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Kiss It Good-Bye: The Mystery, the Mormon, and the Moral of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
In 1960, an upstart Pittsburgh Pirates team beat the highly
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Shadow Mountain
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Theo Logos
This book has a few good tales to tell that baseball fans and particularly Pirates fans will appreciate. Unfortunately, however, the entire book is shot through with the author's ethic of "golly gee wiz, wasn't the world a better place back when everything cost a nickle, men were real men, and the world hadn't yet gone to hell?" He makes it clear, over and over, that the world was a better place back when parents regularly whipped their kids and activists kept their mouths shut and accepted the ...more
Jul 30, 2013 J.S. rated it really liked it
The Pittsburgh Pirates hadn't been a winning team until they won the World Series in 1960, beating the Yankees, and a significant part of their success that season was due to a pitcher named Vernon Law. Law was a Mormon from Idaho whose fastball and clean living set a great example - especially for a boy like Moody - and the hard-working "ironman" once pitched 18 innings in a single game. But in the revelry following winning the National League pennant, some drunken and rough-housing teammates i ...more
Oct 11, 2012 Marci rated it it was ok
The subject of this book, baseball player Vern Law, was one of my husband's childhood heroes, so he picked this book up off a 99-cent stack. I think it was just barely worth the 99 cents. Vern Law is certainly an inspirational kind of guy and his story is a good one. But the author didn't seem to know what he really wanted to do--tell Vern Law's story? Justify Vern Law's moral character by explaining his religion? Write his own memoir touching on his relationship with the Pittsburgh Pirates and ...more
Bonnie Tesch
Nov 05, 2013 Bonnie Tesch rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned
This author took a pretty exciting sports story (the Pirates 1960 comeback and World Series win) and managed to focus on the least interesting part of it (who was responsible for a particular injury to one player) in the least interesting way possible (mostly by complaining about who things aren't as good as they once were--I kept expecting the author to yell at me to get off his lawn).
Sep 07, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
Brought back many fond memories of Vernon Law, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the 1960 World Series win.
Mar 09, 2010 Teri marked it as to-read
Recommended to Teri by: Mom
My Mom read an excerpt of the book to me. Really sounds like something inspirational I would enjoy.
Jun 01, 2010 Teri rated it it was amazing
When I heard that Deseret was publishing Kiss It Good-Bye, I had to read and review this book, as I've been a huge baseball fan since my Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 1958.

