Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Review of "Snap Me Perfect! The Darrell Porter Story," by Darrell Porter with William Deerfield

Review of

Snap Me Perfect! The Darrell Porter Story, by Darrell Porter with William Deerfield ISBN 0840753675

Four out of five stars

 This autobiography of Darrell Porter, an admitted alcoholic and drug addict, appears to have a happy ending, as it ends with him clean and a born-again Christian. Out of curiosity, I investigated his life after this book was written and learned that he died in 2002 at the age of 50. An autopsy revealed a level of cocaine in his body “consistent with recreational use.” Therefore, it is clear that he was never able to defeat demon coke.

 Although Porter played 17 seasons in the major leagues and had some outstanding seasons, a strong argument can be made that he would be in the Hall of Fame if he had not been under the influence most of the time. In 1979 he led the majors with 121 walks and scored and batted in over 100 runs. Feats where the only other catchers to accomplish them are in the Hall of Fame.

 This would be a better book of Porter had not descended to the level of seeking pity, often blaming his father for being unloving. Some of that is no doubt due to the fact that Porter never had to experience the issues of struggling for money. Many children of working-class parents that struggle to make ends meet resent their parents until they themselves are in that situation. Only then, do the appreciate what their parents did and sacrificed for them. Porter signed for a major bonus right out of high school, so lack of income was never an issue for him.

 As you read this book, you are amazed that Porter was able to function as a star at the major league level. He claims that he strictly controlled his intake, but that is a delusion that is easy to see through. He describes being so paranoid and delusional that he kept a loaded shotgun near his bed and found conspiracies against him in chance encounters with people.

 A natural athlete that was so gifted that he received multiple offers from NCAA football powerhouses as a quarterback, Porter could have been one of the greatest of all time. Yet, his significant feelings of insecurity and inadequacy were so strong that they were the stepping-stone to his drug use in an attempt to cope. This book is one that will make you sad, even more so because his story is not unique.

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