Lefty: An American Odyssey

By Vernona Gomez, Lawrence Goldstone

“An intimate portrait of a guy whose existence off the sector was once both as fascinating as his unprecedented baseball career.”—Yankees Magazine  
 
Born right into a small-town California ranching relatives, Vernon “Lefty” Gomez rode his strong arm and jocular character throughout the USA to the dugout of the hot York Yankees. Lefty baffled hitters together with his blazing fastball, developing himself because the team’s ace. Now, drawing on numerous conversations with Lefty, greater than 300 interviews performed along with his kin, acquaintances, opponents, and teammates over the process a decade, and revealing candid pictures, files, and movie clips—many by no means proven publicly—his daughter Vernona Gomez and her award-winning co-author Lawrence Goldstone vividly re-create the existence and adventures of the irreverent southpaw. A star-studded romp via America’s such a lot glamorous years, with cameos from Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, George Gershwin, Ernest Hemingway, and Marilyn Monroe, Lefty is straight away a long-overdue reminder of a pitcher’s greatness and a heartwarming get together of a lifestyles well-lived.
 
“His tale transcends activities and offers us a much-needed lesson in grit and grace.”—Jon Meacham
 
“A loving and fantastically written tribute . . . Be ready to be remodeled, and to find stars who have been stars in an age whilst that observe relatively intended something.”—Mike Greenberg, co-host of ESPN’s Mike and Mike within the Morning
 
“An amiable portrait of a baseball great—like Yogi Berra, Dizzy Dean and Satchel Paige—whose oversized character looms even better than his massive athletic achievements.”—Kirkus Reviews

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Milfred attempted him at different jobs, with the same loss of luck. ultimately Milfred had had sufficient. “He was once so vexed, he may possibly hardly ever trap his breath,” remembered Lefty. “He grabbed carry of my shoulders and shook the residing daylights out of me. He instructed me to forestall the tomfoolery or i used to be fired. “ ‘Fired? ’ I yelled again at him. ‘I surrender! I made the ball membership. I’m goin’ to the large leagues. ’ “ ‘The gigantic leagues? What approximately Pa? ’ “ ‘What approximately me? ’ I shot again. ‘Nobody’s hearing me! i will pitch! ’ ” Milfred pressed yet Lefty wouldn't be moved. not anyone used to be going to forestall him. no longer his father. now not Nick Williams. He informed Milfred he’d pitch so good that Nick will be pressured to offer him a attempt. “I sought after Nick to listen to my identify until he couldn’t stand it anymore and he’d disregard my weight and signal me up. ” whilst Milfred requested what might ensue if Lefty couldn’t make the grade, Lefty spoke back, “I’ll take the opportunity. ” once they back to Rodeo, Lefty confronted down his father. He meant to dwell in aspect Reyes and play baseball. Lefty used to be seventeen, years older than Coyote have been while he’d left domestic to pursue his dream. “I’ll always remember the harm in his eyes while he advised me i used to be making the most important mistake of my existence. on the time, I didn’t comprehend his nervousness. What child does? ” To his shock, Lefty had an suggest within the room. “Milfred got here to my rescue while I ran out of phrases. ‘Let him run,’ he stated to Pa. ‘You can’t preserve him off the diamonds. Let’s see the place his arm takes him. He’s acquired an entire life to sit down in a lecture room. ’ Pa wasn’t confident and that i didn’t waste his time or mine. If he can make judgements approximately my lifestyles, i'll too. I needed to pitch. ” 1 Milfred may move directly to paintings for a global oil corporation, touring the area. He could adventure quite a few cultures on 4 continents and educate himself no matter what language was once applicable to his project, together with Arabic in the course of his remain within the Persian Gulf. 7. “I needed to cease GOMEZ” “I knew there’d be difficult days ahead,” Lefty stated later. “Days I’d lengthy for Rodeo. I additionally knew my father yearned for the day my dream of being a huge leaguer may run its direction and I’d choose up the profession he’d selected for me. yet my dream by no means died. now not for one moment. ” throughout the week, Lefty lived in a sprawling white farmhouse with Mary and Frank Farley and their six youngsters. He and Bud milked cows two times an afternoon: as soon as at 3 within the morning and as soon as at 3 within the afternoon. in contrast to the Gomez dairy, the Farleys had no retail buyers. The ten-gallon milk cans needed to be stuffed via dawn, earlier than the milk truck confirmed as much as haul them off to the creamery in aspect Reyes. Lefty and Bud then bought to sleep a piece sooner than Frank had them out training, hours on a daily basis. in contrast to Coyote, Frank Farley enjoyed baseball and was firm to aid the city placed its most sensible crew at the box. Lefty found one other allure within the Farley domestic, Bud’s more youthful sister Cecilia, who certainly one of Lefty’s neighbors defined as “a petite, high-spirited Irish lass with jet-black hair and blue eyes.

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