Success is fleeting. For some people it is faster than others. Some players it lasts twenty years and for others it can only be one day. No matter its length of time, it will eventually vanish, and all you are left with is memories. For John Paciorek the game of baseball allowed him one day of immortality and generated hopes of long-range success. That grand success was never to be, but now there is a book that lets readers take a glimpse of the one game wonder that finished with a perfect career.
John Paciorek was a hometown hero. Brought forth from a family of standout athletes, he showed the promise of greatness on high school teams that garnered the attention of the Houston Colt 45’s. In today’s game Paciorek would be considered a can’t miss prospect and all sorts of attention would be paid to him to make sure he had an All-Star career. Due to a series of back problems an All-Star career was not in the cards for Paciorek, but he did get to play in one single game for the Colt 45’s in 1963 and went a perfect 3 for 3 at the plate. This feat was something that had never happened before or since and left the slugger with a perfect 1.000 career batting average. It was a game that left John with the distinction of the only payer with more than one at bat in the major leagues to have a perfect career batting average. That officially makes him the answer to a trivia question.
Author Steven K.Wagner has undertaken the task of sharing John Paciorek’s career story with the whole world. He covers his humble upbringings in Michigan, through his high school years highlights. You see a complete picture of the background and values of the local star athlete. Next you see John’s progression through the minor leagues and his eventual call up to the Colt 45’s. That brief stint with the Colts leads to one game in which John takes the field. The book takes in-depth analysis of the one game John played in and shows how every single event transpired that day. It also unfortunately shows how things did not work out in John’s career after that great game. A nice portion of the book shows John’s life after baseball and what you find is a man who is at peace with the hand he was dealt in life. Paciorek does not seem bitter at all, especially as one might think he would after his brother Tom had a successful major league career for several years.
It is a good book for all readers who like to learn about obscurity in baseball. It is well written and tells the complete story of both the man and the player, and allows John to become more than just a footnote in baseball history. Books like this I feel are necessary so that we don’t lose the minor things to the passage of time in our sport. He will always be that trivia question answer, but now we are able to understand his full story.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Breakaway Books
There are several teams within Major League Baseball that just get no respect. Sometimes the reason may be their own ineptitude, financial shortcomings or even as simple as being a group of unlikable guys. Teams that come to mind are the Miami Marlins, Washington Senators, Philadelphia and K.C. Athletics, Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros just to name a few out there. They all have their place in history and it is not always negative. The loyal fan bases that these teams maintain always hold out that glimmer of hope for next year and the fortunes that may come their way. Todays book takes the time to celebrate one of those team that struggles to be respected.
Houston Astros-Deep in the Heart
By:Bill Brown & Mike Acosta-Bright Sky Press 2013
The Houston Astros were born out of National League expansion in 1962. Originally named the Colt 45’s, they started play with a bunch of over the hill and wet behind the ears players. They spent more than a decade languishing near the bottom of the standings before reaping the fruits of their labor and becoming perennial contenders for the fans of Houston. Unfortunately like most things in life, baseball standings come full circle and the Astros are rebuilding for the future once again.
Bill Brown and Mike Acosta have compiled a book that shows the pride the fans of the Astros have in their beloved team. They show that you don’t always have to meet prettiest girl at the dance to find true love. Like most teams that have a loyal following, the fans of Houston are proud of their team and its heritage no matter how they finish.
This book is really great. It has 11 different chapters and breaks the 50 plus years of Houston baseball into each. You learn about the stadiums the Astros have called home. You learn about a variety of different players and off field personnel that have worn Houston’s colors proudly. Finally you see the Astros high points on the field, most recently being the 2005 World Series. One part of this book I though was interesting is that is it gives a glimpse into the future of the Astros, it shows rising stars they are hoping will propel the team to new heights. I also found that I had no idea who has actually played for the Astros during their existence. The Houston portion of some players career’s may have been short, but there were some big time names that hung their hat in Houston for a bit.
The pictures in this book are of great quality. You get a chance to see some never before seen shots that make you feel like you were there. I for some reason wish I had the chance to see a game at the Astrodome, but never did. So I always like seeing old pictures of the eighth wonder of the world, and this book does not disappoint at all!
Astros fans will love this book. Fans of team history as well. Books like this always have a place in our bookcases. They allow fans to go back and relive the memories they have and add that special nostalgic magic to it. As we all know that nostalgic magic can make things seem better and more enjoyable than they really were, but sometimes we all need that in life. Also when you order this book it arrives with a bag of baseball candy and a bag of Cracker Jack in the box. What is more enjoyable or nostalgic in baseball than Cracker Jack????
You can get this book from the nice folks at Bright Sky Press