They Pay Me to Catch Footballs! By Tommy McDonald
Four out of five stars
This is one of the many Scholastic Book Services books that I read when I was in elementary school. Few modern readers would know who Tommy McDonald was and he was out of football when I first read it. Yet, it is still an engaging story, the undersized boy and then man that started out in a small town and managed to impress everyone with his speed and moves. It was a case of people being underwhelmed by him due to his size until they saw him on the football field. He was extremely fast, ran well-disciplined routes and was a student of the game. It also helped that the man throwing the ball was generally a Hall of Fame quarterback.
The book was written in 1962, when McDonald had just emerged as a star wide receiver in the NFL. It is an autobiography of his life and written at the level of the middle school student. There are no great revelations or inside dirt on the NFL, just the account of a man that made it in the NFL, one of the toughest, hardest professions. It is easy reading and a look back into the NFL before it became the money-making enterprise it is now.