Dave Dravecky: He Had Made It to the Big leagues, but Then Doctors Gave Him Bad News was written by Dave Dravecky  with Tim Stafford. (It has 122 pages and is the abridged version of Comeback.) It was published by Zondervan Publishing Company (1993).

Dave Dravecky is most well known for “the pitch heard around the world.” In a game against the Montreal Expos, Dravecky, of the San Francisco Giants, was pitching when he threw the fastball that changed his life. Dravecky’s left arm snapped as he let go, sending him tumbling off the mound and screaming in agony. This book is the story of his life leading up to that final pitch.

Dravecky started playing baseball as young boy and dreamed of playing in the major leagues. He began his career as a minor league player. While he was playing in Texas with Byron Ballard, he became a Christian.

Many reports said Christians didn’t play with guts because they were too nice, but Dravecky would redefine “guts.” Pitching for major league teams including the San Francisco Giants, he seemed unstoppable. Until one day after being put on the disabled list, a check-up showed a lump on his arm muscle. It was cancerous and it needed to be removed. The doctors said the surgery would be career-ending since they would need to remove part of his deltoid muscle.

Dravecky had the surgery and it was successful; they removed the cancer. He was determined to come back and play again. But if he couldn’t, he would accept it. He worked out the arm slowly at first, even throwing a football. It seemed to cause some pain but he worked and worked. Eventually he could pitch. He pitched again in the major leagues even after his major arm surgery.

This book is Dave Dravecky’s journey through his baseball career that would end with one final pitch. He said throughout the journey that he was sad, but God gave him a gift twice. He got to play in the major leagues and he got a comeback. Dravecky’s final pitch was in the summer of 1989. That year the Giants would go on to win the National League Championship and play the Oakland Athletics in the World Series.

The players of the Giants awarded Dravecky the Willie Mac Award. He returned home for a final surgery. This time it was to remove his entire arm because the cancer had returned.

This book is good for ages 8-12, especially boys interested in baseball. Dravecky’s is a story of perseverance and hope.

From Nancy: Dave Dravecky has written several inspirational books for adults. On Amazon I read about Called Up: Stories of Life and Faith from the Great Game of Baseball and The Worth of a Man. These books might be good for fathers and their teenage sons to read together. I haven’t read them so I cannot recommend them, but I did want to direct your attention to them.

Kristina O’Brien is the mother of three children, twin girls and a boy. She is an avid reader and a credentialed teacher. She has taught both middle school and high school history.