Affeldt is passionate about baseball, his faith, and social justice. With a straightforward style, the World Series–champion pitcher weaves his various interests together in this memoir. The book is a readable, although undramatic, account. Affeldt’s story begins with his childhood, touching on themes of a fractured father-son relationship and a fight against human trafficking that would give purpose to a career in professional baseball, since baseball allowed him to act as a highly visible advocate. From this promising introduction, the text descends into an unimaginative retelling of his life and career. It is an honest story that can inspire those facing challenges. With the biggest frustrations being minor injuries and contract arbitration, however, there is nothing especially stirring about Affeldt’s tale. The fight against human trafficking fades into the background only to come up near the end of the book, and in fits and starts amid the author’s slipped-in spiritual insights. Hearing about Affeldt’s ability to maintain his integrity, for the most part, in the Major Leagues, where he struggles with temptations and his own vexing outbursts of temper evokes admiration, but fails to rouse. Baseball fans, Affeldt supporters, and young, aspiring, athletes may enjoy it, but the lackluster nature of Affeldt’s narrative fails to offer wider appeal. (Apr.)
In this autobiography, San Francisco Giants relief pitcher and two-time World Series Champion Affeldt details his transformation from an arrogant, self-centered military brat to a fully committed follower of Christ, dedicated to social justice and activism. Although the title is clearly written from a Christian perspective, and will likely be enjoyed most by people of that persuasion, Affeldt tells his story in a way that is both humble and highly personal as he chronicles his journey from childhood to the big leagues. One refreshing aspect of the book is that it focuses on what happens after his conversion rather than ending at that point. Affeldt writes sincerely about his quest to live the Gospel as a major league baseball player, sprinkling spiritual themes throughout the narrative, as well as discussions of global issues such as human trafficking, sweatshops, and poverty. VERDICT Lacking the typical emphasis on personal salvation in spiritual testimonies, this book offers a much broader view, and is thus both relevant and readable for a wider audience of baseball fans, believers, and those interested in issues of social justice.