thoughts and lessons for all of us. I wouldn't feel hesitant about letting my 12 year old grandson read it. In fact, I hope that he does.

Very well written. Kept my interest throughout the book. Makes me want to purchase Mr. Dickey's new book as soon as Amazon prices come down on it.

Congratulations to R.A. for the fantastic season that he has had. It's great to see a "knuckleballer" do so well again. I love that pitch! Also congratulations to R.A. for the great rewards for all of the hard work that he has put in and the great benefits that his faith has reaped.

Super job to you also Mr. Bottum!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RA Dickey's Amazing Story, October 11, 2012
By 
MovieGuy (Cleveland OH) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
The Summer of 43: RA Dickey 's Knuckleball and the Redemption of the American Game is an amazing look at an incredible season in the major leagues. Dickey had an up and down career before he landed with the Mets. This season the Mets had to deal with a lot of setbacks. Dickey and his amazing knuckleball was the highlight of this year's team. Dickey comes across in this book as a humble athlete who was amazed at what he achieved. Note: Many baseball fans had thought that the art of throwing the knuckle ball had ended when Tim Wakefield retired in Boston. Dickey proved us wrong.

If you are a baseball fan, read this kindle single !!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something wobbly this way comes, July 10, 2012
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This review is from: The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
Joseph Bottum describes the knuckleball this way: "You grip the ball with your fingernails, lean back, and push it toward the batter, across the eye of the plate. And then you wait to see what happens. Sometimes it just floats, a slow, easy pitch any good hitter will crush into the bleachers. Sometimes it drops suddenly, as though it had rolled off the edge of a table, batters swinging futilely a foot above it. Sometimes it flutters like a sail taken aback. Nobody knows what will happen, not the pitcher or the hitter."

Even for the readers disinterested in baseball, that is fun to read, and this entire Kindle Single is filled with prose that just floats along, weaving and bobbing lyrically. At every discrete moment the writing is worth the price of admission. Yet overall, this piece feels incomplete.

This Single is about both the redemption of the game and the redemption of a man. Bottum says that RA Dickey has redeemed baseball from the scandal of steroids- RA Dickey, a man who has floated up and down into and out of the majors and the minors for 15 years, sometimes losing, sometimes not. Like a knuckleball, both the game and the man have had their ups and downs, and now, finally, they have simultaneously bumped into redemption. This is what the essay is supposed to be about. But I didn't really sense the redemption aspect coming out. The doldrum years of baseball are over, apparently, but are they redeemed? The man, RA Dickey, is no longer losing as a pitcher and no longer losing as a father, a husband and a man, and I wish I could have read more of that redemption. Bottum provides the briefest contours of that. I would have loved to read more of the dark night of the soul, and of the pitcher. What motivated Dickey to keep at his particular pitch? Did he have to re-assess his approach to mound? Can a pitcher hone his knuckleball skills or is it success just a combination of luck and persistence? And what about as a man, why did RA Dickey become a Christian? Was this just another change-up? Or was it redemption, complete with loss, grace, and focused renewal? These questions are answered only peripherally, if at all, in this Single.

The parts of redemption are all there, but Bottum didn't make the sum of them equal the whole. My advice: buy this Single; buy Bottum's other Singles, and wait for another pitch in the near future. Nobody knows what will happen, not the pitcher, not the hitter. But my bet is that we won't want to miss it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Well pitched., February 9, 2014
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This review is from: The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
I haven't read much of this genre of writing since Pat Conroy's 'My Losing Season'. You could probably add to that fact, that as an Australian, I don't know much about baseball. Still, this was an easy read; not a grand slam home run but a solid double.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Take on an Incomplete Season, December 29, 2013
By 
Amazon Customer "photo freak" (Bordentown, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
When this Kindle Single was written, the Cy Young season of R.A. Dickey was but half completed. Thus it turned into a "cry for healing" via his feel good story; to wash away much of the pain of the 'roid fueled records rush of the 90's and 00's. It was an interesting take on the subject from someone who obviously cares deeply about the game.
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