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Posted July 2, 2013
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“I Told You I Wasn't Perfect” is an autobiography written by Denny McLain, a former All-Star controversial pitcher, with Eli Zaret. Retired in 1972, he spiraled down throughout the 80s and 90s, in and out of prison for several criminal charges. Then on December 20, 1996, he and Roger Smiegel were convicted on five counts of money laundering, mail fraud and theft from the Peet Packing pension fund, a now defunct meat packing company in Michigan, Detroit. McLain shares his tale of triumph and downfall from a popular public image to a criminal that was linked to Gotti.
My lack of knowledge of baseball and its stars actually made my reading much more interesting as I got to know the sport through the eyes of one of its former stars, Denny McLain. In fact, I learned so much as I got to know McLain as a person. He looked back to his harsh childhood, where he and his brother Tim grew up with an alcoholic father and a miserable mother. He shares his highest plateau in the major leagues and his low point when he was suspended for gambling. After finishing this book I am uncertain as to whether I should be sympathize with or dislike McLain. As in the case of most of us, McLain is a mixture of good and bad leaving this reader with conflicting emotions. There was a clash of ego and grief in his story - his daughter’s death due to an accident was a sad tragedy. Nevertheless, an entertaining read but for baseball fans, this book could be highly debatable.
Posted January 17, 2013
Posted August 13, 2007
Fascinating really, if you are a Tiger fan (like me). Still good if you aren't. A couple areas were great (smuggling gangsters out of the country in his plane, recapping the great years with the Tigers), but other sections made my blood boil (bashing Jim Price and Al Kaline). Kaline is always hands-off to fans like me, but his shots at Price were cheap. Price is a class act, an excellent analyst, and an improving play-by-play guy. The commentary on prison life was pretty good, but It's hard to feel sorry for him when he complains about the system and how prisoners are treated. The ending was anticlimatic, and you get the feeling he doesn't mean a word he says about repenting. He sounds completely insincere. The only reason I didn't come away totally disgusted with McLain is the fact that his wife actually remarried him after all of his screw-ups. Judging by that, there must be a good person in there somewhere, but I have to tell you, it is hard to like the guy after reading the book. Spend your money here, it's worth it, if only to lie in bed wondering if he's lyiing half the time. Some of that stuff would be hard to make up...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 5, 2007
What is it about this man? On one hand, I smile every time I hear his name or read something about him yet at the same time I found myself wondering if some of the things he said in this book were nothing but his version of the truth. Regardless, I'm willing to take him at his word and believe that he's finally got it figured out, that family and friends are what's important and not all the other stuff. As for the book, some of the inside stories are great, especially the old baseball tales. I could listen to him tell those stories all day. For any baseball fan growing up a Tiger fan, this book is a must-read. Hang in there, Denny! I wish you the best!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 23, 2007
This is a must read for Tiger's fans! Great stories! Denny calls 'em like he sees 'em. No holds barred. Today sports stars try to put a spin on, hide or check into rehab when they do something wrong. Denny admits it and moves on, there's nothing the media can really say about him he hasn't already said about himself. You have to admire the guy!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 13, 2007
By his own admillion Denny McClain is a self indulgent cocky individual. While his brief major league career was brilliant, it was clear from the beginning that he was no team player. He could have, and briefly did, parlayed his athletic notariety into a comfortable living, but instead threw it all away by becoming involved with unsavory characters and get rich quick schemes. He deatroyed his family and family life, yet remakably, after two prison stints and and one divorce, his wife has again taken him back. McClain says his life's priorities are in order now, but I wouldn't be surprised, knowing his track record, that there will be another tragic chapter as and ending.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.