Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball

Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball


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The perfect gift for baseball fans, now with a new epilogue by author R.A. Dickey, winner of the 2012 Cy Young award. 

"An astounding memoir—haunting and touching, courageous and wise."—Jeremy Schaap, bestselling author, Emmy award-winning journalist, ESPN

In 1996, R.A. Dickey was the Texas Rangers’ much-heralded No. 1 draft choice. Then, a routine physical revealed that his right elbow was missing its ulnar collateral ligament, and his lifelong dream—along with his $810,000 signing bonus—was ripped away. Yet, despite twice being consigned to baseball’s scrap heap, Dickey battled back. Sustained by his Christian faith, the love of his wife and children, and a relentless quest for self-awareness, Dickey is now the starting pitcher for the Toronoto Blue Jays (he was previously a star pitcher for the New York Mets) and one of the National League’s premier players, as well as the winner of the 2012 Cy Young award.

In Wherever I Wind Up, Dickey eloquently shares his quintessentially American tale of overcoming extraordinary odds to achieve a game, a career, and a life unlike any other.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452299016
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/26/2013
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 287,364
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays is one of the premier pitchers in baseball.  In 2012 while playing for the New York Mets, he became the first knuckleballer to win the National League Cy Young Award, major league baseball’s highest honor for a pitcher.  He has also written for the New York Times and is working on a young adult edition of Wherever I Wind Up and two children’s books. When not on the road with his team, Dickey lives in Tennessee with his wife and four children.

Wayne Coffey is an award-winning journalist for the New York Daily News and the author of more than thirty books, including The Boys of Winter, a New York Times bestselling chronicle of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. A three-time Pulitzer nominee, he has long been regarded as one of best sports feature writers in the nation. 

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Worst Night I Ever Had 1

Chapter 1 Plastic Spoon 15

Chapter 2 Summer of '83 29

Chapter 3 Faith on Walnut 39

Chapter 4 The Wolf of Green Hills 53

Chapter 5 Volunteering for Duty 73

Chapter 6 Cover Story 87

Chapter 7 The Lone Ranger 105

Chapter 8 Minor Achievement 113

Chapter 9 Showtime 129

Chapter 10 Requiem for My Fastball 147

Chapter 11 Redhawk Redux 157

Chapter 12 The World According to Charlie 165

Chapter 13 Knuckleballer Non Grata 179

Chapter 14 The Bottom 191

Chapter 15 Into the Missouri 203

Chapter 16 Sounds of the Moment 221

Chapter 17 Rule Five Surprise 239

Chapter 18 Getting My Phil 259

Chapter 19 Citi Dweller 279

Chapter 20 Fingernails in Flushing 295

Chapter 21 Unbroken Moments 307

Epilogue: Summits 329

Acknowledgments 343

Index 347

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"R.A. Dickey's book is unlike any other professional athlete's autobiography you have ever read. And that is a very good thing." —Mike Bauman, MLB.com

