In Impact Player, Bobby Richardson, a former Yankee, writes his life story. Not being a huge baseball fan, I thought the first half of the book was a little long on statistics and play by play descriptions of ball games. However, I was impressed by the humility with which Bobby talked about his success. He shared as much about the success of other Yankee players (Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra) as he did himself because he firmly believes baseball is a TEAM sport. The success of the individuals was dependent upon the bonding and camaraderie of the team.
Bobbys desire in life was to make an impact for Christ as a major league baseball player. He shares many stories of opportunities he had to do that but again, I was struck by his humility because he also shared stories of lost opportunities and recognized that success he achieved was by Gods grace and mercy.
If you are a baseball fan, particularly a Yankees fan, you will love the book.
An impact player is one who makes other players feel great and successful off the field as well as on, provides comfort and support in difficult times and exhibits peace, humility, and love. This was Bobby Richardson! Shortly before his 12th birthday he accepted Christ's gift of salvation. He had a great family with fond memories of playing catch and attending baseball games with his father and even getting Stan Musial's autograph. Courted by the Yankees when he was in high school, he signed their contract upon graduation. Put unfortunately in a class B training program, he bombed because of inexperience on offense. He couldn't hit. He was homesick. He was too focused on baseball, not God. Finally when they moved him to the rookie league, he began hitting once more, made friends with a Christian player, and met a young lady, Betsy, whom he would later marry. He began winning games. His advisor told him baseball would give him a platform to reach people for God and he shouldn't give up. What great honor did he win although he was on the losing team? Who helped Bobby fine tune his hitting skills and impact his confidence? What coveted Yankee league mark did Bobbie reach? At one point Bobby made a leaping, one-handed catch that no other second baseman could make. What happened to the tight-knit infield group: Moose, Tony Kubek, Clete Boyer and Bobby? Why did Bobby feel the 1963 season was the most impressive season? What made the 1963 All Star Game in Cleveland a nightmare for Bobbie? What costly error did Bobby make in the game with the Cardinals that caused his team to lose? On Saturday, Sept 17, at the Bobby Richardson Day at Yankee Stadium when his team wasn't going to win the pennant, 21,000 came to the game including his wife Betsy, his children, his mother and mother-in-law. Who sang as part of the service and what did he sing? What was Bobbie presented with? At the end of his speech to the fans, what 5 words did he say? What new challenge was he offered? What did his sons do that made him very proud of them? What did he lose that he later rejoiced about? What words of encouragement did he give his friend Dick with brain cancer that should encourage all of us no matter what our circumstances? How supportive were these teammates? What close family did his family enjoy being with when the father became a Yankee player? What memories of Mickey Mantle did Bobby share? All this and more is in this great book. If you have a husband or brother or friend who loves baseball, this is a marvelous book to give them, especially if you want to give them a manly view of Christ in life today.
The book Impact Player is a must read for all baseball fans. To be honest, I am not fond of sports, including baseball, but I decided to give this book a try because I have enjoyed reading autobiographies of Christians in the past. Despite my lack of sports fondness and ignorance of baseball, I did find the book to be enjoyable. I really appreciated the pictures in the book as well as the descriptions of some of the key players that were mentioned in the book. The reason I liked the pictures is because it helped me give a face to the names that were mentioned in the book. This was extremely helpful for me because I know next to nothing about baseball. In fact, the only name I recognized was Mickey Mantle. I had never heard of Bobby Richardson until I read this book! Though I may not know anything about baseball, I did find this book to be a good testimony. The few times I have seen my dad watch sports, I have seen men behaving like two year olds having tantrums. I expected to read of such behavior when I picked this book up, but I realize now that Bobby Richardson was and is a good role model for youth. I appreciate it when I see or hear of a sports player who is a true Christian who is really living like one not only privately, but publicly too. I also found it wonderful how the author described about Mickey Mantle's conversion to Christianity as well as the other player named Clive. I believe the author had a hand in the conversions by how he lived his life around them: by acting in a way that would give God glory. Lastly, I really liked how the book ended: Bobby Richardson gave all the thanks and glory to God. This is a refreshing read about a major player in baseball and I recommend that all sports fans, especially, children read this. In fact, I think that every library should include this book in their collection.