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Walter Johnson copertina

Walter Johnson

Di: Henry W. Thomas
Letto da: Ian Esmo
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Sintesi dell'editore

To many, Walter Johnson is the greatest pitcher of all time. He was a star second to none from the dawn of the game's modern era through the "Golden Age of Sports" of the Roaring Twenties. The playing career of "The Big Train", as the sportswriters called him, spanned the era of such greats as Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Lou Gehrig, and Al Simmons. Johnson knew every President from William Howard Taft to Franklin Roosevelt, and was friends with the likes of Will Rogers and Douglas Fairbanks.

But it wasn't Walter Johnson's blazing fastball alone that placed him on a pedestal as high as any in American sports. It was Johnson, above all others, who came to personify "gentlemanly conduct in the heat of battle", as Shirley Povich put it. One of a small number of like-minded stars tempering the game's roughneck reputation in the century's early years, he was still around to help shepherd it through its darkest hour of the "Black Sox" scandal. For several generations, Johnson's presence in the big-league consoled parents all over the country. If the game was good enough for the modest, decent, and honest Kansas farm boy, they figured, it was okay for their sons, too.

Throughout a life as full as it gets, and a career as dazzling as any in the history of sports, Walter Johnson remained an unspoiled individual, his name unmarred by any hint of wrongdoing on or off the field. This is the grand story of one of the good guys.

©1995 Henry W. Thomas (P)1997 Blackstone Audiobooks

"A much-needed, comprehensive biography of a baseball legend." (Booklist)

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  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di David
  • David
  • 05/04/2007

Greatest Pitcher of All Time?

All baseball fans owe it to themselves to read about one of the truly great pitchers. The book also gives an appreciation for the man and the times he pitched during.

I found the book entertaining and loved gaining a better understanding of baseball during the teens through thirties... they were very different times. It was also interesting to read about baseball in the nation's capital at the time.

In the end, this was a well done, well read book about one of the greatest baseball players in history... to appreciate baseball one needs to understand it history and this books ensures that and more.

The answer to the question in the title is... yes!

11 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    4 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di Billy
  • Billy
  • 09/01/2010

VERY INTERESTING

I found this book VERY interesting. Not your typical bio of a person who had a rough life and fought his way through trouble, etc... But a story about a regular guy, with irregular talent who found motivation in his pride. How hard this man worked his entire life, is more than inspiring.
But, this book is for REAL baseball fans. If not, you may get bored at times. If you love the game, and its players, its worth reading about, maybe the best pitcher to throw a ball.

6 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    3 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di A Carmack
  • A Carmack
  • 23/09/2022

Unlistenable! Read by a computer

Shame on audible for selling audiobooks read by a computer. I couldn't get past the first chapter. I really wanted to hear the story of The Big Train. Instead I guess I'll read it. Watch out for this "Ian Esmo", the computer who has been utilized to "read" several books about baseball.

1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di LSmith
  • LSmith
  • 15/04/2022

Excellent audio book on an excellent pitcher

At the time of his retirement in 1927, Walter Johnson was considered by some to be the greatest pitcher in the history of baseball to that point. Today, nearly 100 years later, he is still considered to be an all-time great despite pitching for mostly losing teams in Washington. Henry Thomas' biography of Johnson can be considered to be in that same lofty conversation - nearly 25 years after its publication, it should still be considered among the better baseball biographies.

Every aspect of Johnson's life is covered in great detail and will never come across as "ordinary" or one that a reader will want to skim or skip entirely. Thomas writes with as much passion about Johnson the man as he does about Johnson the pitcher. Johnson's childhood and life after baseball was mainly on the farm and he enjoyed that lifestyle - it is said often how much he enjoyed being outdoors. He was also a very devoted family man to his children and his wife Hazel and he received a lot of praise for his clean living.

That praise was matched by the accolades he received for his pitching as despite pitching for a mostly poor Washington Senators team, Johnson was able to accumulate 417 wins, 3509 strikeouts and an ERA+ of an astounding 147 (100 is considered an average major league pitcher). While most of his time with the losing Senators is written in mostly positive terms in this book, Thomas' best baseball writing in the book coincides with the two best seasons for the Senators during the Big Train's career when the Nationals (which is the name used for Washington most of the time during that era and is used by Thomas) won the World Series over the New York Giants in 192 4and came within an inning of defending that title against the Pittsburgh Pirates the next year. Even though Johnson was clearly on the downhill side of his career, it was also very clear he was first in agony in 1924 when he lost the first game but elated when he came in and pitched game 7 in relief and was the winning pitcher. This part of the book is the perfect example of how good the writing is throughout.

The narration in the audio version by Ian Esmo is just as good as the writing as he not only makes the play-by-play sections very exciting but a listener will enjoy the many stories and articles sprinkled in the text by some of the better sportswriters of the time such as Grantland Rice and Damon Runyan. For this reviewer, it enhanced the writing about Johnson as well. But whether one wants to read or listen, any baseball fan who wants to learn more about this legendary pitcher should add this to their collection.

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 20/10/2020

one of the most engaging baseball books I've ever

if you love baseball, you're going to absolutely love this! the tales of battle between Johnson and Ty Cobb, and Johnson and Ruth would make any baseball fan feel like a kid on Christmas. but if you're just a lover of the human condition, the Journey of Johnson from a shy Farm boy to the greatest picture of all time is like something out of a Greek myth! Ihighly recommend this

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di Matthew Tsien
  • Matthew Tsien
  • 03/05/2018

The Long Career of Walter "Big Train" Johnson

This book is about baseball's first great pre WWII power pitcher that won over 400 games, more than the immortals Christy Mathewson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Warren Spahn, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Greg Maddox and every other prolific ace pitcher enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Cy Young, who won 511 games was the only pitcher to win more games than the Big Train's 417.

Moreover, Johnson is the all time strike out leader for half a century before the 1980s, 1990s and early 21st Century when Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and five other pitchers surpass his 3,506 -- a record that stood for five decades.

Today Walter Johnson is ranked ninth among all time great strikeout leaders.

Beyond baseball it is interesting to note that the genteel Walter Johnson ran for Congress as a Republican nominee in my old district where a high school is named after him in the Washington suburbs of Maryland.

  • Generale
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di Bradley
  • Bradley
  • 09/08/2016

Amazing story.

Great story but the narration suffered a bit. Any time he read a quotation it was one of two voices and intonations.

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  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di Mel K.
  • Mel K.
  • 21/09/2019

Great story

As a UK based Baseball fan, who loves the history of the game, this very well produced book on the greatest pitcher the game has seen was very enjoyable.