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Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
sweaverWV More than 1 year ago
Today's entry is a review of the new book by Mets pitcher R.A Dickey, titled "Wherever I Wind Up." It is Dickey's autobiography, written with Wayne Coffey of the New York Daily News. I was sent a copy of this book for review, and so I shall. This is one of the best baseball books I have read, and I've read a lot. It has a lot to do with Dickey's honesty, and his background as an English lit major at the University of Tennessee. As he says himself, he has a feel for a story, though not so much for grammar: fortunately here he has a co-writer and an editor. The honesty and storytelling make for a compelling read. The most compelling part is the contrast. If I told you Dickey was a successful pitcher on a multi-year contract, you might not realize how long he has pitched in the minors and what it has taken to finally become a success at age 37. If I told you he was a knuckleball pitcher, you might not realize he was a hard thrower in college and early in his pro career, and a member of the 1996 Olympic team. If I told you he was a graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy, a prestigious private school in Nashville, you might not realize he was a scholarship student from the wrong side of the tracks, who overcame poverty and abuse in his childhood. If I told you he was a committed Christian, you might expect a book full of platitudes instead of a story of a man with faults and failings who had to be honest with himself after an affair nearly ended his marriage. Dickey is honest here, often brutally so, and it becomes clear that he is not some mild-mannered guy, but a risk-taker, with something of a disregard for his own safety: like the time in Council Bluffs, Iowa, when he decides to swim the Missouri River. He doesn't make it across, and might not have made it out of the river if not for teammate and Australian Grant Balfour. Or when, as a teenager, he took to sleeping in empty houses at night. Or a story not fully told in this book, a trip taken while it was going to press: the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. He's a married man with four kids living a young man's dream. Dickey is a fascinating individual, and this is a captivating book. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, brutally honest and emotionally riveting. The only people who may find this book "laaaaaammmmeeee" are A-rod fans...if there are any left. I often wondered why this guy never looked satisfied after a great game but after reading his story I get that this is one athlete who feels that he has as much to prove to himself as he does to all those who never believed he was worth giving a chance. In a time where greed and a distorted sense of self-importance rules the sports world, it's refreshing to read about an athlete who is not ashamed to admit he's human. Gotta root for this guy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A brutally honest page-turner. This autobiography made me respect Dickey as one of the few knuckleball pitchers in the Major Leagues, but more importantly, as a man. I look foward to seeing him pitch a ton of strikeouts this baseball season. LGM!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anahid More than 1 year ago
This is an exceptional book by an exceptional man. I remember reading about him pitching in Mets triple A, the first batter got a hit, then it was 27 up, 27 down. I started following him then. Unlike most sports books which sugarcoat the sport or denigrate other players, Dickey is brutally honest about himself, while providing insights to the business of baseball and other players. I enjoyed his journal entries as well. I think the book was a type of catharsis for him, as he has worked through his demons the past few years. I respect him so much as a man, as well as a ball player. Very impressive!
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating tale, about a fascinating man. R.A. Dickey is much more than a talented pitcher: He is a former English lit college student; he once [attempted to] swim the Missouri [and was partially successful]; and most recently climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, a height of over 19,000 feet, for charity, in an effort to raise awareness and funds to stop human trafficking and prostitution in Mumbai. He is a devout Christian, and though at times less than perfect as a Christian, husband and father, that is no longer the case, and there can be no doubt as to his love for and devotion to his wife [his childhood sweetheart], his children and his God. Nominally, and obviously, a sports book, this novel is much more than that. To the author’s credit, he names names, and is generous in his praise while being candid in his assessments when circumstances warrant it. In addition to an insider’s view of the game of baseball, there is the occasional quote from ancient Greek or Chinese philosophers. In 2011 he completed his 15th season of professional baseball, in a remarkable story. Despite some horrific abuse suffered when he was eight years old, detailed in the book, he overcame great odds to be where he is today, also detailed in the book. Full disclosure: This reviewer is a passionate fan of the New York Mets, the team where Mr. Dickey is now a trusted part of the five-man pitching rotation, and I have been a Mets full-season ticket holder for 25 years, attending at least 70 [out of 81] home games each of those years. But my admiration for the author goes beyond the obvious – he is a courageous human being as well, as this book makes clear. Called a “phenom” when he started out, he was the Tennessee State player as a senior in 1993, an All-American at the University of Tennessee and a starter for Team USA in the 1996 Olympics. After playing in the minor leagues over a long period of time, he is offered a signing bonus of $810,000 by the Texas Rangers. It is the realization of his dream. Until he undergoes the routine physical examination required before the contract can be signed, and it is found that he was apparently born without an ulnar collateral ligament – the main stabilizing ligament - in his elbow, and the offer is summarily withdrawn. Ultimately, he signs for $75,000.00. How he proved himself, remained in the major leagues, and became one of the premier – and few – knuckleball pitchers pitching today, is quite a tale. The book is highly recommended, for readers who are baseball fans certainly, but for those who are not as well. As you can probably tell, I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
inspirational story
BigM91 More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about struggle and perseverance. The fact he found his way into the majors when many would have given up their baseball dream speaks volumes of his strength of character. Other reviews have stated this, but I'll repeat: You don't have to be a baseball fan to be absorbed into this book. It's very well written and offers inspiration to anyone. (You don't even have to like the Mets, either.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First, let me say I am not much of a reader at all! I also first read this through my local library, after reading a Yahoo sports article, on R.A. Dickey's trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with two other MLB player's who are friends of his. I figured this book would be about that trip, what it took to climb to it's summit and the trials and tool it took his and his friends bodies. What a figured this book to be about, and what it's actually about, couldn't have been further apart!! That said, I was so moved while reading this book, I could NOT and Did NOT want to put it down, once I started to read it!! My story may not be the same as anybody else's, but I actually identify with this book too! I will never be the same after reading this either! Anyone should, and everyone should, read this book!!!!!! Thank You Mr. Dickey! From a New Fan, in Frankfort, IL
