Impact Player: Leaving a Lasting Legacy On and Off the Field

Impact Player: Leaving a Lasting Legacy On and Off the Field

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by Bobby Richardson, David Thomas, Joe Girardi
     
 

Former Yankee Bobby Richardson played alongside Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Joe Pepitone, and Yogi Berra during one of the most prolific dynasties in baseball history, and he remains to this day the only player from the losing team ever to be named World Series MVP.

In Impact Player, Bobby shares his life story, including…  See more details below

Overview

Former Yankee Bobby Richardson played alongside Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Joe Pepitone, and Yogi Berra during one of the most prolific dynasties in baseball history, and he remains to this day the only player from the losing team ever to be named World Series MVP.

In Impact Player, Bobby shares his life story, including never-before-told tales from the Yankee clubhouse during the historic ’55-’65 pennant runs and World Series appearances. The book also features the unlikely friendship Richardson, a devout and outspoken Christian, shared with Yankee legend and renowned drinker and womanizer Mickey Mantle.

The perfect combination of faith and baseball, Impact Player offers a rare glimpse into one of the most celebrated dynasties in the history of the game, and it paints a fascinating portrait of a life well-lived and the lasting rewards that come from knowing and loving God.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.” —Bobby Richardson
Bobby Richardson played alongside Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Moose Skowron, and Yogi Berra during one of the greatest dynasties in baseball history, and he remains to this day the only player from a losing team ever to be named World Series MVP.

Impact Player chronicles Bobby’s life story—from his early days playing American Legion ball in South Carolina through his storied career with the Yankees and his decision to walk away from the game in his prime. He shares never-before-told tales from the Yankees clubhouse during the historic ’55–’64 pennant runs, and he speaks candidly about the unlikely friendship this devout, clean-cut Christian shared with the fast-and-hard-living Mickey Mantle—a friendship that lasted for decades and would ultimately change the lives of these former teammates forever.

The perfect combination of faith and baseball, Impact Player is a must-read for baseball fans and historians of all ages. It not only offers a rare glimpse into one of the most celebrated dynasties in the history of the game but also paints a fascinating portrait of a life well lived and portrays the lasting rewards that come from knowing and loving God.

I don’t know how many more innings I have yet to play. . . .
What I do know, however, is that I have lived a blessed life. I played more than fourteen hundred games in the major leagues, all with the New York Yankees. I played in seven World Series, three times on the winning team. I received individual accolades and made lasting friendships. I was able to coach and show young college players the Yankee way of baseball and, I hope, God’s way of living. And I’ve been asked to share the story of my faith more times than I can estimate.

If my life is a testament to anything, it is to God’s mercy and grace. I have been blessed far beyond what I deserve. My aim in both baseball and life has been simple: to make an impact by being used by God in the lives of others.

When accounts of my life are written, I hope two things will be said of me. First, that I played baseball in a way that made my team better. Second, and more important, that I lived my life in a way that drew others to my Savior.

To God be the glory.
—Bobby Richardson

Bobby Richardson played second base for the New York Yankees from 1955 to 1966. During his career, he was named to seven All-Star teams (’57, ’59, ’62, ’63, ’64, ’65, and ’66), he appeared in seven World Series, including three championship seasons (’58, ’61, and ’62), and he remains to this day the only player from a losing team ever to be named World Series MVP. One of only eighteen players ever to hit a World Series grand slam, Bobby still holds the MLB record for the most consecutive World Series games played (thirty).

After retiring from MLB in 1966, Bobby went on to coach baseball for the University of South Carolina and later at Liberty University. An outspoken Christian, he played a vital role in the creation of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Baseball Chapel and is still an active speaker and evangelist.

Bobby lives in Sumter, South Carolina, with his wife, Betsy. They are the proud parents of five children and fifteen grandchildren.

