Markusen: Talking baseball with Fastball John D’Acquisto

From SABR member Bruce Markusen at The Hardball Times on January 5, 2017:

Every Christmas, my father used to buy me at least one baseball book. With little exception, It was the gift that I most looked forward to unwrapping each holiday season. Perhaps that’s why I became such a fan of the game, and eventually a baseball writer and author.

If my father had been alive for Christmas in 2016, I think I would have wanted him to give me the gift of Fastball John. Luckily, I already have one, courtesy of a review copy sent to me by the book’s co-author, David Jordan. He and former major league pitcher John D’Acquisto have collaborated on one of the best baseball books of the year, a book that may be as influential as anything written by a former major leaguer not named Jim Bouton or Jim Brosnan.

At his peak, D’Acquisto threw a fastball clocked at over 100 miles per hour. (It’s believed that among pitchers in the 1970s, only Nolan Ryan threw harder.) He had only moderate success at the major league level, but did last for 10 seasons with the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos, California Angels and Oakland A’s.

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Originally published: January 12, 2017. Last Updated: January 12, 2017.