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the most inspirational, as well as entertaining, books I've ever had the pleasure of reading! Thank you R. A. for sharing all of your accomplished, as well as your hardships,both professionally and personally, humbling yourself and glorifying God at every turn. May His love and guidance be ever-present in your life, and may your knuckleball continue to reign over every hitter you face against the NY Mets, for many years to come!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the ultimate underdog saga: A baseball pitcher who had lost his fastball and takes up the knuckler, perfects it over a few years, and ends up starting for the Mets, streaking to a 12-0 start in 2012 and pitching in the All-Star Game. It's a long struggle, but to see R.A. triumphant in the end in his mid-thirties is balm to the soul.
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
In the midst of the first All-Star season of R.A. Dickey’s professional baseball career (and as I write this, he stands a very good chance of being named the starting pitcher for the National League in this year’s game), he has published a memoir that chronicles his struggle to achieve excellence—as a professional athlete, as a father, as a husband, as a son, as a Christian, and as a man. His story is compelling, honest, well written, and inspirational. As a lifelong NY Mets fan, I knew I would read this book, and although the book is rather short on his time as a Met (he is, after all, in just his third season with New York), Dickey tells his story with such brutal sincerity that you can’t help rooting for the guy, a professional athlete who—at the age of 37—is finally realizing his full potential. At a mere 332 pages, this is a very quick read, but don’t let the brevity fool you. Dickey has packed a lot of wisdom into these pages—you learn a lot about his family, his college career, the crushing news that he lacks an ulnar collateral ligament, the way his faith supports and enriches his life—and the vicissitudes of life as a knuckleballer. R.A. Dickey has earned the respect and admiration of any true sports fan. He has persevered over odds that repeatedly seemed bound and determined to destroy his career as a professional athlete. It’s a joy to watch him pitch, and it’s a joy to share his story. He redefines the concepts of sportsmanship and honor.
DieHardMetsFan More than 1 year ago
After reading this book you can truly appreciate the effort that R.A. is putting forward this year. The path he has taken from loosing a signing bonus to most likely being a 2012 All Star is incredibly impressive. Let go Mets!
BBATN More than 1 year ago
Great story about a man who tells his personal story of overcoming abuses from his younger years and coping in a disfunctional family. He used sports as a daily motivator to continue on with life. He became religious, married a high school sweetheart, but kept hidden earlier traumas suffered in his life. Obstacles emerged in his baseball career where he went from a highly touted college star to a pitcher with supposed medical issues. The story in summation, advises why you don't give up when the tide has turned. Developing a new pitch, making amends with his wife, and raising his family, have turned his life around and he pitches for another day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wherever I Wind Up is awesome. But don't to listen to me: (Wherever I Wind Up) "might be the finest piece of nonfiction baseball writing since 'Ball Four." Jon Wertheim, award-winning writer, best-selling author, Sports Illustrated "R.A. Dickey's Wherever I Wind Up is an astounding memoir--haunting and touching, courageous and wise." - Jeremy Schapp, best-selling author, six-time Emmy award-winning journalist, ESPN "Nobody in baseball has overcome more obstacles than R.A. Dickey, and nobody writes about them with more honesty and insight. R.A. doesn't want to be called a hero, but he is exactly that, and when you read about his life's journey and his courage, you will agree with me. This is an awesome book by an awesome man." - Orel Hershiser, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst, former MLB All-Star "R.A. Dickey is one of the coolest athletes I've ever met - a great mixture of soul and intellect ... This is an athlete worth knowing better." - George Vecsey, best-selling author, award-winning columnist, The New York Times "(a) wonderful and powerful new memoir." - Jim Caple, Senior writer, Columnist, ESPN "I can't recommend Wherever I Wind Up enough." - Gary Cohen, Mets' play-by-play announcer, SportsNet NY (SNY) "Dickey has set a new standard for athlete autobiographies." - Publishers Weekly (Starred review)
meacoleman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! R.A. Dickey is a humble guy who shares his struggles with his job and family, and how he was able to overcome his fears and shortcomings to achieve a level of success. He sought counseling for his personal traumas and additional training to perfect his knuckleball, all while developing his faith in God. Not everybody is willing to admit this. It was fun to read a story about a sports player who is not a big superstar on the field, but who has accomplished great things in his life. His story is one that many people can relate to, and can find hope and encouragement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was amazed at the author's ability to overcome his obstacles and rise to the heights of his success. The title of this book is Wherever I Wind Up. The author of the book is R.A Dickey. The book is a autobiography on the life of the author R.A. Dickey. The book is the story of the life of the author R.A. Dickey from his birth to the present. He is a professional baseball player who grew up in Nashville Tennessee and has achieved success despite much adversity throughout his entire life. The main theme of the book is that you should overcome adversity no matter what the obstacles or circumstances. The beginning of the book is his childhood and upbringing. In the book he says that everyone, including him, will face depressing elements in life and will face many difficult challenges. Overall, I thought that the book was very interesting. I thought that R.A. Dickey did a very good job of telling his life story. He is very descriptive in his stories and very thorough in his story telling, which makes the experience very good. The book talks about what you should do when faced with adversity. He suggests that you should rise above any depths of despair. I felt like the book covered a wide variety of issues. It didn't really leave out any major issues that R.A. Dickey faced in his life. He discussed issues that he faced in his life pretty well. The book was a good experience for me. It mad me root for R.A. Dickey. I wanted him to succeed and overcome his struggles in life. I thought that it was a really good book and a really good reading experience. The book is a good reading experience and an enjoyable book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
R A is a F***ing boss. Anyone who likes him should read Throwing Strkies another good book by him. He talks about life problems anf his quest for the perfect knuckleball.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great story
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HenryBeemis More than 1 year ago
One of the most honest and interesting baseball books out there. The ups and downs of Mr. Dickey's baseball career are incidental to the obstacles he had to overcome in his life....Enjoy this book.
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