Lefty: An American Odyssey
A baseball legend distinguished by his competitive nature, quick wit, and generous spirit, Lefty Gomez was one of a kind. Told for the first time, this is his remarkable story.
Born to a small-town California ranching family, the youngest of eight, Vernon “Lefty” Gomez rode his powerful arm and jocular personality right across America to the dugout of the New York Yankees. Lefty baffled hitters with his blazing fastball, establishing himself as the team's ace. He vacationed with Babe Ruth, served as Joe DiMaggio's confidant, and consoled Lou Gehrig the day the “Iron Horse” removed himself from the lineup. He started and won the first-ever All-Star Game, was the first pitcher to make the cover of Time magazine, and barnstormed Japan as part of Major League Baseball's grand ambassadorial tour in 1934. Away from the diamond, Lefty played the big-city bon vivant, marrying Broadway star June O'Dea and hobnobbing with a who's who of celebrities, including George Gershwin, Jack Dempsey, Ernest Hemingway, Marilyn Monroe, George M. Cohan, and James Michener. He even scored a private audience with the pope.
And even when his pro ball career was done, Lefty wasn't. He became a national representative for Wilson Sporting Goods, logging over 100,000 miles a year, spreading the word about America's favorite game, and touching thousands of lives. In 1972 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Three baseball fields are named for him, and to this day the top honor bestowed each year by the American Baseball Coaches Association is the Lefty Gomez Award.
Now, drawing on countless conversations with Lefty, interweaving more than three hundred interviews conducted with his family, friends, competitors, and teammates over the course of a decade, and revealing candid photos, documents, and film clips—many never shown publicly—his daughter Vernona Gomez and her award-winning co-author Lawrence Goldstone vividly re-create the life and adventures of the irreverent southpaw fondly dubbed “El Seņor Goofy.”
“I'd rather be lucky than good,” Lefty Gomez once quipped—one of many classic one-liners documented here. In the end he was both. A star-studded romp through baseball's most glorious seasons and America's most glamorous years, Lefty is at once a long-overdue reminder of a pitcher's greatness and a heartwarming celebration of a life well-lived.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - AnnieLeo - LibraryThing
Lefty Gomez was a very interesting person, and I really enjoyed learning about him. That said, I would have to say that this book was very dense and took a long time to get through. It was jam-packed ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - lindapanzo - LibraryThing
I thoroughly enjoyed this terrific biography of baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Vernon (Lefty) Gomez that was written by his daughter. Normally, baseball biographies, especially of old-timers (Lefty ... Read full review
AN ABERRANT DEVIATION IN
PICK A SPOT MAKE A DIAMOND
ABOUT AS SKINNY AS YOU CAN GET
HIS NAMES GOMEZ GO WARM HIM UP
I HAD TO STOP GOMEZ
PING BABE DUSTER SLOPPY AND LEFTY
BASEBALL SEVEN DAYS A WEEK
I0 BIRDLEGS AND WALTER THE GREAT
HE CANT HIT IT IF I DONT THROW T
FAREWELL TO RODEO
JUNE IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY
THE NOTSOPERFECT CRIME 2 ? 2
IMMORTALITY ACHIEVED AND DENIED
YOU DONT TELL JUNE SHE CANT DO SOMETHING
THEYLL HAVE TO CUT THE UNIFORM OFF ME
3 EIGHTY INNINGS
A DEATH IN NEW YORK
I3 I DONT TALK TO BUSHERS
lb THE DOCTOR AND THE DICTATOR
I5 JUNE IN JUNE
I6 A PITCHERS PITCH
I7 THE GREATEST THRILL OF MY CAREER
I5 NO LIPSTICK FOR LEFTY I 53
GAME OF THE CENTURY
LET LOOSE TO RUN AROUND THE WORLD
THE YANKEES PAY YOU EVEN WHEN YOU LOSE?