Monday, August 12, 2013

Book Review: Intentional Walk

For most of my life I've been a sports fan. While I love the games themselves, I also really love reading stories about the athletes and those behind the scenes, so when I saw that this book was available for review I figured it would be an enjoyable read for me.

Intentional Walk is a collection of profiles on many of the players and personnel in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. I'll admit that I'm not a huge baseball follower--my first sports loves are college football and basketball--but I tend to pay a little more attention when the post-season rolls around, especially if the Braves are involved. This book picks up in the wake of the Cardinals' 2011 World Series win and follows them throughout the 2012 season in their hunt for a repeat title.

Author Rob Rains profiles individual players, including minor league prospects, major league rookies and seasoned veterans, plus Cardinals staff such as newly hired manager Mike Matheny, broadcaster Rick Horton and equipment manager Rip Rowan. Rains provides a glimpse into their individual Christian faith, a little history on how they came to follow Christ, and insight into how their faith carries over to their lives on and off the field. Not knowing much about the Cards to begin with, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the deep commitment to Christianity that much of the team has and the close bonds they share through it. In a time when there are so many negative stories in the news about athletes--including the recent suspension of several major league players for the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs--it is refreshing to hear about players who are making wise decisions and showing character in and out of the spotlight.

This book is geared toward baseball fans--and Cards fans in particular--but I think that even non-sports fans can appreciate the insights within.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through theBookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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