John Moody was a 6 year old in Pittsburgh when the Pirates won the World Series, especially winning against the usually unbeatable Bronx Bombers, the New York Yankees, but 1960 was the year for the Bucks. They scrapped their way to their first Series win since 1927. and not last. The unlikely Pirate to help earn
Tom Gase
Dec 10, 2010 Tom Gase rated it did not like it
I had wanted to read this book for about five years now and it was a major letdown.
I hadn't really read anything on the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates team yet. Sure, I've read the biography on Roberto Clemente and sure I knew all about Bill Mazeroski's homer to win the series. But never really a good book on this exact team.
This book by John Moody seems to go all over the place and talk about everything...except the 1960 Pirates. Early in the book it talks about the history of the mormom faith for abo
Chris Witt
Dec 22, 2014 Chris Witt rated it did not like it
Ugh. In the first 50 pages, Moody has argued that a homogeonized society is better, that nobody born after 1930 is worth a damn, and that beating children with belts produces better adults. What else do we have here... Lamenting on today's "moral relativism" - check. Writing about why Mitt Romney would make a fine president because he's Mormon and they are "the best examples of clean-cut, family oriented citizens in the United States and around the world" - check. Complaints about people who men ...more
Aug 26, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The reason that I gave this book four stars is because it is the first Non-Fiction book that I have read in quite a while, and it was rather refreshing. While I thought it would be SOLELY on Vernon Law and the Pittsburgh Pirates winning the 1960 World Series - it was also a Memoir of the author (John Moody) incorporating his love for baseball, and why he chose to write this book in the first place. At times it was very interesting to learn the history and backgrounds of things, but other times i ...more
Apr 27, 2010 Ron rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
TC Jones
Apr 28, 2010 TC Jones rated it it was ok
Being a life long Pittsburgh Pirates fan I found this book interesting in the fact that it described in detail the 1960's World Series and how the city of Pittsburgh rallied around its team. The book followed Pirates pitcher Vern Law from childhood through his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates especially highlighting the 1960 season. John Moody paints Vern as a good and moral man, which he was, but never really is able to grab the readers attention leaving a feeling that after finishing the book ...more
May 14, 2014 Verona rated it it was amazing
My husband and I listened to this book on audio tape, and we loved it!! We are big sports fans, and were especially fans of Vernon Law, the subject of this book. The author, John Moody, read the book which made it more interesting. My husband remembers watching the World Series game where Vernon Law and the Pittsburg Pirates defeat the mighty NY Yankees in the World Series of 1960. We were at BYU at the time, and my husban watched the game at the Cannon Center. He remembers the home run that wo ...more
Mar 07, 2010 Larsen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all readers, especially LDS readers.
A very positive tribute to and sports biography of a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints written by a Catholic who shares much of his own life story and how he became such a fan of Vernon Law. The author includes a review of the history and the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which is very good, and includes The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ in his list of "Sources." The life story of Vernon Law is told quite thorough ...more
Angela J.
Jan 05, 2013 Angela J. rated it it was ok
I don't usually read non-fiction but summary of the book on the dust jacket caught my interest. The idea of the mystery of what happened to this great baseball player. However, it didn't seem to be that mysterious once I started reading the book. The author spent too much time on tangents and asides while telling the story. Several times I would have to go back and reread a paragraph or two to recall what the original topic was before the author started giving me the background on somebody who w ...more
Mar 19, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I don’t even like baseball. I was uplifted by the values and courage and kindness of Vern Law. He really was an inspirational person. I’m tempted to go meet him the next time I’m in Provo. It was also fun to learn about what Pittsburgh was like in the 1960s. The author is pretty nostalgic about the past, and a little negative about the world we live in today, which might bother some people but it didn’t bother me. I also loved reading it by my husbands side an ...more
Mike Prochot
Feb 03, 2015 Mike Prochot rated it it was ok
Shelves: americana, sports

I gave the book two stars because I liked the cover.

Going into it with all good intentions, I thought I was going to be reading about baseball in the good old days. Instead, I got a treatise on Mormonism, the author's "fond" remembrances of his inadequacies as a child, some information about the 1960 Pirates (that was not all actually correct), some political propaganda, and a weak story line intended to somehow pull this all together.

I found the book to be unreadable at times. I skimmed o
Apr 29, 2010 Spence rated it liked it
I wanted to read this book for a couple of reasons. First and foremost was because I love baseball. Second my maternal Grandma was from Pittsburgh and her brother was the Branch President in Vern Laws branch and new him very well so I hoped to get a little insight as to what things were like for them back in the day. The book was good but not great. If I didn't have so many other books I wanted to read right now I might have enjoyed it a little more. For those not a memeber of the LDS church (I ...more
Mar 09, 2014 Carrie rated it it was ok
This book is akin to Doris Kearns Goodwin's "maybe next year", unfortunately, it wasn't billed as part personal memoir. As such it really falls flat, more like the author looking for cheap therapy for childhood issues. The baseball sections were good, better examples of baseball storytelling can be found in David Halberstam.
Was dismayed that after his exit from the series, Vern Law drops off the page; not even this was his later life type thing, he was just gone. Instead we had to wade through
Sep 11, 2012 Becky rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Pittsburghers
Favorite quote of the book ...

Its rabbit warren of crisscrossing streets and its neighborhoods built into the hills alongside the rivers baffled outsiders such as correspondent Ernie Pyle, who wrote, "Pittsburgh is undoubtedly the cockeyedest city in the United States. It must have been laid out by a mountain goat."

