Item description for I'm Just Getting Started: Baseball's Best Storyteller on Old School Baseball, Defying the Odds, and Good Cigars by Jack McKeon & Kevin Kernan...
Overview "Trader Jack" McKeon shares his lessons about baseball and his tales from the road with generations of characters, and offers a connoisseur's take on the finer points of a good cigar.
Publishers Description Jack McKeon, who in 2003 became the oldest manager to ever lead a team to the World Series championship, proved that old doesn't mean you're over, and these stories offer a look into his storied career, from baseball's forgotten fields to the World Series. In his 55-year career in professional baseball, McKeon learned that the main ingredient to success is enjoying yourself and those around you. Even when faced with incredible odds, McKeon proves that keeping a sense of humor can cure many problems. McKeon's book is a conversational glimpse into how baseball players, fans, management and coaches work at every level.
Citations And Professional Reviews I'm Just Getting Started: Baseball's Best Storyteller on Old School Baseball, Defying the Odds, and Good Cigars by Jack McKeon & Kevin Kernan has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Ingram Advance - 03/01/2005 page 94
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Jack McKeon is a former Major League Baseball manager for the Florida Marlins. In 2003, he won a World Series with the Marlins. When he took over as manager of the Marlins in 2011 at age 80, he became the second oldest manager in major league history, behind Connie Mack. McKeon previously managed the Kansas City Royals from 1973 to 1975, the Oakland Athletics in 1977 and 1978, the San Diego Padres from 1988 to 1990, and the Cincinnati Reds from 1997 to 2000. From 1981 to 1990, he served as general manager of the Padres, forming the team which won the 1984 National League pennant. Kevin Kernan is an award-winning sports columnist for the "New York Post" who has covered sports for 27 years. "I'm Just Getting Started" is his fifth book.
Reviews - What do customers think about I'm Just Getting Started: Baseball's Best Storyteller on Old School Baseball, Defying the Odds, and Good Cigars?
Where's the beef? Sep 11, 2005
Basically this book is a few interesting baseball anecdotes surrounded by a lot of fluff. Most of the blame should be laid at the feet of Kevin Kernan who is listed as a contributing writer. Jack supplied the anecdotes and personal information but Kernan should have been responsible for putting it all into a readable form. In some cases Jack repeats the same statements over three or four times in different parts of the book with just a slight change in the wording. By the time I got halfway through the book I was praying that Jack would not tell me again how much "fun" baseball was or how he was the "first" to do this or that. My prayers were not answered.
I was especially turned off by McKeon's story about getting his son a passing grade in college by giving the professor free game tickets. The bribe is loosely referred to as having "street smarts". Let's call a spade a spade Jack, it's unethical and illegal. There's nothing "smart" about it.
McKeon wears his religion on his sleeve, which is admirable. The problem I have with this is that he attributes certain positive events in his life, including game wins, to "the power of prayer". Apparently Jack hadn't prayed the night before he lost a playoff game for a wildcard spot as manager of the Reds or before his Padres were annihilated by the Tigers in the '84 World Series.
Several of the stories are entertaining, especially if one is familiar with players from the 60s on up. But these could have been condensed into less than 10 pages. I commend Mr. McKeon on his accomplishments but I had hoped for a book that had much more substance. For that I would recommend the classic "Veeck As In Wreck" by Bill Veeck.
I picked up this book from the local library. Thank goodness I didn't put any hard-earned cash out for it.
Kind of thin..... Aug 22, 2005
Being a huge Florida Marlins fan, I was very excited that this book was being published. The rags to riches story of Mckeon and the 2003 World Series champs deserves to be recorded for the annals. Jack is known for being very un-PC and a truly salty story teller so I had high hopes for the book. That being said, I am forced to admit to being a little disappointed. The book is very short, and I double-checked to make sure I hadn't bought the large print edition accidentally. Despite being a biography, the book foregoes a chronological telling of McKeon's long and distinguished life. I feel this is a mistake as the narrative jumps all over the place. Perhaps the author was trying for a more conversational style, but it is too discombobulated and lacks any cohesion.
I have read a lot of sports biographies, and this is far from the worst. It could have been better. It has some nice details on the 2003 world series run and does capture the quirkiness of its subject. It seems like a book that was contracted out and not started until a week before its publishing deadline.
STOP THE PRESSES!!!! A good idea for Jack McKeon? Apr 27, 2005
"I'm Just Getting Started: Baseball's Best Storyteller on Old School Baseball, Defying the Odds, and Good Cigars" had the unfortunate luck to be released at approximately the same time as Jose Canseco's much more popular book - - "Juiced : Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big."
With the assistance of Kevin Kernan, Jack McKeon recounts his life in 211 double spaced and large font pages. Of note, this site lists the book at 213 pages, but the last two pages detail the manager's record. This is an important fact as it personifies the book in a nutshell. It appears that the author(s) filled in space simply to increase the page count and this detracts from the value of the book.
While the stories are interesting, the editing is horrible and while reading this book, the reader constantly envisions Jack McKeon dictating his words and Kevin typing these words exactly as spoken and then submitting these same words for approval from the publisher without editing.
Most of the book focuses on Mr. McKeon's managerial days and it does a good job of making the reader appreciate how hard he has worked and how far he has come. Jack McKeon uses this book to obtain his revenge on those who let him go (i.e. Cincinnati comes up a lot in the book), but I have no problem with this as he is sailing on top at the present moment. In addition, revenge is best served on a cold platter and he utilizes this mantra well.
Having said this, the book is essentially a hodgepodge of words put together. Sure, it may sound like a conversation, but many ideas are repeated and unnecessary. If you remove the letters from fans, reduce the font, and eliminate the double spacing, you will realize that this book is not quite worth the $16.47 this site price.