Friday, March 16, 2012
Books For The Road - Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story
Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story was a book I had planned to read for a long time and finally decided the time was right. It was the beginning of baseball's preseason and we were going to the first few games in Goodyear, Arizona. A far cry from the atmosphere in which Mordecai Brown played back in the early 1900s.
Brown came from Terre Haute, Indiana, and ended up playing a good part of his career for the very successful Chicago Cubs. Back in a day when everyone in baseball seemed to have some sort of nickname, Brown's name, Three Finger, came from the shape of his pitching hand. When he was a small child, he'd lost his index finger in a farm machine. With amazing determination, Brown overcame the disability and became one of the greats of baseball history.
The book is written by Cindy Thomson and Scott Brown who are distant cousins of Mordecai Brown. The beginning pages tell the reader of their discovery of their relationship and how they came to write the book.
This is not a book for a casual read. While entertaining in its own right, it is a book for baseball buffs and those serious in learning more about baseball history and its players. It is filled with a lot of statistics from many of those exciting games the Cubs played back then and of course stats from Brown's career. There is a very interesting section toward the end which speaks to just how Brown was able to pitch so well without an index finger.
Mordecai Brown was eventually immortalized in the Hall of Fame and with a statue dedicated to him just a few years ago near his birth place. He was remembered as quite a gentleman and a man who cared about his community and the people he met along the way. Something I wish we'd see more of in today's athletes.