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

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  4,398 ratings  ·  501 reviews
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Blue Rider Press
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Haphazard802 I have seen it in Books-A-Million, but I read the Kindle version.

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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,398 ratings  ·  501 reviews

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Start your review of Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, faith
My husband ordered this book after a baseball birthday party with some of his friends who mentioned it. I had no intention of reading it. But then Jason opened the book near the middle, read a bit and said, "I think you're going to want to read this book." "What makes you say that?" I laughed. He read me a passage aloud and I had to agree that it sounded like a book I would read. In just that passage, I could hear an authenticity, vulnerability and transparency that I value in an author - and a ...more
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
I will preface this by saying that I am a huge fan of the knuckleball. It's a fascinating, oddball pitch that gives everyone over 30 hope that they could still make it to the bigs. I really wanted to sympathize with Dickey in his quest to change from conventional pitcher to knuckleballer.

I'm sure it's almost universally true that to become a professional athlete must require an extreme degree of narcissism. The amount of work required (necessitating ignoring all non-athletic aspects of life) com
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: baseball fans, readers looking for autobiographies or inspirational books, religious reader
I am always suspicious of books glorifying the efforts of athletes, particularly if those books are autobiographies. As a person who is not religious, I tend to also be suspicious of athletes who give the Lord all the glory for their achievements. So when I saw this book at the library, it already had two strikes against it. I'm an AL fan, and the sum total of my knowledge about RA Dickey was that he'd just won his 20th ballgame for the Mets. Period. But the book was there, and as a baseball fan ...more
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
The reviews were correct--Dickey really lets it all hang out. I know it's the era of living aloud in public and confessing all, but I'm still not that comfortable with sharing everyone's deepest secrets. Of course for a lot of people it's posturing, creating a persona. I think Dickey's story is real.

And he is right about one thing: you need to be totally straighforward and honest with those you love in order to maintain a good, strong, and trusting relationship. Which means you first have to be
Nate LeBoutillier
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was really hoping for a good sports autobiography here, and I was primed by a couple excerpts from Sports Illustrated. Dickey's story is unique in that he's finally found success as a major league pitcher in his mid-to-late 30s (the age where most athletes start fading or even retiring), and he's done it using what most people consider a gimmick pitch: the knuckleball. In addition, there's the "admission" that he when he was a kid, he was sexually abused by both his female babysitter and anoth ...more
Robin Jonathan Deutsch
I'm a life long Mets fan, so it's hard not to get caught up in the Dickey season. It's wonderful. It's the reason why I picked up the book. I was being generous with a 3 rating, because it's hard to be mean and heartless. However, the book was a major disappointment. It was soft, thin, lacked depth, at times lacked continuity. It won't win any journalistic awards for quality of writing, it's all very basic.

Dickey is a thoughtful person, but none of that comes through here. From a distance, he ap
Kevin Mogee
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
As a die-hard Phillies fan, I will never like, or root for the Mets (I think it might actually be against the law in Philadelphia), but I now have a tremendous amount of respect for R.A. Dickey. I will now look forward to his his games against the Phillies much the same way he described pitching against Tim Wakefield; while I want to see him perform well on the mound, I still want my team to win. I know R.A. Dickey said that writing this book was part of his healing process, but I still can't be ...more
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sports, read-in-2020
A couple of reasons that I picked up this book. RA Dickey was a New York Met hero at the time when the Mets were particularly terrible (almost a decade ago now). This book also got rave reviews including the cover blurb comparing it to Jim Bouton’s seminal Ball Four.

To be like Bouton, one needs to be very candid and also tell a story. Both aspects are present in Dickey’s book.

Dickey has had an interesting life. His childhood was rough- sexual abuse, parental neglect, homelessness. He did manag
Dominic Carlone
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked it
The bittersweet irony of this book is that Dickey wrote it a year too early. Later in 2012, Dickey surprised everybody by exceeding the already-impressive achievements he'd written about and winning pitching's highest honour, the Cy Young. Have no fear though: I suspect there will be a forward added to future editions to treat this remarkable development in his life story.

That bittersweet irony goes even further for Mets fans (like myself). Toward the end of the book we see Dickey finally feelin
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Full disclosure: Mets fan, Dickey fan, Wayne Coffey fan.

