Overview

In 1960, an upstart Pittsburgh Pirates team beat the highly favored New York Yankees in the World Series. Given the power of a Yankee roster that included Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra, that improbably victory did more than give long-suffering Pirates fans something to cheer about; it put Pittsburgh on the map. Though John Moody was only six years old during that magical baseball season, he was a devoted fan of the Pittsburgh team. The star pitcher for the Pirates and John's first hero was Vernon Law...
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Kiss It Good-Bye

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Overview

In 1960, an upstart Pittsburgh Pirates team beat the highly favored New York Yankees in the World Series. Given the power of a Yankee roster that included Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra, that improbably victory did more than give long-suffering Pirates fans something to cheer about; it put Pittsburgh on the map. Though John Moody was only six years old during that magical baseball season, he was a devoted fan of the Pittsburgh team. The star pitcher for the Pirates and John's first hero was Vernon Law - an unsophisticated Idaho country boy, widely known as The Deacon, a friendly nickname derived from his strict Mormon upbringing. Law was a relatively young man at the time and should have enjoyed several more seasons of fame and success, yet his career went into decline following that phenomenal Series. In this insightful book, John Moody explores a compelling mystery that has persisted now for nearly fifty years, revealing at last why Vernon Law was unable to continue his dominance of Major League batters. But the book is more than just another exposé. Recalling a distant time in American sports, Kiss It Good-bye contains a universal theme: a son's affection for his father and the bond that was forged between them because of their love of baseball. It is a book that will be welcomed by fathers, sons, and baseball fans of every age.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606418048
  • Publisher: Deseret Book Company
  • Publication date: 4/2/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 9 MB

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    1960 Pittsburgh Pirates Remembered

    'Kiss It Good-bye' is the second excellent book on the 1960 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates following 'The Best Game Ever' by Jim Reisler. Both are well researched with interviews of the players and many people around the ballclub.

    Moody does an excellent job in 'Kiss It Good-bye' focusing on Vernon Law, one of the Pirates top pitchers and his role in the 1960 pennant drive, the World Series win over the highly favored Yankees and his big league career following 1960. The story tells how Law, a devout Mormon, sacrificed his own career for the title. Law kept a secret for nearly 50 years why his pitching spiraled down after 1960.

    More than that, the book gives a great insight into baseball as well as life in Pittsburgh and the U.S. in that era, what it was like without the media of today. The city and western Pennsylvania area was extremely proud of the Pirates and Forbes Field, the team's historic ballpark. Moody also tells of the great characters on that great Pirates team such as Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Smoky Burgess, Bob Friend, Hal Smith, Dick Groat, Rocky Nelson, Harvey Haddix and Elroy Face along with manager Danny Murtaugh and broadcaster Bob Prince. The seventh game of the 1960 World Series remains the only game seven in over 100 World Series that was won by a game-ending home run (by Mazeroski).

    It's a great read for all baseball fans especially those who appreciate the sport's history and traditions.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Uplifting Story

    I didn't know much about the 1960 Pirates and nothing about Vern Law when I read this book. I liked the mixture of biography, history and baseball. Vern's story should be an example to us all - about hard work and how doing what's right can and should still matter in sports and in life. Very enjoyable to read and very uplifting!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2010

    BASEBALL IN IT GLORY DAYS

    Fine writing - I particulary enjoyed his description of ball players with character and who supplemented their modest baseball earnings - by having real jobs in the off season. Vern Law & the Pirates beat the mighty Yankees. He did a great job making a baseball game exciting in print - which I didn't think was possible. America and baseball needs men like Vern Law. Makes me want to read his other books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    Great Baseball Book

    I received an advance copy of the book and was skeptical because I'm not a Pirates fan. But after starting the book I really got into the story. The Pirates were one messed up baseball organization and to read about their turnaround and dramatic World Series win turned out to be really interesting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    Great Book!

    Everyone should read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2010

    More than expected

    Kiss It Good-bye was much more than I expected. Not having any affiliation with the Pirates or Pittsburgh I found this story to be extremely interesting and entertaining. I especially enjoyed the way the author weaved his life as a young boy in Pittsburgh into the story. This perspective and style gave 'real' life to the events. This is a great read for anyone looking for an accurate story of baseball, history, moral courage and integrity. I highly recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    Much more than a baseball book!

    If you think this is just a baseball book, think again! I'm a new fan of Vern Law. This is what a real sports hero should be. I want to get a book for each of my sons. I did not know the whole story behind that '60s world series team. Fascinating. I'm glad I know the real story. I admire Mr. Law for standing his ground and staying true to his beliefs. Plus, I do believe baseball is a game that can bring fathers and sons together. Moody's storytelling kept me turning the pages. Whether you're a Pirates fan or not, this is still a great story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2012

    As a life long Pirate fan this book tells the story like it has

    As a life long Pirate fan this book tells the story like it has never been told before. If you like the Pirates it is a must read

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  • Posted July 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Baseball Story!!!!

