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Willie Mays Aikens: Safe at Home Hardcover – May 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books; First Edition edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600786960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600786969
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Willie's story is an amazing one and one that we can all learn from. The fact that Willie was able to take the hard circumstances of his life and turn it into a compelling story and life lesson is wonderful. It is great to see him doing so much with his life after all of the adversity he has been through." —Cal Ripken, Jr., Baseball Hall of Famer


"Willie Aikens did a lot of bad things, and many bad things were done to him. But Greg Jordan's vivid and unsparing account of Aikens' tragic journey is heartfelt and, at last, even tender." —Frank Deford, author, Over Time: My Life as a Sports Writer


"Some people have the good—or, more often, bad—fortune of living lives that reveal the larger human story. Greg Jordan certainly found one such character in Willie Mays Aikens, and then held on tight for years, to unearth—through a kind of fierce, reportorial empathy—every astonishing twist and step and slide. The result: an amazing tapestry of dream, nightmare and redemption, cheers and tears, marked 'America.'" —Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author of Confidence Men and A Hope in the Unseen


"Willie Mays Aikens: Safe at Home is far too complex to be regarded as just a baseball book. Gregory Jordan is a master storyteller, expertly weaving a narrative that is both fascinating and disturbing while ever mindful of the human spirit." —Tom Verducci, senior writer at Sports Illustrated and coauthor, The Yankee Years


"Gregory Jordan has written a touching book about an old ballplayer who made mistakes but did not hide from them, and who paid a steep price but did not allow himself to become embittered. It is good to see that Willie Mays Aikens, who was given a name of baseball royalty, really did find his way home." —Joe Posnanski, senior writer at Sports Illustrated and author, The Machine


"[A] gritty, fascinating and disturbing pieced-together story about...how an athletic career was taken down by drugs, but built back up by the forces of forgiveness."  —Tom Hoffarth's Los Angeles Daily News blog "Farther Off the Wall." 


"In this age of slick pieties and specious beliefs, it's all too easy to be cynical about the redemptive power of faith. Greg Jordan's poignant story of Willie Mays Aikens' journey from stardom through self-destruction to recovery is a tale of justice and injustice, courage and perseverance and, finally, forgiveness and love." —Mark C. Taylor, Chair of the department of Religion, Columbia University


"The story is so gripping, and I became so attached to the people involved, that I hated for it to end."  —Royals Heritage blog 

About the Author

Gregory Jordan has written about sports, movies, politics, and books for The New York Times, Crisis Magazine, and The Hill. Jordan worked with Mark Shriver on A Good Man, Mark’s biography of his father, Sargent Shriver, due out in June 2012. Jordan has also collaborated on books with former NFL player Joe Ehrmann and attorney Ron Shapiro. He lives in Sherwood, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By WesC on April 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Captivating story and story telling. An excellent read. The story goes well beyond baseball and delves into aspects of the US justice system, the culture of the 1980s, family dynamics, and personal struggles. The story is told with blunt honesty, yet compassionate and emotional. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Darbs on May 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Safe at Home, detailing the life and times of Willie Aikens is the most honest eye popping look into a dark hidden world behind the autograph lines that most people don't see. Safe At Home takes you on a rollercoaster ride that matches Willie's incredible rise from poor, to star, to prison and then ultimately back into baseball. Hall of Famer George Brett, Willie Wilson and other former players are included as a part of the glory days of Royals baseball. Love him or not, you will not be disappointed in Safe at Home or Aikens telling of an incredible ride through life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aaron W. Stilley on May 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Author Gregory Jordan does an expert job putting the reader inside Aikens's shoes and thoughts from an impoverished childhood, to his days in college and the minor leagues, to the majors and his introduction to cocaine, his incredible 1980 World Series performance, continued drug addiction during his years in the Mexico League, to his depraved life in Kansas City after his playing days, his controversial 20+ year prison sentence, and most powerful of all, Willie putting his life back together after his release in 2008.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ru4kc2 on September 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I hardly ever read autobiographies because I have such a hard time sticking with them. This book was written in such a way I could not put it down and read it cover to cover in 24 hours. Becoming a Royals fan from Iowa as a child in 1980, I remember Willie Aikens and knew he got in trouble with drugs but did not know the heartbreaking extent to which he became totally consumed with it. This book made me sad for the baseball hero he used to be to me and made me rejoice in how he has overcome the addictions. A heartbreaking to a heartwarming story.
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