I devoured this book. Partly because it was inspirational, but mostly because it was a quick read. I'd say 30/70 breakdown. I really wanted to love it, to hold it forever, to buy my own after I returned it to the library and send it to CitiField to have Dickey autograph it. But after the umpteenth aside about His blessings, I decided I'd rather buy a new Mets t-shirt instead.

It's not a bad book by any means, I just think the constant retrea
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I first heard R.A. Dickey on Fresh Air and was really struck by what a cerebral, thoughtful guy he was, especially for a professional athlete. As a former pitcher and literature major myself, I felt an immediate kinship with his view of sports and the world in general and I couldn't wait to pick up his autobiography.

I wasn't disappointed. The story of how he became a successful knuckleball pitcher after grinding it out for years in the minors was both heartbreaking and inspiring. He was courageo
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fine book by a long-time minor league pitcher who defeats his demons and finds success in MLB . Better than "Ball Four"
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I assume if you're reading this book, you're a baseball fan. I'll further assume that you're a Mets fan, and predisposed to enjoy an R.A. Dickey memoir. That still leaves a vast spectrum of possibilities from which you could be approaching this book.

I have watched Robert Alan Dickey pitch for dozens, or possibly hundreds of hours on my television and in person, and over that time I became a complete sucker for his story. He was picked in the first round but lost his signing bonus because he had
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you, like me, are either a hopeless romantic, or a soulful wanderer, or a baseball fan with an endless reservoir of optimism, or just an appreciative reader of biography, you will surely enjoy R.A. Dickey's memoir, WHEREVER I WIND UP: MY QUEST FOR TRUTH, AUTHENTICITY, AND THE PERFECT KNUCKLEBALL as much as I do. I was captivated by Dickey's candor, honesty, and emotional growth. The son of an alcoholic mother and a self-absorbed father, and the victim of violent childhood sexual assault by tw ...more
Daniel O'rouke
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was not at all what I expected. Whether that was good or bad, it was certainly a surprising read. Instead of being a basic book about baseball, it was an account of RA Dickeys incredible life. Along with all the dark things he went through. This book is sort of like the Glass Castle and Angela's Ashes, and I would recommend it to a friend.
Matt Ely
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, memoir
As much spiritual autobiography as baseball memoir, it has ups and downs. Dickey's personal background and what he overcame really is noteworthy, and he gives deserved credit to the many people who loved him and supported his dream.

I think it can be an issue that he uses Christian lingo to describe his experience without explaining what it means. He sort of jumps from conversion to treating his religious life as assumed, and it can read as a dramatic shift that isn't really explained. Not that
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, audiobook
Dickey’s book follows his life, from being a youngster to entering the world of professional baseball. The beginning of the book describes the abuse he encountered as a child, which continues to impact his life throughout the book, and which seems to be the impetus for his focus on religion. The bulk of the book covers Dickey’s professional baseball career, and it is more up and down than the average player. Given Dickey’s extensive experience in the minors, I expected this to have that minor le ...more
Anthony C
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing

In “Wherever I Wind Up” R.A. Dickey tells his life story of family, faith and baseball. He tells about the abuse he endured when he was eight years old. He retells his change from a conventional pitcher to a knuckleball pitcher. He also highlights how his faith helped repair his life and marriage. He also shows how hard work and perseverance always pay off.

This memoir was incredibly powerful for many reasons. One is that fact that Dickey went public with his story of abuse as a child. This makes
Lee Wright
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredible look into the life of a professional baseball player who faced defeat after defeat before finding a love for the knuckleball!
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. As a lifelong Mets fan marooned deep in Red Sox territory, a fan of pitchers' games, knuckleballers, underdogs and the quiet pursuit of humble excellence, I was predisposed to like it. And R.A. Dickey's articulate self-presentation in various interviews about the book got me over any aversion I have to sports memoirs as a genre.

There are some beautiful passages in the book, particularly in those inter-chapter sections presented as journal entr
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
I listened to the audiobook. I'm familiar with Dickey's voice and was certain that he was reading it; it wasn't until the very last line of the recording ("read by...") that revealed it was actually someone else. One of my kudos had been the power of hearing him describe his childhood abuse, and turns out it wasn't him.

