One Last Strike by Tony La Russa

This has been a brutal winter for me.  The temperature stayed low far too long for my liking.  But the promise of spring is in the air.  The birds are chirping, the trees are blossoming, spring training games are on the television and my phone is blowing up with news of player trades and hopes for the coming season.  That’s right, folks, spring is coming!

To prepare myself and to get excited about the season, I re-read Tony La Russa’s awesome memories of his 2011 season with the St. Louis Cardinals.  Tony had an amazing MLB career and I count myself very lucky to have been living in St. Louis during part of his tenure with the team.  I credit his baseball prowess with my own love of the game.  I had been to games in other cities in which I lived, but prior to my Cardinals experience, I didn’t fully appreciate the specialness of baseball.  Having fallen in love with the sport in their city, I will always be a St. Louis Cardinals fan.  (Aren’t I lucky they make it so easy?)

Tony’s book focuses a lot on his last season as coach, but he also manages to weave history throughout the pages of this delightful book.  The story of the fateful season is fraught with tension and I loved reliving the insanity that was September 2011 right into the post-season.  I am sure sportswriter Rick Hummel helped to make this book special.  For a work of non-fiction, I found it completely readable and enjoyable.

I know there will be people who have no interest in reading this book (Braves fans, Phillies fans, people who don’t like baseball), but for me and I am sure for many other baseball fans, this was a fantastic way to get excited about the upcoming season and the end of winter.  The 2011 season epitomized why we watch the game: There is no sure thing and anybody could be the winner, even if you are 10 1/2 games back in August.

May spring bring bright days and plenty of rally squirrels!

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