David Thomas is a former sportswriter, the author of Remember Why You Play, and the cowriter of All In and SEAL of God. He lives in the Dallas–Fort Worth area with his wife, Sally, and their two children. Tyndale House Publishers

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781414377254
Publisher:
Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date:
08/17/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
398,795
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

Bobby Richardson played second base for the New York Yankees from 1955 to 1966. During his career, he was named to seven All-Star teams (‘57, ‘59, ‘62, ‘63, ‘64, ‘65, and ‘66), he appeared in seven World Series, including three championship seasons (‘58, ‘61, and ‘62), and he remains to this day the only player from a losing team ever to be named World Series MVP. One of only 18 players ever to hit a World Series grand slam, Bobby still holds the MLB record for the most consecutive World Series games played (30). After retiring from MLB in 1966, Bobby went on to coach baseball for the University of South Carolina and later at Liberty University. An outspoken Christian, he played a vital role in the creation of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Baseball Chapel, and is still an active speaker and evangelist. Bobby lives in Sumter, South Carolina, with his wife, Betsy. They are the proud parents of five children and 15 grandchildren.

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Impact Player: Leaving a Lasting Legacy On and Off the Field 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
G-Fella More than 1 year ago
Saw Bobby Richardson on WFAN interview. Now I HAVE to read his book too. I know it will be great. A special man....speaks through his faith and serenity. Lots of stories spoken from the heart, about those glory years. Feels good hearing the words of this humblest of Yankee greats.
Scott_Knight More than 1 year ago
Impact Player is a memoir by Bobby Richardson, the former 2nd baseman for the New York Yankees. Richardson played from the late-50's through the mid-60's, during the heyday of the Mantle, Ford, and Maris teams. Aside from knowing his name, I knew nothing about Richardson prior to reading this book. I wouldn't say I was fascinated, but his insider's view into the Yankees was pretty cool. After giving a brief background of his life prior to playing pro baseball, including his early commitment to Christ, Richardson gives an overview of each season he spent in the minors or with the Yankees. He is a humble man, so his stories seem very toned-down compared to what a more ego-driven player might write. He also is very careful to paint his teammates and competitors in a good light. I often found myself wondering if he was sugar-coating his words, because I'm so used to people trying to place blame on others and build themselves up. But, having finished the book, I believe that this is just representative of who Bobby is as a man of God. The last several chapters detail Richardson's life after baseball, with the most interesting chapters containing his memories and friendships with his former teammates, including Tony Koubek, Roger Maris, Clete Boyer, Moose Skowron, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, and Mickey Mantle. In fact, it is his friendship with Mantle that forms the frame for Richardson's story. Opening with Richardson about to speak at Mantle's funeral, the final chapters bring home the fact that Mantle became a Christian shortly before he passed away and Bobby's witness was instrumental in that. Richardson emphasizes how his platform of baseball (and ours in whatever we do) can and should be used to spread the message of Christ. This book isn't the story of the Yankees' inner-workings amid a very successful run in baseball. It is the story of one man trying to live for God while playing the game he loves. It is definitely worth a read for sports fans, and maybe for the casual Yankee fan. I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
I’ve read several books written by Christian athletes this year (Reggie Dabbs and Emmitt Smith to name two) and Bobby Richardson’s story is up with my favorites. I didn’t know who Bobby Richardson was before reading this book, but have learned about much more than his athletic career with the New York Yankees during the 50s and 60s.  Bobby Richardson comes across as a good, honest man, who doesn’t give up, and who stands by his principles. He admits to his faults and doesn’t come off as haughty, or “preachy”, yet he clearly states how his faith is strong and his belief in Jesus Christ is what makes him successful. He is a great motivational speaker who emphasizes that we all make mistakes, but belong to the same family. Although I mainly recommend this book to young males, due to the fact they are usually interested in sports, yet I feel there are adults and women (including me) that would enjoy it as well.
Miss_CindyH More than 1 year ago
