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All the Good in Sports Paperback – Large Print, December 28, 2012
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
MIKE SANDROLINI has worked for more than 20 years as a professional writer, editor, reporter and columnist with four newspapers (daily and weekly) and one magazine publishing company. He has also been involved in Christian publishing as a reporter and writer since the early 1990s, including work for Sports Spectrum magazine. He has been published in Sharing the Victory, the official magazine of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Breakaway and Charisma; SLAM; Basketball Digest; and Preview Sports. Other venues for his work include the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, Copley Newspapers, Liberty Suburban Chicago Newspapers and the Chicago Bear Report. His work has been recognized in various state and national newspaper editorial excellence contests.
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Being successful in the highly lucrative and pressurised world of professional sports is not generally regarded as being compatible with a strong Christian lifestyle and testimony, and understandably so. The temptations and pitfalls of ridiculous levels of wealth and adulation that land on the shoulders of generally young, attractive, talented people, too often brings with it a sideshow of lurid and troubled personal lives.
All the Good in Sports is a compilation of life stories and accounts that provides a refreshing contradiction to this unfortunate reality. It is a pleasant surprise of a book, particularly for the non-American reader, who would likely not be at all aware of the number of highly successful professional sports players, actively bearing and promoting a Christian testimony.
The book gives snapshot accounts of the lives of 25 sportsmen and sportswomen, drawn from football, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, gymnastics, baseball, and other sports. Each account begins with a summary of the sportspersons career and achievements, followed by an extracted article from the Sports Spectrum magazine, which focuses in a particular way on the Christian aspect of the sportsperson's life and how it fits in with their success.
It is certainly fascinating to discover just how many of these undoubtedly exceptional individuals lead totally ordinary lives behind the scenes, and are faced with the pressures, troubles and fears common to all. A common theme of the book is just how many have been through personal tragedy of some shape or form. Often it is in such times that their Christian testimony begins or is strengthened.
One aspect that is not really touched on is the thorny issue of whether or not professional sport is fundamentally compatible with a Christian lifestyle. To many Christians, the obligation to ply ones trade on the Lord's Day can be a bridge too far. Unfortunately, this appears to be assumed a non-issue.
Otherwise, All the Good in Sports is a refreshing, and at times, inspirational, read.
Armchair Interviews says: A pleasant compilation of `good-news' stories.
With twenty contemporary sports personalities, sportswriter Sandrolini goes behind the top scores and record breaking events to get personal with the special purpose of each of these stars. They are all quite human and reveal their humbling efforts to share their faith. Christian Hosoi, of skateboarding fame, shares his story of finding God in his jail cell. Mariano Rivera, Yankees' 1999 World Series MVP, explains how he is grateful to God and how he enjoys gathering with young minor leaguers for Bible study. Mary Lou Retton, the famed gold medal winning gymnast, is now a motivational speaker and author and openly shares her dedication to being a Christian. Matt Hasselbeck, Ruth Riley, Payne Stewart, and Dave Downing, among others, also reveal their faith.
Clearly demonstrating that it's not all about the multi millions, Wheaties boxes, and adoring fans, the athletes exhibited here are so much more. Author Mike Sandrolini presents a higher purpose than winning the game in his stories. Well presented and interesting to read, the collection is based on sports and faith. To any Christian sports enthusiast, this book is sure to be a huge inspiration.
I enthusiastically recommend this book!