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Tough Guy, Gentle Heart

by:
Jane Allen Quevedo (Author)
Felix Millán (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-7578-2 ©2012
Price: $11.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 146 pages
Category/Subject: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Sports

Felix Millán dealt with extreme shyness everywhere except a baseball field. That’s where the All-Star second baseman proved he was one of Major League’s toughest batters to strike out.

Abstract:
Embarrassed because he has no shoes, Felix is an extremely shy kid—except when he’s playing baseball. The son of a poor sugarcane worker, he is a dependable youngster who cares for his uncle’s roosters and delivers fruit to market for a neighbor. In the Army he corresponds with a girl he’s never met. Two years later they marry and together pursue his dream of a baseball career. Overcoming language and racial barriers, he becomes one of the game’s toughest batters to strike out in the 1970s. Moving to Japan in the ’80s, he makes a life-changing leap of faith.

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Customer Reviews

  The Making of a ML Player , 09/23/2012
Reviewer: Patricia Benton
What does it take for a shy Puerto Rican kid to make it to the major leagues? Felix Millan (with coauthor Jane Allen Quevedo) shares his story--taking the reader from his large, poor family in a sugar-cane valley to his major league career as a tough second-baseman for the Braves and Mets. Because Jane Allen Quevedo is married to a Puerto Rican and has visited the island many times, she is able to recreate the Yabucoa Valley in the 1950s and 60s that helped to shape Felix. The reader shares his shame at not being able to afford shoes in the fifth grade, and trying to hide his dirty, calloused feet. But we also share in the excitement of playing baseball on an island where it is a huge part of the culture. Felix finds--and marries--the girl of his dream, and eventually is offered a position with the Kansas City Athletics. Like most players, his road to the majors wasn’t always easy, but he eventually prevails. The most disturbing part of the book is the incredible prejudice that Puerto Rican (and black) players still faced in the early 1960s. Felix describes how language barriers kept him, and other players, isolated and how tough it was to be interviewed. Reading is difficult for Felix, and he wanted his story to be a short book. It’s that: short and sweet, with a tough guy finally showing us his gentle heart. Pick it up when you want to be reassured that working hard, finding and keeping the right sweetheart, and following your dreams sometimes does lead to the major leagues.

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