For any die hard baseball fan this is your book!  Yet it is more than the memoirs of a baseball great.  Bobby Richardson played during the great Yankee dynasty.  As with any story, the real story begins much earlier.  Richardson included facts and impressions from his early years that shaped who he became on and off the field.  Many people shaped him into the man he became; good and not so good.  The rich history of baseball was thoroughly illustrated.  Specific names, dates, and locations where throughout the story.   I felt he balanced sharing the men behind the story as well as the story.  At the same time he was careful to include some of these were his thoughts, or his ideas.  So often the only part of the story is what the media portrays.  Hearing the story from a first person account adds a richness and reality.  One of the things that really struck me was toward the end of the book.  Richardson was a Christian.  Though he didn't flaunt it, his team mates all knew that.  Yet looking back Richardson had to ask himself if he had said enough.  It was easy for him to speak to crowds.  It wasn't easy for him to speak one-on-one.  Reflecting on Mickey Mantle telling his wife Betsy, "I can't live like Bobby." really shook him.  He asked himself if in his desire to live a Godly reflection of his faith, he gave the wrong impression.  He didn't want others to think he lived a good life based on religion or self-discipline.  He wanted them to know his source of strength was Christ.  But he too had struggles with sin.  The truth is all Christians struggle.  In his efforts to live in a way that drew others to Christ, did he say enough to adequately demonstrate his need of a Savior too?  I think that sometimes we don't use words, thinking our lifestyle speaks loudly enough.  But what does it say?  Do they really know why we act as we do?  Do they think they need to be as perfectly polished as we appear to be good enough for God?  Bobby Richardson has had a lasting impact in the world.  One cannot read the story without realizing that.  However, I think he has had that impact largely because he listened and obeyed the Voice of his Savior.
Danny_G More than 1 year ago
Imagine playing next to ball players like Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. These legends defined the game of baseball and have a lasting impact on its history. Bobby Richardson has such an opportunity. He played with some of the most famous Yankees to ever don the pinstripes. Yet through it all he maintained his faith in God and Jesus Christ. Richardson recalls his rising up through the farm system of the Yankees to eventually being the starting second baseman for perhaps the greatest era in Major League Baseball history.From there it is story after story of his Yankees days, the friends he made, the games he remembers, and the legacy that is left behind. Yet he desires that his legacy be that of a Christian who played baseball and had a lasting impact in the faith of his teammates. While many would expect a book of accomplishments, Richardson instead writes a book about family, friends, and faith; stats do not matter in such a book. Through it all, Richardson inspires his readers to place more value on things that matter and less on this that are temporal. In a time when athletes are role models that sometimes seek to serve their own purpose, Richardson is proof that such an attitude need not be the norm. And for that, I love this book.
KMarkovich More than 1 year ago
Great book for the baseball fan! Although I had never heard of Bobby Richardson (and I’m not a baseball fan!) I found this book interesting as not only does it have his story, it also talks a lot about other baseball greats such as Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and Tony Kubek. I also found it interesting learning that in a time it seemed all Americans went to church that Bobby felt that he “played baseball in a different era – not only in terms of the game, but also when it came to Christian witness. A Christian athlete was more alone in those days and public displays of faith were rare. Nowadays it’s common to see an elite athlete such as Mariano Rivera or Tim Tebow speak publicly about his faith." I also learned a nugget of trivia that Bobby Richardson, a Yankee player, was the MVP the year the Pirates won the World Series (1960) and the Yankees lost. This had never happened before or since and has only happened once for the Super Bowl and once for the NBA finals. Usually the MVP comes from the winning team.
BeachNana8 More than 1 year ago
An impact player is one who makes other players feel great and successful off the field as well as on, provides comfort and support in difficult times and exhibits peace, humility, and love. This was Bobby Richardson! Shortly before his 12th birthday he accepted Christ's gift of salvation. He had a great family with fond memories of playing catch and attending baseball games with his father and even getting Stan Musial's autograph. Courted by the Yankees when he was in high school, he signed their contract upon graduation. Put unfortunately in a class B training program, he bombed because of inexperience on offense. He couldn't hit. He was homesick. He was too focused on baseball, not God. Finally when they moved him to the rookie league, he began hitting once more, made friends with a Christian player, and met a young lady, Betsy, whom he would later marry. He began winning games. His advisor told him baseball would give him a platform to reach people for God and he shouldn't give up. What great honor did he win although he was on the