Since we’re in the middle of the biggest baseball event in the whole world, I thought I’d provide a review to a book that I listened to (audio version) recently. The book is Shattered, by Frank Pastore.
Shattered is the autobiography of former Big Leage pitcher Frank Pastore. Frank’s career as a pitcher got a sizzling start in 1979 when he was fresh out of high school. He was playing on the Big Red Machine (Cincinnati Reds) at the peak of their glory days, winning baseball games, and rubbing shoulders with the very men he had idolized as a child.
But Frank’s career was about to get a hit. Just a few years into his MLB experience, he was pitching a routine game against the Dodgers. He pitched a 91 mph fastball, and the batter connected. The ball came hurtling back towards Frank Pastore, shattering his right elbow—thus, the title of the book, Shattered.
The book recounts Frank Pastore’s journey from a troubled childhood, to troubled teens, and finally his breakthrough into the dream-come-true popularity and glamor of professional baseball. Shattered takes on a new meaning as the book progresses. Not only was Frank a tough pitcher, but he was also a tough agnostic. On the mound, he could face off with big hitters and easily throw strikes. Off the mound, he could take a Christian and tear apart their arguments and render them embarassed and cowed. Some of Frank’s teammates who were Christians began praying for him and working on him. Soon Frank Pastore was reading C.S. Lewis on the bench during games. Eventually, Frank Pastore was born again.
The book moves along with lively force through Frank’s professional career, as well as his post-baseball life. He recounts family challenges, crushing news, job changes, financial woes, relationship struggles, and the ups and downs that characterize life. But somehow Frank’s life seems to have a lot more interesting events than most people I know. Whether you are a baseball afficionado or didn’t even realize that the World Series was going on right now, you’ll find that Shattered is an enjoyable read that provides a glimpse into another life.
- Frank Pastore had a stellar writer in Ellen Vaughn. Although Frank’s story itself is a fascinating one, Vaughn’s writing made it come alive.
- The book never loses momentum or interest. The book opens with a bang–Franks’e elbow is shattered. But the excitement doesn’t end there. There is something fascinating that follows each fascinating event.
- Openness and honesty. The best biographies are those that spare no details and hold back no information. That seems to be the kind of brutally-honest approach that Pastore took when writing down the story of his life. This adds to the fascination of the book.
Don’t take your theology from biography. Biographies are meant to be inspirational, not imitated. The way that Frank dealt with some of his struggles leaves one wondering whether or not that was the right thing to do. In the end, however, Frank’s life is an encouraging story about how a former agnostic can become an outspoken Christian. It is a story of how God can change lives, even when we may consider life’s events shattering.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this audiobook free from Oasis Audio as part of their Review 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.”