Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review of "Pete Gray: One-Armed Major Leaguer," by W. G. Nicholson

Review of
Pete Gray: One-Armed Major Leaguer, by W. G. Nicholson ISBN 0133634817

Five out of five stars
 Until pitcher Jim Abbott reached the major leagues in 1989, Pete Gray was the only man to play in the majors lacking the major portion of a limb. Gray played for the St. Louis Browns in 1945, when nearly all the quality players were in a military uniform.
 Since Abbot was a pitcher in the American League, the designated hitter rule kept him from batting. Gray was an outfielder and so had to hold his own against major league pitching. Not only was it better than what he was accustomed to, the pitchers were also smarter and quickly learned his weakness at the plate. It was an inability to adjust his swing to hit pitches slower than he expected. Therefore, when the war ended and the best players returned, there was no spot on the roster for Pete. Yet, he did manage to hit .218, an average that very few people could achieve.
 This is a book that demonstrates the value of perseverance and believing in yourself. Although the circumstances were unusual in the year that Pete Gray played in the majors, he still achieved a level that few people in any physical condition could attain. For that reason, this short biography of Gray for young people is an inspiration and a demonstration that one should be very careful in making assumptions about what a person that appears handicapped can really do.

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