I don’t write many book reviews so the fact that I’m writing my second in less than a month is a little surprising. I tend to write them when the book that I read was really enjoyable. That’s the case with the biography / memoir of R.A. Dickey, Wherever I Wind Up.
When I first received this one in my mailbox, I was reluctant to pick it up because it wasn’t Cubs related. I didn’t feel like it would interest me. Then I began to hear some of the reviews of it and decided to see what it had to say. What I was greeted with was a memoir that I enjoyed just as much if, if not more, than similar books by Tony Dungy, Josh Hamilton, and Jim Bouton.
For those not familiar with Dickey, and that is totally understandable before this year, he’s one of the only players in the Majors who still throws the knuckle ball with any regularity. Coming out of the University of Tennessee, Dickey was a member of the USA Olympic team and a highly touted power pitcher going into the 1996 draft where he was selected by the Rangers 18th overall. The book discusses that process and the bad news he was given just hours before being ready to sign his contract. From there it takes you through dealing with those struggles while battling a host of other demons in his life while continuing to pursue his dream.
What I liked most about the book is his open and honest attitude with the reader. It’s not a book for kids, as Dickey discussing things like sexual abuse that he was a victim of, but it’s blatantly honest writing from someone who is still in baseball and doing very well these days. That’s hard to do when you know fans and teammates will be reading and could use that information to be harsh and cruel. Dickey opens his heart on how the abuse affected him in his life and how he dealt with it.
He also discusses his marriage and how that struggled as a result of his past and how he dealt with those struggles as well while maintaining the life of a fringe prospect bouncing from organization to organization trying to find a permanent home for his family and his career. It takes a big man to admit failure as man when it comes to things like being a husband and a father and Dickey does it openly, humbly and honestly.
Finally, the central theme running throughout the book is Dickey’s relationship with Christ. I make no secret about my faith and have mentioned it on here a few times to mixed feelings. I’m not going to sit here and preach about why you need to believe the way I do on this forum. If you want to talk more about that, e-mail me. Instead, I want to encourage you to not let the mention that a major theme of the book is his Christian walk deter you from reading it. Whether you agree with those views or not, the book should not turn you off as a result.
Overall, Dickey’s memoir is well written, thoughtful, and very informative. I would highly recommend picking it up. It’s an easy read that you can have finished in just a few sittings.