A GREAT view of the field at AT&T Park in Chattanooga during their pre-season open house!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book: When a Star Fell on Alabama

I sent a note to Jack Kubiszyn not too long ago, and he sent a note back about his book. I figured it looked like a good read, so I picked it up!

Jack had a very short stay in the majors, spending parts of two seasons (1961-1962) with the Cleveland Indians. I really enjoy reading books by and about the guys that had brief careers, especially during the 60s! Sure, they had the major league career, but they had a real life too.

Jack had a very successful college sports career, playing basketball and baseball. He had a preference for basketball, and the first half of this book talks mostly about his basketball days at the University of Alabama. He played on a very successful team and met his wife (and the author of this book) Lucy while at a college party!

The second half of the book covers Jack's signing with the Cleveland Indians, and his bouncing around their minor league system while trying to start a family. I especially enjoy reading about the old minor leagues, and the characters at those levels. He covers his time in Nicaragua which was different (money is stolen and a monkey is almost purchased!).

I don't want to give too much of this book away (because YOU need to buy it and read it!) but Jack and Lucy talk very openly about Jack getting hit by a pitch in the eye, their adopting their first child, and they give an account of the difficulties of walking away from pro baseball.

I really like this book because it is honest, and it is a safe book for anyone in the family. Jack is a happily married young man in baseball, and his time in the pros is very family focused. He is not running around partying. Also, Jack's faith is mention, but the book doesn't get preachy. Jack and Lucy give a very nice description of their time in baseball. I think it is very sweet that Lucy is the author of a book about her husband.

I must say that there is one thing I don't like about this book. Jack does mention a basketball rivalry between the University of Alabama and the University of Kentucky Wildcats. He even talks about one game where the Wildcats take a loss to the Crimson Tide. Again.

I think Jack is a good guy though and a UK fan can still appreciate reading about a Wildcats loss.

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