My Father’s Game

Life, Death, Baseball


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SKU: 9780786429844 Categories: ,

About the Book

During his long baseball career, Del Wilber caught for the Red Sox, Cardinals and Phillies; managed 6 minor league teams; scouted for 4 major league clubs; and served as third base coach for the Senators. Written by his son, Rick, this elegant memoir recalls Wilber’s life from the unique perspective of a son who grew up in major league dugouts, experienced the joys and hardships that go along with having a big-league dad, and served as his father’s caregiver after he became terminally ill. The book is a moving account of the major leaguer’s life and the emotionally exasperating ordeal of caring for a dying parent.

About the Author(s)

Rick Wilber is a journalism professor at the University of South Florida. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Rick Wilber
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 214
Bibliographic Info: 24 photos, appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2984-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments       vii

Preface      1

1. Cycling In      5

2. At the End: July 2002      8

3. Getting into the Game      15

4. The Easy Way, the Hard Way      43

5. Writing Dad      51

6. Using Dad      57

7. Special Needs      65

8. Assisted Living      71

9. The Aristocracy      77

10. Myth and History      80

11. Keeping Score      95

12. Fins to the Left      100

13. The Final Game: March 2002      115

14. Alternate Realities      124

15. Some Hard-Earned Advice      129

16. Bridges: May 2002      151

17. Memorabilia      160

18. Life After Baseball      172

19. Post Hoc      182

20. Cycling Out      186

Appendix: Some Useful Resources      189

Index      195

Book Reviews & Awards

“It couldn’t have been easy to write this book. It isn’t particularly easy to read it. But whether you care about baseball or not, it speaks valuably to the experience many of us will have on one side of the life cycle or the other, and ultimately perhaps both. … [It] may well become a classic in the literature.”—Broad Street Review; “a beautifully rendered biography, a family memoir, and a near-essential companion for those of us faced with the responsibility and privilege of sharing our parent’s lives as they age. With grace, with anger, and with the strong tools of truth and love, Rick Wilber gives that essential gift of the writer by somehow, magically and invisibly, linking his journey through the difficult emotional and physical work of caring for his mother and father with our own as we care for ours. Reading My Father’s Game will indeed give you a unique and marvelous glimpse of baseball history, but its real value is that it will also ease the tribulations of this difficult passage by showing you that you are not alone.”—Novelist Kathleen Ann Goonan; “Rick Wilber’s powerful memoir is a work of uncommon courage. In it he cares for demanding, ailing parents while trying to be the best husband, father, and teacher he can be. It’s an impossible task, it turns out, and as he relives the frustration, pain, and anger, we watch fascinated as the drama plays out. My Father’s Game is an honest, affecting book that will touch you deeply.”—Peter Golenbock, author of Wrigleyville, Bums, and Red Sox Nation; “this is a stunning book. Rick Wilber’s dead-level, achingly honest account of what he learned about himself, his father, and one of our central national mythologies should be read by every baseball fan and would be helpful to everyone who takes on the role of caregiver. My Father’s Game abounds with faith, heartbreak, love, insight, and honor”—Peter Straub, award-winning author of Lost Boy, Lost Girl, Koko and In the Night Room; “as one of his many writing protégés, I know something about Rick Wilber’s father-son relationships. But I never knew about the one that shaped his life, strengthened his heart, honed his soul. I never knew about, My Father’s Game, the story of how a simple nine-inning game could fashion a bond that would last two men a lifetime. I am honored to have been of Rick Wilber’s students. While reading My Father’s Game I realize I am learning from him still”—Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times Sports Columnist and panelist on ESPN’s Around the Horn.