The Corporal Was A Pitcher

As our readers know I like books about baseball and occasionally read biographies on specific players, teams, and leagues to get a better understanding. Books that fit this description which I have liked a lot are: Moneyball by Michael M. Lewis, Fantasyland by Sam Walker, and Odd Man Out by Matt McCarthy.

I was told about a book called The Corporal Was A Pitcher by Ira Berkow. This book is about the life of Lou Brissie, a former pitcher and WWII hero. Brissie was a very talented left handed pitcher and was scouted by many teams back in the 1940's. He decided to pursue College and then would play in the MLB when he finished. While in College WWII started and he enlisted. While fighting in Northern Italy his infantry was ambushed and his left leg was severely damaged. The doctors wanted to amputate it fearing gangrene could set and kill him. He fought against that option and had many surgeries instead. After a long battle he learned to walk on the leg, and slowly play baseball again. It was hard because he couldn't put much pressure on the leg to stay in shape and push off for his delivery. This book talks about his experience as a young pitcher being scouted, WWII, and his comeback to pitch with the many obstacles.

This was a good book I would recommend. You learn a little about WWII, a baseball player growing up as a youngster, playing baseball in that time, the business of baseball then, and about what Lou Brissie overcame. I did find it a little slow at times, mostly in some of the middle chapter's. For these chapters’s I would skim the page to find the good parts and skip over the slow stuff.

Lou Brissie today around 85 years old. Now almost 60 years after this experience he came out with the book.


David "MVP" Eckstein said...

I heard this is a great book. I've got another baseball history book or two to read (one about the history of baseball stats), but I'll eventually get to this one