Didn't care for the author's style of writing, too many stats, skimmed over the majority of the book.... I did enjoy reading about the history of Pittsburgh at the beginning of the st
Jul 29, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing
if you like baseball - you will like this book - it's about the pirates winning the world series in 1960 from the yankees - i don't watch baseball too much but i do enjoy reading about it - i do agree with vern law that the baseball players of today are way too pampered and make way too much money - i think they think they are super heros - I liked the book because it tells how kids grew up playing baseball - no little league - they just grabbed a ball and bat and went and played in a field - i ...more
Jul 02, 2010 Marci rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't a bad book, but it was a little boring in my opinion. I skimmed over a lot of the baseball play by plays and wasn't as interested when the author was telling stories about himself. Vern Law was definitely quite a man and quite an athlete and I'd be interested to read the book he wrote (that is quoted a throughout this book). I did enjoy hearing about how different the lives of professional athletes are today compared to what they were in the 50s and early 60s and think I understand som ...more
Mar 07, 2011 Ben rated it really liked it
Good story about the old days of baseball, and the way things were in the 40's, 50's, and 60's. It was interesting to read about how a guy from Idaho became a major league pitcher, and to read about Pittsburgh back in the dingy, sooty, days. I think if you're not a baseball fan, this book won't hold a lot for you. I saw it in Deseret Book, and thought it was more about a Mormon athelete. But it turns out to be more about his baseball career, with a few incidents that tie in to his religion. So, ...more
Oct 06, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed how the author combined his own story into the narrative of the 1960 World Series Champion Pittsburg Pirates. In many ways, I have similar memories from my childhood, so for me this added an extra layer of meaning for me. I also enjoyed leaning about the life of Vernon Law, whose life proves that simple faith and goodness can make a difference in the world. I would suggest this to anyone needing a throwback sports novel.
Oct 29, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok
It was a slow read but I enjoyed learning more about the history of Pittsburgh. It opened up some dialogue with my dad that was fun -- for example some of my great uncles used to drive the slag trucks that they would empty & looked liked fireworks. The actual story of Vern Law was fine; to say there was a mystery was quite a stretch. When the author strayed off topic to his own unrelated experiences, I found it annoying.
Jan 25, 2013 Brigham marked it as gave-up-on
Recommends it for: Nobody Ever
This book was almost good. I wanted to like it, I started it with pleasure and I was let down with each new chapter. Please do not peddle a book about a fantastic ball player, market it almost entirely on his religion, hop from one random topic to the next and all the while write your autobiography at the same time. This made me very angry and I'm sorry I wasted so much of my time waiting for this to get better.

This book was on the shelf for approx. $1.00 new. I now know why.
Aug 07, 2010 Kathleen rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book and the more specific information about Vernon Law who I heard about a lot when I was growing up. The author does a very balanced job of depicting the beliefs of the church and certainly is very considerate and kind about his portrayal of Vernon Law. I enjoyed getting to know the other team members and the events surrounding the Pirate World Series win of 1960. I do like baseball as I rediscover from time to time.
Oct 02, 2010 Darlis rated it liked it
This is a combination autobiography/biography/modern history of Pittsburg/baseball story. How could all this work together? It is woven through the eyes of a little boy who grew up loving baseball in Pittsburg. There was stuff I didn't know or had forgotten so I liked the discoveries that I made. I liked the baseball parts, but probably some people will think that the game episodes are too much. But I enjoyed the book.
Shirley Brown
Oct 20, 2015 Shirley Brown rated it liked it
This was an interesting story about the 1960 World Series Pittsbury Pirates. It is mainly about Vernon Law and the role he played on the team. He was injuried and not able to perform as well as he wanted to, but his attitude and life-style were very much respected by the whole team. Law was the boyhood hero of John Moody, the author of the book.
Mar 04, 2010 Tara rated it did not like it
I read 2/3 of this book so I'm going to count it as "read" because it just wasn't worth finishing. I think Law was a really interesting guy and I'd probably enjoy a shorter, more focused, biography of the man. This book rambled on and on and on and wandered all over and I just couldn't stand reading it any longer. My highest recommendation is to NOT read it.
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