losing team? Who helped Bobby fine tune his hitting skills and impact his confidence? What coveted Yankee league mark did Bobbie reach? At one point Bobby made a leaping, one-handed catch that no other second baseman could make. What happened to the tight-knit infield group: Moose, Tony Kubek, Clete Boyer and Bobby? Why did Bobby feel the 1963 season was the most impressive season? What made the 1963 All Star Game in Cleveland a nightmare for Bobbie? What costly error did Bobby make in the game with the Cardinals that caused his team to lose? On Saturday, Sept 17, at the Bobby Richardson Day at Yankee Stadium when his team wasn't going to win the pennant, 21,000 came to the game including his wife Betsy, his children, his mother and mother-in-law. Who sang as part of the service and what did he sing? What was Bobbie presented with? At the end of his speech to the fans, what 5 words did he say? What new challenge was he offered? What did his sons do that made him very proud of them? What did he lose that he later rejoiced about? What words of encouragement did he give his friend Dick with brain cancer that should encourage all of us no matter what our circumstances? How supportive were these teammates? What close family did his family enjoy being with when the father became a Yankee player? What memories of Mickey Mantle did Bobby share? All this and more is in this great book. If you have a husband or brother or friend who loves baseball, this is a marvelous book to give them, especially if you want to give them a manly view of Christ in life today.
kristen4mk More than 1 year ago
This was such an interesting autobiography.  I come from a family of huge baseball enthusiasts and I just know that if you have any level of interest in the sport, you would absolutely love this book.  It was extra fun to hear all of his behind-the-scenes stories about that era of baseball - and as he was good friends with Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, and more, there are some great stories!  We also learn about his journey from a small town boy to the top of the major leagues. Bobby Richardson invested his entire career in the New York Yankees, and eventually retired -some would say early- primarily to spend more time with his growing family.  He attributes both his success in sports as well as his family, including almost 60 years of marriage to his wife, Betsy as coming from a relationship with Jesus, thus the title "Impact Player".  Bobby's very clearly stated goal is to have an impact for Christ, and he has not wavered in that, even from the very beginning.  He is also seemingly quite transparent about things he wishes he could change, or ways he's failed. All in all, Bobby Richardson & David Thomas give us a well-written, engaging memoir that is great for non baseball fans, and (especially!) baseball fans alike.  I recommend it!
Virginia76 More than 1 year ago
This is the memoir of Bobby Richardson, a Yankees baseball player. The book covers his boyhood, baseball career and life after baseball. I thought the book was interesting, though there are a lot of game stats that made the book drag a bit for me. Bobby shares many stories of his time with the Yankees, and baseball fans will love the tales of famous players like Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra. Bobby's testimony is a major part of the story, and he tells of sharing the Gospel with fellow players, churches, etc. The photos chronicling Bobby's life are a bonus.
AnotherBibliophile More than 1 year ago
Great Baseball Trivia. Baseball fans will love it. He and his contributors did a really good job of writing a fact-filled, effective book, and inserted many great anecdotes. I was interested in a lot of his experiences and the history of the Yankees. I recognized a lot of the names, probably because I grew up in upstate N.Y. If I was more of a baseball fan, I’d have been able to focus more, and get through all the stats, plays and positions on the ball field. I skimmed them. The stories about his teammates were great, and I liked the positive, personal look into his life and his marriage. Richardson’s personal witness was included, and some facts about Mickey Mantle that I didn’t know. As a whole, it was interesting and uplifting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book very much. As a mother of boys in Little League, it was interesting to hear all the stories and insights into baseball from a pros perspective and realize that even professional baseball players deal with the same pressures and uncertainties that the little guys do. It was refreshing to read about a professional athlete that wasn't in it just for the money, but for the love of the game. This book is a great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love reading christian athlete books, it helps me as a athlete myself grow my faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept my interest to the very last page. The author's interactions with other famous players, including Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra and something of their personalities were unexpected bonuses. The book shows how a christian can witness to faitt in god without being "preachy".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
brings back memories of a great team.