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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Lefty: An American Odyssey
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on December 9, 2014
A wonderful book, filled with insights into one of baseball's lesser known Hall of Famers, unless you're a longtime Yankees fan. I think his daughter and her collaborator did some fairly extensive research too back up their stories. And it really captured a side of a sports figure that we haven't seen before. She included his flaws and his drive to be a success. And it told some of his wife's story as well, which made the book more well rounded. She had a very interesting life as well and was a perfect match for her husband in many important ways.. Lefty was a unique individual and talented in ways beyond baseball. It's fascinating to see how he and his wife, June, interacted with so many people in the entertainment world. This is an American success story that children can emulate. I'm going to have my 15 year old son read it.
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on October 20, 2012
Have just finished reading "Lefty, an American Odyssey." It was much better than I expected. The book is co-written by a grandaughter of Lefty Gomez, Verona Gomez and Lawrence Goldstone. It begins with the Gomez family history and goes into Lefty's childhood and how he spent many hours each day working on the family farm. Covered are his sandlot days, minor and Major League career and life after baseball with illustrations. The childhood of his wife June O'Dea and her acting career are also included in the book. Friends and former teammates add stories in this almost four hundred page book. Excellent!
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on June 14, 2014
Well written, quick paced biography of a fascinating baseball great. The book offers great insight into the man presenting a deeply intelligent, humble and self-deprecating man of many passions: baseball, airplane flying, saxophone playing. Lefty Gomez ran in multiple eclectic social circles.

The book provides wonderful historical and cultural context. The baseball moments and perspective is just right for both serious and casual fans.

Lefty is a most enjoyable biography.
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on April 25, 2014
I always enjoy reading of Gomez's wit, and this shows us the man behind the tales. As his daughter worked on the book, we truly get into his character. She doesn't pull punches, but this is no "Daddy Dearest." It's a tale of love, and one that any baseball fan will enjoy.
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on August 11, 2012
I'm a great baseball fan who knows a lot about the history of the game, especially that of the NY Yankees, and I very much enjoyed reading about the high and low points of both Lefty's baseball and his personal life. I was surprised, in a positive way, at times at the level of honesty with which his daughter was willing to approach the subject of the life of her father, who also happened to be a great ballplayer in his day. There is no sugar coating, no hero worship here, but rather the book is a very honest and entertaining portrayal of a very human public figure who led a sometimes painful personal life. While I could have done without some of the more mundane details of Gomez' life, such as family history and specifics of various travels, I found this book to be entertaining and well-written, and it was nice to have an up-close and personal view of the days (and nights) and the times of the Ruth-Gehrig-Dickey-DiMaggio Yankee dynasties. Kudos to his daughter Verona and her co-author Lawrence Goldstone!
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on September 28, 2014
I lived in Durham when Lefty did but I never knew how famous he was. My dad told m e he played baseball but 12 year olds don't really care about the past, Lefty gave me a baseball glove that I still have and use. This booked showed me who he really was and I thank you for writing it. Besides the glove I received my other moment I remember was when Sharon's horse trampled me and I got a little bruise on my arm and the time Duane slept in my bedroom with my two fish tanks and he had dreams of motorcycle racing. Bill Stannard
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on June 3, 2013
I only got half way through it before I misplaced it. I'm looking forward to finding it and finishing the second half. I live about twenty miles from where Lefty grew up so it is interesting to see how things have changed. Lefty's story is both unique and typical of the ballplayers from the twenties and thirties. Unique in that it is his own story with rather more twists and turns than a normal ballplayer's career, and typical in that an enormous number of major leaguers came from farms and ranches. If you read The Glory of Their Times you would be struck by the number of country boys like Vernon who came off the farm into pro ball. A good book for both baseball and Yankee fans.
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Daughter Vernona Gomez honors her late father with a well-researched biography of Yankee great Vernon "Lefty" Gomez. From the time he was a child Lefty wanted to be a baseball player. His strength was in his determination to achieve his goal while at the same time being a willing learner from those who had knowledge to pass on to him. In other words he was coachable and aware of his limitations.

Gomez played during the heyday of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and later Joe DiMaggio. Lefty was The Yankee Clipper's roommate for several years, and taught the quiet DiMaggio life in the big leagues. The book provides numerous anecdotes of the Yankee greats of this time period which enrich the book a great deal. Gomez was there when Ruth supposedly called his "shot" in Wrigley Field during the 1932 World Series. He was also there when Gehrig was stricken with illness and had to prematurely retire from the game.

Gomez married a Broadway show girl who he was married to for well over fifty years. Lefty Gomez was one of several Yankee players who were unceremoniously jettisoned from the roster when they were deemed no longer useful. Lefty then spent brief periods with the Boston Braves and Washington Senators.

When his playing days were over Gomez spent several years working for the Wilson sporting goods company traveling thousands of miles crisscrossing the country. He continued representing the game of baseball in a positive way by mingling with fans at baseball memorabilia card shows. Gomez was very popular as an after-dinner speaker sharing anecdotes of his years with the Yankees and the many greats that he played with.

Vernon "Lefty" Gomez was born in the year 1908 and passed away in 1989. His life encompassed most of the 20th century, and it was a full life indeed. Yankee fan or not. This book is an integral part of baseball's history.
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on August 6, 2013
A great tale about one of baseball's greats. a guy who played with Joe DiMaggio and was a key part of several Yankees championship teams. I wanted to buy and read this book because Lefty and DiMaggio were in Albuquerque at a preseason baseball banquet, circa 1980, and I recorded it -- and still have it -- on cassette. There weren't any PEDs in Lefty's time and the national pastime was much the better for it.
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on April 9, 2013
I think the story of my husband Gery's family was very good. He learned several things that he wasn't even
aware of. His sister was wise to have someone help her get the story out about a man with a funny sense of
humor. His son was also bigger than life and I was very pleased that he had a chance to read it before he passed
away on Christmas Day of last year
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