“Wonderful. . . . There wasn’t a Nobel Prize at the end of Waitkus’ journey, but readers may find a similarity between him and Jonathan Nash of A Beautiful Mind. Both were good men who struggled mightily against demons they did not create. Thanks to Theodore’s meticulous research and passionate writing, perhaps Waitkus will rise above his footnote status, at least for a time.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Eddie Waitkus, whose ill fortune it was to be the inspiration for Roy Hobbs in Bernard Malamud’s The Natural, was both an anomaly and an enigma. . . .
[T]hese inconsistencies render him interesting, and Theodore tells his story well.”
“The name Waitkus has probably ceased to have much resonance among baseball fans. But this is what Theodore’s sensitive and well researched book has managed to cure. In a strange way, Waitkus emerges as a lost hero of sorts, a man worthy of being memorialized in this book.”Ray Robinson, author of Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time, and coauthor of Pennants and Pinstripes: A 100 Year History of the New York Yankees
“For anyone who loves baseball, Theodore’s Baseball’s Natural: The Story of Eddie Waitkus is a must read. . . . It has all the elements of a great novel.”
Steve Neal, Chicago Sun-Times