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Wrecking Crew: The Really Bad News Griffith Park Pirates

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  73 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
"You never know what's going to save you."After years of dingy nightclubs and drug addiction, John Albert and his hard-luck friends certainly never expected their salvation to arrive in the form of a pastime most often associated with Mom, God, and apple pie. "Wrecking Crew" -- a highly unusual chronicle of recovery and redemption -- documents the transformation of a group ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 9th 2005 by Scribner Book Company
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Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it over and over. I kind of feel as if it's a security blanket. I take it with me when I'm going places where I feel nervous. See? I'm a bit crazy. I admit it.
Matt Eckel
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was ok
By John Albert, founding member of Christian Death and sometime drummer for Bad Religion.

Look, this isn't a piece of great literature. For example, the chapters (about 5 pages per chapter) have quirky titles like a book you might have read in 4th grade. Before you read this book, ask yourself: do you like...

punk rock?

If yes, then by all means, read this book! It's a quick read, and an interesting true story about a bunch of former junkies and punk rockers who start an amateur bas
Linda Suter
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I'll give this book a solid 3 stars. I like the idea of the book. A group of seriously dysfunctional people brought together by the game of baseball. There is something simple and comforting about it. But trying to follow the storylines of 9 different people was a bit exhausting, and there was no real resolution to the story. Just that life goes on and we should try to appreciate and enjoy the small things while we can. A good message, and a solid 3 star book.
Vince Darcangelo
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, nonfiction

This review originally appeared in the BOULDER WEEKLY

Punks in the outfield
by Vince Darcangelo

I don't recall how the final out was made, whether it was a ground ball or a pop fly. What I do remember is that when the game was over we were undefeated. We danced around the pitcher's mound and tossed our gloves in the air as Sister Sledge's "We Are Family" blasted from my dad's tinny cassette player in the dugout. It was 1980, and the pint-sized T-ball Pirates
May 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I knew this book would not be in the vein of the several others I have read on the subject of baseball. But just how unconventional it was I had vastly underestimated. Along with the historical retelling of the origins of the team of misfits, recovering addicts, social outcasts, etc., there are many more vignettes and anecdotes (the majority of them colorfully recounted) chronicling the lives of those who would become players on the team over the beginning years. Although the stories in the book ...more
Aug 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
i struggled a bit with what to give this one based on what i was expecting when i started reading it and what i got out of it in the end. for a majority of the book, as john albert tells the tale of a bunch of outsiders, misfits, and drug addicts in LA who form a baseball team, it feels very fragmented.

where i expected there to be some sort of over-arching storyline, something to tie together the baseball and the addicts towards some sort of grand redemptive act, there wasn't one. instead, alber
May 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
My favorite excerpt:
Sports are rarely just a game. At their best, they are stories of triumph, failure, and transcendence. None of us could ever change the mistakes we'd made, but in some small way, it felt as though we were now being afforded an opportunity to become what none of us had ever really been before: winners.
Matt Evans
Jul 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Druggie and rehab flameouts start playing baseball and connect to life. It's competently written, as memoir, and I learned WAY more about Jane's Addiction's guitarist D. Navarro's personal life than I'd planned on, and to be honest, it (i.e., his life) depressed me.
Oct 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You know how a book isn't very good but you still enjoy reading it? That's how I feel about this one.
Ray Charbonneau
Sep 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Only nominally about baseball. Mostly about the struggle to find a reason to go on, even after you've made it really hard on yourself. But in a non-sappy, non-judgmental way.
Nov 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book ruled - glad I finished it Saturday night or I may have taken time off work to finish it...
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