"This book tells two stories. One is about Campy the ballplayer. . . . The other is about Campy the quadriplegic. Either story would make this book worth reading. The combination of the two lifts it far out of the category of the usual as-told-to sports book. . . . Campy comes through. There is enough of his flavor and spirit to make this the real ...
"This book tells two stories. One is about Campy the ballplayer. . . . The other is about Campy the quadriplegic. Either story would make this book worth reading. The combination of the two lifts it far out of the category of the usual as-told-to sports book. . . . Campy comes through. There is enough of his flavor and spirit to make this the real article."-Norman Cousins, Saturday Review. "Campy relates the story of his big league adventures and misadventures with sparkling humor, and his whole personality glows in the words that he himself could not write because of his disability."-Arthur Daley, New York Times. "Inspiring and engrossing."-Chicago Sunday Tribune. "Thrilling. . . . Strictly speaking, this is not an autobiography but a true adventure story of one man's battle against seemingly unsurmountable odds."-Library Journal. "As intensely personal and vividly human a book as any ball player has ever written. . . . If anybody conveys a feeling of the happiness of being alive, of the physical delight in sports, of quiet pride in having had a part in ending the racial barriers of big league ball, Roy Campanella is the man."-New York Herald Tribune Book Review. Three-time winner of the National League's Most Valuable Player award, Roy Campanella was catcher for the Brooklyn (soon to be Los Angeles) Dodgers in January 1958, when a car accident left him permanently paralyzed. It's Good to Be Alive describes his determination to rally from helplessness and help other quadriplegics. It looks back to a famous career and to a childhood on the sandlots of Philadelphia. Introducing this Bison Book edition is Jules Tygiel, a professor of history at San Francisco State University and theauthor of Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy.
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Publishers Weekly, 1995-01-23 Originally published in 1959, the year after the automobile accident that transformed him from a Hall-of-Fame baseball player to a quadriplegic, Campanella's long out-of-print autobiography nonetheless packs more uplift than any inspirational sports bio (the title says it all). Campy's refusal to succumb in to self-pity is an apt demonstration of the grittiness and self-determination that took him from 15-year-old Negro League catcher to color-barrier pioneer to bona fide major-league star. And yet, read against the backdrop of baseball's current labor unrest, his sunny outlook and unshakable faith seem na?ve. Campanella was, for example, used by his team's management to infiltrate the Negro Leauges to make sure black players they signed weren't too ``risky'' (something that had nothing to do with their on-field talent) and to break the color line in the American Association, at a time when he could have been playing in the major leagues. Although admitting ``confusion'' about his standing as a black man in the Dodgers' organization, he nonetheless is gushingly grateful toward his employers-an attitude both irritating and, as when he seeks advice from Al Campanis, deeply ironic (Campanis was the Dodger exec who said on Nightline that he truly believed blacks lack ``certain necessities'' to hold management jobs in baseball). Campanella's descriptions of his efforts to rebound from the accident-circumstances that might have crushed a lesser spirit-are far better, rescuing the book from the realm of sports clich?. (Mar.)
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