The Fight of Their Lives: How Juan Marichal and John Roseboro Turned Baseball's Ugliest Brawl into a Story of Forgiveness and Redemption

The Fight of Their Lives: How Juan Marichal and John Roseboro Turned Baseball's Ugliest Brawl into a Story of Forgiveness and Redemption

by John Rosengren


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A 2014 CASEY Award finalist for the best baseball book of the year.

"For baseball fans of a certain age, it's the ugliest thing they've ever seen in a game... Rosengren details not only the fight, but the role of race in 1965 America, how the two eventually made up, became friends and even signed photos of the fight together."
-New York Post "must-read books"

Now in paperback!

One Sunday afternoon in August 1965, on a day when baseball's most storied rivals, the Giants and Dodgers, vied for the pennant, the national pastime reflected the tensions in society and nearly sullied two men forever. Juan Marichal, a Dominican anxious about his family's safety during the civil war back home, and John Roseboro, a black man living in South Central L.A. shaken by the Watts riots a week earlier, attacked one another in a moment immortalized by an iconic photo: Marichal's bat poised to strike Roseboro's head.

The violent moment-uncharacteristic of either man-linked the two forever and haunted both. Much like John Feinstein's The Punch, The Fight of Their Lives examines the incident in its context and aftermath, only in this story the two men eventually reconcile and become friends, making theirs an unforgettable tale of forgiveness and redemption.

The book also explores American culture and the racial prejudices against blacks and Latinos both men faced and surmounted. As two of the premiere ballplayers of their generation, they realized they had more to unite them than keep them apart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762788477
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 02/01/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 980,190
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

John Rosengren is the award-winning author of eight books, including Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes and Blades of Glory: The True Story of a Young Team Bred to Win. His articles have appeared inMen's Journal, Reader's Digest, Runner's World, Sports Illustrated and Utne Reader, among other publications.A member of the Society for American BaseballResearch and the American Society of Journalists and Authors, he lives in Minneapolis.

Table of Contents

Prologue: A Moment of Madness ix

Chapter 1 El Rey de Ponche 1

Chapter 2 My Own Little Bailiwick 19

Chapter 3 The Pride of the Dominican 37

Chapter 4 Filling Campy's Shoes 65

Chapter 5 Summer of Fury 81

Chapter 6 Bloody Sunday 107

Chapter 7 This Ain't Over 121

Chapter 8 That's Not How the Story Goes 143

Chapter 9 Johnny, I Need Your Help 169

Chapter 10 The Man behind the Mask 191

Acknowledgments 211

Sources 213

Bibliography 253

Index 265

About the Author 278

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