Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith, and One More Year

Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith, and One More Year

by John Smoltz, Don Yaeger
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Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith, and One More Year by John Smoltz, Don Yaeger

John Smoltz was one of the greatest Major League pitchers of the late twentieth / early twenty-first century—one of only two in baseball history ever to achieve twenty wins and fifty saves in single seasons—and now he shares the candid, no-holds-barred story of his life, his career, and the game he loves in Starting and Closing.

A Cy Young Award-winner, future Baseball Hall of Famer, and currently a broadcaster for his former team, the Atlanta Braves, Smoltz  delivers a powerful memoir with the kind of fascinating insight into game that made Moneyball a runaway bestseller, plus a heartfelt and truly inspiring faith and religious conviction, similar to what illuminates each page of Tim Tebow’s smash hit memoir, Through My Eyes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062120564
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/26/2013
Pages: 293
Sales rank: 555,073
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

John Smoltz is a former Major League Baseball pitcher and active sportscaster. He is best known for his prolific career of more than two decades with the Atlanta Braves, during which he garnered eight All-Star selections and received the Cy Young Award in 1996. He is currently the chairman of King's Ridge Christian School in Atlanta and is a scratch golfer. (Tiger Woods has said that Smoltz is the best golfer outside of the PGA tour.) He lives in Atlanta with his family.

Don Yaeger is an eight-time New York Times best-selling author, longtime associate editor at Sports Illustrated, and award-winning inspirational speaker. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, son, and daughter.

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Starting and ClosingPerseverance, Faith and One More Year (Signed B&N Edition) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
bleacherbum99 More than 1 year ago
I was a big Smoltz fan, but he spends too much time preaching on his born-again Christian beliefs. You do get some insight on why he went from starter to closer to starter again. He talks about the difference between starting and closing. But the book jumps around and all over his life and can be difficult to follow. Overall, Smoltz does too much preaching, which is really why he wrote the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this book, but I can't help but feel underwhelmed. Seems like a case of missed potential. Not much of the book actually focuses on his final season of play. Based off of the title, I would have thought much more would be said about that. Big disappointment. The book also had a very poor editing job. I have about 20 pages left, and thus far have seen for instances where the phrase, "I could care less," is used. I'm sorry, but it's, "I couldn't care less." If this incorrect phrasing were used in a direct quote, I could see letting it make print-- but they weren't. Sort of along with the editing/writing, much of the book is repetitive-- too many sentences start the same, "Now, I have to tell you..." or, "Let me just say..." you get the idea. I get that the book is probably supposed to have a bit of a conversational feel, but after awhile it gets grating to have no variety in sentence structure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LoopyGA More than 1 year ago
This was a gift for my Mom, who is a die-hard Braves fan. She absolutely loved the book and kept talking about it the whole time she was reading it. She even read part of it to me. So, if you love baseball and the Braves, you'll love this book about how Smoltzie didn't want his career to end and kept pushing for one more year.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book i really enjoyed it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chipper, smoltie, and maddux. My favorite braves
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
John Smoltz is one of the best pitchers to ever play major league baseball. For over twenty years he pitched for the Atlanta Braves, chosen eight times for the All-Star team and winning the Cy Young Award for best pitcher in 1996. He pitched in the starting rotation for fourteen years when an injury caused him to move to the bullpen and become a relief pitcher. After three years in the bullpen, he asked to rejoin the starting rotation. Many people, particularly in the sports media, asked him why he did this. His response: Why not? Smoltz begins the book with three things people need to know about him: 1. All he ever wanted to do was win 2. He's not afraid to fail 3. He never did anything in his baseball career just to set a record, or to be able to say that no one else has done what he has done Smoltz lived in Michigan, and his grandfather worked at the Detroit Tigers stadium. Young John grew up going to Tigers games, and he loved the Tigers. He was thrilled to be drafted by his hometown Tigers to play baseball, and disappointed when they soon traded him to the Atlanta Braves. His disappointed turned to happiness when he realized that the Braves were willing to work with him, that they valued their young players and worked hard to make him a successful pitcher. (The Braves are known for their excellent farm system.) Injuries plagued Smoltz throughout his career, and he pushed his body through the pain, hoping to avoid Tommy John surgery, which could end his baseball career. He eventually had the surgery, but with his amazing work ethic, he began a grueling rehab program and came back to pitch again, although as a closer. As a person who worked best with a steady routine, Smoltz found it difficult to get used to the unpredictability of being a reliever. As a starter, he knew which day he would pitch, so his mind was set. He could play his favorite hobby, golf, on his off-days. He said that "by going to the bullpen, I sacrificed two things that really helped me tick; knowing what was coming and feeling like I was in control." Besides baseball, two other things motivated Smoltz: golf and being a born-again Christian. He described the moment he knew that his relationship with God had to change, and how his life changed for the better because of it. He soon became a popular speaker at 'baseball church' gatherings, and later founded a Christian school in an Atlanta suburb. Now that he is retired, Smoltz has set his sights on joining the Champions Tour in golf , and Tiger Woods has said that publicly that Smoltz is the best amateur golfer he has seen. Smoltz frequently played golf with his pitching teammates, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and you can feel the joy on the pages where describes their bonding over golf. Smoltz was not re-signed by the Braves after twenty years, and he joined the Boston Red Sox for a final season. He describes the sadness he felt at leaving the team he helped to bring to 14 post-season playoffs, although with only one World Series title. I found his analysis of the toll that pitching in so many consecutive post-seasons took interesting, and I have to say it never occurred to me how damaging it could be. Boston was a disaster, and Smoltz was happy to be picked by up the St. Louis Cardinals after the Red Sox released him halfway through the season. He was happy to be able to contribute to the Cardinals playoff run, but wistfully says that he wished he could have ended his c