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Tris Speaker: The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  59 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A long-overdue biography of the Hall of Famer regarded by his peers to be the best centerfielder to ever play in the Majors.
Paperback, 344 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Lyons Press (first published January 1st 2006)
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Jesse Richman
Sep 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
A marvelously well-researched biography of one of the lesser-know all time baseball greats. Gay's attention to detail and diligent documentation of The Gray Eagle's journey through major league baseball in the 1910s and 1920s becomes a fascinating story not just of the titular player, but an entire era of baseball long glossed over.
May 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
Tris Speaker was probably the best outfielder in the deadball era, but also one of the best players of all time. He used to play centerfield so shallow, that he holds the all-time record for unassisted double plays. "The Gray Eagle" was part of three world champion teams including the 1915 Red Sox team that featured pitcher Babe Ruth, and the 1920 Indians team which he managed/played for at the age of 31. But Speaker's accomplishments (such as the all-time doubles record) don't tell the whole st ...more
Chris Witt
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My initial thought after about 50 pages was that Gay's bio on early 20th century star center fielder Tris Speaker was a little too dry and humorless.

But I eventually came around to seeing that if you are looking for information on Speaker, this is pretty much an amazing resource.

I think maybe the problem here is just that Speaker himself isn't necessarily the most fascinating character from that era of baseball. But I do know that, until maybe the last 10 years or so, you would routinely still s
Robert Morrow
Jun 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
Boy, talk about false advertising! After a excruciatingly long opening chapter with tons of extraneous and self-justifying information, we finally begin reading about the subject of the biography. The hope that the author will get to the point is soon dashed, though, for once Speaker joins the Red Sox he virtually disappears. Instead we're treated to unnecessary information ranging from the founding of the American League to (no kidding) the history of Boston. There are pages and pages devoted t ...more
The last third of the book is definitely better than the first two thirds. I thought the author was presumptuious in a lot of his observations. How does he know? Was he there?

Once Tristram makes it to the Indians things pick up. Of course, winning a World Series championship helps.

A decent baseball read.
Sep 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sports fans
Shelves: favorites
i picked up this book because i've become very interested in reading about baseball history. it's one of the most interesting books that i've read in a long time, filled with tons of things that most people would never have known if this book hadn't been written. must read if you love baseball history.
Nov 04, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
The writing seems a bit dry and academic but I had hopes for this book as I enjoy the baseball of the early era. Gay's writing definitely improved as the book developed. 80% of the time the text was engaging if rather disjointed. Gay portrayed Speaker authentically, prejudices and ethical lapses as well as loyalty and enviable skills.
Jul 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I'd say it is 20% biography and 80% baseball history. That said, it was a fun book to read, but clearly there were many questions about Speaker's life that the author could not answer. In particular, how did he go from complete bigot to fairly open minded?
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Great research and storytelling. Don't feel as though I know the man much better, though.
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