Former New York Yankees pitcher Cone and analyst Curry (coauthor with Derek Jeter of The Life You Imagine) deliver an enjoyable memoir that recounts Cone’s remarkable career and provides an honest look at the road to the major leagues. Cone is best remembered for his run with the late-1990s Yankees dynasty, and he also spent five seasons as a Met, where he recorded 19 strikeouts in a single game. As Cone tells it, he didn’t play high school baseball while growing up in Kansas City, and he put in his time moving up through the Class A and Class AA systems. Throughout, Cone explains the difficulty of being a pitcher (“a weighty responsibility that is like none other in sports”), alongside more lighthearted anecdotes about fellow ball players, such as his friendship with Cal Ripken Jr. and what it was like to pitch against the legend in his final game (“I wanted him to know it was going to be a matchup filled with fastballs”). Throughout, Cone provides keen insight into the mind of a pitcher, recalling with uncanny specificity the most difficult pitches of his career (notably the final pitch in his 1999 perfect game against the Montreal Expos) and how he almost always overcame adversity with triumph. While this is a must-read for Cone fans, baseball aficionados of any allegiance will surely delight in this behind-the-scenes memoir. Agent: David Black, David Black Literary. (May)
A memoir from a former star pitcher in Major League Baseball.
In his first book—written with YES Network analyst Curry (co-author, with Derek Jeter: The Life You Imagine, 2000)—five-time All-Star Cone offers advice on becoming a successful pitcher, recollections of specific games, and professional gossip about teammates and opponents encountered during his long career (1986-2003). From an early age, the author, who grew up in Kansas City, was determined to play baseball professionally—and not just as any player, but specifically as a pitcher, arguably the most important position on the field. In the early pages, Cone discusses the tireless coaching from his father as well as the influences of his mother and siblings. Quickly, however, the author moves on to baseball matters. He focuses on a professional career that began in the minor leagues on teams controlled by his hometown Kansas City Royals—and ultimately included five World Series championships. Cone concedes that sometimes he acted immaturely off the field, but his dedication to the craft of pitching is undeniable—as a student and, later, a teacher. His insights about how pitchers must develop not only physically, but also emotionally and intellectually will be enlightening for all baseball fans. Readers uninterested in the didactic pitching insights should find satisfaction in Cone's accounts of his stints with the Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, New York Yankees, and Boston Red Sox. The author compliments many players, coaches, and managers, but he is also candid about the flaws of many of these individuals. Thematic chapters about the synergy—or lack thereof—between pitchers and catchers, and between pitchers and home-plate umpires, add to the richness of the narrative. Currently a broadcaster for the YES Network, Cone briefly discusses that career, as well. Although the book is mostly chronological, the ordering of the chapters is occasionally puzzling. The narrative will be best digested as individual chapters rather than a connected narrative.
A well-intentioned, competent sports memoir that will appeal most to MLB fans.
"David Cone was not only one of the smartest pitchers I ever managed, he was also a fearless competitor and a consummate teammate. Whether he was playing through pain or coming out of the bullpen for us in the World Series, his leadership and selflessness was a vital part of our four championships. In [FULL COUNT], David Cone and Jack Curry take us on a journey of what it takes to stay mentally and physically tough enough to maintain the edge it takes to compete on a championship level year after year."Joe Torre, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Yankee Years
"When one of our generation's greatest pitching minds teams up with one of our generation's greatest baseball writers, the results will be riveting. And this book is riveting. You won't be able to put it down as Cone and Curry take you around the bases on an incredible ride." Michael Kay, Yankees YES Network play-by-play announcer
"With a keen observational eye, David Cone provides a master's-level class on both the art and science of pitching. Chapters crackle like his trademark slider, none more so than his opus on the pitcher-catcher symbiosis." Tom Verducci, New York Times bestselling author of The Cubs Way
"There was something different about David Cone. There seemed to be a sly knowing smirk in the way he approached life, which carried over when he took the mound. There was an unpredictability, almost mischievousness to the way he went after MLB hitters. You never quite knew which pitch he was going throw, at what angle he would throw it, and what the ball might do. No matter what he did, or for which team he performed, there was evident joy and intelligence on display. Jack Curry and David Cone are the perfect team to allow us fans a window into the thinking of one of our generation's finest and most clever pitchers." Jim Abbott, former MLB pitcher and author of Imperfect: An Improbable Life
"David Cone was as smart and gutsy as any pitcher I ever played behind. In Full Count, he describes what it's like to be on the mound in high-pressure situations. If you want to know what a pitcher is thinking, this is the perfect book for you. I've learned so much about the nuances of pitching from Coney. He's a pitching genius." Paul O'Neill, former Yankees and Reds outfielder and five-time World Series Champion
"David Cone, one of the great pitchers of his era, takes you through his journey, complete with all the ups and downs he faced along the way. Full Count is a must read for any baseball fan." Tom Glavine, former MLB pitcher and two-time Cy Young Award winner
"This is not the typical athlete autobiography. David Cone is thoughtful, mindful, critical and cutting often at the same time and his life and legacy are captured in full, unsparing detail. His ability to flirt with perfection clearly didn't end on the mound."Jeff Passan, ESPN baseball reporter and New York Times bestselling author of The Arm: Inside The Billion Dollar Industry Of the Most Valuable Commodity In Sports
"Cone provides a unique analysis of an intriguing game."Booklist
"[An] enjoyable memoir that recounts Cone's remarkable career and provides an honest look at the road to the major leagues...While this is a must-read for Cone fans, baseball aficionados of any allegiance will surely delight in this behind-the-scenes memoir."Publishers Weekly
"Refreshing...this is a must-read."
"Insightful...Cone, a former Cy Young winner who threw for both the Mets and the Yankees, offers a probing account of what it takes emotionally, psychologically and physically to pitch at the major league level."Newsday
"[As] complete and compelling a treatise about what makes a pitcher tick as anything that's ever come before."New York Post
"In his new memoir, Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher...Cone remembers his career highlight with a little more vulnerability than the fans witnessed on the field."New York Post
"One of the few to find success pitching for New York's Yankees and Mets, Cone had a reputation as one of the game's smartest pitchers. This deep but readable dive into the art of pitching shows why."The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Cone, a 17-year major league pitcher, chronicles his career and challenging moments that eventually lead to his success. Many baseball fans will remember Cone from his perfect game with the Yankees in 1999 and role on five World Series teams. What's appreciated in this refreshing account, cowritten with sports journalist Curry, is Cone's honesty about his immaturity as a young pitcher, something other top athletes might gloss over, not holding themselves accountable. Additionally, readers will value the stories about Cone's interactions with teammates, some of whom were the biggest stars in the game during the 1990s and early 2000s. Though often he refers to players without any context, so readers may lose track of who he's referring to in different places. VERDICT For baseball fans, especially those who remember Cone's career, this is a must-read. While younger audiences may not recall Cole's significant role in the Yankees dynasty or even his perfect game, anyone wishing to learn what made him a successful pitcher will find this a rewarding read.—Pamela Calfo, Baldwin Borough P.L., PA