A Nice Tuesday: A Memoir

Overview

In A Nice Tuesday, Pat Jordan chronicles his decision to reclaim the failed potential of his youth. A young baseball pitcher of inordinate promise, Jordan had been one of the Milwaukee Braves' first "bonus babies." His struggles through the minor leagues and ultimate failure to play in the majors, eloquently chronicled in A False Spring, defined his youth. At fifty-six, Jordan realizes that "this trivial thing" has also defined his life and decides to make a comeback. He whips himself back into playing condition ...
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Overview

In A Nice Tuesday, Pat Jordan chronicles his decision to reclaim the failed potential of his youth. A young baseball pitcher of inordinate promise, Jordan had been one of the Milwaukee Braves' first "bonus babies." His struggles through the minor leagues and ultimate failure to play in the majors, eloquently chronicled in A False Spring, defined his youth. At fifty-six, Jordan realizes that "this trivial thing" has also defined his life and decides to make a comeback. He whips himself back into playing condition and convinces an independent minor-league team, the Waterbury (Connecticut) Spirit, to let him return to the mound one last time. In this memoir, Jordan lays bare his midlife quest with honesty and humor, making A Nice Tuesday about much more than baseball.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In his much-admired 1975 memoir A False Spring Hungry Mind, 1998. reprint, Jordan told of his failure as a young aspiring pitcher and his successful rebirth as a journalist. Now, at 56, an age far past the end of even the best baseball careers, he labors to pitch once more, revisiting his youthful disappointment by joining a minor league team, the Waterbury Connecticut Spirit. He recalls his boyhood pitching promise, his domineering brother, and his alienated first wife and children. Though happily remarried with six beloved dogs and writing success, he struggles to pitch alongside teammates half his age. This second installment of Jordan's saga, often raunchy but still touching, is heartily recommended for both adult and young adult collections.--Morey Berger, St. Joseph's Hosp. Lib., Tucson, AZ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Baseball serves as a secondary backdrop for this entertaining autobiographical account of a middle-aged man's pursuit of unfulfilled dreams. In the late 1950s, Jordan was a highly touted up-and-coming pitching phenom, but he managed only a few years of unsuccessful minor-league play. After leaving the sport in 1962, Jordan eventually became a freelance writer of articles and books (A False Spring, 1975, etc.), but despite his successes, he was still haunted by thoughts of what-could-have-been. Finally, at the age of 56, he returned to pitch one inning in a professional minor-league game for the Waterbury Spirit in Connecticut. While Jordan records vividly the chronology of this event and his physical and mental preparation for the challenge, the book is filled more with revelations of the author's past and with present-day anecdotes, as he tries to make sense of his life's time-worn journey. Some familiar sports names appear in the book, but it's the excellently drawn cast of colorful players in Jordan's life that dominate, including: Susan, his sensual and supportive wife; his older half-brother, George, a lawyer, whose unconditional love is mixed with wistful envy; and Brian LaBasco, the high school catcher who helps Jordan train and who reminds him of "the me I might have been." Even Jordan's pet dogs figure prominently: they teach him to love, genuinely and unabashedly. Jordan is a flawed and not particularly noble hero; in fact, his selfishness, weaknesses, and fears are revealed throughout. But this frankness is what gives overall credence to his story and ruminations, helped greatly by his skillful writing, which shifts easily from bawdy bravado to humor to insightfulintrospection. More a midlife coming-of-age memoir than sports book, a tale of growing older, of second chances, and of making peace with oneself.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582380285
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/1999
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 1.23 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2003

    Better than any Sports Book

    This book is not about baseball, and it is not a sequel to 'A False Spring,' which was a classic in its own right. It is also not about dogs, cigars, fast cars or South Florida, although all of those things figure prominently in the book. Instead, 'A Nice Tuesday' is a deeper, fuller portrait of an unusually talented guy living out his life as best he can despite a nagging feeling that he has failed. That may not sound particularly interesting, but Pat Jordan himself is a far better subject than 99% of the atheletes he usually writes about. He is an intelligent guy, with a wide range of interests. His writing captures that struggle we all go through of being able to perceive our shortcomings and only have limited success trying to change them. But, at least he does try. In this book, he's completely unafraid to reveal himself through his writing. Beyond this, Jordan is a very skilled writer. He has a great sense of judgment as to what will capture and keep the reader's attention. He doesn't abuse this gift by lingering on his stories too long. There are dozens of memorable scenes and vignettes in this book, but it does not come off as being choppy or disorganized. The connections make sense to Jordan, and he convinces the reader that they should make sense. Although this is non-fiction, the book 'A Nice Tuesday' resembles most closely is 'The World According to Garp' by John Irving. I mean that as a complement; Garp is one of my favorite books of all time. For me, the similarities are in how Jordan and Garp are both fascinating individuals who have improbable life experiences -- much more interesting than the rest of us -- develop a unique way of looking at life, surround themselves with unusual, even quirky companions and still manage to come off as average guys. Just as John Irving novels have wrestling, dancing bears, New England prep schools and scenes in Vienna, Austria, Pat Jordan's life has baseball, dogs, cigars and Florida. We can relate to these elements, but the books are more than the sum of the elements. Neither Irving's novels nor Jordan's memoir are about these things. They just give the writer an excuse to display talent, skill and a unique way of looking at the world. 'A Nice Tuesday' also conveys Jordan's sense of inevitable doom -- this obviously comes from the heart -- which reminds me of the 'Under Toad' in Garp. Jordan knows that he always drives the people he loves away from him, but can't figure out why and can't seem to stop the process. How honest and uncommon to admit this secret fear that so many of us have. A Nice Tuesday is an excellent choice for any adult reader, male or female, young, middle aged or old. It has humor, insight and poignancy. It is much more rewarding than any sports book I have ever read and should not be cheapened by that label. It would have been just as good a book if he had not pitched in the minor league game.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2001

    A Better than 'Nice' Book

    Until reading 'A Nice Tuesday,' Pat Jordan's baseball classic 'A False Spring' was my favorite sports book, even though I read it 25 years ago at age 12. Now Jordan's newer work is my favorite book of all-time, period. Every page, it seems, is full of insights and introspection. The book was so overwhelming and meaningful that I couldn't resist calling Mr. Jordan in Ft. Lauderdale. He was as cordial and kind as envisioned, talking to me a half-hour before I halted the conversation. A complete stranger, I started feeling guilty about over-extending my intrusion. Although 'A False Spring' is on most all-time baseball lists, 'A Nice Tuesday' is a more polished, honest, and, ultimately, more rewarding piece of literature. After all, Jordan has lived more of life, and he captures it beautifully. He has went from a self-centered young baseball player to an enormously well-rounded individual. A must read for baseball fans and a sure surprise for non-sports fans.

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