My Ups and Downs in Baseball, by Orlando Cepeda
Three out of five stars
Published in 1968, this is a book that was written before the game-changing “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton. Breaking the unwritten norms of not airing dirty laundry in print, Bouton made a permanent impact in that it was thereafter acceptable to criticize everyone in print. There is some criticism of managers, coaches and teammates in this book, but it is tepid at best.
Cepeda was born and raised in Puerto Rico and so English was not his primary language. From this book it appears that he never really mastered it and his editor struggled to understand how to put Cepeda’s thoughts into a logical and coherent order. There are many times when the text has the appearance of something written by a non-native speaker of English.
It is written in a style that matches what one would write in a personal journal. There is little in the way of tensions rising as a big game is on the line. This book lacks real excitement, even though the author played in several dramatic World Series games.