The book uses the classic narrative structure of starting in the painful middle, then jumping backwards to the beginning and building up to the painful middle and onward to the t
Gloria Feit
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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, ...more
Frank Nappi
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball, sports
R.A. Dickey’s stirring memoir “Wherever I Wind Up” is an intriguing reminder that baseball is, to many folks, so much more than just a whimsical game that possesses only recreational appeal. For many of us, baseball is therapeutic or at times even a haven in which we remain, protected from all that threatens to harm us, until the tumultuous tide of our lives has finally ceased to batter us and toss us about.

Mr. Dickey is not just another athlete; he is a wonderful amalgamation of athletic prowe
Audra Spiven
I never wrote a review for this book because at one point I had planned to dedicate a whole blog post to it. That didn't end up happening, so I came back to at least summarize my thoughts.

This book was so, so good. Comes in at #2 for best book I read this year, just behind Stephen King's 11/22/63. If you like baseball, READ THIS BOOK. If you don't like baseball, you still would probably like this book.

R.A. Dickey is so honest about his experiences, and he tells his story so humbly. It's impossib
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it
While this reader had her doubts about a memoir that began with the cliche "I remember...," they were soon dispelled by R.A. Dickey's sense of humor and knack for storytelling throughout. For the baseball fan, R.A. answers the age-old question, "What do pitching coaches say to pitchers when they visit the mound during a difficult at-bat?" We get character sketches of baseball greats like Charlie Hough, Phil Niekro, ARod, and Carlos Beltran.

The intimacy of first person narration allows the reader
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
It was a raw look into an athlete's life. Not everything is rosy posey. Not everyone makes it big. But it's a pretty wonderful story of redemption. Amidst all the crap that goes on and he goes through, it's nice to know he did well.

I think I'd like a new edition after he retires and talks about winning the Cy Young, and making it to the playoffs, and his decline into retirement.

As in depth and dark as parts of his bio go, there was one section that was way too vague and ambiguous. Did he have a
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I had mixed feelings about this book. Dickey's personal story is interesting, and told in a readable, introspective fashion, which I really enjoyed. It's clear that he really has undergone a lot of self-examination, and is a thoughtful guy. And of course his personal story--being sexually abused as a child, sleeping in abandoned houses, broken family, etc.--is pretty harrowing , and he is clearly a very bright guy.

That said, the book left me a little bit wanting--that there was more he had to sa
Mike Smith
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Dickey has written one of the most inspiring autobiographies I've encountered. Mr. Dickey may still be seeking to become consistently authentic, but his writing has found it. I was amazed by the way the narrative starts with the simple voice of a child and builds through his personal stages of darkness and enlightenment to speak as a man at peace, but still fighting his way on the path of life. Certainly his path may be in a world most men dream to walk, but the struggles he faces bear exact ...more
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've been meaning to get around to reading this book ever since it came out and I'm happy I finally did. Dickey tells a wonderful and very moving story that extends well beyond the diamond.

I respect Dickey's decision to keep his wife and children relatively removed from his story, however I thought his narrative handling of Anne (his wife) in the early parts of the book could have been much cleaner. Specifically, it was never explicitly stated that a certain Anne we see in Dickey's teens was the
Jack Wangsness
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book "Wherever I Wind Up" by R.A Dickey is an autobiography about a baseball player who had a troubled childhood kept his head high and accomplished many great things. Dickey was raped a couple times when he was eight and it has haunted him ever since. The only thing that saved him from thinking about this was playing baseball. As a kid and as a teenager he had a strong fastball that overpowered batters. As he got older He hurt his arm and no MLB team wanted to draft him. He spent eight year ...more
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“One of the supreme paradoxes of baseball, and all sports, is that the harder you try to throw a pitch or hit a ball or accomplish something, the smaller your chances are for success. You get the best results not when you apply superhuman effort but when you let the game flow organically and allow yourself to be fully present. You'll often hear scouts say of a great prospect, "The game comes slow to him." It mean the prospect is skilled and poised enough to let the game unfold in its own time, paying no attention to the angst or urgency or doubt, funnelling all awareness to the athletic task at hand.” 4 likes
“Knuckleballers don't keep secrets. It's as if we have a greater mission beyond our own fortunes. And that mission is to pass it on, to keep the pitch alive. Maybe that's because we are so different, and the pitch is do different, but I think it has more to do with the fact that this is a pitch that almost all of us turn to in desperation. It is what enables us to keep pitching stay in the big leagues, when everything else has failed. So we feel gratitude toward the pitch. It becomes way more than just a means to get and out.
It becomes a way of life.”
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