    When I heard that Deseret was publishing Kiss It Good-Bye, I had to read and review this book, as I've been a huge baseball fan since my Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 1958.

    John Moody was a 6 year old in Pittsburgh when the Pirates won the World Series, especially winning against the usually unbeatable Bronx Bombers, the New York Yankees, but 1960 was the year for the Bucks. They scrapped their way to their first Series win since 1927. and not last. The unlikely Pirate to help earn the Pirates their first World Series was pitcher Vernon Law, a very down to earth Mormon farm boy from Meridian, Idaho. Vernon had the nickname of The Deacon from his teammates for his strict Mormon upbringing.

    In the early days of major league baseball, players were close to their fans, knew how to really play the game, unlike how they play today. There were no free agents, million dollar salaries, high performance enhancing drugs or egos.

    Pittsburgh was the Steel City because of the steel mills that caused a gray cloud over the city for many years. It took some years to clean up Pittsburgh so that the citizens could breathe. They built skyscrapers, cleaned up the rivers. In the 40's, they were using electric lights, as the Steel City was in the dark during the day, and people had to cover their mouths and noses because of the contaminants around them. Some well known people couldn't wait to get out of Pittsburgh, like Gene Kelly and Edison. John Moody couldn't wait to move to Chicago.

    The Bucks in 1952 had the worst ever record of any Major League Team with a record of 42-112. They finished 54 1/2 games out of first place. They were constantly the cellar kings.

    In the 50's, segregation was rampant, so the black athletes couldn't be in the same restaurants with the other players, which was the norm in those days, but so unfair. The blacks would have separate restrooms, drinking fountains and have to sit at the back of the bus. This segregation was felt at the stadium. Vernon had been raised to treat everyone with respect and he did everywhere he went.

    Vernon married his high school sweetheart VaNita, who gave him children with V names: Veldon, Varlin, Vaughn, Veryl and Vance, who also was a Major League player.

    Vern won the Cy Young award and was the most valuable player in that momentous World Series, but he never regained his pitching arm after an injury to his ankle after they won the pennant. When all the team were on the bus celebrating with champagne, a member of the Pirate contingency got carried away and injured his ankle. Even while pitching his two games in the Series, he played with excruciating pain and in the next few seasons, because of that ankle injury, overcompensated and c aused his pitching arm to change. He never complained once. After retiring, he became a Baseball Coach at BYU.

    One nice thing I enjoyed about this delightful book is that each chapter is called an inning and the last chapter is entitled Extra Innings. John Moody brings the last game of that Series to a very exciting climax. I think the 7th game of that 1960 World Series was one oof the most exciting series of all time. An unlikely team, if ever, beat those great Bronx Bombers that had the best Yankee players ever to play the game:

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Knocking it Out of the Park

    Sometimes the best stories are told with a sense of humbleenes and innocence. Kiss it Goodbye is such a story. Author John Moody does a nice job in centering his book on Vern Law a pitcher who led the perennial also-rans, 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates to one of the greatest World Series upsats in modern history, beating the seemingly invincible Yankees in seven games. While the book breaks news on how Law was injured after a pennant winning celebration, which he did not participate in due to religious reason as a Mormon,(champagne was being drunk in the clubhouse),the most interesting aspect of the story is how Law overcame an injury by changing his pitching motion. To understand that - and what he later sacraficed - one had to know about Law's life and Moody does a great job in detailing it from his hard scrabbled Idaho Mormon upbringing to his strong values as a professional ballplayer(his teammates affectionately called him the Deacon). In this book, Moody also tells the story of what this World Series meant to a city, which was struggling at times, like its ballclub, to win its proper respect. There are some wonderful stories in this book, especially how Bing Crosby, who was then part-owner of the Pirates, got Law"s parents approval to have him sign with the organization. There is also interesing sketches on the men who made this team a World Series winner: the fiery third baseman Don Hoak, the smooth fielding shortstop Dick Groat, the cerebral center fielder and on base machine Bill Virdon, the gifted and still maturing Roberto Clemente,the first closer in baseball Elroy Face and, of course, the only man to hit a walk off homer to win a World Series, Bill Mazeroski. It was indeed a different time 50 years ago, no agents, no long term contracts and no millionaire ballplayers. But you get from these ballplayers that they love the game more from a team perspective than today's modern free agent players. These are just some of the many opinions and warm memories that you take away after reading this thoughtful book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2010

    Boring... poorly written...

    If you are interested in learning about the Mormon religion this is the book for you... this guy totally ruined a great read about the 1960 Pirates... lots of errors on the subject... poorly written... hard to follow... and he misses the great opportunity to showcase that fantastic world series... especially this being the 50th year... very disappointed in this book... want my money back!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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